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Dublin: 15 °C Thursday 27 June, 2019
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45 minutes until kick-off in Dunedin as Warren Gatland’s men get set for the fourth game of this year’s tour at 8.35am.

We’ll have all the action as usual to get you through those early morning meetings/study or whatever it is you’re avoiding to catch up on the Lions instead.

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Here’s a reminder of the teams for this morning’s encounter, with the hosts boasting three All-Blacks in their starting XV:

Highlanders

15. Richard Buckman
14. Waisake Naholo
13. Malakai Fekitoa
12. Teihorangi Walden
11. Tevita Li
10. Lima Sopoaga
9. Kane Hammington

1. Dan Lienert-Brown
2. Liam Coltman
3. Siate Tokolahi
4. Alex Ainley
5. Jackson Hemopo
6. Gareth Evans
7. Dillon Hunt
8. Luke Whitelock (captain)

Replacements:

16. Greg Pleasants-Tate
17. Aki Seiuli
18. Siosuia Halanukonuka
19. Josh Dickson
20. Jimmy Lentjes
21. Josh Renton
22. Marty Banks
23. Patrick Osborne

Lions

15. Jared Payne
14. Jack Nowell
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Robbie Henshaw
11. Tommy Seymour
10. Dan Biggar
9. Rhys Webb

1. Joe Marler
2. Rory Best
3. Kyle Sinckler
4. Courtney Lawes
5. Iain Henderson
6. James Haskell
7. Sam Warburton (captain)
8. CJ Stander

Replacements:

16. Ken Owens
17. Jack McGrath
18. Dan Cole
19. Alun Wyn Jones
20. Justin Tipuric
21. Greig Laidlaw
22. Owen Farrell
23. Elliot Daly

Here’s the view from inside the press box and we’ll have some insights and updates from Murray Kinsella throughout this morning’s liveblog.

For the rest of it, you’re stuck with me, Steve O’Rourke but, as always, if you want to join the conversation, tweet us: @The42_ie, email steve@the42.ie or post your thoughts in the comments section below.

The glass structure that is Forsyth Barr Stadium has been called the House of Pane but Lions fans will be hoping it’s the House of Payne today [sorry].

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

 

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

After being ruled out of the rest of the tour by his accidental collision with his team-mate and room-mate Conor Murray, Stuart Hogg puts on a brave face in the stadium this morning:

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

If you’re wondering about the extent of Hogg’s injury, here’s what Warren Gatland told Sky Sports before the game:

“Hogg was involved in the two wins, it was just a freak accident.

“He’s absolutely gutted. We’re feeling for him.

“Hopefully, the recovery will be okay and he gets back playing.

We saw about four different specialists, one of them said he’d be alright and another said that it’s potentially serious and that he could lose his sight if he plays.

“We told him it was only a game of rugby and he understood that.

“If we get through tonight without any injury, we think we’ve got enough cover at full-back. We’ll make a decision after tonight’s game.”

Everyone at The42 wishes him a speedy recovery.

The teams are walking out to the strain of bagpipes as the Highlanders present a Scottish Claymore sword to Sam Warburton.

3Mins

Highlanders are making early inroads and seem a step ahead of the Lions in the early stages and Waisake Naholo is almost in for the opening try but he’s stopped just short. 3

Flag 4Mins

Penalty – Highlanders 3-0 The Lions - Lima Sopoaga

Penalty for the hosts straight in front of the posts and Lima Sopoaga makes no mistake for the opening points of the game.

11Mins

Lovely dummy by Rhys Webb creates the Lions’ first line break of the day but, after nearing the Highlanders’ 22, they give the ball away.

The visitors win the ball back however, and now have a scrum.

From an Irish perspective, Robbie Henshaw has been excellent so far.

Marty Banks is on for the Highlanders as Malakai Fekitoa goes off for a HIA.

13Mins

Poor ball-handling from James Haskell turns to ball over to the Highlanders just as it looked like the Lions might make their first visit inside the 22.

14Mins

We’re going to the TMO as Webb looks to go over the top of the ruck.

16Mins

Tommy Seymour’s effort comes up short on the TMO and Webb’s effort is also ruled as losing the ball forward.

Two chances, Lions don’t get either.

However, they do have a penalty for offside in front of the posts.

Flag 16Mins

Penalty – Highlanders 3-3 The Lions - Dan Bigger

Bigger makes no mistake and we have a level game.

19Mins

Lima Sopoaga has a chance to immediately restore the Highlanders’ lead but pulls his kick left and wide.

