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Beirne’s bite, Conan’s carries and Furlong’s fury – Irish Lions put themselves to the forefront


The late Brian Hanrahan of BBC earned a place in the Lines of Our Time hit parade when he told viewers he counted them all out — RAF jets off the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes — and he counted them all back. Reporting restrictions in the Falklands War precluded mentioning exactly how many Harrier jets he was talking about. It was a neat workaround.

n Saturday we counted the entire Irish contingent onto the field at Murrayfield and crossed fingers the seven would all get back to the changing room in one piece, having looked after Japan. As Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones would testify, the chief objective in a pre-tour Test like this is to finish it. His race is already run. It remains to be seen if Justin Tipuric will be on the flight or not after suffering a stinger to his shoulder.

Jack Conan was the only Ireland player to leave ahead of schedule. The Lions had run out of forward replacements when he departed on 70 minutes, when his hamstring tightened up. In the circumstances there was no debate about checking out.

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