Owen Farrell answered the misfiring British and Irish Lions’ distress call to sink the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians 13-7, as Johnny Sexton endured a wretched night in Whangarei.
Ireland fly-half Sexton trudged off after just 48 minutes of the Lions’ opening tour clash in New Zealand, removed in part due to a potential leg injury – but also after a miserable performance.
Self-employed maintenance engineer Sam Anderson-Heather’s try put the Barbarians 7-3 ahead at the break, with Farrell forced to rescue the tourists in a wholly unconvincing victory.
Tweet of the match
Moment of the match
Owen Farrell sent Ross Moriarty through the line, then got onto the ball again to set up the Lions’ winning score, which was well finished by Anthony Watson.
Star man – Taulupe Faletau
The Wales flanker produced a masterful try-saving tackle in the first half. One of few to impress on a below-par night.
Part-timers reign supreme
The Lions’ lacklustre showing allowed a scratch team of promising youngsters and part-time journeymen to push Warren Gatland’s men to the brink. And captain Sam Anderson-Heather claimed a try to remember – a far cry from his day job as a maintenance engineer.
British and Irish Lions: Joe Marler 6, Rory Best 5, Kyle Sinckler 7, Alun Wyn Jones 5, Iain Henderson 4, Ross Moriarty 5, Sam Warburton 5, Taulupe Faletau 8, Greig Laidlaw 5, Johnny Sexton 4, Tommy Seymour 5, Ben Te’o 6, Jonathan Joseph 5, Anthony Watson 7, Stuart Hogg 5. Replacements: Jamie George (for Best, 49) 6, Mako Vunipola (for Marler, 49) 6, Tadhg Furlong (for Sinckler, 49) 6, George Kruis (for Henderson, 49) 6, Justin Tipuric (for Warburton, 66) 5, Rhys Webb (for Laidlaw, 57) 6, Owen Farrell (for Sexton, 48) 8.
Who’s up next?
Auckland Blues v British and Irish Lions, Eden Park, Wednesday, June 7