Lions defeat All Blacks to level series

(CNN)Not since 2009 had New Zealand lost a rugby game on home soil; not since 2003 had the mighty All Blacks been beaten at Wellington’s Westpac Stadium.

But the British and Irish Lions, a composite team made up of the best players from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, have put an end to that 47-match reign.
The All Blacks were reduced to fourteen men after Sonny Bill Williams was red carded for a shoulder charge in the first half. But the world’s No. 1 ranked side appeared to be in control in rainy conditions after Beauden Barrett had kicked his side into an 18-9 lead with 20 minutes left to play.
    But a Taulupe Faletau try broke the deadlock and brought the Lions within touching distance of a historic victory, before a darting Conor Murray added to the visitors’ total to draw the scores level at 21 points apiece.
    An Owen Farrell penalty in the final minutes of the contest secured an historic victory to level the series after New Zealand won the first test in Auckland.
    The two sides meet in Auckland again next week to decide the series.
    “It’s only half a job done. One apiece now, effectively we’ve only played two halves,” Lions captain Sam Warbuton, who returned to the starting lineup for this week’s encounter, told Sky Sports.
    “It’s great we’ve got it to 1-1, we want to take it to a decider at Eden Park.
    “There’s still plenty to work on, we gave away far too many penalties in the second half. We’ve got to up it again next week.”

      The mystical side of New Zealand rugby

    The game’s biggest talking point came after 25 minutes when All Blacks’ center Sonny Bill Williams was red carded for a shoulder change on Anthony Watson — the first New Zealand player to be sent off in 50 years.
    Down to fourteen men, the home side managed to stay in the game as an error-strewn first half ended 9-9.
    All Blacks’ fly-half Beauden Barrett missed three kicks in testing conditions, and that, along with Williams red card, proved costly for the hosts, allowing the Lions to stay within touching distance.
    The Lions turned on the pressure in the final quarter, and tries from Faletau and Murray came either side of a Barrett penalty.
    In the closing stages, Farrell stepped up and kicked the visitors into an historic lead, putting a dagger in the heart of the All Blacks’ eight-year unbeaten run at home.


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