The Lions' style isn't exactly impressing the New Zealand media

First test against the All Blacks takes place this Saturday and we get a taste of the coverage

Lions, Conor Murray, rugby

British and Irish Lions halfback Conor Murray greets fans ahead of their match against the Chiefs at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton, New Zealand, Tuesday, June 20, 2017. (Brett Phibbs/New Zealand Herald via AP)

As the first test against New Zealand rushes towards us on June 24th, the general expectation is that the All Blacks will be confident of swatting away the challenge posed by the British and Irish Lions.

That confidence appears to be shared somewhat by the New Zealand media.

Take the New Zealand Herald for example. Prior to today's convincing win over Chiefs, Herald rugby writer Paul Gregor came down hard on the style of play employed during the tour so far.

Branding it "dull", Gregor added that the touring side were "becoming an increasingly hard watch" as a team that is "exclusively muscular and direct", concluding that more variance gives sides a greater chance of victory.

Interestingly, Gregor highlighted a couple of the Ireland players in his argument about style and picked out Conor Murray as a "brilliant kicker" but not quite as impressive as a "brilliant runner", repeating the same point in regards to Jonathan Sexton.

In his column after the Chiefs game, former All Black Richard Loe wrote about his view that the Lions players "don't seem to be as agile as our players from 10 through to 15", going on to quip at the outset that "gee they can play negatively".

Meanwhile, over at the Otago Daily Times, the main report after the Chiefs game was a bit more generous, with a pat on the head suggesting that the Lions "looked like a proper rugby team for long periods".

In a game which saw the likes of Iain Henderson and Jared Payne start from an Irish perspective, it was England's Elliot Daly who was picked out as a player who could overtake George North on the wing among the "one, if not two players who did enough to jump into test calculations."

Tune into Off The Ball tonight for an interview with former Lions head coach and player Ian McGeechan with Joe Molloy.