Opinion

Lions 'tougher than World Cup' video

The Lions' now impressive game has grown with each fixture.

OPINION: New Zealanders need to wake up to just how tough this series will be.

Second stringers fail to impress

Warren Gatland watched on as his Lions played the Chiefs in Hamilton.

OPINION: Don't let the scoreline fool you. Many mid-week Lions aren't up to it.

Team of the Week: Lions lead

The Lions pack crushed New Zealand Maori and dominate Stuff's Team of the Week selections.

OPINION: Lions pack strong but lack of creativity will ultimately be their undoing, writes Paul Cully.

Lions need a ref-taming leader

Sam Warburton, left, may well need to lead the Lions at Eden Park.

OPINION: Sam Warbuton's not fully fit but the shocking way the Lions handled the ref means he has to start.

McLeod nails ABs audition

Scott McLeod showed the sort of nous that the All Blacks will be looking for in an assistant coach.

OPINION: Scott McLeod was flying under the radar until Tuesday, writes Paul Cully.

Reason: Big call looms over skipper

Sam Warburton charges towards Highlanders players Siate Tokolahi and Luke Whitelock at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

OPINION: Sam Warburton's test team place looks shaky, as Waisake Naholo makes big statement for Highlanders.

A ref with stars in his eyes

Referee Mathieu Raynal "went full Wayne Barnes" on Saturday, writes Phil Gifford.

OPINION: Sure, the Crusaders had a shocker, but Mathieu Raynal went full Wayne Barnes.

Reason: Lions call in airstrike gallery

Liam Williams goes for the chip as he's met by Richie Mo'unga.

OPINION: They can't score tries so they're playing a game that looks more like Aussie Rules than rugby.

If you can't hack it, don't haka it

The Blues haka wasn't a complete success, writes Mark Reason. The pause caught the crowd and some of the Lions out.

OPINION: As haka criticism draws torrent of self-righteous indignation, Mark Reason says it's time to chill out..

Umaga on top again video

Blues coach Tana Umaga with captain James Parsons after the team's win over the Lions at Eden Park.

OPINION: They looked like they might escape, but Tana Umaga got his night of redemption after 12 long years, writes Mark Reason.

Chaos as Lions KO'd gallery video

Rieko Ioane had a huge match for the Blues against the British and Irish Lions on Eden Park.

OPINION: British and Irish Lions wanted chaos, and now have it after falling at their first hurdle of note.

Win games, not hearts and minds

Warren Gatland and his Lions team will be remembered for their results on the field.

OPINION: Warren Gatland's Lions must focus on victory rather than imitating a royal visit.

Perenara could start for ABs

TJ Perenara has been in superb form for the Hurricanes and is putting pressure on Aaron Smith.

OPINION: The starting XV largely picks itself - except at halfback and hooker, writes Paul Cully.

Four Lions make ABs grade

Conor Murray makes our combined team ahead of Aaron Smith and TJ Perenara.

OPINION: Just four British and Irish Lions make our combined test team with the All Blacks.

Reason: A Tour Round My Father

Mark Reason goes in search of his father John.

OPINION: Mark Reason goes in search of his father John, who began his tours of NZ in the 60s and wrote two books chronicling them.

Reason: Bunch of selfish pros video

The Barbarians caught the Lions napping in Whangarei.

OPINION: Lions get their excuses out early - because really, is that all you've got?

All hail the gutsy Baabaas video

Jack Stratton and the NZ Provincial Barbarians played their hearts out on Saturday night in Whangarei.

OPINION: Akin to Munster's '78 win over the All Blacks, our Baabaas deserve more plaudits.

Ioane to make the cut

Rieko Ioane has put in some big performances for the Blues in 2017.

In a tough backs selection mix, 20-year-old appeals as All Black supersub.

Reason: Where are the Lions?

Ben Te'o was one of the few Lions to emerge from Whangarei with credit.

OPINION: The Lions fans are still arriving. They'd be grateful if the players showed up too, writes Mark Reason.

Hinton: Lions in opening misfire

Anthony Watson scored the Lions' opening try on the tour of New Zealand.

OPINION: Warren Gatland's tourists came up short in many areas en route to their tour-opening victory over the Baabaas, writes Marc Hinton.

Gifford: Lions embarrassed

The Lions' Ben Te'o charges upfield against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei.

OPINION: The Lions were clueless and toothless in bumbling past NZ Barbarians.

Highlanders overcome it all

Highlanders coach Tony Brown leaves for Japan on Sunday.

OPINION: A brutal start, a mountain of injuries and a one-and-done coach. None of it's stopped the Highlanders.

Hot topics: Lions tour special

Warren Gatland surveys things at training in Auckland ahead of Saturday's tour opener up the road in Whangarei.

OPINION: Rugby writer Marc Hinton looks at the big talking points as Warren Gatland and his men hit New Zealand.

Lions selection a shambles video

Has Warren Gatland missed a trick with his first team naming?

OPINION: Owen Farrell and Jonny Sexton need to plead to start together, because the Lions' first move could be a fatal mistake.

Whitelock should miss Lions game

Sam Whitelock is too important to the All Blacks to be risked in the Crusaders' game against the Lions.

OPINION: The All Blacks lock is too important to be risked in Crusaders-Lions tie, writes Paul Cully.

Only the strongest need apply video

Barry John of the British Lions goes on the attack during a test match against the All Blacks in 1971.

OPINION: Everything is stacked against the Lions tourists - as it always has been - and that's the magic of it all.

Does the logo say 'All Blacks'?

The logo on the new All Blacks' jersey for the British and Irish Lions tour.

OPINION: Design expert Simon Wedde gives his view on the logo the All Blacks have released for the Lions tour.

Mission Impossible for Lions

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland knows what's coming. But can he do anything about it?

Warren Gatland's side have everything - and everybody - stacked against them. You could almost feel sorry for them.

Reason: Age of rugby anarchy

Referee Angus Gardner will be in charge of the first match of the Lions tour in Whangarei.

OPINION: Prepare for a Lions tour of loudmouthing, pantomime and downright cheating, Mark Reason says.

Lions can't win without Billy

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18:  Billy Vunipola of England celebrates a penalty during the International Test match ...

OPINION: The Lions have been fatally wounded before they even arrive, writes Mark Reason.

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