Lions’ first match: Social reaction

12:44 PM BST

On Saturday the British & Irish Lions kicked off their tour of New Zealand with a nervy victory over the NZ Provincial Barbarians.

It most certainly couldn’t be described as a flyer from Warren Gatland’s side, instead the tourists struggled to shake off the cobwebs and missed multiple scoring opportunities.


  • Full coverage of the Lions tour of New Zealand

    The British & Irish Lions face a gruelling 10-game tour of New Zealand, including a three-Test series against the All Blacks. ESPN will be there with full, up-to-date coverage every step of the way.

That said, individuals did stand out with Welsh international Taulupe Faletau looking at home in the No. 8 jersey and Owen Farrell coming off the bench to swing the match in the Lions’ favour.

We look at how social media reacted to a low-key start of the 2017 Lions tour, with the tourists’ next challenge coming on Wednesday against the Blues at Eden Park.

Faletau was a busy man going forwards and finished the game with 11 carries to his name, the majority of them busting through the gain-line.

The No. 8 also made a jaw-dropping try-saving tackle on Inga Finau when the Barbarians had the wind in the sails early on.

Faletau – rugby’s answer to the human highlight reel. Effective moments through the roof. #LionsTour2017

— Olly Barkley (@ollybarkley) June 3, 2017

The jersey just fits right for some players @taulupe #LionsNZ2017 #class

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