Whitelock wants Read to 'lead from the front' against Lions

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The players will be well aware that the tour is about to get serious.

"We score multiple tries week-in, week-out and we're strangling them a little bit in the way that we're defending too".

The Lions' trip up State Highway 1 would have been a good one last night after their win over the Chiefs.

Graham Rowntree says the British and Irish Lions are "ready to go" as preparations intensify for Saturday's first Test against New Zealand at Eden Park.

That said, there was a slight doubt with the back three.

Anthony Watson, George North and Leigh Halfpenny are thought to be in line to start for the Lions on Saturday, but Gatland said selection had not yet been resolved.

The Exeter wing seized on a doglegged Chiefs defensive line, to scythe home and seal the Lions' win.

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Foster wasn't concerned with claims by Lions coach Warren Gatland that New Zealand teams were guilty of blocking.

"For someone like Jack Nowell, it just hadn't happened for him in the first couple of games", Gatland said.

Joe Marler's needless tackle on Nepo Laulala who didn't have the ball saw the prop rightly see yellow, while the Chiefs also lost wing Toni Pulu to injury after he was tap tackled by Lawes.

"It was a combination that looked pretty risky and pretty potent".

Ulster hooker Rory Best captained the Lions as they finally started to show some attacking flair as they recorded their biggest win of the tour so far. "It hasn't come a lot for the wingers - it's been wet and drizzly - but the main thing is we are pushing each other, helping each other".

The lineout proved the Chiefs' undoing once more when a knock on gifted their opponents a scrum, after which they advanced on the right before working the ball through Williams and Biggar.

Chiefs captain Donald pulled back three points with a kick of his own as the hosts tried to fight their way back to level terms, but they struggled to get going in the face of the Lions' tenacious defending. "Test selection would be unbelievable. If I got anywhere near it, it would be unbelievable". Daly has a chance of gatecrashing the matchday squad as he was replaced after 60 minutes.

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Foster said playing the Lions was part of the All Blacks' legacy.

Daly's pace and footwork are attractive for the Lions, but Williams also showed his skills in that department on Tuesday from fullback and Nowell's ludicrous work rate is married to superb attacking qualities.

The time for words, and predictions, is almost over, as the Lions prepare to test themselves against the All Blacks, and it is their top team's pack - dominant against the Crusaders and NZ Maori - which will receive perhaps the biggest examination. We're up against it, but we're getting better each week.

"I think we're in pretty good shape".

And even if there aren't any promotions to the test team, the mid-weekers can at least feel they have restored some pride and confidence and done much to improve the general perception of their abilities.

"Some guys can have outstanding careers and yet never get to play against them", he said. "He's our leader. We have other people who could do a job but to have Reado back would be a real boost for us".

"Sometimes in the last few games it just doesn't come your way, but we've worked well on it this week and that's the key element - keep penalties down and build phases".

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