The British and Irish Lions ignited their tour of New Zealand by ruthlessly ruining the Crusaders’ perfect season with a 12-3 victory.
Owen Farrell capped an inside-back masterclass with all the tourists’ points as the Lions announced their true arrival in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
Warren Gatland’s side answered all the questions and every critic with a win of substance and serious promise against a Crusaders side who have won all 14 Super Rugby matches this season and were restricted to just a first-half penalty from Richie Mo’unga.
TWEET OF THE MATCH
“How do you not review that kick?? They even ask tmo’s who farted in the scrum these days #LionsNZ2017” - Former Saracens loose-forward Jacques Burger questions why the referee did not consult the TMO to determine whether Farrell’s early second-half penalty went through the posts.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
Farrell thought he had booted the Lions into a 12-3 lead early in the second half with a simple kick. But he was left bemused by the touch judges keeping their flags down despite the ball appearing to go over the post. Thankfully for the tourists it did not prove costly.
Farrell. The England international looks to have sealed a jersey for the first Test following a commanding performance. A reassuring presence for Gatland’s team.
GATLAND GETS RESPONSE
Head coach Gatland demanded a performance following the midweek defeat to the Blues and the Lions duly delivered. The impressive display at a high intensity bodes well for the rest of the tour. The only thing lacking was cutting edge in attack.