Two-time Super Rugby champions the Chiefs host the British and Irish Lions in the sixth match on the 2017 British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.
Against Super Rugby franchises the British and Irish Lions have played the Blues, Highlanders and the Crusaders. They were beaten by the Blues and Highlanders but beat the Crusaders.
However, the tourists are coming off a morale-boosting win against the Maori All Blacks last Saturday, where they were absolutely dominant, but they are yet to win consecutive matches in New Zealand.
The Chiefs run out to the Rocky theme, Eye of the Tiger, at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.
The Chiefs are in Haka formation and are led by Hika Elliot.
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: BEEP! BEEP! Referee Jérôme Garcès blows his whistle and the game begins. Dan Biggar kicks to the 22, the Chiefs gather and Stephen Donald clears. The Lions take the ball into contact but lose the ball immediately with a knock on. The referee blows for a penalty to the hosts.
3.00: Donald lands the ball out, inside the Lions’ 22. Courtney Lawes steals the Chiefs ball and CJ Stander drives forward. The Lions clear to halfway.
4.00: STRONG D BY THE LIONS! They hold up a Chiefs runner and win the turnover – scrum to the visitors.
6.00: Solomon Alaimalo gathers Greig Laidlaw’s box-kick, beats three defenders, taking the ball to the midway point. The ball goes out, so the tourists will throw into the lineout.
9.00: The Lions go 21 phases, Rory Best handles several times along with James Haskell, but the go wide and Williams drops Biggar’s short pass. However, the Lions win a penalty for offsides. Biggar will kick at goal.
10.00: PENALTY! Biggar puts his team on the board with a simple penalty from in front of the posts: 0-3.
12.00: YELLOW CARD Joe Marler! The TMO Ian Smith, calls to MR Garcès for foul play from Marler. The prop is sent to the sin-bin for a no-arms tackle on Nepo Laulala.
13.00: Donald kicks to the corner. The Chiefs set up a driving maul. Stander does some excellent work in the maul, and the Lions hold it up. The South African was adjudged to have come through the middle, not the side of the maul and wins the turnover.
17.00: BIG SCRUM! The Lions bulldoze their opponents in the scrum and win a penalty. Wow. From the lineout, Laidlaw breaks blind and pops to Elliot Daly, who is pumped into touch. The Lions win another penalty in the next series for an infringement at the breakdown.
18.00: PENALTY! Biggar doubles his team’s lead: 0-6
20.00: Dominic Bird charges down Laidlaw’s box-kick and the Chiefs counter-attack. They win a penalty on the Lions’ 22. Finlay Christie is admonished for too much talking by the French ref. This time, the home side will take the points.
21.00: PENALTY! Donald halves the deficit from straight in front: 3-6.
23.00: The Lions earn a scrum on the Chiefs’ 22 after a botched restart. Lawes is hit in the tackle and loses the ball forward. Another big hit. Joe Marler is back on the field.
24.00: The Lions build through the tight phases, but Robbie Henshaw kicks out on the full. At every Chiefs lineout, the Lions are screaming during their opponent’s call; it works and the hosts lose the ball forward.
25.00: TRY Jack Nowell! Williams starts the break, Biggar makes another. Some quick ball at the ruck sees the winger dive over the ruck to score: 3-11.
26.00: The conversion is good: 3-13
29.00: The Lions have all the possession and momentum and are putting the Chiefs under huge pressure. It’s dull but effective.
31.00: Like the Maori’s, the Chiefs are being frustrated by some strong defence; they are losing the ball with silly handling errors and mistakes at the set pieces.
34.00: The Lions go through some phases near the touchline before winning another penalty. Biggar kicks to the corner.
36.00: BIG DEFENCE by the Chiefs forwards. The Lions set up a driving maul. After some metres, it is halted, but the Lions peel the maul and drive towards the goal-line. However, the Chiefs counter the drive and hold the ball up. Scrum to the Waikato side.
38.00: Biggar is penalised for a high shot on Tom Sanders. The No 8 did slip but the tackle was on the head. So much for the “new crack down” on head shots. The Lions attack through Williams, but Lachlan Boshier wins the penalty at the ruck.
