Super Rugby

British & Irish Lions beat the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua




The British and Irish Lions face the New Zealand’s Maori All Blacks at International Stadium, Rotorua, in what has become known as the fourth test match.

The Lions have now played four matches, won two and lost two. On Tuesday the Lions face the Chiefs at Waikato Stadium, in Hamilton, New Zealand.

This is the first official game against the Maori All Blacks for the Lions.

Lose tonight and Warren Gatland will be under serious pressure for the remaining part of the tour.

Match detail

There is a Minute’s silence to remember those who passed in the Grenfell Tower fire in London, before the New Zealand national anthem.

time for the Maori Haka, under the mist in Rotorua. It is a scene out of an Edgar Allan Poe novel, with the fireworks’ smoke causing a sort of mist.

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are under way in the land of the long white cloud. The Lions are on the attack inside the Maori’s 22. The move has gone a dozen phases. Liam Messam is penalised for not rolling away.

5.00: PENALTY! Leigh Halfpenny, who has not missed on the tour, puts the visitors on the board. 

7.00: The Maori All Blacks win the loose ball from a knock on. The move breaks down and the visitors have a lineout on the halfway line.

9.00: The Lions are awarded another penalty in a kickable position.

10.00: PENALTY! Halfpenny doubles his team’s lead.

12.00: TRY Liam Messam! Wow! Calamity at the back and against the run of play. The Maori’s take a quick throw and are into the Lions’ half. Nehe Milner-Skudder grubbers a kick in behind the Lions defence, George North fumbles, the ball is kicked forward and Messam dives on the ball. 

13.00: The conversion is good, and the home team leads.

16.00: The Lions have possession inside their opponent’s half. It is very one-dimensional before Jonathan Davies makes one of the Lions’ first line breaks of the tour. The ball is slowed down at the breakdown, however, the Lions win another penalty for offsides by Elliot Dixon.

20.00: PENALTY! Halfpenny adds another three-pointer. 

22.00: PENALTY! McKenzie gives his side the lead.

24.00: Sexton makes a break in midfield, but Davies can’t hold on. The Lions are probing the home team, and are starting to make metres, especially in the outside channels.

26.00: The Lions have a scrum just outside the Maori’s 22.

27.00: Halfpenny wins a high challenge and Sexton kicks a wonderful kick to the corner flag. The Lions have a 5-metre lineout. Nothing comes of the good attacking field position, but the tourists come again.

29.00: George North saves the day at the back for the Lions. He breaks two tackles after cleaning up a kick in behind the back three.

30.00: Jaco Peyper awards a dodgy penalty to the Lions. No ways Mako Vunipola released the ball. The ball is kicked to the corner and the tourists will go to their driving maul.

32.00: Sexton puts a dinked kick in behind the Maori back line, but it comes to nothing. Peyper was playing two penalty advantages, so we come back for the penalty in front of the posts. You guessed it, Halfpenny will kick at goal.

33.00: PENALTY! Halfpenny can’t miss from there.

35.00: Peyper finally awards the home team a penalty and McKenzie will attempt a 57-metre penalty.

36.00: MISS! It’s wide from the first five eight, but only just.

37.00: Another restart is lost by the Maori’s; they’ve been really poor at this set phase of the game. Somehow, they win the ball back from a Lions’ scrum, spread the ball wide, and win a penalty after Tadhg Furlong is pinged for not releasing.

39.00: The Lions knock on the lineout and the hosts attack, deep inside the 22. After some pick and goes by the home team, they are penalised for holding. That was good D by the tourists and another missed opportunity for the Maori All Blacks.

42.00: The Lions kick to touch and will have to play on. Eventually, they clear the ball out and the teams are heading into the shed. It’s not been a great game so far.

The half-time score was Maori All Blacks 10 British & Irish Lions 12

The Lions are winning the breakdown and most of the set phases of the game, but they can’t score tries, something which is haunting them on this tour.

