The Lions have finally roared.

Following four less than convincing outings, Warren Gatland's men sent out a stern message through a 32-10 victory over the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua on Saturday.

The Lions smothered their opponents in drizzly second half conditions as their superior bulk made a difference in close quarters.

With the Lions only travelling to these shores every 12 years, we wait for that one encounter that sparks what every thrilling series needs - uncertainty.


Before Saturday night's clash we could all have been forgiven for enjoying the circus atmosphere the Lions inevitably bring, but not truly believing the All Blacks would be pushed.

Saturday was meant to be the tourist's stiffest test yet.
It offered the perfect build-up for what is always a must-watch clash.

Now only Chief's remain before the first test.

The Lions will be out to secure two wins in succession for the first time this tour.
And then the All Blacks await.

It will be a stark contrast of style, personalities and ethos.

Last Friday the untested world champions blew Samoa away 78-0 in a breath-taking display of attacking rugby.

It was instinctual, a performance of freedom and expression neatly intertwined with doing the simple things right.

And boy, do they get it right.

But the Lions' size, robustness, patience and discipline cannot be ignored.

Nor can Leigh Halfpenny's meticulous form with the boot after successfully slotting all seven of his kicks at goal.

Tomorrow's fixture in Hamilton will offer one last glimpse of the Lions and a perfect prelude before Eden Park booms with anticipation for test one on Saturday.

Hold on to your hats, this could be a bumpy ride.