Two Jack Nowell tries helped the Lions to a comprehensive 34-6 victory over a depleted Chiefs side in Hamilton on Tuesday.
The win – the Lions’ first midweek success after losing out to the Blues and the Highlanders earlier in the tour – came against a Chiefs side missing several All Blacks, but it will be no less sweeter for Warren Gatland’s troops who now turn their attention to the first Test against the All Blacks at Eden Park on Saturday.
The Lions took a 6-0 lead within 10 minutes thanks to a pair of Dan Biggar penalties, before a Joe Marler yellow card for a late hit threatened to derail their momentum.
However, the 10-minute period was well negotiated by the Lions, with a lone Stephen Donald penalty all the Chiefs had to show for the extra-man advantage.
Nowell then crossed for his first try in the 25th minute, wriggling through an empty ruck to crash over and hand his side a 10-point lead.
Donald responded with a shot at goal in what was the final act of the half to make it 13-6 to the Lions at the break.
As they did against the Maori All Blacks, the Lions forwards stamped their dominance on the game early in the second half, milking a penalty-try after the Chiefs forwards collapsed a series of driving mauls from close range – losing Mitchell Brown to the bin in the process.
Nowell then added his second – the pick of the tries on the day – before Ireland’s Jared Payne crossed to bring down the curtain on the Lions’ most dominant performance of the tour.
Man of the match