Both tries were off the back of demolition work by a
After a fevered build-up to the game, the All Blacks made their mark early on with a penalty and Codie Taylor’s converted try to lead 10-0, and they were ahead 13-8 at halftime.
But they were struggling to build on that lead in the second half before Ioane, selected ahead of prolific try-scorer Julian Savea, exploded into action.
Twelve years since the Lions were ‘blackwashed’ on their
last visit to
It led to Ioane’s first try, and the second came when the All Blacks forwards secured turnover ball.
TJ Perenara, taking a leaf from the playbook of his Lions opposite scrumhalf Conor Murray, put in a box kick which Ioane gathered and raced away to score.
As expected, the Test was a collision of two distinct styles – enterprising running and audacious offloads, against box kicks and close-quarter charges – but with a twist.
The All Blacks countered the renowned Lions’ defensive line speed by employing the visitors’ tactics of a direct crash-and-bash up the middle.
The convincing victory kept alive the All Blacks’ phenomenal
record, with 47 victories in a row on home soil since 2009 and no defeats at
But it was a brutal, bloody encounter with collisions that rocked the Richter scale. The All Blacks lost both fullback Ben Smith (concussion) and outside centre Ryan Crotty (hamstring) in the first 30 minutes.
After being on the back foot for the first 10 minutes, the All Blacks gave the Lions a taste of their own medicine with a series of charges through the middle which had the tourists scrambling before they eventually conceded a penalty, which Beauden Barrett converted.
Five minutes later, from a repeat of the same direct approach, the All Blacks won another penalty close to the Lions line.
While the Lions switched off, expecting a shot at goal, the
All Blacks took a quick tap which resulted in a try to
After an exchange of penalties by Owen Farrell and Barrett, the Lions launched their running game with a counter-attack by Liam Williams inside his own 22, which caught the All Blacks off guard.
He offloaded to Jonathan Davies, who took play deep into All Blacks territory, where the ever-present Sean O’Brien finished off a brilliant move.
In a torrid second half in the rain, the game broke open with Ioane’s tries on 55 and 70 minutes.
Rhys Webb scored the Lions’ second try on fulltime to give
the visitors hope ahead of next week’s second Test in
New Zealand – Tries: Codie Taylor, Rieko Ioane (2). Conversions: Beauden Barrett (3). Penalties: Barrett (3).
Lions – Tries: Sean O’Brien, Rhys Webb. Conversion: Owen Farrell. Penalty: Owen Farrell.