Saracens - British and Irish Lions suffer first tour defeat

Jun 08, 2017

British and Irish Lions suffer first tour defeat

The British and Irish Lions suffered their first defeat on tour at the hands of Super Rugby side Auckland Blues, losing 22-16 at Eden Park, and featuring two Saracens players; Maro Itoje and newcomer Liam Williams.

After a nervy start that saw winger Rieko Ioane cross the whitewash for the game’s opening try, the Lions managed to regain some control over the match before the break, sending Ireland’s CJ Stander over for a well-worked score, converted by Leigh Halfpenny.

Gatland’s side only just squeezed past a NZ Provincial Barbarians side that featured his son, winning 13-7, and the Blues were set to provide a more of a challenge to the touring side.

More drama was to come before half-time was up, courtesy of a Sonny Bill Williams score that left it 12-10 after 40 mins. After some impressive work from the forwards, the score was 16-15 with 10 minutes to go, however a decisive score from Blues replacement Ihaia West meant the Lions were denied a second tour win.

Despite the loss, the Lions’ scrum and line out received praise from coaches and media alike, providing some encouragement going forward for the rest of the tour. The next match is on Saturday against the Crusaders at AMI Stadium, kicking off at 08H35 in the UK, and features 6 Saracens players.


British and Irish Lions squad to face Crusaders

15 Stuart Hogg

14 George North

13 Jonathan Davies

12 Ben Te’o

11 Liam Williams

10 Owen Farrell

9 Conor Murray

1 Mako Vunipola

2 Jamie George

3 Tadhg Furlong

4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt)

5 George Kruis

6 Peter O’Mahony

7 Sean O’Brien

8 Taulupe Faletau



16 Ken Owens

17 Jack McGrath

18 Dan Cole

19 Maro Itoje

20 CJ Stander

21 Rhys Webb

22 Johnny Sexton

23 Anthony Watson

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