Sunday 23 July 2017

Player ratings: Great night for the Irish as Lions roar back into test series

WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 01: Johnny Sexton of the Lions runs with the ball during the second test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at the Westpac Stadium on July 1, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 01: Johnny Sexton of the Lions runs with the ball during the second test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at the Westpac Stadium on July 1, 2017 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Here is how the players rated after the Lions beat the All Blacks 24-21 in the second test in Wellington.

Lions

LIAM WILLIAMS: A solid night's work though he was unable ever to break free. Laid on scoring pass for Faletau's try. 7/10

ANTHONY WATSON: A scourge whenever he had ball in hand but struggled for regular action. 6

JONATHAN DAVIES: One fine break almost saw him scuttle home, another fine effort. 8

OWEN FARRELL: Imperious showing from England's composed and gritty playmaker. 8

ELLIOT DALY: Another to threaten whenever he got the ball but who never saw enough of it. 7

JOHNNY SEXTON: Had a solid game once he settled into the rhythm of pairing up with Farrell as twin playmakers. 7

CONOR MURRAY: Showed his class again with a fine try and ran the game expertly as ever. 8

MAKO VUNIPOLA: Lucky not to be hit with more than a yellow card for needless shoulder charge which blotted his night.6

JAMIE GEORGE: Quiet around the field but accurate as you like in the set-piece. 8

TADHG FURLONG: Scrummaged well under pressure and solid showing. 7

MARO ITOJE: Conceded far too many penalties and was hugely fortunate to avoid sin-binning for that. 6

ALUN WYN JONES: A far stronger performance than last week, bound the pack together. 7

SAM WARBURTON (CAPT): Led from the front and dragged his men over the line. 8

SEAN O'BRIEN: Another bullish performance from the one man the All Blacks do not know how to stop when on the charge. 8

TAULUPE FALETAU: Absolute class from the Lions' standout performer; so calm under pressure. 9

REPLACEMENTS:

JACK MCGRATH (for Vunipola, 65): Kept his calm at the death to see the Lions home. 7

KYLE SINCKLER (for Furlong, 60): Another tidy cameo from the fast-improving Harlequin. 7

COURTNEY LAWES (for Jones, 58): Put himself about to huge effect for a fine late turn. 8

JACK NOWELL (for Watson, 24-31): One costly mistake for a penalty in brief showing. 7

UNUSED: K Owens, CJ Stander, R Webb, B Te'o.

 

All Blacks

ISRAEL DAGG: Had few chances to shine in attack as the All Blacks suffered a first home defeat for eight years. 7/10

WAISAKE NAHOLO: Looked dangerous when he got ball in hand, but the Lions managed to keep a close eye on him. 7

ANTON LIENERT-BROWN: Lost his midfield partner early, and then struggled to make an impact. 6

SONNY BILL WILLIAMS: Became only the third New Zealand player to be sent off in a Test match following his charge to the head of Anthony Watson after 25 minutes. 2

RIEKO IOANE: Scored two tries in the first Test, but he rarely got into the game this time around. 6

BEAUDEN BARRETT: Kicked seven penalties to keep New Zealand's noses in front, but the Lions eventually made their one-man advantage count. 8

AARON SMITH: Not as dominant as he was in Auckland seven days ago, with his opposite number Conor Murray seriously testing him. 6

JOE MOODY: Battled hard in the scrums as a seven-man New Zealand pack performed admirably. 7

CODIE TAYLOR: At the forefront of New Zealand's effort up-front, but the Lions prevailed. 7

OWEN FRANKS: Went off midway through the third quarter after a tireless shift. 7

BRODIE RETALLICK: Once again, he was superb in the tight exchanges and around the field. 8

SAM WHITELOCK: Kept going in the face of adversity as the Lions eventually pressed home a one-man advantage. 7

JEROME KAINO: A victim of the Williams red card, as All Blacks' tactical restructuring meant he went off just after Williams and was replaced by Test debutant Ngani Laumape. 6

SAM CANE: Put in a huge number of tackles, rocking the Lions back on their feet in all areas of the pitch. 8

KIERAN READ: Almost drove his team to a remarkable win, but it was not to be. 7

Replacements:

NGANI LAUMAPE: Went on early following Williams' dismissal as New Zealand regrouped. 7

WYATT CROCKETT: Took over from Moody midway through the third quarter. 6

CHARLIE FAUMUINA: Conceded the late penalty from which Owen Farrell won the game for the Lions. 4

ARDIE SAVEA: Replaced Cane 16 minutes from time as New Zealand tried to hold out. 6

TJ PERENARA: Replaced Smith as the clock ticked down. 6

SCOTT BARRETT: Went on for Whitelock with seven minutes remaining. 6

AARON CRUDEN: Featured during the second half of a pulsating contest. 6

NATHAN HARRIS: Went on during the dying seconds. 5

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