Rugby | 3 months ago
Sean O'Brien absolutely bosses player ratings as Lions stun New Zealand
What. A. Game!

NEW ZEALAND 21-24 LIONS

What a game!!

Three minutes to go. Test Series on the line. Owen Farrell stepped up and was the hero.

The Lions trailed for long stages despite New Zealand being reduced to 14 men after Sonny Bill Williams' red card 24 minutes into the game. They conceded countless silly penalties and trailed 18-9 and 21-14 at different stages before Conor Murray's excellent, converted try left it level.

Then Farrell nailed the match-winning penalty.

Here's how we rated Warren Gatland's men in red:

Liam Williams - 7

Far from easy under the high ball on a slick night but Williams did well. Timed his pass well for Faletau try.

Anthony Watson - 7

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Lucky he was able to continue after that shuddering Sonny Bill Williams blow:

Credit: Sky Sports

The most incisive and threatening of the Lions backs. His break up the right was crucial in the lead-up to Faletau's try.

Jonathan Davies - 8

Made one delicious out-the-back offload in the first half. Busy and effective.

Owen Farrell - 9

A tackling machine in the Lions backline. Nerves of steel with some of his goal-kicking. Penalty nailed to win it on 77 minutes.

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Elliot Daly - 8

Nifty defence to prevent a try after Barrett's grubber kick almost had Read in.

Johnny Sexton - 8 

Restarts were on point. His propensity for tackling high saw him forcibly bounced back at one stage. Lovely, soft hands crucial as Lions battled back in the closing stages.

Conor Murray - 8

How about that sniping try?!

Gave away a silly penalty for a neck-high tackle wrap. Crisp pass helped in the Faletau try.

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Mako Vunipola - 2

Gave away four penalties in the game. Yellow carded for a clear-out on Barrett. Utterly brainless at times.

Jamie George - 8

Much better than Eden Park. Threw well at the lineout and scrapped for everything. Line-break and carry set up Murray's try.

Tadhg Furlong - 6

Scrummed well and helped win one crucial turnover in the first half. Only credited for one carry but made some important tackles.

Maro Itoje - 7

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Brought that physicality and turnover ability to the Lions but gave away some stupid penalties.

Alun Wyn Jones - 6

Played with a lot more bite than the First Test and got in a heap of All Black faces. Threw in a line-break too.

Sam Warburton - 8

Needed to have a big, personal impact and did that. Superb at the breakdown.

Sean O'Brien - 9

Had one hell of a game. A menace in the loose - ran with intent and fended off plenty of Kiwis. Turnovers and clear-outs were huge and he played a big part in keeping possession for Faletau's score.

Toby Faletau - 8

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Huge power and poise to score that try in the corner. Made his standard amount of tackles and bruising carries.

REPLACEMENTS [to follow...]

Lawes (for AW Jones) - 6

Sinckler (for Furlong) - 7

McGrath (for Vunipola) - 6

Episode 32 of The Hard Yards rugby podcast features Ronan O'Gara, Stephen Ferris and Performance Psychologist Gerry Hussey.


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Lions 2017, British and Irish Lions, Ratings