40.00: The Lions are pinged for offsides at the ruck, and Donald will take the opportunity to reduce the deficit from in front.
41.00: PENALTY! Donald’s kick sneaks inside the left-hand upright: 6-13.
The half-time score was Chiefs 6 British and Irish Lions 13
41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway in Hamilton. The Chiefs need to cut out the silly errors and get their hands on the ball because they are living off scraps. The Lions are dominating the set pieces, taking their points and are tough to break down; it’s playing out similarly to the Maori All Blacks game.
42.00: Rory Bests’ throw into the lineout is not straight; scrum to the hosts. Shaun Stevenson makes a break but throws his pass over Johnny Faauli, and the ball sails into touch.
44.00: The Chiefs are penalised for blocking – Warren Gatland looks to have got into the mind of the Northern Hemisphere referee – and the Lions kick to touch. They lose the momentum with another skew throw, after getting away with one at the previous lineout: justice.
48.00: The Lions go 15 phases but the ball is lost and hacked forward. The Chiefs are starting to find some attacking momentum. Joe Marler is down. The Lions win the ball back, Greig Laidlaw passes to Dan Biggar, who clears. The ball did not go out and the home team come again. Phew!
50.00: Laidlaw breaks in midfield, is tackled, but the Lions win the penalty after Stephen Donald is penalised at the breakdown. It’s been a fast start to the second period. Marler clashed heads with Courtney Lawes, who himself has had a concussion on tour.
52.00: The Lions power forward into the Chiefs’ 22. They are working the short side and earn a penalty after Mitchell Brown is penalised for collapsing the maul. Lawes is leaving the field after the head-clash with Marler.
55.00: PENALTY TRY! YELLOW CARD Mitchell Brown! The Lions forward pack rumbled to the try-line from the lineout drive. Brown is sent to the bin, but it looked like Dominic Bird was the one who brought the maul down from the side: 6-20.
58.00: The Chiefs come back, driving into the Lions’ half. they are awarded a penalty and kick to the corner. Lawes returns after passing an HIA.
59.00: TRY Jack Nowell! The Lions win the Chiefs throw and counter-attack the length of the field. Elliot Daly made the break down the sideline, played the ball inside to Jared Payne. The centre took contact, but the quick ball is sent right, and the Englishman scores his second of the night. That was thrilling rugby by the tourists, the best of the tour: 6-25
60.00: Biggar adds the extras: 6-27
64.00: TRY Jared Payne! Wow. It came from Liam Williams’ break in midfield. The Welshman broke through the middle, beating three tacklers before offloading to Payne on his inside shoulder. Great try: 6-32.
65.00: Biggar kicks his third conversion of the evening. Game over: 6-34.
66.00: The Chiefs are ragged now. Can the Lions turn this into a rout?
69.00: The Lions are controlling the clock and the game as time runs out on the home team. This has been clinical by Warren Gatland’s team.
72.00: The Lions have a scrum in midfield. The Chiefs win the ball and attack wide, but they lose the ball – again – and the tourists clear.
75.00: Tommy Seymour makes a break from inside his half, then cuts left across the 22, however, his pass is terrible and it is lost forward. There is a stop in play after a big hit by Rory Best on a Waikato player.
78.00: The Chiefs cannot break this resolute defence by the Lions.
80.00: Another penalty to the Chiefs as the hooter sounds; they tap and go.
82.00: The Lions win the ball at the breakdown and Biggar hoofs the ball into touch. Game over, and boy, that was emphatic, despite the Chiefs not having 10 of their first team starters.
The final score is Chiefs 6 (6) British and Irish Lions 34 (13)
Pen – Donald (2)
Cards – Brown (yellow, 55th minute)
British and Irish Lions
Tries – Nowell (2), Penalty try, Payne
Pen – Biggar (2)
Con – Biggar (3)
Cards – Marler (yellow, 12th minute)
Referee: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant 1: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant 2: Romain Poite (France)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)
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.
British and Irish Lions
15 Liam Williams, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Christiaan 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 Allan Dell, 18 Tomas Francis, 19 Cory Hill, 20 Alun Wyn Jones, 21 Gareth Davies, 22 Finn Russell, 23 Tommy Seymour