41.00: BEEP! BEEP! We are back underway in Rotorua. The Lions enjoyed 74 percent territory and 62 percent possession, but they did nothing with that advantage, except kick four penalties. That will not win them many games in New Zealand, and definitely not against the All Blacks in the Tests.

43.00: Jaco Peyper has given the home team another warning for repeated infringements. Conor Murray is taken out at the ruck this time. Halfpenny will kick at goal.

44.00: PENALTY! The Welshman slots his fifth penalty of the game. 

45.00: Damian Mckenzie’s restart is not 10 metres; scrum in midfield for the Lions. Sexton puts up another high kick. James Lowe drops the kick and the Lions have a scrum inside the Maori All Blacks’ 22. The mistakes are mounting for the home team.

47.00: Taulupe Faletau picks up from the base of the scrum, passes to his right and Halfpenny makes a dart for the line, but is taken out by Tawera Kerr-Barlow.

47.00: YELLOW CARD Tawera Kerr-Barlow! It’s a reckless challenge on the fullback, who is hit in the cheek. The Welshman was falling so the scrumhalf might be saved from a red card.

48.00: The Lions go to their driving maul and look to have scored. The TMO is checking if the ball crossed the chalk.

49.00: TMO Ian Smith rules it “inconclusive”, but the Lions have another scrum on the 5 metres line.

50.00: The Lions pick and go but can’t get over. Kane Hames is penalised. We will scrum again.

51.00: PENALTY TRY! The Lions bulldoze the Maori All Blacks’ scrum. 

53.00: The Lions have the Maori All Blacks where they want them. They have another 5 metres scrum after some superb defensive work to win the turnover. Matt Proctor is leaving the field with what looks like a shoulder injury.

55.00: TRY Maro Itoje! The Englishman powers over from close range after Taulupe Faletau’s break from the back of the scrum.

56.00: The conversion is good.

60.00: The Lions are dominating every aspect of this game. The Maori’s are ragged.

65.00: The Lions continue to strangle the Kiwis with pick and drives and at the set pieces. Gatland’s men have overpowered their opponents in every department.

70.00: PENALTY! Halfpenny adds his sixth penalty of the game. 

72.00: The Lions are into the Maori All Blacks’ 22. They are going through another set of multi-phases plays. The ball is slowed down by the home team, but they can’t repel the tourists.

75.00: The Lions have enjoyed 87 percent territory in the second-half. Yes, you read that right. It has not been a good performance at all by the home team, and they look like a team that has only been together a week.

77.00: The clock is ticking down, and the home team are trying to put together a decent passage of play. They get into the Lions 22 – for what seems like the first time since Messam scored – but they knock on. It’s been a forgettable performance by the Maori All Blacks.

79.00: The Lions win another scrum penalty. That was a dominant forward display by the tourists.

80.00: The hooter sounds and that’s the ball game.


Live In-Play Betting.

The final score is Maori All Blacks 10 (10) British & Irish Lions 32 (12)


Maori All Blacks
Tries – Messam
Pen – McKenzie
Con – McKenzie
Drop –
Cards – Kerr-Barlow (Yellow, 47th minute)

British & Irish Lions
Tries – Penalty try, Itoje
Pen – Halfpenny (6)
Con – Halfpenny
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant 1: Jérôme Garcès (France)
Assistant 2: Romain Poite (France)
TMO: Ian Smith (Australia)


Maori All Blacks

15 James Lowe, 14 Nehe Milner-Skudder, 13 Matt Proctor, 12 Charlie Ngatai, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Damian McKenzie, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Liam Messam, 7 Elliot Dixon, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Joe Wheeler, 3 Ben May, 2 Ash Dixon (captain), 1 Kane Hames.

Replacements: 16 Hikawera Elliot, 17 Chris Eves, 18 Marcel Renata, 19 Leighton Price, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Bryn Hall, 22 Ihaia West, 23 Rob Thompson.

British and Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 George North, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Peter O’Mahony (captain), 5 George Kruis, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola.

Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Sam Warburton, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Elliot Daly

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