RUGBY: New Zealand v Britsih & Irish Lions - The story of the match

All Blacks Sonny Bill Williams was red carded
All Blacks Sonny Bill Williams was red carded

Sonny Bill Williams was sent off as the British and Irish Lions claimed a thrilling Test series-levelling 24-21 victory over world champions New Zealand at Westpac Stadium.

Williams, one of the biggest names in world rugby, received his marching orders from French referee Jerome Garces after just 25 minutes of a titanic tussle for a dangerous shoulder charge to the head of Lions wing Anthony Watson.

Lions Taulupe Faletau scores their first try against New Zealand

Lions Taulupe Faletau scores their first try against New Zealand

He was the first All Blacks player to be sent off in a Test match since Colin Meads against Scotland 50 years ago, only the third All Black of all-time and first in New Zealand, and the home side were eventually floored by a 77th-minute Owen Farrell penalty to set up a series decider in Auckland next Saturday.


“Wow - amazing scenes here once again - brilliant for Lions and Gatland and everyone here, incredible result” - Sir Clive Woodward (@CliveWoodward) is delighted with the win.


Owen Farrell blasted the winning penalty home with ease, after Charlie Faumuina was perhaps harshly penalised for tackling Kyle Sinckler in the air after the Lions prop had jumped.


Taulupe Faletau, British and Irish Lions: the Wales number eight again showed his class in an accurate showing, capping a fine night with an expertly-taken try. Just the calm head the Lions needed at the helm of their pack.


Referee Garces awarded just New Zealand’s third-ever Test match red card in dismissing Sonny Bill Williams for what he termed a “deliberate” shoulder charge to Anthony Watson’s head. The Frenchman played no favourites when reaching for red, in applying the rules to the letter of the law.