All Blacks forwards showed they're no pushovers - Hansen

Gladys Abbott
June 24, 2017

They already had three points on the board when a quickly taken tap from Aaron Smith caught the Lions fractionally on their heels and a long pass from Israel Dagg was snapped up brilliantly on the half-volley by Taylor with Elliot Daly too far away to prevent the try being scored.

Assistant coach Steve Borthwick had challenged the Lions to become the best forward pack on the planet to stand a chance against the world champion All Blacks.

"Yes, we play to a structure as every team plays to a structure but (it's about) having the confidence and ability to bring an offloading game in when it's appropriate".

The All Blacks appeared rocked and Murray continued to test them with a number of high kicks but New Zealand gradually began to find their feet as Barrett drove them into action through a brilliant one-handed pick-up under pressure.

The Crusaders' ace hobbled off in the 33rd minute of Saturday's Eden Park match after a bustling run through the Lions' defence, and looked in pain. Tonight's test was always going to be won in the tight five and I thought we won that battle but it doesn't guarantee who will win it next week.

"If your tight five operate and do their job, then everyone else can play".

"Jack will be staying with us, and we will try to get Ryan ready maybe for the last test if we're lucky".

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Ioane, who was making his first start for the All Blacks, scored twice in the second half as the hosts claimed a 30-15 victory over the tourists.

"We've plenty to play for, we've got to regroup now and move on to Wellington", O'Mahony said. The Lions defended heroically at times but two sharp second-half tries from Rieko Ioane ultimately took the home team well clear of Warren Gatland's side.

"Ben Smith failed a concussion test and he will go through the protocols", Hansen told reporters.

Substitute Rhys Webb grabbed a consolation try at the death for the Lions ahead of the second Test at the Westpac Stadium where the touring side need a win to keep the series alive. I think they believe they can win. We need to learn from that and make sure we're better in those areas.

"We will have to be pretty physical ourselves and give ourselves opportunities and be good enough to take them".

"It was a bit disappointing that there were a couple of golden moments, great opportunities to score, and then we just switched off for a moment". Four minutes before half-time it duly arrived when Liam Williams cleverly found himself a yard or two of space in his own 22.

Referee Jaco Peyper checked that Read had not knocked on and Barrett added the extras to give the All Blacks a 20-8 lead, which he extended with his third penalty on the hour mark. "That is what we have to expect - a team at the top of their powers and coming at us".

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