Highlanders beat Lions

I went to watch the Highlanders play the British and Irish Lions last night. It was bitterly cold and intermittently wet (there had been light sleet and snow earlier in the day) outside but as usual perfect conditions under the roof.

It was a very good game to watch, quite open at times. The Lions scored three tries to the Highlanders two but failed to convert a couple of late penalties and lost 22-23.

That’s the second midweek loss to the Lions. They will be hoping their weekend team manages to overcome the NZ Maori team this Saturday.

The Highlanders played very well for most of the game but made some costly mistakes. One botched kick set the Lions up on attack after which they scored a good backline try. The Highlanders replied with a try to leave the score at 10-10 at half time.

In the second half the Lions scored from an awful long pass from the Highlanders to put them in front, but the Highlanders made most of the play and scored again. They also nailed important penalties to nudge ahead 23-22.

The Lions missed two penalties, one relatively easy, the other very long range, and that cost them the game.

I had expected the Lions to put pressure on up front and try to out-tough the Highlanders in the forwards but that never really happened.

A nearly full stadium with a temporary stand in the usually empty east end created a great atmosphere, the best in New Zealand under cover.

14 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  June 14, 2017

    💪❗️ 👍
    Cheers PG. I didn’t watch it. Probably patu’s fault.
    By the time I’ve read both your’s Brown’s incisive analyses it’ll feel like I did though.
    That man knows a thing or two about rugby, does Brown. 👍

    • Brown

       /  June 14, 2017

      Nope. Not a rugby fan really but facts are often there to be seen even by the ignorant like me. I’m a motorcycle racing fan. Wife even has the Valentino Rossi the shirt.

      • Gezza

         /  June 14, 2017

        I constantly fear for their kneecaps.

        • Brown

           /  June 14, 2017

          Did my knees in an accident in 1974 just after ACC came in. They gradually healed without surgery (lots of physio) and now no real ill effects but one had a fragile cartilage for many years – very painful when tweaked. Good leathers have knee sliders so no worries about your knee on the deck as long as you don’t collect a cat’s eye or such like although knee down on the road is not the everyday norm. Elbows are in regular contact with the ground as well nowadays (at the flash level especially) but in my case it will be because I’ve fallen off.

          • Gezza

             /  June 14, 2017

            Whaddya ride?

            • Brown

               /  June 15, 2017

              Nothing at present but was generally very fast Japanese sporty stuff. I got frustrated with speed limits and cops so having a break over this last summer was part of my therapy as I strive to become dull and compliant.

            • Gezza

               /  June 15, 2017

              All the best with that one. 👍 You could maybe try Christianity? Supposed to be very calming. 👼🏼

  2. Zedd

     /  June 14, 2017

    yahoo.. go Otago

  3. lurcher1948

     /  June 14, 2017

    Anyone can beat the LIONS except the crusaders

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  June 14, 2017

      Saturday team/Wednesday team maybe, Lurch. Do you think the Maoris will win?

      • High Flying Duck

         /  June 14, 2017

        That’s going to be a fantastic game – hopefully the weather will be right for it.
        A lot pressure on Gatland to get a result, but coming up against one of the strongest Maori teams I’ve ever seen.
        I’d say the Lions will have the edge in the forwards for this one but those Maori backs are brimming with talent and could cut them up. Charlie Ngatai, Ihaia West, Riko Ioane, Damien McKenzie, Nehe Milner Skudder…
        Not sure what the pitch is like in Rotorua, but I’m hoping it’s hard and fast.

        • I thought the Lions would outmuscle the Highlanders lasy night and grind them down, but the locals at least held their own overall.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  June 15, 2017

        I see Gregor Paul in the Herald agrees with me.
        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=11876869

  4. duperez

     /  June 14, 2017

    I was lucky to be there and it was a marvellous occasion. My expectation, with the Highlanders severely depleted, was a comfortable win to the Lions. While some of the post match analysis had some missed tries through poor handling by the Lions being critical, I reckon the Highlanders blew three tries in the first half. I think the excitement overcame them and passes to players in space which normally would have been made, were not.

    Not just an outstanding performance by the players but very astute planning by the coaches who came up with the great recipe. The creation of space with the distribution and quality of passing from the halfback and first five eights no doubt gave Crusaders coach Scott Robertson even more to think about.