Lions Tour ,game one

Lions Tour to New Zealand……………………………………….. Game one vs the Provincial Barbarians
Confucius one said “The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools”. This is exactly what the British and Irish lions must do in order to be successful on this tour of New Zealand. When you put on that red jersey it’s an honour and privilege that does come around too often one must play with all their heart, freely expressing their skill set. The team stuttered and splattered to an opening victory against the Provincial Barbarians; they looked very sluggish and had no real endeavour to their play. Stuart Hogg fumbling with his first touch was an inauspicious start and he then butchered an overlap with Anthony Watson outside him and looking to go over. Not ideal from the six nation’s man of the tournament .It was not Johnny Sexton’s day at all. His kicking was poor, which is only asking for trouble in New Zealand, and the Irish standoff fired out a few decent passes. The front five was average at best given the experience of Joe Marler, Alun Wyn Jones, and Rory Best. The tourists were not at the races as they squandered five try-scoring opportunities in the first half. Jetlag cannot be blamed for the lack of understanding and unforced errors, with the starting half-back combination of Laidlaw and Sexton failing to put their stamp on proceedings. One must not forget about the Barbarians, many of who are part timers and in their ranks included shop owners, sheep farmers and nurses. How comfortable they were on the ball? They showed an inbuilt skill set that simply does not exist in the northern hemisphere and played with unbridled passion. More importantly they had only week compared to the Lions two to prepare. Bryn Gatland has just a handful of Super Rugby appearances to his name but what would his old man Lions Head Warren Gatland have given for a fly half displaying such composure? Gatland Jr approached the game determined to enjoy himself and showcased the full extent of his kicking repertoire. He was not the only Barbarian to impress: Sevu Reece caught the eye on the wing, as did Luteru Laulala at full-back, as well as the replacement back-row Matt Matich. Positives from the Lions came from Taulupe Faletau who was outstanding in attack and defence. He came to the rescue on 13 minutes with a try-saving tackle and was held up at the other end as the Lions pushed for a five-pointer on the stroke of half-time.Wales team-mate Moriarty also impressed as did England duo Kyle Sinckler and Ben Te’o. It required the introduction of Owen Farrell at fly-half to change the momentum. The Saracen had only been on the pitch for six minutes when he first put Ross Moriarty through a gap and then provided the scoring pass for Watson’s 54th-minute try. If they cannot learn to play what is in front of them before the Tests they are in trouble. However this is only the first game of the Lions tour which will be heavily scrutinised. there’s no need for alarm just yet!!!!

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