Rugby: British & Irish Lions upset All Blacks to force decider

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The British and Irish Lions inflicted a first home defeat in 8 years on the All Blacks as they triumphed 24-21 in the Second Test to force a series decider.

Tries from Taulupe Faletau and Conor Murray, along with a conversion and four penalties from Owen Farrell cancelled out seven penalty conversions from Beauden Barrett to seal victory in Wellington.

The two sides went in level at the break after converting three penalties apiece, and though the All Blacks raced into a nine-point lead courtesy of Barrett, but Farrell’s decisive penalty four minutes from time would have the final say.

Sonny Bill Williams also became the first All Blacks player to be sent off in 50 years, red-carded for a shoulder charge on Anthony Watson. It also becomes the first time one of New Zealand’s players has ever been sent off in a home Test match.

The All Blacks had been favourites to wrap up the series, but will now face the Lions in a deciding match in Auckland in seven days time.

Even without the red card we were the better team.” said Lions coach Warren Gatland.”It’s great to tie the series up and we go to Auckland next week with a series to play for.”

“We need to fix the soft penalties and look at being more accurate in our kicking game.”

All Blacks’ coach Steve Hansen was gracious in defeat, but underlined his pride at his players for coping with the sending-off and pressing the game to the Lions.

“We didn’t help ourselves by losing a player.” he admitted.

“Whilst I am proud of our players for playing like that with 14 men, the Lions deserve the win,

“The referee made the call. Whether he called it right or wrong you’ve got to go with what he says.”

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Sport Editor at the Wessex Scene. Often found in the racing paddocks of the UK as a freelance national motorsport journalist or PR. Self-titled comedic genius, notorious wearer of Union-branded clothing.

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