Dunedin based Super Rugby franchise the Highlanders host the British and Irish Lions for their third match on tour, just four days after the Lions beat the Crusaders.
The Lions have played three matches to date on tour and they have won two and lost one so far, but only scoring two tries in those three games.
This is an under strength Highlanders outfit because many players being made ready for the All Blacks and the Maori All Blacks.
The game will be made for some running rugby under the roof at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, the first indoors match for the Lions.
The Lions played their first ever match in Otago in 1888, playing as the ‘English Footballers’ and winning 8-3.
Sam Warburton skippers the tourists as he attempts to prove his fitness.
The Highlanders will not perform a haka
We are waiting for the kick-off.
1.00: BEEP! BEEP! Referee Angus Gardner gets us underway in Dunedin. Daniel Lienert-Brown collects Dan Biggar’s kick-off.
4.00: Waisake Naholo breaks again and is caught short of the try-line. He is tackled by Jarod Payne. The home team go wide but the move breaks down.
5.00: PENALTY! Lima Sopoaga gets the Highlanders on the board.
7.00: The Lions roar back, going 15 phases, but again, they lose the ball. The home team are running everything, they go deep into Lions’ territory, but the visitors turn the ball over.
9.00: A kicking battle ensues as both teams look for territory.
10.00: Waisake Naholo, Malakai Fekitoa and Lima Sopoaga have all been instrumental inside the opening passages of play.
12.00: The Lions break down the blindside through Rhys Webb, who plays Jack Nowell. The move breaks down after another sloppy pass by the Lions. Fekitoa is off for an HIA. Marty Banks comes on at fullback and Richard Buckman goes into the midfield. Scrum is reset.
13.00: The Lions get the scrum, Webb breaks and Stander carries forward. The Highlanders are flooding every breakdown, and dominating, almost turning the ball over, before a Lions player knocks forward. Banks clears to touch.
14.00: Play is brought back after the scrum was pushed back inside the home team’s 22. The Lions are powering towards the try-line. Try? No try? TMO Marius Jonker will look at two possible tries by Tommy Seymour and Rhys Webb.
15.00: The first by Seymour is inconclusive, but Webb looks like he has scored, but Webb lost the ball forwards in the act of grounding. The penalty is awarded for offsides to the Lions.
16.00: PENALTY! Dan Biggar levels the scores.
17.00: Fekitoa is back on the pitch. Another Lions’ clearance is charged down, but the tourists regather and are attacking from their 22. Stander is tackled but does not release. Penalty to the Highlanders. Great work by Naholo. Sopoaga will kick at goal – very surprising.
19.00: MISS! He’s pulled his kick left of the posts.
20.00: Fekitoa makes a break, the ball is shifted wide before a little grubber by Teihorangi Walden. Payne attacks the ball and loses it. Eventually, the Lions win the scrum after a knock on.
21.00: From the scrum, Biggar cross-kicks and Seymour loses the ball in the air, under pressure from Naholo.
23.00: CJ Stander is penalised for not releasing, the second time in the game, after some excellent work by Dillon Hunt at the ruck. Sopoaga kicks for touch, about eight metres from the Lions’ try-line.
25.00: The Highlanders power forwards with their driving maul, but the ball is won by Stander and the Lions clear.
26.00: TRY Waisake Naholo! Sensational play by the Highlanders. Fekitoa made the initial break, rounding Jonathan Joseph. The ball is recycled quickly, spread wide to the left and after some pick-and-drives, Naholo, at first receiver, bounces two tacklers and scores under the posts. Courtney Lawes, CJ Stander and Jared Payne could not stop the big man. Lawes is down after taking a blow to the head, trying to tackle Naholo. He looks dazed and will leave the field.
27.00: Sopoaga adds the extras to give his team a seven-point lead.
28.00: Naholo wins the kick-off battle and the Highlanders storm down the field. Some good work by the Lions, sees them win the ball back and the penalty.
30.00: TRY Jonathan Joseph! The Lions send the ball wide from the first-phase ball at the scrum, and the Englishman crosses the whitewash after a jinking run. It all came from Dan Biggar’s run to the gain-line and offload to Joseph.
31.00: Biggar ties the game at 10-all.
33.00: The tourists have been galvanised by that try and are spreading the ball at every opportunity. Dan Biggar is down after a big hit by Tevita Li. He’s up now. Webb will feed the scrum, just inside the Lions’ half.
36.00: Kyle Sinckler makes a big break in midfield and charges forward. His pass is lost though, and the Highlanders get the ball for the scrum. Teihorangi Walden puts in another little grubber and the home team attack. somehow, they can’t finish off the move.
38.00: The penalty is awarded to the Lions after Alex Ainley brings down Alun Wyn Jones in the lineout.
40.00: The hooter sounds. The Highlanders nearly lose the ball, but Kayne Hammington holds on. Eventually, the ball is sent to the stands. Wow! What a superb half of rugby in Dunedin.
The half-time score was Highlanders 10 British and Irish Lions 10
41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway in Dunedin. Richard Buckman puts in a bomb, CJ Stander misjudges the ball and it bounces into touch inside the Lions’ 22.
