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D’Arcy Try Seals Lions Victory

4th June 2005 By Munster Rugby

D’Arcy Try Seals Lions Victory

A try from replacement Gordon D’Arcy just minutes from the end, helped the Lions to a 34-20 victory over Bay of Plenty Steamers in Rotorua today.

A try from replacement Gordon D’Arcy just minutes from the end, helped the Lions to a 34-20 victory over Bay of Plenty Steamers in Rotorua today.

It was a victory the Lions deserved but the home side were still in contention, if looking somewhat exhausted, as the game drifted to a close.

After Dwayne Peel scored what looked to be the clinching try, the Lions led 27-20 with the conversion to follow. However, Ronan O’Gara pushed his effort wide to leave just one score separating the sides.

The Steamers had one last opportunity to gain a foothold in Lions territority but Grant McQuoid’s, clearance from his own 22 went over the dead ball line and the advantage swung back the Lions way.

In the end a delightful O’Gara pass to Josh Lewsey had the full-back slaloming through the Steamers defence and D’Arcy only had to hold the off-load to score close to the sticks.

The Lions led 17 nil after just 12 mintes thanks to tries from Lewsey (2) and Mark Cueto.

However, Bay of Plenty, who had looked fairly ordinary up to then came right back with seventeen points of their own before the break.

Again a deft O’Gara pass, sent Tom Shanklin in for a 50th minute try and with the Munster 10 pinning the home side back with – what Sky ‘s Stuart Barnes called Munster-type tactics – delightful metre gaining touch finds, the Lions were able to keep the home side on the back foot for long periods of the second half.

In the end the pace of the game took it’s toll on the host team and the Lions were able to pick them off in the closing stages.

The one down side to this opening game was the injury to Lawrence Dallaglio who was removed to hospital after sustaining a leg injury in the opening half.

Lions: J Lewsey; M Cueto, B O’Driscoll capt, G Henson (G D’Arcy), T Shanklin (M Dawson); R O’Gara, D Peel; G Jenkins, G Bulloch (S Thompson), M Stevens (A Sheridan); P O’Connell, B Kay; R Hill, M Williams, L Dallaglio (M Corry).

Bay Of Plenty: A Cashmore; F Bolavucu, A Bunting, G McQuoid, A Tahana; M Williams, K Senio; S Davison, A Lutui, B Castle, M Sorenson, B Upton, W Ormond (capt), N Latu, C Bourke. Replacements: J Pareanga, T Filise, P Tupai, W Smith, C Hubbard, R Moon, A Stewart.

Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand).

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