As expected the All Blacks fortress that is Eden Park delivered once again, as Steve Hansen’s side ran out 30-15 winners over the Lions. The All Blacks just too good for Lions fans, who entered this match with high expectations.
Ironically the Lions conducted themselves very well, and will be pleased with their performance. In saying that, however a ‘close game’ is testament to just how good this New Zealand side are. A level above!
All Blacks Just Too Good for Lions
Two tries from Rieko Ioane and one from Codie Taylor cancelled out Sean O’Brien’s wonder try and Rhys Webb’s late consolation.
Warren Gatland and his side will now regroup for their next contest with the All Blacks in Wellington but which players performed well enough to retain their shirt?
LWOS Player Ratings First Test
Mako Vunipola 6/10
A mediocre performance from the Saracens man. Was keen to take the ball in on attack which is where his strengths lie.
Jamie George 7/10
Reliable as ever as the lineout thrower. Didn’t offer as much in attack given his skillset and will look to play more ball in hand if he retains his shirt.
Tadhg Furlong 6/10
Didn’t manage to bring the ferocity that he did when Ireland took on the All Blacks back in the autumn. Scrummaged well to give Lions a platform.
Alun-Wyn Jones 5/10
A disappointing game from the Welshman and Maro Itoje is after his shirt for the second All Blacks test. Wasn’t an prominent in the lineout with Kruis and O’Mahony present.
George Kruis 7/10
One of two excellent lineout options. Brought some intense physicality to the contest which not all his colleagues did.
Only flaw, was his poor skills execution and dropped passes. Simple improvements will boost his ratings.
Peter O’Mahony 8/10
Produced a captains performance against the All Blacks. His lineout expertise was clear to see and was always present in defence and at the breakdown.
Sean O’Brien 8/10
Scorer of the first try against the All Blacks. Didn’t get over the gainline as much as his New Zealand counterparts.
Taulupe Faletau 7/10
Didn’t offer as much in attack as he has in previous games but an absolute machine in defence. Made more tackles than any of his team mates.
Conor Murray 7/10
Box kicked well and was strong in defence. Rhys Webb provides more sparks of individual brilliance but doesn’t organise a game as well as the Irish man.
Owen Farrell 7/10
Missed a conversion that would’ve put the Lions within two. Put his backs in promising positions and dictated play well when the Lions were in possession.
Ben Te’o 6/10
Reliable in defence and was always keen to carry. Didn’t offload as much as he would’ve liked and was given a lesson by Sonny Bill Williams.
Jonathan Davies 8/10
A stand out for the Lions. Cut some brilliant lines and picked out All Black defenders he knew wouldn’t be able to compete with his pace. Sure to keep his jersey.
Test Match Highlight – a Try to Match the World Champions Best
Elliot Daly 7/10
Excellent support play for the first try. Pace caused constant problems and certainly justified his inclusion.
Anthony Watson 7/10
Grew in confidence throughout the contest. Had a phenomenal cameo when he sidestepped countless All Blacks defenders. Generally reliable under the high ball.
Liam Williams 8/10
Despite Gatland’s insistence that he’s a winger the now Saracens man was exceptional at 15. Made an brilliant break for the first try (see above) but after receiving a facial injury, lost his confidence and was replaced by Leigh Halfpenny.
Lions Squad Total – 104/150
All Blacks Just Too Good for Lions in the end.
Senior Editor Scott Hornell posted this assessment of the match result. A game where the Lions did not take full advantage. It showed the All Blacks just too good for Lions to match, but there are positives.
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“Main photo credit”