Sam Warburton fit to lead British and Irish Lions against Highlanders

Sam Warburton fit to lead British and Irish Lions against Highlanders

It seems to me that the way for the Lions to win the first test is to play exactly the same way - dominate the set piece and defend with organisation and aggression. The World Cup winning coach had to be impressed by the way that the Lions shut down any real attacking threat from Canterbury, and the fact that, while they did not finish off many of their own opportunities, the Lions created plenty. Deliver it they did, in what was their best and most cohesive performance of the tour so far.

"And that's been challenging".

The Lions' next physical challenge takes place against the Highlanders in Dunedin tomorrow and Farrell said of the squad's workload: "I think we're bearing the fruit of the last three weeks".

The Crusaders, averaging five tries a game this season, have won 14-straight matches in Super Rugby this season - a club record - but could find no way to break down the Lions' defense as pressure forced them into handling errors. Maybe that would be the situation, or maybe I could have a blinder on Tuesday and feel absolutely fine so we'll see how it goes really.

Gatland even claimed he had been purposely singled out for criticism, as he vented frustrations over reactions to the Lions' early tour exploits. There is a lot to read into what Gatland is doing. "We knew we had trained well in the last couple of days and we knew we would put in a good performance".

"And sometimes that brings out the best in me as a competitor in sport".

Gatland believes the Lions can now push their tour onto new levels after securing a hugely-important and morale-boosting victory.

Host Russia exits Confederations Cup after loss to Mexico
Portugal sits in second position now , level with Mexico on both points and goal difference, but behind by one on goals scored. The striker is now playing his football for Krasnodar and that was his eighth goal in 22 appearances for the national team.

The Glasgow star collided with Murray as the Ireland scrum-half attempted to move out of Hogg's way - and head coach Warren Gatland admitted the full-back will now be sent to a specialist to determine the extent of the damage to his cheek.

However, the franchise are still without their biggest names - the Smiths, Ben and Aaron, for example, are missing and they play such a crucial role in their attacking game - who are involved with both the All Blacks and Maori All Blacks this week.

Captain Sam Warburton has been carrying an ankle issue but Gatland said the Wales flanker should be ready to face the Highlanders on Tuesday night. "We got up off the floor and pushed. and that gave us some great front-foot ball". Conor Murray was outstanding. Things are looking up for the Lions, and who'd have thought that after the loss to the Blues?

"So I hope we didn't disappoint too many people tonight with the result".

All eyes will be on their offensive combinations when they take on the Highlanders on Tuesday morning. He needs some game time as well.

Every school you drive past, if you're on your way to training, the pitches are filled with people, young and old, playing rugby.

The first four scrums ended in penalties against the home side, with the first completed scrum not until the 21st minute when the Crusaders drove over the top of the Lions and caused an all-in shoving match.

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