Maori All Blacks vs British and Irish Lions: International rugby live scores, blog

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    We have reached the halfway point of the British and Irish Lions tour as they play what could be called the unofficial fourth Test against the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua. Join The Roar from 5:35pm (AEST) for live scores and coverage.

    Both sides have named powerful line-ups, the Maori going all out to add a second Lions scalp to their impressive history while the Lions look to give their likely Test side a hit out before the first match against the All Blacks in Auckland.

    The home side features a powerful backline, but some questions may remain over a few of their stars match fitness after playing little Super Rugby this season. Matt Procter, Nehe Milner Skudder and Charlie Ngatai all have only returned to the field in recent times, but there is no question of their quality and if the Lions execute their kicking options poorly, this Maori side will take full advantage.

    The forwards for the Maori side feature a mix experience and some of the potential future stars of New Zealand rugby, but the Lions will certainly favour themselves in the second row. The dynamic English duo of Maro Itoje and George Kruis match up against the Highlander pair of Joe Wheeler and Tom Franklin though as we saw in the Highlanders match last Tuesday, the underdog can never be underestimated.

    In a blow for the Lions, Owen Farrell, their star first five who was surprisingly named on the bench at the team announcement has had to withdraw from the match with a quad injury, replaced by Dan Biggar on the bench.

    With many suggesting he was to be a certain starter, his potential unavailability shapes as a blow to the Lions, not just tonight but for the remainder of the tour and the pressure will mount on Jonny Sexton to show his undoubted form after some patchy performances of late.

    I am picking this Lions side to be too desperate to win, especially after the Highlanders loss earlier in the week and the need to build momentum before the first test. My tipping has been woeful though.

    Lions by 6.

    Join The Roar from 5:35pm (AEST) for live coverage and feel free to leave your thoughts on the action below.

    A Rotundity and happy ex hooker who just loves Rugby really, oh and my kids and Kendra of course who lets me watch as much Rugby as I want, mostly. Follow Digby Ross on Twitter @Diggercane.

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    The Crowd Says (212)

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    • 2:13pm
      OtakiCraig said | 2:13pm | ! Report

      Tag rugby, Colin Cooper style. Previous Maori coaches knew that flare is one thing but you have to be competitive in the set pieces. Warning signs were last years tests? against Japan and the loss to the NZ babas. Tag rugby never worked for the Hurricanes under Cooper nor the Maori now. The tight five can be rugged players for their franchises but not for the Maori game plan. To much standing back and waiting for the attack. No combination, no warm up game, sounds like a set up? As long as there are no talk about getting rid of the Maori team! Probably could have been worse, 12 try drubbing and even I would be calling for their disbanding.

    • Roar Guru

      WEST said | 10:55pm | ! Report

      Great Haka… but that was the best part of the Maoris game. Then it was the Lions show, poor skills poor execution and handling errors with constant penalties they handed the game to the Lions on a silver platter!! Extremely disappointing, they really let themselves down. The Lions played well with a mountain of possession and waiting for the MAB mistakes to pile up.. the Maori ABs were lucky they didn’t blow the score out…. The short space to prepare obviously wasn’t nearly enough… but thats a lame excuse for not catching the ball, missing tackles and playing their natural game.

      Again, the Lions played well, but I dont believe thats the whole reason they won. The Maori ABs blew it!!! The team is a quality side, that let the basics slip and didn’t man up in the contest.

      • Roar Guru

        Machpants said | 8:14am | ! Report

        The Maori were very poor, but some of that came with kings pressure. And the same as vs the saders, young players didn’t cope with the step up to test intensity. Playing McKenzie at ten was foolish, especially as he’s not really played there all session. And the few test hardened players, some played well (dixon and messam,, nms when he got the ball) but tkb was game losing bad. However even with mountains of possession and territory, the lions only managed one try

        • 2:41pm
          Whakaata said | 2:41pm | ! Report

          That’s the most annoying thing, for a test match the Mฤori were handed a dud in not being afforded a decent preparation time or warm-up match.

          The Mฤori were poor all round in just about every facet of the game, the only player who IMO can hold their head high is Akira Ioane.

    • 10:05pm
      moaman said | 10:05pm | ! Report

      Have to say-pretty impressive effort by the Lions. Managed the elements far better than the home team ( just as England Women did in their match) and controlled pill and possession beautifully.Hard to find fault with that performance.

      Their counterparts on the other hand were abysmal.McKenzie was a total flop at 10..Lowe had a ‘mare and don’t get me started on Franklin and Kerr-Barlow!

    • Roar Guru

      Machpants said | 7:56pm | ! Report

      It’s funny with Will Greenwood saying yay the rain. The nz commentary team saying the lions do so much better in the wet, and the ABs dry condition vs Samoa was why they did so well. What? I was at that game and it poured down for at least half of it, and was wet throughout. So the second half was started in the rain and then with a wet pitch. Didn’t slow ABs down at all. Handling was immaculate

    • Roar Guru

      Diggercane said | 7:50pm | ! Report

      The British and Irish Lions have produced their best performance of their New Zealand tour to date, dispatching the Maori All Blacks in comprehensive fashion in wet conditions in Rotorua this evening by 32 points to 10 in their last major hit out before the first test against the All Blacks next Saturday in Auckland.

