British and Irish Lions vs Crusaders as it happened: Owen Farrell inspires Lions to impressive defensive win

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Follow the latest as it happened from AMI Stadium in Christchurch

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The Independent Online

The British and Irish Lions face the Super Rugby leaders the Canterbury Crusaders in the third match of their tour of New Zealand, with Warren Gatland’s squad looking to get back to winning ways after losing to the Blues last time out. Follow the latest here.

  • Crusaders vs the British and Irish Lions kicks off at 19:35 local time [08:35 BST]
  • Sam Warburton ruled out with ankle injury
  • Alun Wyn Jones captain the Lions in Warburton’s absence
  • Conor Murray and Owen Farrell both make first starts
  • Sean O’Brien, Jonathan Davies and George North make first appearances

Follow the live action below...

Live Updates

Good morning in the UK, good evening in New Zealand, and welcome to The Independent's live coverage of the third match of the British and Irish Lions tour as they take on the Crusaders at AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
Little over 15 minutes until kick off and the Lions face what has been dubbed the "fourth Test" such is the difficulty of opposition they face today. The Crusaders are the most successful side in Super Rugby and although they have gone eight seasons without the title, they are currently top of Super Rugby with 14 wins from 14...
Here's a reminder of the teams for today, with the first Test exactly 14 days away...
 
Crusaders: Israel Dagg; Seta Tamanivalu; Jack Goodhue, David Havili, George Bridge; Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks; Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock; Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Matt Todd; Jordan Taufua.
Replacements: Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Michael Alaalatoa, Quinten Strange, Jed Brown, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Tim Bateman.
 
British and Irish Lions: Stuart Hogg; George North, Jonathan Davies, Ben Te’o, Liam Williams; Owen Farrell, Conor Murray; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong; Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis; Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, Taulupe Faletau
Replacements: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath. Dan Cole, Maro Itoje, CJ Stander, Rhys Webb, Jonathan Sexton, Anthony Watson.
From our man on the ground: 
 
Warren Gatland said after the defeat to the Blues that he didn't think the All Blacks would be that much better. He could be about to discover how wrong he is here...
This is probably the strongest Lions side Gatland has named so far. A lot of Test team contenders taking the field here today and a very strong bench. Alun Wyn Jones leads out the sides at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch.
They are facing FOUR World Cup winners today, including Sam Whitelock, who leads out the Crusaders. Now, it's Haka time.
Owen Farrell, in his first start of the tour, gets the game underway and we're off! 
1 mins: So close from the Lions immediately! Jonathan Davies finds a gap and piles through it. George North is on his shoulder and he tries to find his countryman but it is intercepted. Positive start.
2 mins: The Lions seem to be taking one extra pass before going into contact but Jordan Taufua turns the ball over brilliantly to stem the attack and win the penalty.
5 mins: The Lions defence is holding strong too. There was a first up and under of the game there too with Liam Williams chasing. After his nightmare of taking players out in the air in the game against the Blues where he got a yellow card, he cleverly decides to wait for the tackle this time. 
7 mins: Quick thinking between the two Lions half-backs and a slip from Israel Dagg sees the Crusaders under pressure but he isn't the only one struggling on the wet surface as a number of errors culminates with a Crusaders scrum.
9 mins: More good defence from the Lions there. Mo'unga kicks to the wing for Bridge to catch but North and Hogg throw him into touch with ease. 
12 mins: And that's followed by a great steal at the lineout from O'Mahony. The Lions get the first chance at three points here after a high tackle from Todd. Farrell steps up, middle of the posts... and nails it. Lions lead 3-0.
14 mins: A mistake from Mo'unga sees Lions with a scrum in a positive position. The half-back combo of Murray and Farrell has looked sublime so far - this could well be the Test pairing too. The Lions win the scrum and get another penalty... and again Farrell slots in between the posts, 6-0. 
17 mins: As O'Brien steals another turnover for the Lions, this has been a brilliant start in Christchurch. This has been the best the Lions have played so far but they need to learn how to hold the lead and now squander it like they did on Wednesday.
19 mins: The Lions again look dangerous and Hogg shows some real pace and nearly gets away but a scrappy pass from Murray sees the move break down. Hogg is now down with a hefty head injury, He is chasing his own kick and Murray catches his own man with an elbow as he attempts to move out of the way. That could be the end of his evening. He looks awfully groggy and Anthony Watson is on.
20 mins: Interestingly, Watson has gone to full-back, leaving Liam Williams on the left wing. Williams is obviously being considered for a Test start in that position then it seems. A big hint into Gatland's plans there.
24 mins: Real danger there for the Lions. They survive but Todd and Hall combined well there to slice through the defence. Watson and North do well to hold them up but they have done so illegally and Mo'unga gets a shot at goal here... and takes it! 6-3. 
25 mins: So close from the Lions! Romano is guilty of mishandling the wet ball from kick off and Liam Williams is on it like a flash. The ball is worked across the Crusaders' 10 metre line and Davies comes steaming in but just can't collect it. Positive rugby from the Lions.

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What TV channel is it on?

The match will be shown live on Sky Sports 1 from 08:00 BST.

Teams

Crusaders: Israel Dagg; Seta Tamanivalu; Jack Goodhue, David Havili, George Bridge; Richie Mo’unga, Bryn Hall; Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks; Luke Romano, Sam Whitelock; Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Matt Todd; Jordan Taufua.

Replacements: Ben Funnell, Wyatt Crockett, Michael Alaalatoa, Quinten Strange, Jed Brown, Mitchell Drummond, Mitchell Hunt, Tim Bateman.

British and Irish Lions: Stuart Hogg; George North, Jonathan Davies, Ben Te’o, Liam Williams; Owen Farrell, Conor Murray; Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Tadhg Furlong; Alun Wyn Jones, George Kruis; Peter O’Mahony, Sean O’Brien, Taulupe Faletau

Replacements: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath. Dan Cole, Maro Itoje, CJ Stander, Rhys Webb, Jonathan Sexton, Anthony Watson.

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