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Lions Made To Work Hard For Opening Win

Lions Made To Work Hard For Opening Win

A gritty display saw the British and Irish Lions earn a 34-20 win over Bay of Plenty in their tour opener on Saturday. Ireland’s Gordon D’Arcy scored a clinching sixth try for the tourists late on.

A gritty display saw the British and Irish Lions earn a 34-20 win over Bay of Plenty in their tour opener on Saturday. Ireland’s Gordon D’Arcy scored a clinching sixth try for the tourists late on.

Lions Tour 2005: Saturday, June 4
Bay of Plenty 20 Lions 34, Rotorua International Stadium,
Scorers: Bay of Plenty: Tries: Colin Bourke, Murray Williams; Cons: Williams 2; Pens: Williams 2
Lions: Tries: Josh Lewsey 2, Mark Cueto, Tom Shanklin, Dwayne Peel, Gordon D’Arcy; Cons: Ronan O’Gara 2

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Sir Clive Woodward’s men went 17-0 up in a matter of 11 minutes in Rotorua, but inspired by fly-half Murray Williams, who notched a personal haul of 15 points, Bay were back level at 17-17 by the half-time break.

Ireland captain Brian O’Driscoll, in his first outing as the Lions’ leader, made the initial break on 2 minutes. Play was ferried onto Ronan O’Gara from a close-in ruck, and with O’Driscoll taking in the Bay defenders on a decoy run, England’s Josh Lewsey was allowed touch down in the left corner.

Four minutes later, Wasps flyer Lewsey was celebrating a second try on his Lions debut after television match official Paddy O’Brien had confirmed his score in the left corner from a Martyn Williams pass.

O’Gara, who was playing flatter than usual, then conjured up a neat crossfield bomb on 11 minutes for Sale and England wing Mark Cueto to notch a debut try of his own on the right flank.

It looked plain sailing for O’Driscoll and company, even though O’Gara seemed to struggle with his place kicking – missing the extras of four of the Lions’ six tries, including Lewsey’s openers.

It was the Munster and Ireland number 10 whose missed tackle allowed Bay number 9 Colin Bourke breach the Lions cover to score before former England skipper Lawrence Dallaglio was forced off the field on 21 minutes, with a suspected tour-ending dislocated ankle.

Things got worse for the tourists in the final minutes of the first half as the lively Williams kicked a close-range penalty and converted his own try to tie up the scores at 17-apiece before the interval.

The Lions stepped up a gear in the second half, but did not ease away from their plucky hosts. Wales winger Tom Shanklin may have used his considerable strength to bulldoze over for a 52nd-minute try, but Williams kept Bay in it with another penalty for a 22-20 deficit.

The Lions finally put some distance between the sides in the closing quarter as first Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel sniped over after a powerful scrum from the visitors and Lewsey broke through to send replacement centre D’Arcy between the posts for a satisfying finish.

Bay of Plenty: Adrian Cashmore; Filimone Bolavucu, Allan Bunting, Grant McQuoid, Anthony Tahana; Murray Williams, Kevin Senio; Simms Davison, Aleki Lutui, Ben Castle, Mark Sorenson, Bernie Upton, Wayne Ormond (Capt), Nili Latu, Colin Bourke.

Replacements used: Warren Smith for Bourke (45 mins), Apoua Stewart for Bolavucu (50), Paul Tupai for Sorenson, Taufa’ao Filise for Davison (both 63). Not used: John Pareanga, Charles Hubbard, Robert Moon.


(15) Josh Lewsey (Wasps/England)
(14) Mark Cueto (Sale Sharks/England)
(13) Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster/Ireland) (Capt)
(12) Gavin Henson (Ospreys/Wales)
(11) Tom Shanklin (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
(10) Ronan O’Gara (Munster/Ireland)
(9) Dwayne Peel (Llanelli Scarlets/Wales)
(1) Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
(2) Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow/Scotland)
(3) Matt Stevens (Bath/England)
(4) Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland)
(5) Ben Kay (Leicester Tigers/England)
(6) Richard Hill (Saracens/England)
(7) Martyn Williams (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
(8) Lawrence Dallaglio (Wasps/England)

Replacements used: Martin Corry (Leicester/England) for Dallaglio (21 mins), Steve Thompson (Northampton Saints/England) for Bulloch, Andrew Sheridan (Sale Sharks/England) for Stevens (both 65), Gordon D’Arcy (Leinster/Ireland) for Henson (69), Matt Dawson (Wasps/England) for Shanklin (77). Not used: Donncha O’Callaghan (Munster/Ireland), Charlie Hodgson (Sale Sharks/England).

HT: Bay of Plenty 17 Lions 17; Attendance: 35,000
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)

2005 Lions Tour Fixtures