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Chiefs’ feathers are shaken by the power of the Lions

Chiefs 6, Lions 34
A SUPERB second half display by the Lions, which saw them dominate most of the second 40 minutes today in Hamilton, will give them a big confidence boost for the first test next Saturday in Eden Park.
They scored three second half tries, one each from Jack Nowell and Ireland’s Jared Payne as well as a penalty try with Dan Biggar adding all the extra points. Leading by seven points at the break, the Lions showed their intent in the early stages of what was at times a niggly second period, their pack superb dominated in all aspects of play and that penalty try, which pushed the lead to 6-20 really broke the heart of the home side. The next Lions try was possibly the best of the tour, the ball taken downfield from almost their own line and Jack Nowell getting his second touchdown of the match. Liam Williams played a major role in the Lions’ fourth try, making a telling break and sending Jared Payne over and had Tommy Seymour parted with the final pass near the try line late in the game, the visitors would have certainly added another seven points to their tally.
A great day for the Lions and especially for Rory Best who was outstanding in the captaincy role while all the other Irish players on duty contributed to a result that will cause concern for the All Blacks as they prepare for the first test of the three.
The Lions led 13-6 at half time despite having prop Joe Marler sin-binned for a silly off the ball offence in the opening quarter. A brace of penalties from Dan Biggar saw them take an early grip on proceedings but the Chiefs always looked dangerous on the break and a penalty from their skipper Stephen Donald pegged the tourists back to a three point lead with 23 minutes played.
A nice break by winger Liam Williams, carried on by CJ Stander opened up the home defence and Jack Nowell finished off the move with a spectacular dive over the line with Dan Biggar’s conversion stretching the lead to 13-3 but right on the stroke of half time, the Chiefs got reward for putting pressure on the Lions’ line when Donald popped over a penalty with the last action of a closely-fought first half.
Lions: 15-Liam Williams, 14-Jack Nowell, 13-Jared Payne, 12-Robbie Henshaw, 11-Elliot Daly, 10-Dan Biggar, 9-Greig Laidlaw, 8-CJ Stander, 7-Justin Tipuric, 6-James Haskell, 5-Courtney Lawes, 4-Iain Henderson, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Rory Best (captain), 1-Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16-Kristian Dacey, 17-Alan Dell, 18-Tomas Francis, 19-Cory Hill, 20-Alun Wyn Jones, 21-Gareth Davies, 22-Finn Russell, 23-Tommy Seymour.
Chiefs: 15-Shaun Stevenson, 14-Toni Pulu, 13-Tim Nanai-Williams, 12-Johnny Faauli, 11-Solomon Alaimalo, 10-Stephen Donald (captain), 9-Finlay Christie, 8-Tom Sanders, 7-Lachlan Boshier, 6-Mitchell Brown, 5-Michael Allardice, 4-Dominic Bird, 3-Nepo Laulala, 2-Liam Polwart, 1-Siegfried Fisi’ihoi.
Replacements: 16-Hika Elliot, 17-Aidan Ross, 18-Atu Moli, 19-Liam Messam, 20-Mitchell Karpik, 21-Jonathan Taumateine, 22-Luteru Laulala, 23-Chase Tiatia.

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