The DHL Lions Series is still alive – the British and Irish Lions have beaten the All Blacks 21-24, on a cold and wet night at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.
In one of the craziest matches in recent history; Owen Farrell kicked the goal of his career in the 78th minute, to win the game for the Lions.
Referee Jerome Garces’ whistle dominated the 80-minutes, more than any one match official would normally should do. A red card to the All Blacks, a yellow card to the Lions, and more penalties ‘than you could throw a stick at’.
British and Irish Lions 24 – Tries: Taulupe Falatau, Connor Murray; Penalties: Owen Farrell (4); Conversions: Farrell (1)
All Blacks 21 – Penalties: Beauden Barrett (7)
With scores tied 9-9 at halftime, the game was balanced. But it was the sending off of Sonny Bill Williams that had everyone talking. Arguably, the winning or losing of the match was in the Lions’ hands. But apparently, they didn’t get the memo.
A disgraceful amount of penalties were given away by the Lions, that saw the All Blacks almost hold on for victory. Two tries to the Lions was the difference by the matches end.
Goodbye Sonny Bill Williams… All Blacks Awarded Red Card
In a moment that will be leave a stain on the rugby career of Sonny Bill Williams; fans were left in a state of shock when the All Blacks all-star was red carded. It was the first time an All Black has been red carded since 1967 – exactly half a century ago.
Anthony Watson was the victim of a straight-shoulder to the face by Williams. After reviewing the footage, referee Jerome Garces sent Williams from the field. The Lions winger had already been tackled, and whilst falling to the ground, Williams came in with the shoulder.
Williams joins Sir Colin ‘Pinetree’ Meads, as one of the only three All Blacks this century to be sent from the field. He will face the judiciary on Sunday.
British and Irish Lions Beat All Blacks In Wellington
As the visitors level the DHL Series, the match was fascinating to witness. It took 60-minutes for the first try to be scored; Taulupe Falatau converting a familiar dot down in the corner. But the Lions had dug a hole for themselves, and a big one at that.
Mako Vunipola earned himself a trip to the sin bin, for an illegal clean out on Beauden Barrett. The All Blacks scored multiple penalties thanks to an advantage in the front rows, but the Lions simply weren’t helping themselves.
Up until the last ten minutes, the result was unclear. Not until Connor Murray scored for the Lions – just as he did in the test loss in Chicago, 2015. A sensational movement, the scores were now tied with ten-minutes to go. The Lions now sensed a chance to beat the home side.
And then a final penalty, determined the outcome. It was time for Owen Farrell who stepped up, winning the match for the Lions in dramatic fashion.
New Zealand 21 – British and Irish Lions 24
The series is now level 1-1, and goes to Eden Park next week in a decider. Follow Last Word on Rugby, in the analysis leading up to the 7:35pm kick off.
“Main Photo Credit”