Nowell scores brace as clinical Lions tame Chiefs


Daly had some good moments against the Chiefs.

Head coach Warren Gatland wanted to protect his 23-man squad for Saturday's first Test at Eden Park so called up six players - including Newport Gwent Dragons lock Cory Hill - for this morning's game with the Chiefs.

That said, there was a slight doubt with the back three.

That pointed to the 25-year-old Northampton wing being kept fresh for Saturday's Test opener in Auckland, along with England wing Anthony Watson and Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny.

Lions tour captain Sam Warburton has been struggling in his comeback from a knee injury and may concede the test captaincy to Ireland's Peter O'Mahony, while All Blacks captain Kieran Read will return after an nearly two-month layoff with a broken thumb.

A handful of players charged through it to make the selection chatter a little more hard before the head coach names his Test line-up tonight.

Justin Tipuric fed Daly who raced down the left, Payne and Robbie Henshaw took the move on in the Chiefs' 22, and a fine pass from Iain Henderson handed Nowell the chance to strike. "He is a player who is prolific in terms of getting his hands on the ball".

Playing the two together is another option that would satisfy those claiming that, after seven tries in five games, the Lions lack cutting edge.

"I was pleased to see him play well and I thought Elliot looked sharp and Liam". They are starting to look risky when they find their rhythm.

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"And then when we do get chances we've got to take them, they are very rare in these sorts of games, but when you get the opportunities you've got to take them".

"When we got some decent ball we showed what the backline can do", he said.

"It was a really strong performance against the Maori and we didn't want this group not winning and it was a commanding performance". Asked if the Wasps centre's early substitution indicated he had done enough to earn a Test start on Saturday, Gatland added: "Possibly".

"Possibly", said the Lions boss.

A number of players acquitted themselves well as the Lions scored four tries. Even in that sense, the back three against the Chiefs delivered.

Gatland said he was chuffed for Nowell, who struggled to assert himself in his two previous games, and with another suffocating defensive performance.

"They are experts in electronic surveillance, to ensure that we are not being looked at or listened to", Lions chief executive John Feehan told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"They were just too good". In my mind there is more to the Lions than just tackling - they know the style of game they can play and the type of player they need.

Peter O'Mahony's ability in the lineout, sheer physicality around the pitch and merciless work at the breakdown - in attack and defence - is a huge asset to Warren Gatland's side.