In Full

Rugby Union in Full

All Blacks boss the biff and boff

The Lions played pretty well all told yesterday in Eden Park, the graveyard of so many touring team’s dreams. The All Blacks played better. It happens in rugby every weekend of the season. The only thing that differentiated yesterday’s match was that New Zealand represent the very pinnacle of the game, both now and historically speaking, the statistics insist.

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Steve Hansen: 'You dont become the number one side in the world without having a quality tight five.' Picture: Getty Images)

Hansen lauds power of the All Blacks pack

Steve Hansen took a swipe at the British and Irish Lions’ bid to become the world’s best forward pack after the All Blacks’ muscular first Test victory.

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Scotlands first ever win in Sydney gave the game a lift. Photograph: AFP/Getty

Scottish elite rugby has never been in better shape, so enjoy

It was a sorry end to the season, Scotland’s defeat by Fiji, although you fancy that the islanders will take a few more scalps with more time together, especially on home soil.

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Opening try scorer Peceli Yano gets in front of Tim Swinson. Picture: AFP/Getty

Fiji and Nakarawa reign on Scotland’s parade

Gregor Townsend insists he loves Fiji. It is hard to see why – his first trip to the island produced one of Scotland’s more embarrassing defeats when he was a player – 51-26; his second brought his first as Scotland head coach. Not a lot there to make him happy.

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Poachers try: Ruaridh Jackson crashes over after a quick pick-up.  Photograph: Ivamere Rokovesa/Getty Images

Wrong choices, not wrong team, to blame

“No.” Gregor Townsend’s terse, one-word answer showed he was not in any mood to discuss the idea that complacency had undone his team or that 12 changes from the side that beat Australia was too many.

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British and Irish Lions players line up to shake hands with New Zealand All Black players after their Test match between New Zealand and the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland on June 24, 2017. Picture: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

History not in British & Irish Lions’ favour after defeat

The British and Irish Lions have been beaten 30-15 by New Zealand in the first Test in Auckland and history suggests it will be difficult for Warren Gatland’s tourists to bounce back.

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Ross Ford drives through the Fiji defence to score a try during their test in Suva. Picture: IVAMERE ROKOVESA/AFP/Getty Images

Fiji 27-22 Scotland: Scots pay price for errors in Suva

Scotland’s mission to finish their summer tour unbeaten failed as they lost 27-22 to Fiji in Suva.

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British and Irish Lions Sean O'Brien dives over to score a try during their Test match against New Zealand. Picture: MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand 30 - 15 British & Irish Lions: Story of the match

Sean O’Brien scored one of the greatest tries in British and Irish Lions history - but world champions New Zealand still won a pulsating first Test in emphatic fashion.

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British and Irish Lions Sean O'Brien (R) dives over to score one of the greatest tries in Lions history. Picture: MICHAEL BRADLEY/AFP/Getty Images

New Zealand 30 - 15 British & Irish Lions: How the Lions rated

How the Lions players rated out of ten.

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Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend was left disappointed by his side's defeat to Fiji. Picture: Fotosport/David Gibson

Gregor Townsend rues sloppy Scotland performance in defeat

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend was bitterly disappointed after seeing his dream of an unbeaten tour to launch his term in charge blown apart by the vibrant running and tackling of Fiji.

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British and Irish Lions' Liam Williams tries to get past New Zealand's Rieko Ioane. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire.

New Zealand 30 - 15 British & Irish Lions: All Backs clinical in win

Sean O’Brien scored one of the greatest tries in British and Irish Lions history - but world champions New Zealand still won a pulsating first Test in emphatic fashion.

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Finn Russell's charge-down try against Australia in Sydney was impressive. Picture: David Gibson/Fotosport

Allan Massie: Sydney tries illustrated Scotland’s class

It was Twickenham, either 2001 or 2003. I forget which but England ran up 40 points on both occasions, scoring altogether a dozen tries to Scotland’s none. In one of the matches we had almost all the ball for the first ten minutes or quarter of an hour. A few days later Chris Paterson said he thought England were happy with that. “They like to let you have possession early just to prove you can’t do anything with it.” Scotland didn’t, I assume, take the field in Sydney with that attitude. Yet they might have done so. Overall, according to the official statistics, Australia had 59 per cent of possession and 70 per cent of territory, but still lost. More to the point the first two Scottish tries came when Australia had secured possession.

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Rodger Arneil, now 73 and living in the Cotswolds, played in two Lions tours during the 1970s. Picture: SWNS

Interview: Rodger Arneil on touring with Lions and Scotland

Rodger Arneil, the redoubtable Scotland back-row and British Lion, lives in the Cotswolds village of Adlestrop, a pimple of a place celebrated in wistful verse by Edward Thomas before the poet got himself killed in the Great War – but the village lacks a high-grade gastro-pub, which the Chipping Norton Set who have country retreats nearby must find dashed awkward.

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Lions full-back Liam Williams holds on to the ball during a training session at Eden Park. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Risk can bring reward for British & Irish Lions in Auckland

There have been 480 minutes of rugby played on the British and Irish Lions tour so far, which pales in comparison to the countless broadcast hours and oceans of newsprint expended upon speculation about what might unfold in Auckland this morning.

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Ex rugby player Doddie Weir at the Greenyards earlier this year. Picture; Greg Macvean

Doddie Weir thanks well-wishers following MND announcement

Doddie Weir has taken to social media to thank well-wishers after he announced that he was suffering from motor neurone disease.

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Ross Ford drives through the Australian tackles during Scotland's win over the Wallabies in Sydney last weekend. Picture: Fotosport/David Gibson

Scots record-breaker Ross Ford eyes Rugby World Cup 2019

If you are just out of school and the head coach calls you into his office, it is either very, very good news, or very, very bad. For Ross Ford, when Tony Gilbert, the coach at the new Borders team, asked for a chat, it turned out to be life changing.

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All Blacks Brodie Retallick, left, Beauden Barrett during a training session in Auckland ahead of the first of Test at Eden Park. Picture: Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP

First Lions Test offers clash of sporting philosophies

The phoney war is over, the real stuff starts tomorrow. All the talking and, yes, all the writing is irrelevant after that whistle blows and the two teams adopt their game faces.

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Edinburgh and Scotland hooker Ross Ford with the Hopetoun Cup after the 24-19 victory over Australia in Sydney in which he equalled Chris Patersons previous-record tally of 109 caps. Picture: David Gibson/Fotosport

Scotland rugby team boss Gregor Townsend aims for three tour

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend handed hooker Ross Ford his record 110th cap and Nick Grigg his first in the team to face Fiji.

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Ross Ford will earn his 110th cap after being included in the starting XV to face Fiji. Picture: Greg Macvean

Scotland rugby team: Ross Ford to become most capped player

Scotland hooker Ross Ford is set to break his country’s caps record on Saturday after being named in the starting line-up to face Fiji.

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Leone Nakarawa,centre, in action for Glasgow Warriors against Guinness Pro12 rivals Zebre last year.

Scotland rugby team: friends turn to foes for former Fijian Warriors

“I love Scotland, love Glasgow, love the Warriors; they are my brothers. Going to Glasgow is like coming to Fiji; it is my home, too.”

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