17 Jun 2017

Lions punish Māori All Blacks

10:14 pm on 17 June 2017

The British and Irish Lions have made a big statement one week out from the first Test, with a 32-10 win over the Māori All Blacks in Rotorua.

Lions' Sean O'Brien is chased by Damian McKenzie.

Lions' Sean O'Brien is chased by Damian McKenzie. Photo: PhotoSport

The Lions shut down the home side, scoring two tries to one, and benefited from excellent goal kicking.

The Lions scored the first of many penalties in the fourth minute to take an early 3-0 lead and poor discipline hurt the Māori All Blacks throughout.

Leigh Halfpenny added another penalty kick a few minutes later for the Lions.

See how the match went down with Jamie Wall's live commentary

The Māori All Blacks scored the first try of the night courtesy of a Liam Messam kick and chase and they went ahead 7-6 but that was about their only highlight of the night.

Halfpenny kicked another penalty to get the Lions ahead, before Damian McKenzie replied with one of his own to put the Māori All Blacks up 10-9.

The home side threatened to score a second try courtesy of a well-placed Charlie Ngatai kick but George North did a brilliant job of chasing and cleaning up the ball as it flirted with the Lions try line.

Halfpenny kicked his fourth penalty of the first half and the Lions went to the main break in front 12-10.

The Lions grew in confidence over the course of the second half and continued to dominate possession.

Halfpenny added another three points off the boot as the Māori All Blacks continued to make mistakes.

Tawera Kerr-Barlow was yellow carded for a dangerous tackle and the Lions took full advantage of the depleted Māori All Blacks.

The visitors drove towards the try line but weren't able to satisfy the officials that the ball had been grounded.

The Lions took another 5 metre scrum and used their main strike weapon to great use. The referee eventually awarded the Lions a penalty try, and they went ahead 22-10.

Minutes later Maro Itoje scored the Lions second try, which came from another 5 metre scrum, and the score blew out to 29-10.

The Lions were relentless and the Māori All Blacks looked in disarray.

Halfpenny kicked his sixth penalty of the night to take the final score to 32-10.

It was a confidence boosting performance from the Lions as they head into the business end of the tour.

Following earlier announcements today, the Lions have called up Allan Dell and Finn Russell, who will link up with the squad in Hamilton tomorrow.

Earlier, England beat the Black Ferns 29-21 in Rotorua, securing the four-nation women's rugby series.

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