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Principale » 5 talking points from the first Lions Test in New Zealand

5 talking points from the first Lions Test in New Zealand

24 Juin 2017

They played well for long periods at Eden Park, did mostly what they set out to do and will feel their attitude was reflective of their focus and desire to perform at their best. Returning captain Kieran Read, lock Brodie Retallick and props Joe Moody and Owen Franks were direct and powerful ball-carriers.

The obvious bits of their performance that worked well, were their scrum, defence, finishing and collision work.

"We'll get there. We'll take a huge amount of confidence from the game".

Peter O'Mahony captains the Lions against the All Blacks.

But while the Lions were certainly surprising in this aspect, they were disappointing in the areas they had hoped to dominate. The Lions have a team who can do that. Johnny Sexton having been told during the second-half that he "wasn't the referee" berated Peyper at the end when stating: "You give them everything".

The second surge came and the Lions popped. The arrival of Maro Itoje and a couple of rain showers added further to the growing intrigue but the All Blacks went up a gear in the final quarter, Ioane touching down in the 55th and 70th minutes to cast the Lions well adrift despite a late consolation try from Rhys Webb.

"I was thinking about that earlier (on Thursday), that very thing, and it's right up there", he said.

The Lions pushed them tonight, but it looked like there was more to come from this All Blacks side in round two, meaning the Lions will need to find even more as they bid to claw their way back into the series. "If they do the job everyone else can play".

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"We left at least two tries out there so I don't think 15 points is a good reflection". We have to front up again.

Richie McCaw's successor made eight tackles - including one monster on Owen Farrell - in an enormous performance as the All Blacks went toe-to-toe with a physical Lions side and wore them down.

O'Mahony forms a potent triumverate with the equally-impressive and in-form Seán O'Brien at number 7 and ball-playing No 8 Toby Faletau sandwiched in between the two, it gives the Lions the flawless balance for a back-row with power, lineout prowess and good footballing ability.

Fullback Liam Williams was forced to run the ball out of defence but the field opened up for him and he was able to offload to Davies, who exchanged passes with Daly before getting the ball to O'Brien for the flanker to touch down.

The world champions produced a performance of real grit and character to subdue a Lions surge around halftime before racing away to extend their winning streak at their spiritual home to 38 Tests going back to 1994.

"I think it was more our ability to play off nine and get behind them that really hurt them and took away what they wanted to do".

Along they way they have fine-tuned a powerful scrum and lineout, and defensive line speed that stifled both the free-scoring Crusaders and Maori All Blacks, conceding only one try. We've got to put ourselves under pressure to finish off the opportunities we're creating. They have also won 46 successive games in New Zealand dating back to a 2009 defeat to South Africa.