RUGBY: First blood to New Zealand in opening Test over British Lions

Lions' Sean O'Brien scores
Lions' Sean O'Brien scores
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NEW ZEALAND 30 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS 15

Sean O’Brien scored one of the greatest tries in British and Irish Lions history - but world champions New Zealand still won a pulsating first Test in emphatic fashion.

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A view of the game at Eden Park, Auckland

s A view of the game at Eden Park, Auckland

Ireland flanker O’Brien pounced four minutes before half-time, finishing off a spectacular 80-metre move that was started by full-back Liam Williams’ dazzling running.

New Zealand, though, held firm in the face of some outstanding rugby by the Lions as they triumphed 30-15 and made it 39 successive games unbeaten at Eden Park.

Hooker Codie Taylor scored a first-half try, before wing Rieko Ioane added two second-half touchdowns - full Test debutant Ioane’s first try came after a suspicion of a knock-on before All Blacks skipper Kieran Read brilliantly off-loaded possession - while fly-half Beauden Barrett kicked 15 points.

Owen Farrell added a penalty for the Lions, and replacement scrum-half Rhys Webb claimed a try deep into injury time that Farrell converted, but they will now head to Wellington knowing that victory is required next Saturday to keep the three-match series alive.

The All Blacks perform the Haka

The All Blacks perform the Haka

At times, New Zealand’s speed, awareness and attacking running lines were off the scale, yet the Lions lived with them for much of a memorable encounter.

Williams and his Wales colleague Jonathan Davies were at the attacking heart of thrilling Lions adventure, yet the forwards were given a sometimes torrid time in the scrums, and the All Blacks finished far stronger.

Rieko Ioane scores one of his two tries against the Lions

Rieko Ioane scores one of his two tries against the Lions

A view as the two teams stand for the New Zealand National Anthem

A view as the two teams stand for the New Zealand National Anthem