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British and Irish Lions beat Crusaders in Christchurch


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Super Rugby’s leading franchise the Crusaders host the British and Irish Lions in the third match of their tour of New Zealand.

The British and Irish Lions have played two matches so far but this will be their toughest yet as the Crusaders are unbeaten after playing 14 matches in 2017.

The tourists beat the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians 7-13 but lost their first true test to the Blues 22-16 on Wednesday.

Lions coach Warren Gatland is already under the pump from both the Kiwi and British media after a less than satisfactory start to the tour.

The Crusaders are performing their haka

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: BEEP! BEEP! Mathieu Raynal gets us underway in what is sure to be a pivotal game for the Lions. Most of the tourists have more Test caps than the Crusaders have Super Rugby caps. Let’s Go!

3.00: The Lions have early possession after a mistake on the kick-off by the home team. The tourists go double digit phases but are penalised for not releasing at the breakdown. This game has started with lots of intensity.

5.00: The Lions have played 26 times in Christchurch, winning and losing 13 games.

6.00: The Lions are penalised for offside after winning a short arm penalty themselves. Richie Mo’unga kicks deep into the visitors’ 22.

7.00: Codie Taylor botches his lineout throw and the Lions clear their lines. The pitch is very slippery, players from both teams are falling over and losing their footing.

10.00: Mo’unga kicks a cross-kick to George Bridge. The wing collects but is tackled into touch by George North.

11.00: The Lions are awarded a penalty for hands in the ruck. Owen Farrell calls for the kicking tee. TMO Marius Jonker tells Mr Mathieu Raynal that Farrell has the ball too far in front of the mark.

13.00: PENALTY! Farrell puts the Lions ahead. 

14.00: Mo’unga drops a high ball just outside the Crusaders’ 22.

15.00: The wet conditions are troubling the players. It leads to a penalty from the scrum to the visitors. Farrell will kick from about the same area as earlier.

16.00: PENALTY! The English flyhalf doubles his team’s lead.

18.00: Jordan Taufua knocks on after contact. Farrell’s kick is charged down, but the Lions have the scrum in midfield. The Crusaders are making too many errors and are penalised at the scrum again.

20.00: Stuart Hogg runs straight into Conor Murray’s elbow and is bleeding profusely. Hogg is off to get an HIA and stitched up. Anthony Watson is on for the Scotsman. Lions have the put into the scrum.

21.00: BIG SCRUM! The Crusaders decimate the tourist’s set piece. Joe Moody crushed Tadhg Furlong. A melee ensues afterwards as Lions pride is shattered.

23.00: another handling error by the Saders results in a promising move breaking down. Israel Dagg, who has been rock solid under the high ball, starts a counter-attack. The Saders are into their opponent’s 22 and are awarded a penalty.

25.00: PENALTY! Mo’unga halves the deficit from near the touchline. 

26.00: The Lions lose the ball forward on the Saders’ try line. Scrum to the home team. Reset.

30.00: The Lions find themselves deep inside the Crusaders’ 22. They go to their driving maul. Penalty to the tourists.

31.00: PENALTY! Farrell makes it a six-point game.

33.00: Mo’unga makes a break and the Crusaders have the Lions on the back foot. The home team wins a penalty for two infringements and cynical play. they kick to the corner.

36.00: The Crusaders go through the pick and drives after their maul was brought down. The referee has gone to the TMO for a try: “yes or no?” There is no clear footage of a grounding for a try. Inconclusive. Penalty to the Crusaders for not rolling away. Mo’unga kicks to touch.

37.00: The Crusaders lose the ball in their driving maul and the chance goes begging. Poor from the Kiwis.

39.00: The Lions are awarded another penalty, my word, the French referee has a rubber arm. The Lions go to their driving maul and go through multiple phases.

40.00: The hooter sounds, the Lions have gone a dozen phases. Sam Whitelock steals the ball and the Crusaders clear to touch. What a game we have in Christchurch.

The half-time score was Crusaders 3 British and Irish Lions 9

41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway in Christchurch.

42.00: The Crusaders are back under pressure inside their 22. The Lions have the lineout. The Lions lose their throw and the Saders clear.

43.00: The Lions are awarded a penalty, about 38 metres out and in front of the poles.

44.00: IT’S WIDE! The ball looks to have gone over, but if the post was higher, it might have hit it, whether it would have gone over is a moot point.

