Venerdì, 24 Novembre, 2017

Farrell kicks Lions to win over Crusaders in New Zealand tour match

Owen Farrell Owen Farrell
Pammachio Corsino | 20 Giugno, 2017, 21:47

Stuart Hogg suffered a nasty-looking bang to the face after inadvertently running into Conor Murray's elbow in the fine win over the Crusaders.

But Warburton has been passed fit to face the Highlanders in Dunedin.

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen criticised the Lions' hard schedule and their commercial responsibilities, while England coach Eddie Jones claimed the tourists would lose the Test series if they play like Gatland's Wales.

Sam Warburton will skipper the British & Irish Lions against the Highlanders on Tuesday after recovering from an ankle injury.

"We need to be as ruthless as we can be because as we go through this tour the teams we coming up against are going to be getting more and more ruthless".

With cover already deep on either flank and with Ross Moriarty also in the mix, though now sidelined with a back strain, it is certainly valid to consider Warburton's inclusion as a possible weakening of the side.

10 June 2017; Conor Murray of the British & Irish Lions during the match between Crusaders and the British & Irish Lions at AMI Stadium in Christchurch, New Zealand.

He continued: "I think when you look at it it was a strong side, and I think he always targeted [that] - even with the players that hadn't played up to that point, they were quite experienced players. I'm desperate to get another win and kick on again so the confidence can grow".


"Ross Moriarty had a bit of a back strain that he got in that first game". To our mind - with the Lions game-plan unfolding before our eyes - three Irish players are in that starting XV.

"When CJ (Stander) came on, it gave us a good carry round the corner, an opportunity to attack and we made a line break off that.

He could potentially back that up against the Maori All Blacks (on Saturday)".

After leaking four tries in their first two matches - one in a 13-7 win over the Provincial Barbarians and three in a 22-6 loss to the Auckland-based Blues - the Lions found the defensive resilience which will be crucial against the All Blacks.

The Crusaders appeared to be annoyed with referee Mathieu Raynal's handling of the scrum engagement laws, but Gatland rejected those concerns and insisted the Lions have prepared to cope with every style of officiating.

"I probably only missed one or two sessions, so my preparation hasn't changed a whole lot", said Warburton.

They struggled in the scrums against the All Blacks-laden pack, but that was an area where the Crusaders were frequently penalised, and Peter O'Mahony and Alun Wyn Jones ensured the Lions functioned better at the lineouts. This is the week when we will see the midweek and Test team beginning to take shape. He's a little elusive and tricky with it and he may indeed have played his way into the test team. The Kiwi press have been doing their best to upset Warren Gatland and for me, their criticism is pure stupidity. This is the type of test that we want because that's exactly what the All Blacks are fantastic at.

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