Donal Lenihan - Columnist - IRISH EXAMINER

DONAL LENIHAN: A fitting finale as Lions Tour lives up to the hype

What a finale. A compelling Test match, played at a breathtaking pace in an exhilarating atmosphere.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Lions need to grasp the fact they’re on brink of something exceptional

Donal Lenihan breaks down three monumental challenges facing the Lions...

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DONAL LENIHAN: Highlights to the left of me, shampoo and cut to my right, and All Blacks with intent stuck in the middle again

Is Steve Hansen getting the best out of a world-class talent like Beauden Barrett? asks Donal Lenihan

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DONAL LENIHAN: Lions grasp lifeline to turn pressure up on All Blacks

After a hectic five weeks on the road and eight searching examinations to this point, the 2017 Lions tour reached the point of no return in the aptly named windy Wellington last Saturday night.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Lions must face spark at breakdown or face the final curtain

Donal Lenihan looks at three key areas the Lions must address.

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DONAL LENIHAN: The last place a Lion wants to be? Sitting in a corporate box

There is nothing worse for a player, having to answer questions about a game that you had visualised playing in for months and yet find yourself surplus to requirements, writes Donal Lenihan.

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DONAL LENIHAN: How All Blacks hit the Lions where it hurts

The opening test of a Lions series is a journey into the unknown. Everything the Lions coaching staff have done in the last five weeks, since the earliest arrivals introduced themselves for those pre-tour camps at the Vale of Glamorgan and Carton House, has been geared towards this moment.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Half-back gold on show at Eden Park

With little preparation time, the opening test of a Lions series can often be decided by poor selection.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Pressure is on for the All Blacks who dare not lose Test opener

Hard to believe that, given the incessant pre-tour hype that started out months in advance, this Lions tour has already passed the halfway point, with six games played.

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DONAL LENIHAN: The latest Gatlandgate could linger for a while

The one constant with Warren Gatland over the years is his ability to generate controversy. It is something that doesn’t bother him unduly, even if you can be assured of some tetchy press conferences over the days and weeks ahead.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Next seven days vital for Lions as selections for first test will be nailed down or squandered

With four games played this Lions squad now fully appreciate the severity of the task ahead of them in the test series, writes Donal Lenihan.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Party piece is over. From now on everybody wants Lions’ scalp

Tana Umaga, the centrepiece of one of the most contentious incidents in Lions history, wants to be the first New Zealand coach on this tour to claim a Lions scalp, and that will to win will continue everywhere the tourists travel, writes Donal Lenihan.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Lions brand has become a huge cash generator since first tour

For the financial viability of the international game in particular, there is far more riding on a competitive Lions series than many appreciate, writes Donal Lenihan.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Time for Munster to assess and move forward

A chastening end to what has proved one of the most horrifically demanding and challenging seasons any group of players and management has ever had to endure.

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DONAL LENIHAN: Red alert as Munster on mission to scratch a seven-year-itch

Across a season of 31 competitive games, Leinster registered 23 wins, a single draw and only seven defeats, writes Donal Lenihan

Donal Lenihan

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