48.00: The Crusaders clear their lines. But, the Lions are roaring back, they have the possession, the territory, the referee…

50.00: The Crusaders are changing their entire front row. Owen Franks, Codie Taylor and Joe Moody are off for Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett and Michael Alaalatoa. The possession statistic is Crusaders 37 percent to the Lions 63 percent.

52.00: Jack Goodhue breaks in midfield, he hands off Johnny Sexton, goes outside Owen Farrell. He puts in a grubber kick but George Bridge cannot gather, close to the line.

54.00: Scrum to the visitors on their 5. It is reset. Reset again, then, you guessed it: the Lions are awarded a penalty.

55.00: The Lions are relying heavily on their tactical kicking game and forwards domination. When they go wide, they lose the ball, and it’s happened again. Scrum to the home team, just inside the Lions’ half.

57.00: TRY, no try? Anthony Watson is over, but the TMO is checking for Liam Williams’ knock-on in the build-up.

58.00: NO TRY! It’s forward from Williams. Scrum to the Crusaders. Watson breaks down the wing, but CJ Stander loses the ball forward with the try-line at his mercy. The Crusaders start a counter-attack.

60.00: A kicking battle ensues as both teams look for territory. The Crusaders take the ball into the tight phases and are going wide, but lose the ball forward. Big tackle from George North, saves the day. That’s nine handling errors apiece for the two sides.

62.00: Make that 10 mistakes for the Crusaders. George Bridge takes a high ball but is hit by North again, and the Lions have the ball.

65.00: The Crusaders are looking tired. They have had to make 25 tackles more than their Super Rugby average. Murray kicks to the corner and the Saders are under the pump.

69.00: The Crusaders have gone 14 phases, but are held out. The tackling from the Crusaders has been epic. The Lions are awarded a penalty under the posts and will kick.

70.00: PENALTY! Farrell extends the lead to nine points.

73.00: The Lions botch a lineout and hand possession to the home team.

75.00: Time is running out for the Crusaders. They have the lineout on their 10 metres line. It’s now or never.

78.00: The Crusaders are running everything.

80.00: The home team lose the ball, Maro Itoje raises his hands in joy; the game is over.


Live In-Play Betting.

The final score after 80 minutes is Crusaders 3 (3) British and Irish Lions 12 (9)


Tries –
Pen – Mo’unga
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

British and Irish Lions
Tries –
Pen – Farrell (4)
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)
Assistant 1: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant 2: Pascal Gauzere (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)



15 Israel Dagg, 14 Seta Tamanivalu, 13 Jack Goodhue, 12 David Havili, 11 George Bridge, 10 Richie Mo’unga, 9 Bryn Hall, 8 Jordan Taufua, 7 Matt Todd, 6 Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, 5 Samuel Whitelock (captain), 4 Luke Romano, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody,

Replacements: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Quinten Strange, 20 Jed Brown, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Mitchell Hunt, 23 Tim Bateman.

British and Irish Lions

15 Stuart Hogg, 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Peter O’Mahony, 5 George Kruis, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Maro Itoje, 20 Christiaan Stander, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 Anthony Watson.

British & Irish Lions, club and country

15 Stuart Hogg – Glasgow Warriors, Scotland, 14 George North – Northampton Saints, Wales, 13 Jonathan Davies – Scarlets, Wales, 12 Ben Te’o – Worcester Warriors, England, 11 Liam Williams – Scarlets, Wales, 10 Owen Farrell – Saracens, England, 9 Conor Murray – Munster, Ireland, 1 Mako Vunipola – Saracens, England, 2 Jamie George – Saracens, England, 3 Tadhg Furlong – Leinster, Ireland, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt) – Ospreys, Wales, 5 George Kruis – Saracens, England, 6 Peter O’Mahony – Munster, Ireland, 7 Sean O’Brien – Leinster, Ireland, 8 Taulupe Faletau – Bath Rugby, Wales

Replacements: 16 Ken Owens – Scarlets, Wales, 17 Jack McGrath – Leinster, Ireland, 18 Dan Cole – Leicester, England, 19 Maro Itoje – Saracens, England, 20 CJ Stander – Munster, Ireland, 21 Rhys Webb – Ospreys, Wales, 22 Johnny Sexton – Leinster, Ireland, 23 Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby, England

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