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All Blacks forwards showed they're no pushovers - Hansen

25 Juin 2017

The Lions are about power, kick and chase and, as their tour has rumbled on, a shadow Test team, formed for game three when they beat the Canterbury Crusaders, have developed into a class unit.

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read has been training without any problems for the past two weeks and is confident his repaired broken thumb will be able to stand the rigours of the first test against the British and Irish Lions tonight.

"We switched off for two tries, and we missed a number of opportunities, but they are things we can fix", said Gatland. As All Blacks, we want to take that head-on and embrace it. I thought Jamie George went about his business OK but for me, if there's one change to get this Lions team to slow the breakdown and better their scrum, it's Rory Best to come in there.

They said independently and without consultation that the way in which both teams recover from Saturday's physical test at Eden Park and prepare for the second will play a large role in determining whether the series is still alive when the teams return to Eden Park in a fortnight.

Hooker Codie Taylor scored a first-half try before wing Rieko Ioane added two second-half touchdowns.

After the Blues game Alex went down with some of his mates shaking their hands like they were good buddies and his mates asked him how he knew them.

It was Read's offload that teed up the move for Rieko Ioane's first try, but this was an all-court showing from the man who has been crowned World Rugby Player of the Year.

Trailing by 10 points with seven minutes of the half remaining, the tourists needed something special - and they certainly got it with Daly once again involved.

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Read added that he thought the Lions were incredibly hard to put away, particularly as they regained some of the momentum just before halftime with Sean O'Brien's length of the field try.

"And obviously one scrum caught us and put us under pressure, so from a set-piece point of view there are a couple of areas for improvement".

"We had an excellent first half and created plenty of chances", Lions captain Peter O'Mahony told Sky Sports 1.

"Once we started to look after the ball and stopped offloading, we built some pressure time after time", Hansen said. "If we'd scored after half-time that's 13-13 - that's an interesting take on the game".

Gatland said he was "disappointed" in his forwards, who had no answer to the All Blacks' strength.

As they have so many times before New Zealand broke their opponents' will in the second half, but for the first hour the game was nip and tuck with the tourists' defence shackling the usually free-flowing Kiwis. If you look at the tries, they are easily fixable.

"The Lions played really, really well. To be the All Black captain you've got to have a lot of character, courage and be a fierce warrior", Hansen said.

As good as Williams had been for the Lions in attack, he was at fault in the 70th minute as he failed to collect a box kick, with Ioane taking full advantage to run in his second try which was converted to all but end the Test.

All Blacks forwards showed they're no pushovers - Hansen