All Blacks v Lions: tactical pointers and key clashes for second Test | Paul Rees and Gerard Meagher


From the breakdown to kicking, through Waisake Naholo v Elliot Daly and Beauden Barrett v Johnny Sexton, plus New Zealand’s Wellington form

Sam Warburton and Maro Itoje will give the Lions not only greater ball-winning capacity at the breakdown, more opportunity to slow down New Zealand’s ball and will put the scrum-half Aaron Smith under pressure. So far this tour, the Lions have looked to fracture their opponents’ supply line by rushing up in defence in midfield but the All Blacks neutralised that ploy in the first Test by playing through nine rather than 10 and creating space around the ruck. The Lions will need to generate quick ball and Alun Wyn Jones and Tadhg Furlong must clear out All Blacks on the fringe of rucks with Itoje and Warburton taking care of anyone grappling for possession. It is an area the Lions have to win to have a chance of ending New Zealand’s 16-match winning run in Wellington, which started after a defeat by England in 2003.

Related: All Blacks revolve around Beauden Barrett’s slow-motion mastery of No10 | Andy Bull

Related: Simmering Lions can restore pride in defining match of New Zealand tour

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Sportblog | The Guardian


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