      From the outset, the Lions showed greater control and accuracy than their counterparts, converting early pressure and territory into points from the boot of fullback Leigh Halfpenny to run out to a 6 to nil lead early, before a counter attack opportunity from the Maori with a kick in behind drew a mistake from George North and Liam Messam was able to toe the ball through and score, converted by Damian McKenzie and the Maori had the lead, well against the run of play.

      The Lions however shrugged this setback off, and further pressure drew another penalty, Halfpenny again converting and the Lions regained the lead before another rare foray into the Lions half saw McKenzie return serve, the Maori up by 10 to 9, quite incredibly considering the Lions dominance.

      Still the Lions continue to turn the screws, another penalty converted and the Lions led at halftime by 12 points to 10.

      The Lions started the second half with complete determination, truly stamping their authority on the match, continuing to dominate territory and possession and another penalty, before the big turning point in the match, Maori halfback Tawera Kerr Barlow yellow carded for a reckless shoulder to the head of Leigh Halfpenny, the resulting penalty allowing the Lions to mount attack after attack as the Maori struggled to hold on, further penalties conceded and the Lions were able to attack with their scrum, eventually Jaco Peyper awarding a penalty try after too many scrum infringements and the lead blew out to 22 to 10 and another try followed shortly after, lock Maro Itoje driving over from close range and the match was effectively over as the Lions continued to dominate and the Maori, try as they might, could not find an answer, a further Halfpenny penalty rubbing salt in the wound and a final score line of 32 points to 10.

      Thank you for joining me here this evening and I will be back for the next match of this tour, against the Chiefs on Tuesday night!

    • 7:48pm
      Jemainok said | 7:48pm | ! Report

      Does anyone think Kruse will face sanctions for his attempted charge down which ended with what looked like a Shoulder charge to the head of Lowe. Very similar to what an Irish player did too Lambie last year. If Lowe had been knocked out what would have happened?

      • Roar Guru

        Machpants said | 7:57pm | ! Report

        Nah nothing wrong with it

      • 9:40pm
        Homer Gain said | 9:40pm | ! Report

        Suggest you look back at CJ Stander’s assault on Lambie. If you still think they are comparable I’d suggest a tablet or an eye test.

        • 10:21pm
          Jemainok said | 10:21pm | ! Report

          Bit angsty there homer. I was just asking a question.

    • 7:44pm
      Faith said | 7:44pm | ! Report

      Grudging respect for Lions forwards. They really are relentless. And that works perfectly against a forward pack that didn’t front up … stats are such an indictment …

    • Roar Guru

      The Neutral View From Sweden said | 7:44pm | ! Report

      Wow. This is so intriguing. The AB’s put on a master class on attack yesterday, Lions put on a master class on defence today.

      My wish for the most epic series ever is well and alive. A true battle of styles between the best of the best.

      Bring it on!

      • Roar Guru

        Machpants said | 7:46pm | ! Report

        ABs didn’t concede a point let alone a try tho, ABs defence pretty damn impressive too

        • Roar Guru

          The Neutral View From Sweden said | 7:49pm | ! Report

          Hang on to that straw if it makes you happy Matchpants ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • Roar Guru

            Machpants said | 7:58pm | ! Report

            Haha it does, not as happy as the spanking the lions are getting next weekend does tho ๐Ÿ˜‰

          • 7:58pm
            rebel said | 7:58pm | ! Report

            Bizzare response.

            • Roar Guru

              taylorman said | 3:35am | ! Report

              Typical though, he’s a newby, and it shows…he’s arrived back in the Lions camp after a bit of an absence. He’s been all over the place this series, including calling the Crusaders the best nation in world rugby after England…I mean go figure… this has been typical Lions fare, generally winning up to the first test, the second side doing it hard, the first taking forever it seems to get on top of their opposite.

              Great that he’s now firmly back in the Lions camp. Now we sit back and watch.

      • 8:26pm
        Jemainok said | 8:26pm | ! Report

        AB’s defence was very good Neutral bar for 15 minutes or so at the start but the backrow was very dynamic in defence once they gelled.

        • Roar Guru

          The Neutral View From Sweden said | 8:45pm | ! Report

          Hello J

          The point is you can’t compare Samoa with Maori. Samoa looked like they made an effort for 20 minutes, after that they hanged up their boots. I am sure the AB’s have harder hit-outs at training than Samoa offered the last 60 minutes.

          The Maori played with their hearts for the full 80 minutes and did not concede any soft tries. A team with lesser heart would have shipped 60-70 points against such dominant opponent. Respect to the Maori!

          • 10:51pm
            Jemainok said | 10:51pm | ! Report

            Hey Neutral I don’t think the MAB built enough phase play. In the second half the lions had the ball 82% and 75% for the match so I don’t think the 2 defensive efforts are comparable because the Lions didn’t tackle much. But when they did it was quality I recon Hansen and co are working on a way to find space in there. But there control on the game with the ball was very good.

