Lions tour: Key moments that tipped the balance in Lions v Chiefs match

Jack Nowell of the Lions dives over to score the opening try.
DAVID ROGERS/GETTY IMAGES

Jack Nowell of the Lions dives over to score the opening try.

The Lions have scored their biggest win of the tour with a convincing four-try 34-6 romp over the Chiefs at FMG Stadium Waikato on Tuesday. These are some of the telling moments.

JOE MARLER SIN-BINNED

The Lions lost loosehead prop Joe Marler in just the 12th minute of play when he blatantly shoulder-charged Chiefs prop Nepo Laulala well inside the Lions' half. French referee Jerome Garces referred to the TMO before issuing Marler a yellow card.

Chiefs winger Toni Pulu attacks just moments before being stretchered off FMG Stadium Waikato.
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Chiefs winger Toni Pulu attacks just moments before being stretchered off FMG Stadium Waikato.

But rather than take the opportunity to kick for goal and possibly level up at 3-3, Donald instead kicked for the corner. The Lions once again defused the situation from the ensuing maul before earning a defensive penalty from the resulting scrum.

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TONI PULU STRETCHERED OFF

Despite missing several front-line players, the Chiefs were still able to boast an exciting backline full of attacking potential. But at the same time that Marler was being given his marching orders by monsieur Garces, Chiefs left winger Toni Pulu was also being stretchered off with a leg injury.

Pulu, rated one of the quickest players in New Zealand rugby, had almost accelerated through the Lions' defence just moments earlier in a potentially threatening attack. However he fell awkwardly in an attempted half tackle and stayed down before eventually leaving the field to rob the Chiefs of a key attacking weapon. 

NOWELL SCORES OPENING TRY

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Former Chief Jared Payne dives over for a Lions try.

The Lions' Iain Henderson is held up over the tryline.

Lions wing Jack Nowell dives over for his second try.

Chase Tiatia of the Chiefs charges forward.

Jared Payne of the Lions is congratulated on his try by Robbie Henshaw.

Chiefs captain Stephen Donald of the Chiefs looks on during the first half.

Lions wing Jack Nowell celebrates scoring a double.

Former Chief Jared Payne runs in the Lions' third try.

Siegfried Fisi'ihoi of the Chiefs skips out of a tackle and makes a break.

Robbie Henshaw of the Lions kicks the ball through.

Lions wing Jack Nowell dives over for his second try.

Former Chief Jared Payne is tackled.

Lions wing Jack Nowell is congratulated by team-mate Greig Laidlaw after scoring their team's opening try.

Greig Laidlaw of the Lions kicks downfield as Chiefs halfback Finlay Christie closes in.

Tim Nanai Williams of the Chiefs looks for a way around Robbie Hensha.

Dan Cole throws a pass for the Lions.

Lions wing Jack Nowell dives over to score the opening try.

The Lions' Joe Marler of the sits in the sin bin after receiving a yellow card for a late tackle.

Johnny Faauli of the Chiefs is tackled by the Lions' Elliot Daly.

Chiefs halfback Finlay Christie is hauled down by CJ Stander.

Chiefs second five-eighth Johnny Faauli runs hard at the Lions' defence.

Lions first five-eighth Dan Biggar tackles Tom Sanders of the Chiefs.

The Lions' Iain Henderson is held up over the tryline.

Lions captain Rory Best shouts instructions.

Chiefs first five-eighth Stephen Donald kicks a penalty goal.

Chiefs coach Dave Rennie walks along the sideline.

Lions coach Warren Gatland walks off the pitch ahead of the match.

Lions wing Jack Nowell is tackled by the Chiefs' Lachlan Boshier.

Chiefs captain Stephen Donald kicks the ball through.

Lions first five-eighth Dan Biggar throws a pass.

Liam Williams of the Lions is tackled by Chiefs captain Stephen Donald.

Courtney Lawes of the Lions and Dominic Bird of the Chiefs contest the ball in the lineout.

Chiefs wing Toni Pulu gets medical attention.

CJ Stander of the Lions is tackled.

The Lions huddle together before the match.

Chiefs halfback Finlay Christie is tackled by Iain Henderson of the Lions.

James Haskell of the Lions is tackled by the Chiefs' Chase Tiatia.

Robbie Henshaw of the Lions runs at Chiefs captain Stephen Donald.

Michael Allardice of the Chiefs drives the ball forward.

Liam Messam, centre, and his Chiefs team-mates perform the haka.

The Lions' Elliot Daly skips through the tackle of Finlay Christie.

Lions wing Jack Nowell checks on injured Chiefs wing Toni Pulu.

Robbie Henshaw of the Lions is stopped by the Chiefs defence.

Dan Cole of the Lions charges upfield.

James Haskell of the Lions is wrapped up by the Chiefs defence.

Fireworks before kick-off in Waikato.

The Lions face up to the Chiefs' haka.

Visiting Lions fans made the presence known.

Lions coach Warren Gatland looks on before kick-off.

A Chiefs fan gets ready for a big night.

Nervous Lions fans await the start of the game.

A view of the Lions' dressing room.

Lions fans arrive early for the Waikato clash.

Young Chiefs fans show their colours.

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The Lions earned themselves a handy wee buffer when right winger Jack Nowell acted like a loose forward to dive over a ruck on the Chiefs' line and score the game's opening try and help establish a 10-point lead at 13-3 in the 25th minute.

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Nowell had already featured in the build up after attacking strongly down the right flank. Several phases later, first five-eighth Dan Biggar made a crucial break inside the Chiefs' quarter but was brought down just short of the line. Nowell had been following closely in support and with the ball sitting at the back of the ruck, the English winger seized his chance.

LIONS AWARDED PENALTY TRY

Any hopes the Chiefs might have entertained of clawing their way back into the contest were effectively scuttled 14 minutes into the second half when referee Garces awarded the Lions a penalty try after ruling that Chiefs flanker Mitchell Brown had intentionally dragged down a Lions maul right on the Chiefs' line.

It was a critical double blow for the Chiefs as not only did the automatic seven points stretch the Lions' lead out to 20-6, the Chiefs also had Brown sin-binned for his indiscretion.

DOUBLE FOR NOWELL

Not only did Nowell race in for his second try of the night 18 minutes into the second half, but it was also easily the best of the Lions' tour to date after they'd sparked a counter-attack from deep inside their own half. 

The ball swept through about nine pairs of hands as the Lions' excellent support play eventually found Nowell inside in the Chiefs' quarter. A nifty step inside the Chiefs' last line of defence was enough to get Nowell across the line, with Biggar's conversion pushing the Lions out to an unreachable 27-6 lead. 

 - Stuff

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