24Mins

CJ Stander is having a very quiet game so far but he’s after forcing an important turnover on the Lions’ five-metre line there.

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TRY! Highlanders 10-3 The Lions - Waisake Naholo

Some shenanigans from the Highlanders as Alex Ainley steps across Robbie Henshaw to allow Naholo score the first try of the game.

More bad news for as Courtney Lawes takes a blow to the head from Naholo as he goes over and second-row is still down.

30Mins

Lawes leaves the field to be replaced by Alun Wyn Jones.

The Highlanders make another break but a combination of Payne and Henshaw do brilliantly to cover, the Leinster man in particular putting on the after-burners after Webb was left for dead.

10 minutes to the break.

Flag 53Mins

TRY! Highlanders 10-10 The Lions - Jonathan Joseph

Brilliant try from the Lions as Joseph shows his speed after a beautiful CJ Stander offload.

Biggar makes no mistake with the extras from the left touchline.

35Mins

Unsurprisingly, Lawes won’t be back today and Wyn Jones stays on as a permanent replacement.

36Mins

Brilliant break from Kyle Sinckler as he takes on Dan Lienert-Brown but his pass is behind Jared Payne and the Ulster player knocks on.

37Mins

This has been a major storyline in the first half so far:

Flag 41Mins

Half-Time – Highlanders 10-10 The Lions

That was a really entertaining first 40 minutes. Henshaw and Sinckler probably the two standout performers so far for the visitors.

More of the same in the second-half please.

43Mins

Here’s the sword presentation we were talking about before kick-off.

Just a bit different from that haka:

Source: Photosport/Joe Allison/INPHO

Source: Photosport/Joe Allison/INPHO

Flag 53Mins

TRY! Lions 15-10 Highlanders - Tommy Seymour

Brilliant from the Scottish winger as he beats Fekitoa to the cross-field kick and sprints 40 metres to the try-line and the Lions take their first lead of the game.

Biggar misses the conversion.

47Mins

I’m not sure Webb is doing enough to get Conor Murray out of the Test jersey but the Welsh scrum-half is having a decent game so far.

But, just as I type that, he’s replaced by Greg Laidlaw.

Flag 50Mins

Penalty – The Lions 15-13 Highlanders - Lima Sopoaga

The hosts are back within two after Sinckler is penalised for a late hit.

Flag 54Mins

TRY! The Lions 22-13 Highlanders - Sam Warburton

The captain has done very little today but he did really well to finish off a sustained period of possession there to give the Lions a nine point lead with just under 30 minutes to play.

Great work but Joseph and Henderson in the build-up while Biggar, under the posts, adds the extras.

57Mins

Outstanding work at the ruck from Henderson as he clears out the ruck and the Lions clear their lines, sending the Highlanders back to half-way.

Flag 59Mins

TRY! The Lions 22-20 Highlanders - Liam Coltman

There are now just two points in the game as Highlanders go for five-metre lineout from penalty and Liam Coltman powers over from drive.

That was all a bit too easy for the hosts.

Marty Banks adds the extras.

64Mins

Owen Farrell replaces Biggar while Justin Tipuric comes on for the captain Warburton.

68Mins

Farrell’s first action is to miss a kickable penalty and we still have a two-point game, 12 minutes remaining.

73Mins

Highlanders make a massive statement at the scrum and win a penalty against the head on the 22 at the right touchline with just eight minutes to go.

Big, big moment for Marty Banks.

Flag 74Mins

Penalty – Highlanders 23-22 The Lions – Marty Banks

Cool, calm and collected from Banks as he slots over the kick with ease.

A big six minutes coming up from the tourists.

77Mins

Elliott Daly is attempting a penalty from three metres inside his own half to take the lead.

77Mins

It’s short!

78Mins

The Lions win a penalty for a deliberate knock on. They kick inside the 22.

We’re in added time.

80Mins

The Lions go 2-2 on the Tour after shipping the last ten points of the game.

They went ultra-aggressive from the lineout when patience may have served them better.

However, the seeds of that defeat were sown with two lost scrums and a very kickable penalty missed by Owen Farrell.

80Mins

From an Irish perspective, Henderson, Henshaw and Payne all did well but how many of this starting XV will be in the first Test XV?

It’s hard to tell.

80Mins

That’s it from us.

Thanks as always for joining us.

Stay tuned for Murray Kinsella‘s match report and all the rest of the reaction from this defeat.

About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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