British and Irish Lions beat Chiefs in final All Blacks warm-up

Jack Nowell
Jack Nowell scored either side of half-time for the Lions in Hamilton
Chiefs v British and Irish Lions
Chiefs (6) 6
Pens: Donald 2
British and Irish Lions (13) 34
Tries: Nowell 2, penalty try*, Payne Cons: Biggar 3 Pens: Biggar 2
*automatic seven points

Jack Nowell scored two tries as the British and Irish Lions' preparations for Saturday's first Test against New Zealand continued with a convincing win against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

The England wing crossed in either half as Warren Gatland's midweek side enjoyed a 28-point victory on Tuesday.

Centre Jared Payne then went over from a smart Liam Williams break, with the tourists also awarded a penalty try.

Dan Biggar added gloss to a morale-boosting performance with the boot.

Stephen Donald kicked two penalties for the Chiefs in reply, with one coming when Lions prop Joe Marler was in the sin-bin early on.

The Lions' focus now turns to the first Test against the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday, which kicks off at 08:35 BST.

Last chance to impress?

Nowell
Jack Nowell's double saw him become the 2017 tour's joint-top try scorer, with the Lions awarded penalty tries against the Chiefs and the Maori All Blacks

You could read more into who coach Gatland will start against the All Blacks on Saturday by those who did not feature, but the Lions' second string impressed in their final audition at the FMG Stadium Waikato.

Following midweek defeats by the Blues and the Highlanders, the Lions were much more threatening in attack with the likes of Elliot Daly, Williams and Nowell finding space.

The versatile Williams, playing at full-back, started the move that saw Nowell dive over for his first try after fly-half Biggar was stopped just short.

And it was Wales international Williams' snaking run and offload that allowed Payne to sprint over and complete the rout.

Daly, meanwhile, set the tone for the tourists' best performance so far with a huge hit on Finlay Christie from kick-off.

The 24-year-old wing then showed superb acceleration to carry the Lions downfield before keeping the move alive with a clever inside pass early in the move that Nowell finished off for his second.

Lions' line-speed impresses again

Lawes
Courtney Lawes was part of a Lions line-out that won 11 out of 13 of their own throws and three of the Chiefs'

A consistent trait of the Lions' tour of New Zealand so has been the impressive line-speed shown in defence.

It stifled the Maori All Blacks in a 32-10 win on Saturday, and the work defence coach Andy Farrell has been doing with the squad was again apparent as the Lions stopped the Chiefs from crossing the whitewash.

There were plenty of notable performances in the pack.

Courtney Lawes stole an early line-out and was typically lively round the pitch, and second row partner Iain Henderson also put in a strong showing that included four first-half turnovers, but does only a short stint from the bench for Alun Wyn Jones as a temporary injury replacement for Lawes suggest it will be the Welshman who makes the 23-man squad on Saturday?

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Lions in a good place, says Best

Jones came on when Lawes suffered a second head knock in a week after his collision in the Highlanders game, but the England lock did return to the field of play this time.

Despite a positive performance from the midweek side, there is a still a touch of indiscipline that may play into Gatland's thinking.

The midweek Lions have conceded almost double the amount of penalties as the Saturday side have in their past two games, against the Maori All Blacks and the Crusaders.

Analysis - All Blacks will have to work hard

Former Lions and England wing Ugo Monye

What a performance from the Lions. They looked threatening with and without the ball and played for the full 80 minutes.

It is a perfectly-timed win to feed the energy back into the Test team for Saturday's first Test.

Defensively they suffocated the Chiefs, who didn't really have a sniff of a try.

Andy Farrell's defensive system has pretty much fully functioned this tour and the All Blacks are going to have to work hard for their points.

'I hope we're peaking at the right time'

Lions coach Warren Gatland speaking to Sky Sports: "I hope we are peaking at the right time. We always felt that we would get better the longer we spent together.

"We were more clinical today, we squeezed them, didn't concede any tries and played some good rugby, finished off a few chances."

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Teams:

Lions: L Williams (Wales); J Nowell (England), J Payne (Ireland), R Henshaw (Ireland), E Daly (England); D Biggar (Wales), G Laidlaw (Scotland); J Marler (England), R Best (Ireland), D Cole (England), I Henderson (Ireland), C Lawes (England), J Haskell (England), J Tipuric (Wales), C Stander (Ireland).

Replacements:

K Dacey (Wales), A Dell (Scotland), T Francis (Wales), C Hill (Wales), AW Jones (Wales), G Davies (Wales), F Russell (Scotland), T Seymour (Scotland).

Chiefs: S Stevenson; T Pulu, T Nanai-Williams, J Fa'auli, S Alaimalo; S Donald (capt), F Christie, S Fisiihoi, L Polwart, N Laulala, D Bird, M Allardice, M Brown, L Boshier, T Sanders.

Replacements: H Elliot, A Ross, A Moli, L Messam, M Karpik, J Taumateine, L Laulala, C Tiatia.

Lions tour
3 JuneProvincial BarbariansWon 13-7
7 JuneBluesLost 22-16
10 JuneCrusadersWon 12-3
13 JuneHighlandersLost 23-22
17 JuneMaori All BlacksWon 32-10
20 JuneChiefsWon 34-6
24 JuneNew Zealand
27 JuneHurricanes
1 JulyNew Zealand
8 JulyNew Zealand

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