Last night, the British and Irish Lions went down 22-16 to the Blues at Eden Park. After a fairly unconvincing win against the Provincial Barbarians, the touring side would have been hoping for a better showing against a side that is ranked at the bottom of the Super Rugby ladder in New Zealand. There were going to be a stern test than the BaaBaas and the Lions would have been hoping to come away with a win.
But the Blues proved too strong and there was little bit of Sonny Bill Williams magic in the win. Sonny Bill is a local boy and the Eden Park crowd would have loved it
Williams has been named in the All Blacks squad and will be interesting to see if he makes the final cut. The Lions must be concerned that when they face the ABs they will be facing a backline where all the players will be of Williams’ calibre. They will also have the problem of Dane Coles playing in the outside backs if he has recovered from concussion. He weighs in at just under 110 kg.
Actually, he doesn’t really play in the outside backs, he is the hooker. It is just that he seemed to think is an outside back and plays like one as well.
His mate, lock Brodie Retallick, is a player in much the same mold just a bit bigger at 120 kg and 2m tall who also fancies himself as an outside centre.
In three days, the tourists will need to ramp up another notch when they meet the Crusaders who are unbeaten in the Super Rugby series. They are a formidable combination and would give many teams in the international competition a run for their money.
The ghost of Colonel Michael John “Mike” Campbell-Lamerton OBE must be hovering ominously in the background.