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Three Winners And Three Losers As Lions Feel The Blues In Auckland

Lions

The Lions were beaten 22-16 in Eden Park today, as Warren Gatland’s side are now under pressure to deliver a result against the Crusaders on Saturday.

We take a look at the winners and losers from the game.

Winners

CJ Stander

Before the match, Stander had been widely tipped to be the starting 8 for the test games, and he did his chances no harm whatsoever. Finishing a team try, the Munster star led by example with a typical performance.

Stander will only grow in confidence as the tour goes on, and can lead the line throughout.

Lions scrum

Jack McGrath and later Joe Marler were simply fantastic at the set-piece. Meanwhile, Dan Cole was also immense throughout.

This showed Gatland that he has a real weapon in his scrum, and he will be aiming to use this in the coming weeks as a platform to hurt opposition defences.

Leigh Halfpenny

Following his disappointing showing on Saturday against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, Stuart Hogg left an opportunity for his competitors.

To that end, Leigh Halfpenny put in a solid showing, carrying well and his positioning was impressive.

His nerve under pressure to land three kicks from three will offer Gatland food for thought.

2017 British & Irish Lions Tour To New Zealand, Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand 7/6/2017 Blues vs British & Irish Lions Lions' Leigh Halfpenny kicks a penalty Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Losers

Warren Gatland

Gatland is now a man under pressure. The evening was flipped on its head thanks to a moment of magic from Ihaia West. Following a questionable display on Saturday, the Lions needed a big showing to relieve pressure.

Gatland needs his side to produce not only a big performance, but also a result, against the Crusaders on Saturday.

Liam Williams

The winger came off the bench, and didn’t have the desired impact. Dominated in the air, he was yellow carded, which hurt the side’s chances turning for the home straight.

However, he has fallen way down the pecking order for those two wing positions.

Lions

Dan Biggar

The Welsh outhalf is seen by most as a rank outsider in the race for the 10 jersey, as Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell battle it out.

Starting against the Blues provided him with the opportunity to stake a claim, but his showing ended prematurely when tackled by offside prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi.

Having failed to make a major impact, Biggar now must wait to see the extent of his injury.

Dan Biggar Lions

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Be sure to check out the latest episode of The Oval Office, our rugby podcast, where we discussed the fallout from the Lions first two matches of the New Zealand tour as well as looking forward to the Crusaders match.

https://soundcloud.com/punditarenarugby/lions-post-mortem-and-we-look-ahead-to-daunting-crusaders-clash

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Author: The PA Team

This article was written by a member of The PA Team. If you would like to join the team, drop us an email at write@punditarena.com.