            • Roar Guru

              The Neutral View From Sweden said | 11:22pm | ! Report

              Hansen and the boys are gonna have a very busy week, no doubt. A huge challenge awaits them if they want to win this series.
              But honestly, I think Hansen has known for months that this is gonna be the AB’s toughest opponents since he took over in 2012.

              I said from the start that this Lions team is in NZ to challenge the AB’s very hard. Does not matter that the gameplan is telegraphed and obvious because it proves again and again that it works against Kiwi teams if you have the kettle and the intensity to go the full 80 minutes.

              A bit sad to see that every Kiwi columnist can’t stop talking how boring the Lions play, instead of saluting a master class performance. All the sudden no one like scrums, lineouts etc. It sounds almost like the columnists are League fans…

              • 12:04am
                Jemainok said | 12:04am | ! Report

                I still don’t know Neutral. I think the Lions will be working just as hard. The AB’s have the backs with skill to unlock these guys, and the forwards to laydown the foundation for them to do so. I guess we will find out who the better total team is.

              • Roar Guru

                The Neutral View From Sweden said | 12:21am | ! Report

                I know and understand that you are backing your team J, anything else would be a huge surprise. And the AB’s will be something really different and a big step up for the Lions.
                But this Lions pack looks pretty special, and that foundation of Saracens/Ireland I told you about before the tour, is looking the real deal. In Itoje and Kruis they have the men to bring it to Retallick and Whitelock.

                Another thing, the Lions do lack some finishing qualities so far, but they are creating chances non-stop. If those last passes stick, the AB’s will be in huge trouble.

                As said before, the magic number to beat the AB’s are to score 30 points. Today they scored 32 and probably leaving another 15-20 points on the park.

              • 1:01am
                Jemainok said | 1:01am | ! Report

                We will see good sir.

              • Roar Guru

                taylorman said | 3:19am | ! Report

                Very predictable comments again Neutral, back on the Lions this and that again I see. Yes it’s going to be tough but the Lions inability to create tries with such a wealth of possession is ‘outstandingly’ poor. Samoa played better in that first 20 than the Maori put up all match.

                In both cases it took both the winners about half hour to get on top of their opposites, the difference being that the ABs made ten times the use of their ball than the Lions, who had the ball and territory for practically the entire match.

                ABs just don’t lose to this style of play anymore unless their guard is down, as in Chicago. There is no element of surprise here. That is gone.

                Anyway, there will be no convincing you of anything as you’ve flipped and flopped around this series like any novice to a Lions tour of NZ has in the past.

                ABs will front just as and if not more physically than the Lions will next week and will do it just as ugly as the Lions won their two matches if they need to.

                They know they’ve got the measure of the Lions right across the park…the scrum, lineout, the breakdowns and certainly with ball in hand.

                It’ll start tight but already this AB side looks much better than last year, and probably any before it, their efficiency levels and bench at very good levels.

                We’ve met tougher Wallaby and Springbok sides than this in the last ten years and I think you’ll find out next week what you’ve been not getting all along.

                And the reason the media say they’re boring is…’cos they are’. We dropped boring long ago, to look after the sport, to allow our fans to enjoy the rugby, as well as the winning. How we play it is every bit as important as the result. That took a lot of work, but it pays off. The Lions struggle to use the ball creatively, usually through fear of stuffing it up. The ABs welcome risk, buy into it in fact. Because the cost of not using quality ball is too high.

                The NH don’t care about who they please. Their fans buy into matches of attrition, because that’s all they know.

                Anyway, we go forward. The results are pretty much as I picked before the series except the Saders and Highlanders matches went the ‘other way. Three more losses for the Lions, just the tests. Then on to the rugby championship, where South Africa after a couple of good wins over France, including this morning, look a fairly good challenge.

                Should be a great series, but I don’t see any losses, the first half of the first test the nearest the Lions will get.

              • Roar Guru

                The Neutral View From Sweden said | 4:02am | ! Report

                Another reply full of lies, tears, hubris and BS.

                Try to prove one single claim you say about me. Just one. You seem to have all the time in the world, so just backtrack in my profile and look through my comments. Show the world all the things you claim about me is true.

      • 10:00pm
        moaman said | 10:00pm | ! Report

        “Masterclass on attack” I thought you said you weren’t impressed at all by the ABs? So which is it? Unimpressed or masterclass????

    • Roar Guru

      Jokerman said | 7:43pm | ! Report

      Oh the pain!! Ouch not quite used to losing when it’s All Black-like.

      Lions played their blueprint and the Maori were strangled and made so many mistakes. Great Haka though?!

      Good for the series, sad for the Maori. All Blacks will smash them, and the world should want it, because the Lions play a pretty boring game. The All Blacks brilliance will overcome it and play their natural game.

      Game on bro!!

      • 8:21pm
        Ash said | 8:21pm | ! Report

        But but but but us kiwis aren’t arrogant; the poms and Aussies are. We are humble and mild mannered.

        • 10:25pm
          adastra32 said | 10:25pm | ! Report

          What an arrogant statement that is! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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