- New Zealand: Tries Taylor, Ioane 2 – Conversions – Barrett 3 – Penalties – Barrett 3
- British & Irish Lions: Tries O’Brien, Webb – Conversions Farrell – Penalties Farrell
New Zealand have the early advantage after beating the British & Irish Lions 30-15 in the first Test at Eden Park.
With the scores a relatively close 13-8 at half-time, the All Blacks stretched away in the second half, adding a further two tries from Rieko Ioane to their tally before the Lions had the final say through Rhys Webb.
It was almost a perfect start from the Lions when Elliot Daly burst over in the corner inside the opening minutes but the TMO confirmed Israel Dagg had stopped the England wing from grounding the ball.
The All Blacks then began to assert themselves with Beauden Barrett notching the first points of the game with a 13th-minute penalty before converting Codie Taylor’s try five minutes later after the hooker had impressively picked up a low pass out wide to dive over.
England’s Owen Farrell and All Black Barrett then traded penalties before the Lions hit back before the break, with both Liam Williams and Daly involved in a fine counter-attacking move which ended with Sean O’Brien crashing over to reduce the deficit to 13-8 at half-time.
The second-half continued at a frantic pace with another Jonathan Davies break downfield before England’s Anthony Watson impressively sliced through the All Blacks midfield before play eventually broke down.
But the hosts regained the momentum with Ioane diving over after 55 minutes before the All Black added another 11 minutes from time after showing his pace to run in.
The Lions continued to battle with Webb dotting down late on and Farrell adding the final points of the game with his conversion.
The tourists next play against the Hurricanes in Wellington on Tuesday before meeting New Zealand in the second Test in the same city next Saturday.
Almost a dream start
With just two minutes on the clock, the Lions came within centimetres of the opening try, courtesy of England’s Daly.
Jonathan Davies made the initial break through the centre of midfield before offloading to Conor Murray who moved to within three metres of the line.
With his route blocked, the ball was fed out to Daly with the wing spinning towards the corner.
He managed to stay in the field of play initially but the TMO ruled Israel Dagg stopped the England man from grounding the ball with Daly eventually bundled out.
New Zealand were awarded the lineout and the danger was eventually cleared.
Lions roar before half-time
Trailing by 10 points with seven minutes of the half remaining, the tourists needed something special – and they certainly got it with Daly once again involved.
Liam Williams was the man to start the brilliant counter-attack from inside his own 22, dancing past first Kieran Read and then Sonny Bill Williams before feeding Davies and then Daly.
Daly beat his man on the wing before returning the pass to Davies and then the supporting Sean O’Brien dotted down from close range.
Farrell was just off target with his conversion but the Lions, who then saw out the remainder of the half, were right back in the game.
All Blacks skills shine through
The hosts had entertained the Eden Park crowd throughout with a series of clever offloads and it was another bit of composure under pressure which put New Zealand back in control on 55 minutes.
Having dominated the scrum inside the Lions half, Kieran Read then somehow managed to flick the ball up while face down on the pitch to Aaron Smith who broke off from the scrum.
The All Blacks worked the ball wide and Ioane was the man to fly over with Barrett adding the conversion to stretch the lead to 12 points. Another Barrett penalty seven minutes made it 15 points before Ioane added a second try with a show of impressive pace.
England players make impact off the bench
Head coach Warren Gatland rung the changes in the second half and there were a number of encouraging signs from the two English replacements.
Kyle Sinckler emerged off the bench on 59 minutes for Tadhg Furlong, making an impressive 29 metres including a charge down the left with seven minutes left on the clock.
Maro Itoje came on even earlier and showed his expertise at the lineout on 66 minutes, reaching over to steal the New Zealand throw five metres out, allowing the Lions to clear the danger.
It was not enough to turn the tide for the Lions but it will give Gatland plenty of food for thought.
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith (22 Aaron Cruden 27); 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Ryan Crotty (23 Anton Lienart-Brown 39), 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane; 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith (21 TJ Perenara 57); 1 Joe Moody (17 Wyatt Crockett), 2 Codie Taylor (16 Nathan Harris 67), 3 Owen Franks (18 Charlie Faumuina 54); 4 Brodie Retallick, 5 Sam Whitelock; 6 Jerome Kaino (20 Ardie Savea 47), 7 Sam Cane, 8 Kieran Read (19 Scott Barrett 78)
British and Irish Lions: 15 Liam Williams (23 Leigh Halfpenny. 72); 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ben Te’o (22 Jonathan Sexton 57), 11 Elliot Daly; 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Conor Murray (21 Rhys Webb 68); 1 Mako Vunipola (17 Jack McGrath 51), 2 Jamie George (16 Ken Owens 68), 3 Tadhg Furlong (18 Kyle Sinckler 59); 4 Alun Wyn Jones (19 Maro Itoje 47), 5 George Kruis; 6 Peter O’Mahony (20 Sam Warburton 53), 7 Sean O’Brien, 8 Taulupe Faletau.