Banks penalty gives Highlanders win over Lions

Alun Wynn Jones, I thought, had a big game as captain.

Jared Payne will slot in at 15 for Tuesday's Highlanders clash, with Elliot Daly and Anthony Watson also comfortable at full-back - and Leigh Halfpenny also a specialist.

But not being able to play your normal game if denied good possession shouldn't surprise anyone because this was what the Crusaders themselves did to the Hurricanes in a Super Rugby game a month ago to win 20-12. While he has been named as captain of the side to face the Highlanders in Dunedin tomorrow, it is unlikely that he will start in the team again on Saturday when the Lions face the Maori All Blacks in a game that Gatland, the Lions coach, will use as a dry run for the first Test. It's about adapting to the situation.

"It's not nice to be probably the third choice at the moment, for whatever you think, but my personality isn't happy with that and it's my job to try and force the order a little". There are all sorts of stats and records, but it is about Tuesday now. Stand-off Owen Farrell kicked four penalties, but superb defence and a forward pack brilliantly marshalled by Irish scrum-half Murray inspired the win. It's just about making sure we are going on the right direction and improving until we get to the Test matches.

"We'll just wait for the outcome but at this point in time we've got a big squad and a lot of people in place to cover different positions". He led well and galvanised the group.

When asked if he was anxious by the Lions' lack of tries, Sir Ian told Drivetime: "No, I think it's easy to jump on a bandwagon and say they are not going [well]".

"I'm still looking for defensive leaders", Farrell added. "If somebody messes up, everyone pays for it". "This is the type of test we want because that's exactly what the All Blacks are fantastic at".

We have seen them three times and have an idea of how they are going to approach their task.

Highlanders will be missing All Blacks Ben Smith and Aaron Smith for the clash, but New Zealand global trio Malakai Fekitoa, Waisake Naholo and Lima Sopoaga will get a look at the Lions.

Henry also defended the style of rugby which the Lions have played under Warren Gatland.

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"The year later, I went over to Nelson and started playing for Tasman", he said.

"We know the quality of players we have". Biggar admires his physicality, ball-carrying ability and kicking game. This is the type of test that we want because that's exactly what the All Blacks are fantastic at.

But while they will recognise that the Lions are gelling into a powerful unit who will not be rolled over, they will not be fearful of their attacking prowess amid continued barbs about coach Warren Gatland's approach.

Vunipola insisted the Lions squad hardly noticed the criticism, however, claiming they must block out the bluster to focus on preparing for the three-Test series against back-to-back world champions New Zealand.

There have been some fine Welsh fly-halves who have faced the All Blacks in a Lions jersey, but he is keen to dodge any notion of sport's peer vacuum, though did joke he would have rather been born a Welsh second-row.

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