Daly and Nowell put pressure on North
Warren Gatland admitted on Sunday that he is still undecided on his back three for the first Test against New Zealand, and on this performance you can understand why. Anthony Watson looks to have nailed down the right wing, with Leigh Halfpenny a certainty at full-back providing he recovers from the head injury he suffered in the win over the Maori All Blacks. That leaves one place, with three solid candidates.
George North would be the current incumbent of the Test short, having starred for the Lions in 2013 and played in the games against the Crusaders and the Maori – the two sides that have been closest to the Test side. However, Daly has thrown his hand up for selection and strengthened his case with a lovely break down the left wing that led to a second try for Nowell, who did his chances a world of good with a double against the Chiefs in the 34-6 victory.
British and Irish Lions player ratings vs Chiefs
Nowell failed to show his best in his first two appearances, but this showing was exactly what Gatland was so keen to talk up earlier in the tour. You now would not be surprised to see Nowell feature in the Test series at some point, and that combined with Daly’s form could spell bad news for North.
Lions getting better and better
It may be fairly obvious given they were a band of individuals that only came together five weeks ago, but the Lions are improving with every day that goes by. The first half performance here was not their best, but the way they came out firing in the second displayed a team that has developed relationships and understanding.
Given this looked to be something of a midweek side, that’s a huge positive for Gatland. The Test candidates looked to cotton on a week earlier than their teammates, but the head coach now appears to have a squad that is on the same wave length across the board. That could be a pivotal factor during the Test series, given it is…