Hogg to miss remainder of Lions tour

Waisake Naholo
     

   
 
  
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The British and Irish Lions suffered the second loss of their New Zealand tour as they went down 23-22 to the Highlanders in Dunedin on Tuesday.

The Highlanders blasted the Lions off the ball, and Marty Banks slotted the 74th-minute penalty that wrestled the one-point lead - and eventually the result.

Center Jonathan Joseph and winger Tommy Seymour scored earlier tries as the Lions were goaded by the Highlanders into producing some of their best attacking form on tour.

After a penalty apiece, All Black Waisake Naholo scored the first try after Malakai Fekitoa broke the Lions' defensive line and flanker Gareth Evans off-loaded as he was being crashed to the ground.

The 24 year-old underwent tests following the match and the Lions confirmed on Wednesday (AEST) that he will play no further part in the tour.

Lima Sopoaga's penalty put the hosts ahead 3-0, before Rhys Webb knocked on stretching for a try. And the Highlanders got away with one of their own in the first half for Waiseke Naholo's score. The Lions fumbled and missed tackles throughout the first half and at times were shambolic.

Biggar converted and they went into the break all square at 10-10.

Seymour opened the second half with a perfectly timed high-ball take that allowed him to race home for the Lions' second try.

A penalty advantage for offside was being played at the time however so Biggar had at least the opportunity to level the score from the tee which he did.

The Highlanders responded with a penalty to reduce the deficit to 15-13 before the Lions crossed for their third try of the game, with captain Sam Warburton blasting over from a ruck, with Biggar slotting over the conversion to make it 22-13 to the Lions.

However, the Highlanders hit back with a try through hooker Liam Coltman from a driving lineout, which was followed by Banks' victor with five minutes remaining after a brilliant scrum won them the penalty. Replacements: Alun Wyn Jones (for Lawes, 27) 6, Greig Laidlaw (for Webb, 48) 5, Dan Cole (for Sinckler, 50) 4, Ken Owens (for Best, 50) 5, Jack McGrath (for Marler, 55) 5, Elliot Daly (for Payne, 63) 5, Owen Farrell (for Biggar, 68) 5, Justin Tipuric (for Warburton, 68) 5.

Warburton, returning from an ankle injury which has restricted him to only 60 minutes playing time on tour, had a strong game and saw positives in a performance in which the Lions outscored the Highlanders three tries to two.

Head coach Gatland insisted the Lions had the scrum under control heading into the Dunedin contest, only for the Highlanders to bulldoze a late set-piece and sink the tourists. They built on that momentum, producing a superb scrum in the 74th minute to blast the Lions off the ball and win the penalty.

The same couldn't be said of Banks who rewarded his pack for a monster penalty scrum by putting his side in front again.

"You have to give the Highlanders credit because they forced the pressure to give away penalties, but we have to keep penalties to single fingers". They failed to nail the big moments.

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