Lions 34 Chiefs 6

Lions 34 Chiefs 6

The Lions have gone all Kiwi on us. The midweek side got into the swing of this pass and catch business in Hamilton and did it rather well.

They scored a few tries, looked like a proper rugby team for long periods.

The pity is we haven't seen more if on this tour, but still, to get some at least is a small blessing and so was the heart, commitment and control they showed.


For a side that had every reason to feel a little jettisoned, unloved and unmotivated, they put it all out there and showed there is ample pride in the jersey.

And if the Lions coaching team are true to their word, then there could be at least one, if not two players who did enough to jump into test calculations.

Elliot Daly looks like a better option than George North on the left wing and Liam Williams may be just too good an all round footballer to leave out of the 23.

And even if there aren't any promotions to the test team, the mid-weekers can at least feel they have restored some pride and confidence and done much to improve the general perception of their abilities.

The Lions had clearly fixed a few things from the Highlanders game - most notably their scrum. It worked. As in properly worked. They weren't able to use it in the same way as the test team did against the Maori and exert penalties from it, but they were able to control the quality of their possession and use it an effective attacking platform.

Their defensive linespeed was as good as it has been all tour and the Chiefs didn't execute their running game against it as well as they would have liked.

Their handling wasn't sharp enough to play it through. There were too many laboured passes when it needed to be snap, snap, hands out in front the ball bobbing through like a hot potato.

National legend, man of steel and all round super hero Stephen Donald, was also guilty of playing a little deep in the pocket and some of his delicate kicking over the top looking for space left a bit to be desired. He didn't find grass and the Lions were able to stifle the Chiefs' attack game about as well as they'd imagined they'd be able to.

The Lions were also able to disrupt the Chiefs lineout more than they should have been able to. It has been a feature of this tour that the New Zealand sides have gone a bit funny at the lineout - trying to be a little too clever and intricate when call, jump, throw works so well for them in Super Rugby.

The quicker that all happens the better the ball that comes with it but not against the Lions apparently and the Chiefs made the same mistake as every the Blues, Crusaders and Highlanders and either lost the ball or scrambled to keep it as a result.

Scrambling pretty much summed the Chiefs up in all respects. They never found their rhythm, never found a way to build their phases and control the tempo. They looked hurried and flustered - playing behind the gainline for long periods and short of patience and ideas.

Understandable probably given that while the Chiefs have been together fro seven months, this particular team was so devoid of regular starters that they weren't so far ahead of the Lions in time on the training paddock.

Chiefs 6 (S. Donald pen)
British & Irish Lions 34 (J.Nowell (2), Penalty, J. Payne tries; D. Biggar 2 pens, 2 cons)

Match stats