Here’s how the New Zealand media reacted to the British & Irish Lions win against the Maori All Blacks…
Gregor Paul (New Zealand Herald)
In beating the Maori with considerable ease, the Lions took rugby back a few decades in Rotorua but themselves forward a number of significant steps.
They will feel ready for the All Blacks now having established all the keep parts of their game in are good order. They crushed the life out of the Maori. It was like watching someone sit on a balloon, the pressure built and built towards the inevitable pop.
There was no finesse or mystique about it – the Lions rolled up their sleeves in the style of an officious matron dealing with her ward and clinically went about their business.
Functional, direct, confrontational and focused. They were all of those things and while it was a victory for the Lions it maybe not so much a win for rugby.
Patrick McKendry (New Zealand Herald)
The British and Irish Lions have finally flexed their muscles on this tour. Their finishing ability remains very much in doubt and inferior to the All Blacks, but they have something else, or at least their top side does – the capacity to strangle the life out of good teams with their pack.
This was probably an above-par win over a New Zealand Maori team which was very good, at least on paper.
Aaron Goile (Stuff)
Game on, then. The British and Irish Lions have roared back to life.
Maybe next week at Eden Park there will be a contest, at least, after the tourists put on a dominant display in downing the New Zealand Maori 32-10 in Rotorua on Saturday night.
This ‘fourth test match’ was the time to really see if the Lions had something about them. A pumped up, quality-laden Maori side in a one-off fixture were to provide a stern challenge a week out from the big stuff, but in the end they could hardly fire a shot.
Phill Gifford (Stuff)
A world haka record in the afternoon, with nearly 8000 people in Rotorua chanting towards the Lions’ hotel.
Could their game with the New Zealand Maori team be anything but a tour highlight?
For a mad three or four minutes after kick-off it looked as the Lions were so inspired by the occasion they were determined to win with passing and back play. Then came the rest of the match.
The Lions played to their strengths, and after losing in Dunedin they needed the win.
n the process we were treated to every aspect of the Lions’ attacking game, all three of them. The long kick, the high kick, and the chase.
Does it matter how you play, a Lions’ fan might say, as long as you win?
After all the Lions aren’t the Harlem Globetrotters. Success on the tour will be measured in wins and losses, and, as the 1971 Lions showed, nobody remembers that in the tests they scored fewer tries than the All Blacks and that Barry John relentlessly steered his side to victory by kicking. Not by running.