The Roar
The Roar

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Highlanders vs British and Irish Lions highlights: International rugby scores, blog

Roar Guru
12th June, 2017
Kickoff: 5.35PM AEST
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Referee: Angus Gardner (AUS)
Betting: Highlanders $2.60, British and Irish Lions $1.49

HIGHLANDERS
Richard Buckman, Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa, Teihoragi Walden, Tevita Li, Lima Sopoaga, Kayne Hammington, Luke Whitelock (captain), Dillon Hunt, Gareth Evans, Jackson Hemopo, Alex Ainley, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown.

Reserves: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Aki Seiuli, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Josh Dickson, James Lentjes, Josh Renton, Marty Banks, Patrick Osborne

BRITISH AND IRISH LIONS
Jared Payne, Jack Nowell, Jonathan Joseph, Robbie Henshaw, Tommy Seymour, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, CJ Stander, Sam Warburton (captain), James Haskell, Iain Henderson, Courtney Lawes, Kyle Sinckler, Rory Best, Joe Marler.

Reserves: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Dan Cole, Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, Greig Laidlaw, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly.
A lot went into the Lions's historic victory over the All Blacks. (AAP Image/David Rowland)
Roar Guru
12th June, 2017
293
6934 Reads

The 2017 British and Irish Lions tour continues this evening as they travel south to Dunedin for an outing against the Highlanders. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage with kick off scheduled for 5:35pm (AEST) from Forsyth Barr Stadium.

After a superb victory over the leading Super Rugby side, the Crusaders, last Saturday night, the Lions will be looking to continue their momentum.

As the demands of the short turnaround show, a very different starting side has been named here by coach Warren Gatland, which provides a further opportunity for those selected to impress the coaching staff ahead of the Tests selection.

One criticism of the Lions tour to date has been their inability to find the try line. The tourists have scored just two from three outings thus far on tour and we can be sure the Lions will want to see an improvement on this front. Conditions will be perfect under the roof this evening.

Of particular interest will be the performance of the Lions’ backline, one area which does not look settled from the centres onwards. Robbie Henshaw and Jonathan Joseph will be looking for a big performance tonight to stake their claims while the Lions’ back three will be switched on to take their opportunities when they present themselves.

While it would appear Owen Farrell, Jonathan Sexton and Connor Murray would be the frontrunners for the run on Test side in a few weeks, it is a grand opportunity for Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb to push into contention for the match-day 23 with a controlled and secure performance tonight.

The Lions will fancy their chances up front this evening with an experienced pack named and most eyes will be trained on the form of tour captain Sam Warburton and his performance this evening with the Test matches around the corner.

While the Highlanders are missing some of their bigger names due to Test commitments, most notably Smith and Smith (Aaron and Ben), they have still managed to name a few representative stars with Lima Sopoaga and Waisake Naholo leading the charge. Centre Malakai Fekitoa will have a point to prove after missing selection in the All Blacks squad.

The Highlanders certainly possess some strike power among their backs and a poorly executed defensive pattern and kicking game could prove troublesome for the Lions tonight.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Up front, it does look on paper that the home side are well up against it faced with such seasoned opposition, but time and time again they have defied the critics and stood up to be counted. This is a whole other level though, but they will have familiarity on their side against a fresh Lions line up.

Prediction
While the Highlanders’ backs look lethal, I cannot look past the strength of the Lions up front and expect they will control the game and for long periods and, as a result, the scoreboard.

Lions by 12.

Join us from 5.35pm (AEST) as I cover all the action live and feel free to utilise the comments section below with your observations on the match below.