Rugby Union tours
Ford’s record marred by narrow defeat
Fiji 27 (11) Scotland 22 (7)
Scotland’s summer tour ended in a first defeat for coach Gregor Townsend against a freeflowing Fijian team.
The visitors, who began the series with a victory over Italy, ran up a respectable score in Suva but were unable to repeat their magnificent result against the Wallabies last weekend.
Former Glasgow Warriors forward Leone Nakarawa was in good form for the hosts who proved too strong for their opposition despite tries from Ross Ford, Ruaridh Jackson and Fraser Brown
It was a third try of the series for hooker Ford, making a record 110th international appearance, while Brown’s try four minutes from times was his first at international level.
Tries: Yato, Seniloli Con: Volavola Pens: Volavola 5
Tries: Ford, Jackson, Brown Cons: Jackson 2 Pen: Jackson
Scotland team: Jackson, Hoyland, Grigg, Taylor, Visser, Horne, Pyrgos, Allan, Ford, Nel, Swinson, J. Gray, Barclay, Hardie, Strauss. Replacements: Brown, Reid, Fagerson, Toolis, Watson, Price, Tonks.
New Zealand 30 (13) British & Irish Lions 15 (8)
First Test – Auckland
Sean O’Brien’s try on 35 minutes, arguably one of the greatest in Lions history, allowed the visitors to believe they could cause an upset at a stadium where the All Blacks have been unbeaten since 1994.
A long run by Liam Williams from his own 22 was the highlight of a first half which saw the Lions keep touch with their hosts.
But as they do so often, the All Blacks stepped up a gear to dominate this first test and set down a marker for the rest of the series.
The Lions, with no Scots featuring in the squad, enjoyed some sweet moments but they committed too many errors. The world champions were on top at the scrum and took their chances with lethal precision.
Rhys Webb’s late try kept the final margin respectable, but the odds seem stacked against the tourists as they head to their next meeting in Wellington next Saturday with a match against Hurricanes before that on Tuesday (Kick off 8:35 BST).
Lions head coach Warren Gatland said: “No excuse in terms of the result. The All Blacks were very direct, better than us at the breakdown and we missed opportunities – all things we can fix.
“We created chances and shifted the ball pretty well. They didn’t come out and play champagne rugby, they were very direct off nine. We were looking to get the upper hand up front, but in fairness to them they got it today.”
Captain Peter O’Mahony added: “We are happy with the opportunities we created. Our discipline wasn’t where it should be, we conceded double figures in penalties.
“We have to regroup, have a good look at that and move on now. We have got to be a little bit more clinical, we are making some good breaks we just have to finish them off.”
Tries: Taylor, Ioane 2 Cons: Barrett 3 Pens: Barrett 3
British & Irish Lions
Tries: O’Brien, Webb Con: Farrell Pen: Farrell
New Zealand team: B Smith; I Dagg, R Crotty, SB Williams, R Ioane; B Barrett, A Smith; J Moody, C Taylor, O Franks, B Retallick, S Whitelock, J Kaino, S Cane, K Read (capt). Replacements: N Harris, W Crockett, C Faumuina, S Barrett, A Savea, TJ Perenara, A Cruden/L Sopoaga, A Lienert-Brown.
British and Irish Lions team: L Williams (Wales); A Watson (England), J Davies (Wales), B Te’o (England), E Daly (England); O Farrell (England), C Murray (Ireland); M Vunipola (England), J George (England), T Furlong (Ireland); AW Jones (Wales), G Kruis (England); P O’Mahony (capt, Ireland), S O’Brien (Ireland), T Faletau (Wales). Replacements: K Owens (Wales), J McGrath (Ireland), K Sinckler (England), M Itoje (England), S Warburton (Wales), R Webb (Wales), J Sexton (Ireland), L Halfpenny (Wales).