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Lions play Highlanders looking to sustain momentum for first Test

• Lions have to counter Highlanders’ fast-tempo style to prepare for All Blacks
• Andy Farrell: ‘We’ve got to be ready for them to hit us at speed’

The British & Irish Lions tour is approaching the rugby equivalent of Amen Corner. Negotiate the trip’s all-important middle fortnight successfully and anything becomes possible down the closing stretch. Get it wrong and, as with professional golfers who drop shots at Augusta’s pivotal holes, it can be hard to restore sufficient equilibrium.

Hence the reason the penultimate midweek game against the Highlanderson Tuesday, before the first Test on Saturday week, carries more significance than might seem obvious at first glance. The Lions badly want to maintain the momentum generated by their victory against the Crusaders and numerous examples exist of spirited ‘dirt-trackers’ playing key roles in successful tours.

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