43.00: TRY Tommy Seymour! The Highlanders are kicking across the field, this time it’s a poor kick by Lima Sopoaga. The wing judges the ball expertly and runs in untouched to give the Lions the lead.
44.00: Biggar can’t add the conversion.
46.00: The home team is penalised for obstruction after a lineout move breaks down. Biggar does not find touch, but the Lions get the ball back and are on the attack.
48.00: This time, Alun Wyn Jones is pinged for obstruction and the Highlanders clear. Rhys Webb is off for Greig Laidlaw. The No 9 had a superb game. The Lions are penalised and Sopoaga will call for the tee.
49.00: PENALTY! Sopoaga makes it a two-point game.
51.00: A mix-up inside the Highlanders in-goal area, sees the Lions get a 5-metre scrum after Naholo stepped out of the dead ball area.
54.00: TRY Sam Warburton! The skipper crashes over after some sustained pressure by the Lions. Joseph goes close before a pick-and-g0 by the Welshman extends the Lions’ lead.
55.00: The conversion is good.
56.00: Jared Payne loses the ball forwards from the restart. Scrum on the 22 for the Highlanders.
57.00: A penalty is awarded to the home team for offsides. Banks kicks to the corner.
59.00: The Highlanders are camped on the Lions’ 22. After several phases and a penalty advantage, the Lions’ pack overpower their hosts and Laidlaw clears. A chance wasted by the home team.
61.00: TRY Liam Coltman! The Highlanders kick to the corner after another penalty. They set up a driving maul. The Lions stop the initial drive, but not the next, as the home team power their way over.
62.00: Banks adds the two points.
63.00: Penalty to the Highlanders after Dan Cole is penalised for collapsing the scrum.
67.00: The Lions attack inside the Highlanders’ half. The home team are being made to make lots of tackles, as the tourists power into good field position. Angus Gardner awards another penalty to the visitors. Dan Biggar is limping off the field. Owen Farrell will kick at goal.
69.00: Farrell misses. Yes, you read that right. Alun Wyn Jones takes the contact but is held up. Scrum to the home team.
71.00: A kicking battle ensues. Buckman wins a high challenge and charges forwards, but the ball is lost, later in the play, and the Lions get the scrum.
73.00: BIG SCRUM! the Highlanders’ pack dismantle the Lions’ scrum and win a penalty. A scuffle breaks out as the hosts celebrate that powerful set piece. Banks calls for the tee.
74.00: PENALTY! Banks puts the Highlanders in the lead.
75.00: Patrick Osborne wins a highball challenge and the scrum goes to the home team.
77.00: The Lions are awarded a penalty for offsides. Elliot Daly will attempt a 57-metre kick from in front.
78.00: It’s just wide.
79.00: The Lions are on the attack and win a penalty. Farrell kicks to touch, near the Highlanders’ 22.
81.00: The Lions go wide from the lineout, but Joseph knocks on as the Lions enter the 22. The ball is cleared to touch. What a game!
The final score is Highlanders 23 (10) British and Irish Lions 22 (10)
Tries – Naholo, Coltman
Pen – Sopoaga (2), Banks
Con – Sopoaga, Banks
British and Irish Lions
Tries – Joseph, Seymour, Warburton
Pen – Biggar
Con – Biggar (2)
Referee: Angus Gardner (Australia)
Assistant 1: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant 2: Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
15 Richard Buckman, 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Li, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Kayne Hammington, 8 Luke Whitelock (captain), 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Gareth Evans, 5 Jackson Hemopo, 4 Alex Ainley, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: 16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 19 Josh Dickson, 20 James Lentjes, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Marty Banks, 23 Patrick Osborne.
British & Irish Lions
15 Jared Payne, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Tommy Seymour, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Christiaan Stander, 7 Sam Warburton (captain), 6 James Haskell, 5 Iain Henderson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Rory Best, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Elliot Daly
British & Irish Lions
15 Jared Payne – Ulster, Ireland, 14 Jack Nowell – Exeter Chiefs, England, 13 Jonathan Joseph – Bath Rugby, England, 12 Robbie Henshaw – Leinster, Ireland, 11 Tommy Seymour – Glasgow Warriors, Scotland, 10 Dan Biggar – Ospreys, Wales, 9 Rhys Webb – Ospreys, Wales, 1 Joe Marler – Harlequins, England, 2 Rory Best – Ulster, Ireland, 3 Kyle Sinckler – Harlequins, England, 4 Courtney Lawes – Northampton Saints, England, 5 Iain Henderson – Ulster, Ireland, 6 James Haskell – Wasps, England, 7 Sam Warburton (capt) – Cardiff Blues, Wales,
8 CJ Stander – Munster, Ireland,
Replacements: 16 Ken Owens – Scarlets, Wales, 17 Jack McGrath – Leinster, Ireland, 18 Dan Cole – Leicester Tigers, England, 19 Alun Wyn Jones – Ospreys, Wales, 20 Justin Tipuric – Ospreys, Wales, 21 Greig Laidlaw – Gloucester Rugby, Scotland, 22 Owen Farrell – Saracens, England, 23 Elliot Daly – Wasps, England