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Lions scrum building nicely: Vunipola

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 6 days ago Angelo Risso

The scrum, whether in northern hemisphere rugby or southern hemisphere rugby, is a pretty simple thing.

Push harder, and you'll win.

British and Irish Lions loosehead Mako Vunipola has rubbished the oft-expressed view that sides from the two hemispheres scrummage differently, saying only their respective refereeing interpretations occasionally vary.

Vunipola and Irish tighthead Tadhg Furlong put on a propping show against the Maori All Blacks on Saturday, as their side triumphed 32-10.

The burly pair, assisted by those behind them, won a perfect 12 scrums from 12, as well as plenty of penalties for goalkicker Leigh Halfpenny to slot over.

Along with a penalty try and a Maro Itoje effort, Halfpenny's six penalty goals - four in the first half alone - were enough to guide the Lions to victory.

The 26-year-old Vunipola, a near certainty for next week's first Test, said he was glad to see the Lions' scrum click into gear at the perfect moment - having previously struggled against the Blues, Crusaders and Highlanders.

But another uptick in performance would be necessary to down the All Blacks.

"There was obviously a bit of talk from outside about our scrum and how it was creaking, but we as a group have to keep that on the outside and focus on what we can do and control, and we knew that," the Wellington-born Englishman, who also made 10 tackles in his 59 minutes, told reporters.

"The scrum is pretty simple, just whoever pushes harder wins, usually - we knew that coming down but we obviously had to adapt a little bit as well.

"It was up to us in the forward pack to try to put the squeeze on them (and), with our scrum at times, I felt like we had the ascendancy.

"As a group of players, we're looking forward to the challenge coming."

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