Owen Farrell kicks Lions to victory over Crusaders

British and Irish Lions flyhalf Owen Farrell prepares to take a shot at goal during their match against the Canterbury Crusaders in Christchurch New Zealand Saturday

The Lions have named a strong side, with starts for flyhalf Owen Farrell and prop Marko Vunipola.

He is an unusual but brilliant mix, and his combination with Conor Murray, who was absolutely on top of his game at scrum-half, is going to be the beating heart of the Lions.

For the first time in 15 games this year, or 1,200 minutes of competitive rugby, the Crusaders know how it feels to lose. I am not convinced yet.

"I had never experienced it before 2013, but special is the word to describe it".

Hansen responded by saying "I just think he's probably trying to take a bit of humour after struggling a bit with his press conference before that".

Canterbury District Commander Superintendent John Price said the couple had recorded the numbers of the stolen tickets, and Police were pursuing several avenues of inquiry. You can move those guys around but you are unlikely to run through them. The Crusaders will provide the majority of the All Blacks tight five when the Test matches start. I don't think there's any comparison between Super Rugby and Test rugby.

The powerful wing bagged three tries in four appearances during this year's 2017 Six Nations, meaning he has now grabbed seven tries in his past nine matches in the tournament.

It was made slightly easier by the fact the surface was slippery and the ball was greasy but the Crusaders were too excitable and the Lions forced them into making uncharacteristic errors.

The Lions will be less than impressed with their own lack of silk when a try looked nailed on.

There was space out wide for the Crusaders but the Lions defence came up rapidly and anticipated the ball out the back. The Lions missed 11 tackles over the 80 minutes, but it was their dominance of possession that was the difference.

And we saw one instance of this.

"It was great to get a win tonight", Farrell said.

Those two are unlikely to have spent any time defending on this tour like that.

The attack will come in two prongs - firstly coaches and commentators will say the Lions play boring rugby and challenging them to open up.

"His preparation and work to prepare people for games is second to none". We are creating opportunities we just need to finish off those chances.

The Lions celebrated the mini-win just the way hooker George vowed they would keep doing, ahead of the clash.

"But as is the nature of test rugby I'm sure a number of them will get an opportunity, if not in this series, then throughout the season".

All night he kept putting boot to ball and on each occasion it generated better field position for his team. This game had the little bit of niggle that some believe has been missing for the last few games. It is a big ask but it is not impossible. On the other side, the Lions looked confident and adventurous... until they reached the 22m line.

The All Blacks get together in camp for the first time this week.

"We knew that. New Zealand players never back down from a challenge, so we knew it would be tough".

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