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Daly impresses against Chiefs to put himself in contention for Lions Test squad

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Exeter wing Jack Nowell scored two tries during the 34-6 victory in Hamilton.

Jack Nowell

The British and Irish Lions registered a first midweek victory of their New Zealand tour by routing the Chiefs 34-6 at Waikato Stadium.

Warren Gatland’s tourists dominated from start to finish with wing Jack Nowell crossing twice, Jared Payne touching down and referee Jerome Garces awarding a penalty try.

The Lions have now won four of their six games and the victory continues the momentum that has been generated heading into Saturday’s first Test against the All Blacks in Auckland.

Tweet of the match

Hero of the match

Jack Nowell
Lions winger Jack Nowell makes a break during the win against the Chiefs (Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP)

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Nowell played himself back into Test match contention in a glorious return to form at Waikato Stadium. The nuggety Exeter wing arrived in New Zealand with the All Blacks in his sights only for his claim to suffer through a dismal outing against the Blues in the second fixture. Two well-taken tries against the Chiefs, however, have given him every chance of participating in the Test series at some point.

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Elliot Daly
Elliot Daly’s performance against the Chiefs has given him a great chance of facing the All Blacks in Saturday’s first Test (David Davies/PA)

There was more pleasing news for the Lions in the previously misfiring back three department after Liam Williams and Elliot Daly produced eye-catching performances. George North, Anthony Watson and Leigh Halfpenny are likely to start the Eden Park opener against the All Blacks but should any of them be dropped or suffer injury, then Williams, Daly and Nowell have proved they are now ready to step in.

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Canny Gatland

Warren Gatland
Warren Gatland has claimed that New Zealand deliberately block opponents off the ball (David Davies/PA)

Warren Gatland’s claim that New Zealand deliberately block opponents off the ball was intended to level the playing field for Saturday’s first Test, but it has already had a positive impact. On two occasions the Chiefs were guilty of illegal obstruction and both incidents were punished by a penalty from Garces.

Villain of the match

Joe Marler
Joe Marler is sin-binned during the Chiefs clash (David Davies/PA)

Against a weakened Chiefs side missing their All Blacks it ultimately made little difference, but Joe Marler’s 13th-minute off the ball shoulder charge on Nepo Laulala that resulted in a yellow card was a moment of indiscipline that could cost the Lions dear if it occurred in the Test series.

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Liam Williams
Liam Williams put in a big performance against the Chiefs (David Davies/PA)

Who’s up next?

New Zealand v British and Irish Lions, first Test (Saturday, June 24, in Auckland).

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