Rugby Union

Referee performs 'bizarre' slide to rule tackle as British & Irish Lions beat NZ Barbarians

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Football News

The British and Irish Lions began their tour of New Zealand with a laboured victory of 7-13 against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians in Whangarei.

A turnout of around 20,000 at Toll Stadium witnessed the engaging contest, which was thought to be an easy game for the Lions prior to the start.

New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, built with a team of fringe players from Super Rugby, provided a brilliant performance to challenge the visitors in the opener.

Midway through the game, the scoreline read 7-3 in favour of the Barbarians while the Lions had to recoup themselves at half-time in order to come from behind to secure the win at full-time.

The try from Sam Anderson-Heather, which was converted by Bryn Gatland, the son of Lions' coach Warren, gave the hosts the lead.

Scrum-half Greig Laidlow successfully added to the first-half penalty of Johnny Sexton, while fullback Anthony Watson helped to restore the lead for the visitors on 53rd minute.

Lions were able to outlast the late surge of the hosts and ultimately hang on to the lead to ensure the win, amidst experts voicing their concerns to the errors during their performance.

They believe the Lions must improve massively in the days ahead or else the upcoming fixtures would prove to be a tricky task against tougher oppositions.

However, it was the referee who also held the limelight during the game as he produced a peculiar slide to get the perfect view of a tackle on a Barbarian player, which has taken the social media by storm.

The cameraman did a brilliant job of capturing the moment as the clip was later posted on Twitter and has gone viral since.

Several reactions to the video suggest it was the most entertaining bit of action during the first-half of play.

You can see the video and the reactions below.

In a scrappy win, there were more negatives than positives for the Lions, and working on the training ground is the only way to improve and put up a commendable performance in the remaining nine matches.

Head coach Warren Gatland has a number of issues to address before the match against the Blues on Wednesday, while they are scheduled to face all five Super Rugby teams as well as the Maori and the All Blacks in their five-week tour program.

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