LIONS TOUR 2017: 2ND TEST REVIEW
An animal is at its most dangerous when cornered.
Hunted, wounded but not yet defeated, the Lion waits to strike.
With a swing of Owen Farrell’s boot, the British & Irish Lions delivered a killer blow to the All Blacks’ hopes of claiming a series win in Wellington.
In a game packed with drama and controversy, the Lions levelled the three-game series 1-1 setting up a decider in Auckland next Saturday.
The biggest talking point from the Second Test was the red card shown to New Zealand centre, Sonny Bill Williams for a challenge deemed dangerous and illegal by French official, Jerome Garces.
The popular number 12 struck winger Anthony Watson in the head with his shoulder, having failed to wrap his arms appropriately in the tackle. Garces deemed the offence serious enough to brandish Williams with New Zealand’s first red card for 50 years, leaving the All Blacks to play with 14 men for the rest of the game.
The Lions struggled to make their numerical advantage count until the final 20 minutes as the home team rallied in adversity to, at one point, lead by nine points in what was becoming an increasingly frustrating evening for fans of the team in red.
Beauden Barrett was barely recognisable from the week before as he squandered several point scoring opportunities with the boot which was met with a sigh of relief by a Lions team which conceded penalty after penalty in the early stages of the second half.
Finally, after some nice link-up play between Johnny Sexton and Farrell, the Lions began their fightback thanks to a well-worked Taulupe Faletau try.
Sexton put hooker Jamie George through to break the New Zealand defensive line before quick thinking from the superb Connor Murray brought the scores level with twelve minutes to go.
Having conceded a somewhat unfortunate penalty in the closing minutes the All Black’s tasted defeat on home soil for the first time in 8 years.
We now move back to Auckland next Saturday for the final showdown between the best team in the world and a rejuvenated pride of Lions hungry for their next meal.