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.
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.
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.