Thursday 27 July 2017

New Zealand beer wins over Irish fans with brilliant dig at Chicago win

British & Irish Lions supporters celebrate during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and British & Irish Lions at ANZ Stadium on July 6, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)
British & Irish Lions supporters celebrate during the International Test match between the Australian Wallabies and British & Irish Lions at ANZ Stadium on July 6, 2013 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

Jack O'Toole & Nick Purewal

New Zealand beer company Moa NZ Gold Ale have won over Irish fans touring the Lions tour of New Zealand with a brilliant slogan poking fun at the All Blacks only defeat of 2016.

Steve Hansen's side managed to win an incredible 13 of 14 games last year, with the All Blacks 40-29 loss to Ireland in Chicago the only defeat of what was an otherwise stellar season.

Joe Schmidt's side were the only team in world rugby last year to show any semblance of a blueprint of how to beat New Zealand, and with additional players from Scotland, England and Wales traveling on the Lions tour, Moa NZ Gold Ale capitalised on New Zealand's loss to appeal to visiting supporters.

Munster fan Simon Twomey wrote on his Twitter captioning a picture that read: "The Irish were too good for us last year, so they've added some Brits to make it fair."

Lions fans may be fond of the creativity from some of New Zealand's brewing companies, but most will be less than impressed by what they saw from the Lions first tour match against the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday, where Warren Gatland's side struggled to a 13-7 win in Whangarei.

Ireland fly-half Johnny Sexton was particularly underwhelming at first receiver, but Head Coach Warren Gatland defended his playmaker's performance and insisted that his subpar display will not rule him out of the running for a spot in the test side for the first test later this month.

Asked if Sexton's difficult night leaves him trailing Farrell for the Lions' Test number 10 jersey, Gatland replied: "I think that's pretty unfair in making an assessment like that.

"These guys arrived on Wednesday and are still recovering from travel, they haven't got into regular sleep patterns yet. We knew it would be difficult in terms of that.

"Owen Farrell has a big match temperament, there's no doubt.

"I would have been happier of course if he'd knocked over that one he put against the post, that might have given us an easier last 10 minutes.

"But he's played some pretty good rugby in the last 18 months, and he's one of the standout performers in northern hemisphere rugby anyway."

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