Lions tour: Hurricanes draw with British and Irish Lions in thriller

  • 27/06/2017

A powerhouse finish from the Hurricanes wasn't enough to snatch victory from the British and Irish Lions, forcing a 31-31 draw in the tour's final midweek match in Wellington.

A scrappy game burst to life in the second spell as the Super Rugby defending champions fought back from a 16-point halftime deficit, dominating the closing stages when they had a one-man advantage.

A yellow card shown to Irish lock Iain Henderson in the 65th minute was capitalised on as the hosts ran in tries to reserve back Wes Goosen and flanker Vaea Fifita to level the scores.

Iain Henderson is given a yellow card.
Iain Henderson is given a yellow card. Photo credit: Getty Images

Some late Hurricanes raids didn't bear fruit and Lions first five-eighth Dan Biggar's last-gasp long dropped goal attempt fell short, leaving the scores deadlocked.

The Lions managed one win from their four midweek matches and will finish the tour with two wins, two losses and a draw against the five Kiwi Super Rugby sides.

Coach Warren Gatland demanded physicality from forwards who wanted to force a place in his team for the second Test against the All Blacks at the same Westpac Stadium venue on Saturday.

He got it from some, most notably locks Courtney Lawes and Henderson, prop Dane Cole and No.8 CJ Stander, who gave themselves a shot at ousting players from the team beaten 30-15 in the first Test.

Scotland winger Tommy Seymour scored two tries against the Hurricanes.
Scotland winger Tommy Seymour scored two tries against the Hurricanes. Photo credit: Getty Images

Henderson was arguably the pick of them but blotted his copybook with his sin-binning for a tip tackle on Hurricanes fullback Jordie Barrett.

One-Test All Black Barrett put Goosen across with a long pass and converted that, along with the try to a rampaging Fifita shortly afterwards.

The hosts scored four tries to three but 16 points to Biggar levelled out the scoreboard.

The Hurricanes were close to full strength but for long periods missed the spark of their All Blacks halves Beauden Barrett and TJ Perenara.

Impatience and the concession of seven of the first eight penalties dished out by French referee Roman Poite left the hosts bereft of early opportunities.

Ngani Laumape showed why he is in the All Blacks squad.
Ngani Laumape showed why he is in the All Blacks squad. Photo credit: Getty Images

Biggar landed three penalties and converted tries to wingers Tommy Seymour and George North to push his team 23-7 clear at halftime.

Seymour backed up a long range intercept by halfback Greig Laidlaw while North's try came when opposite Nehe Milner-Skudder failed to catch a bomb and the ball spilled to Henderson, who delivered a slick pass.

The Hurricanes' lone first-half try went to burrowing flanker Callum Gibbins to trail 23-7 at the break before bursting into life just after it.

Dan Biggar had a chance to win the game for the Lions.
Dan Biggar had a chance to win the game for the Lions. Photo credit: Getty Images

A searing break from Julian Savea put bullocking Ngani Laumape across before a third All Blacks squad member, Barrett, converted it and landed a penalty to reduce the margin to six points.

Momentum was halted when Hurricanes halfback Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi was shown a yellow card for his team's persistent offending.

Biggar slotted a penalty and the extra space was exploited soon afterwards when Seymour crossed in the corner for his second try to push the Lions 31-17 clear.

NZN

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