Lions 2017: Blues 22-16 British & Irish Lions

Lions 2017: Blues 22-16 British & Irish Lions

Sonny Bill Williams produced a moment of magic to allow the onrushing Ihaia West to race home for the winning try as Auckland Blues overcame the British and Irish Lions 22-16 at Eden Park.

Leigh Halfpenny’s third penalty of the match had edged the Lions 16-15 ahead in the 71st minute. Halfpenny earlier converted the tourists’ only try, scored by CJ Stander in the 18th minute.

But Williams’ late piece of brilliance helped get the hosts over the line, with try-scorer West adding the extras. Rieko Ioane had put Blues ahead with the game’s opening try before Williams also touched down at the end of the first half, Stephen Perofeta converting. West added a penalty early in the second period.

Moment of the match

Sonny Bill Williams pounced on Steven Luatua’s offload to cut loose and do justice to Ihaia West’s excellent line by producing a smart scoring pass. In a flash, the Lions went from a one-point lead to a six-point loss.

Star man

Sonny Bill Williams. Only the most special talents can win man-of-the-match awards in rugby for one moment’s magic.

The Haka hits the right notes

The Blues’ performance of a new haka, He Toa Takitini, The Strength of Many, paid homage to late former stars Jonah Lomu and Kurtis Haiu. The pomp and ceremony added another layer of intrigue to an already compelling Lions tour.

Blues: 15 Michael Collins, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Stephen Perofeta, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Steven Luatua, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Akira Ioane, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (c), 1 Ofa Tu’ungafasi
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane
British and Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Jack Nowell, 13 Jared Payne, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 CJ Stander, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James Haskell, 5 Courtney Lawes, 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Ken Owens (c), 1 Jack McGrath
Replacements: 16 Rory Best, 17 Joe Marler, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Iain Henderson, 20 Peter O’Mahony, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Johnny Sexton, 23 Liam Williams
Date: Wednesday, June 7
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Kick-Off: 19:35 local (08:35 GMT)
Referee: Pascal Gauzere (France)
Assistant Referees: Mathieu Raynal (France), Angus Gardner (Australia)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)
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