Lions ease past Maori All Blacks
Forwards stake Test claims in dominant win
MAORI ALL BLACKS 10
T: Messam C: McKenzie P: McKenzie
T: pen, Itoje C: (pen), Halfpenny P: Halfpenny 5
Half-time: 10-12. Handicap: Maori All Black +5, Lions -4
The Lions cruised to a third win of their tour of New Zealand as they powered past the Maori All Black 32-10 in Rotorua.
The tourists started reasonably brightly, going through the phases well and varying the point of attack but had to be content with four penalties as they could not find the final play to score a try.
The Maori All Blacks scored the only try of the first half after a mistake from George North and Jonathan Davies as they failed to field a speculative kick and Liam Messam took advantage.
Rain began to fall more heavily in the second half and the Lions turned the screw through their kicking game and forward power. Their first two tries came from the scrum with the Maori All Blacks down to 14 men, the first a penalty try, the second from Maro Itoje.
By the end the Lions' forward dominance was exceptional and the starting pack look the strongest possible candidates to turn out again in the first Test on Saturday.
The Lions are 4-6 to finalise their first Test preparations with victory over the Chiefs in Hamilton on Tuesday morning before they take on the All Blacks in Auckland five days later.
Warren Gatland's side remain 4-1 outsiders to win the first Test while New Zealand are no bigger than 1-4 to triumph at Eden Park and 4-6 to complete a 3-0 series clean sweep.