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Byrne And Easterby Show Form For Lions

Byrne And Easterby Show Form For Lions

The British and Irish Lions made it three tour wins out of four on Wednesday as tries from Gethin Jenkins and Gareth Thomas helped them past Wellington – 23-6.

The British and Irish Lions made it three tour wins out of four on Wednesday as tries from Gethin Jenkins and Gareth Thomas helped them past Wellington – 23-6.

Lions Tour 2005: Wednesday, June 15
Wellington 6 Lions 23, Westpac Stadium
Scorers: Wellington: Pens: Jimmy Gopperth 2
Lions: Tries: Gethin Jenkins, Gareth Thomas; Cons: Jonny Wilkinson 2; Pens: Wilkinson 3

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Ireland forwards Byrne and Easterby played the full 80-plus minutes, and impressed in the Lions pack as Ireland and Lions captain Brian O’Driscoll, shackled well by the home defence, took a more vocal role as tour leader.

Byrne, while prominent in the loose, guaranteed the Lions a constant supply of line-out ball as the Leinster hooker displayed some impressive throwing – both short and long.

Easterby, making his debut in the famous red shirt, covered his basics well, offered another line-out option and showed tigerish defence when it was needed. The Llanelli captain matched if not bettered the performance of his flanker colleague Neil Back, who evidently helped the tourists’ impact at the breakdown.

Sir Clive Woodward’s side led 13-6 at the break after Jonny Wilkinson has swapped two penalties apiece with Wellington’s Jimmy Gopperth. Welsh prop Jenkins scooted over for the only try of the half on 36 minutes after good approach work from Dwayne Peel and Martin Corry.

The Lions fended off a Ma’a Nonu attack that went closing to earning the hosts a try early in the second half. Wilkinson converted his third penalty on 44 minutes and added the extras to Welsh captain Gareth Thomas’ late try to ensure a return to winning ways.

Toulouse winger Thomas secured turnover possession in the 77th-minute and booted over the Wellington defence before gathering his own kick to score.

Wellington: Shannon Paku; Lome Fa’atau, Ma’a Nonu, Tane Tu’ipulotu, Roy Kinikinilau; Jimmy Gopperth, Piri Weepu; Joe McDonnell (Capt), Mahonri Schwalger, Tim Fairbrother, Luke Andrews, Ross Filipo, Kristian Ormsby, Ben Herring, Thomas Waldrom.

Replacements used: Kane Thompson for Herring (41 mins), Luke Mahoney for M Schwalger (59), Justin Purdie for Filipo (71), Cory Jane for Kinikinilau (76), Tamati Ellison for Fairbrother (79); Not used: Riki Flutey.


(15) Josh Lewsey (London Wasps/England)
(14) Jason Robinson (Sale Sharks/England)
(13) Brian O’Driscoll (Leinster/Ireland) (Captain)
(12) Gavin Henson (The Ospreys/Wales)
(11) Gareth Thomas (Toulouse/Wales)
(10) Jonny Wilkinson (Newcastle Falcons/England)
(9) Dwyane Peel (Llanelli Scarlets/Wales)
(1) Gethin Jenkins (Cardiff Blues/Wales)
(2) Shane Byrne (Leinster/Ireland)
(3) Julian White (Leicester Tigers/England)
(4) Danny Grewcock (Bath/England)
(5) Ben Kay (Leicester Tigers/England)

(6) Simon Easterby (Llanelli Scarlets/Ireland)

(7) Neil Back (Leicester Tigers)
(8) Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers/England) (Vice-Captain)

Replacements used: Stephen Jones (Clermont Auvergne/Wales) for Henson (63 mins), Shane Horgan (Leinster/Ireland) for Lewsey (67), Chris Cusiter (The Borders/Scotland) for Peel, Matt Stevens (Bath/England) for White (both 73); Not used: Gordon Bulloch (Glasgow/Scotland), Matt Stevens (Bath/England), Paul O’Connell (Munster/Ireland), Richard Hill (Saracens/England).

HT: Wellington 6 Lions 13; Attendance: 39,000
Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand)