The British and Irish Lions have won the match against the Melbourne Rebels which acted as a warm-up for this weekend’s second test against Australia. The Lions managed to narrowly triumph over Australia last weekend with a 2 point gap at a score of 23-21, but this warm-up match was very convincing and gives the Lions’ fans hope that they will, yet again, defeat Australia. In the last game against Australia, scoring tries was proving difficult for both teams as there were plenty of penalties. However, against the Melbourne rebels, the Lions managed to score 5 tries and convert them all.
The match got off to a wonderful start as the pure power from Manu Tuilagi was one of the factors as to why the Lions dominated possession and territory hinting at the fact that they were going to score sooner or later. Not long after the bombarding pressure from the Lions, Conor Murray scores a try which came from a well worked Lions scrum. Tuilagi played another vital part in his team’s second try as he stomped his way through the opposition setting Sean Maitland up for a well worked try, which was converted as was the first.
Those two tries from Murray and Maitland were both converted after 28 minutes of play and the Lions just simply held onto this lead until the half time whistle blew. The second half was a much more entertaining half with the Lions getting a try straight away from Sean O’Brien giving Owen Farrell the chance to score his third conversion of the game, which he did.
Then, the Lions received a penalty try after the Rebels pulled down a maul which followed a line-out; this forced the referee to hand Jordy Reid a yellow card. Finally, the last try of the match, which was also arguably the best try, came from Ben Youngs who paced himself onto the end of a line-out tap-down from Tom Croft with only 7 minutes of play remaining. The Lions converted both of the last two tries to give the Lions a record of 20 conversions scored from 21 attempted on the tour so far.
The British and Irish Lions coach, Warren Gatland, reviewed his team after the game, “I thought the back row were very good. Richie Gray had his best game on tour, Richard Hibbard carried the ball well, both nines were good, Sean Maitland was good, the defence was outstanding and everyone kept working hard. The pleasing thing was the spirit they displayed. That really showed how good these guys have been on and off the field on this tour, and that was demonstrated by not conceding any points.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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