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Lions shine in Chiefs victory

22 June 2017

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland believes the tourists are building towards a peak at just the right time after his side cruised to a 34-6 win over the Waikato Chiefs in their sixth tour match on Tuesday.

"His heart is on his sleeve and I don't think there's an very bad lot of leaders like him", said Stander. We were more clinical, we squeezed them, didn't concede any tries and played some good rugby.

With the Lions seemingly clicking into a higher gear, and the knowledge that a series win over the All Blacks will be both momentous and historic, Saturday can't come soon enough! "The selection meeting will be tough and that's the way we want it. Guys put up their hands tonight and there will be some healthy debate".

"Possible Lions first test team: 15-Leigh Halfpenny, 14-George North, 13-Jonathan Davies, 12-Ben Te'o, 11-Anthony Watson, 10-Owen Farrell, 9-Conor Murray, 8-Taulupe Faletau, 7-Sean O'Brien, 6-Peter O'Mahony (captain), 5-George Kruis, 4-Maro Itoje, 3-Tadhg Furlong, 2-Jamie George, 1-Maka Vunipola".

"We spoke about the quality of the squad before we left and the players haven't disappointed us".

It was an emotional occasion for Gatland but his Lions were magnificent despite knowing that they faced an uphill battle to force their way into the Test team for Saturday's game against the All Blacks.

Courtney Lawes shook off an accidental clash of heads with Joe Marler, passing a Head Injury Assessment (HIA), to produce a fine performance, with CJ Stander also offering another strong showing.

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"It would be wonderful", said Daly when asked about the prospect of a Test start.

"I'm still doing the same work off the ball, I'm still looking for it always. It will be us all contributing".

After Gatland highlighted the issue of blocking in the build-up to this game, Chiefs centre Jonathan Faauli was penalised for obstructing Lions runners early in the second half.

For the second game in a row the Lions kept the Kiwis try-less and this is all credit to defence coach Andy Farrell. Instead he revealed the referees had actually raised the matter first. "We've loved being here", he said.

"It hasn't come a lot for the wingers - it's been wet and drizzly - but the main thing is we are pushing each other, helping each other". Sometimes decisions go against you.

Most promising, however, was that they finally showed some attacking enterprise in the backs with Jack Nowell finishing off a sweeping 80-metre movement for his second try of the game.

"I thought they were excellent", Donald said.

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"He has a nice intensity about him, without being too open about it".

"It was a combination that looked pretty risky and pretty potent".

The Lions had their final warm-up match this morning, taking on the Chiefs having not won a midweek match on the tour so far.

"From a defensive point of view we're getting stronger and stronger in that area against the best attacking teams in world rugby".

"When they settle on combinations and so on it will be an exciting series", Rennie said.

"Those guys last night would quite easily back up again at the weekend if we wanted them to". We're in pretty good shape.

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Lions shine in Chiefs victory