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Lions send message to All Blacks

Reuters
Monday, June 19, 2017

ROTORUA, New Zealand - The British and Irish Lions sent a strong message to All Blacks coach Steve Hansen on Saturday with an impressive 32-10 victory over the Maori All Blacks.

The Test series is going to be the struggle everyone expected it to be.

The Lions had lurched through the first four matches of their tour with only one solid performance, the 12-3 win over the Canterbury Crusaders last Saturday.

In Rotorua, however, they grounded the Maori into submission and pulled off a victory that could have been more emphatic.

The game had been billed as an unofficial fourth Test, but the Lions produced such a brutal and clinical second half, particularly when Maori scrumhalf Tawera Kerr-Barlow was in the sinbin, the home side were struggling to hang on.

Lions coach Warren Gatland said the result, and the fact that Hansen had been speaking out about the visitors in the past week, indicated that he was getting concerned about the Test series.

"Normally he's pretty calm but he has been doing a lot of press conferences and I can only take that as a sign of respect," Gatland said.








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