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O’Mahony ‘honoured’ to captain Lions in victory over Maori All Blacks

Munster’s Peter O’Mahony revealed it was a huge honour to lead the Lions to victory against the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua.

O’Mahony was one of six Guinness PRO12 players to start the final match before Warren Gatland’s side take on New Zealand in the first Test at Eden Park next Saturday.

“It’s a huge day for me personally and an incredible honour to captain the Lions against a good side like the Maori and to come out with a huge win, I’m proud of the boys,” O’Mahony said.

Leigh Halfpenny was deadly with the boot, scoring six penalties and a conversion as the Lions warmed up nicely against the All Blacks.

Maro Itoje went over for the Lions and a penalty try helped give them a confidence boosting lead.

Elsewhere Guinness PRO12 players impressed in Rotorua as the Lions won 32-10.

Leinster’s Jonathan Sexton barely put a foot wrong as he threatened to gain-line and put runners into holes at every opportunity.

Sexton then combined with Scarlets centre Jonathan Davies who produced an incredible burst through the Maori defence, evading a number of players before being tackled just before the try-line.

The Maori, for whom future Leinster player, James Lowe was starting at full-back, did hit back in the first half with a try of their own after they took advantage of a defensive error to cross in the corner through Liam Messam.

But the Lions pack, which included Leinster’s Sean O’Brien and Tadhg Furlong were able to control the scrum and help Gatland’s side dominate the game in the second half.

Munster’s scrum half Connor Murray was inch-perfect with his box-kicking which helped suffocate the opposition and didn’t allow the Maori out of their half in the second 40.

Leinster’s Jack McGrath, Scarlets’ Ken Owens, Ulster’s Iain Henderson and Cardiff Blues’ Sam Warburton came on for the visitors as Gatland was left delighted with his side’s display.

“It was pretty good,” said Gatland.

“If you look at territory and possession we dominated. We played some good rugby and managed the game pretty well, we squeezed the life out of them.

“We were really pleased with that performance. We are benefiting from the quality of sides we are playing and hopefully that sets us up for the first Test next week. It looks like it should be a cracking series.”