Biggar: Win over Japan ‘a good stepping stone’ for Lions


Dan Biggar

Dan Biggar warned the best is yet to come from him after delivering a Man of the Match performance in The British & Irish Lions’ victory over Japan in Edinburgh.

The Wales fly-half converted all four tries as the Lions prevailed 28-10 against the Brave Blossoms in the first-ever meeting between the two sides for The 1888 Cup at BT Murrayfield.

It was also the 31-year-old’s pass which set up Tadhg Beirne for his debut try as Biggar’s game management and pin-point kicking helped to orchestrate the Lions attack throughout.

Match Report: Debutants steal the show as Lions beat Japan

And having toured in 2017 to New Zealand but missed out on the Test team, Biggar was delighted to make an instant impression in his first audition for the No.10 jersey.

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“It’s always helpful when the team go well and sitting behind that pack early doors was a bit of an armchair really so full credit to the team, we put in a really good 30-35 minutes,” he said.

Dan Biggar

“Personally, I’m delighted to have started the Tour well and hopefully that’s just the start now and I can build on that along with the team. We’ve only been together a couple of weeks.

“There were lots of things that we put together today which we worked on in training and there were lots of things that we’ll have to tidy up and spend a bit more time together with.

“I think as a first hit out against a team, who let’s not forget, got to the quarter-finals [of the World Cup] only a couple of years ago, and have got some unbelievably talented players.

“I think for us to come away with a win, obviously there’s tons to work on, but it was a really positive start and hopefully we can build on it.”

As it happened: Lions overcome Japan in Edinburgh

Debutant Josh Adams opened the scoring for the Lions with the first try on 13 minutes before Duhan van der Merwe also crossed on his first start in the famous red jersey.

2017 tourist Robbie Henshaw claimed the Lions’ third try on 22 minutes as the hosts went into the break with a commanding 21-0 lead, with Beirne racing over after the restart.

But the Brave Blossoms kept on coming and finally broke through the red wall just before the hour when Kazuki Himeno dotted down, with You Tamura adding the conversion.

A further penalty from Tamura cut the deficit to 18 but while Japan continued to dominate territory and possession in the closing minutes, they were unable to do any more damage.

Warren Gatland’s men will now fly out to South Africa for an eight-match Tour, which will conclude with a much-anticipated Test series against the reigning world champions.

Dan Biggar

And while Biggar admitted there were work-ons for the Lions, most notably from the second half, he believes the performance and the result will be a good stepping stone for the tourists.

“Pleased with the result, I think the second half was a bit of slog in terms of we made a lot of errors and we didn’t help ourselves with our discipline,” he added.

“But we played some really good rugby in that first half an hour and it’s a really good stepping stone for us, hopefully we can build on that in the next couple of weeks.

“We were just trying to do the basics really well early doors. We knew that Japan would want an unstructured, fast, loose game and we just tried to keep things simple.

“We played some territory, we played going forward rather than side-to-side and we just managed everything, it just seemed to click and we won a lot of collisions.

“It was just a really good start from us. It was great to play in front of this crowd, it was incredible and I want to thank everyone for coming out. It’s been awesome playing in front of them.”

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