The All Blacks snuffed out the British and Irish Lions’ hopes of a shock win with a ruthless display to take an iron grip on the three-Test series.
There was plenty of hype in the build-up to this Test and that was certainly justified as both sides went at each other hammer and tongs for the full 80 minutes.
A breathless match had been poised at 13-8 at half-time, Codie Taylor’s brilliant pick-up bringing the All Blacks’ opening try before the Lions struck back with a magnificent length-of-field effort begun by Liam Williams deep in his own 22 and finished by Sean O’Brien.
The Lions had gone close early in the second half, but the home side went clear on the scoreboard through a brace from winger Rieko Ioane.
This was the sort of performance from the All Blacks that every Lions supporter had feared, despite Rhys Webb crossing for a late consolation try.
Full report to follow.
New Zealand: 15 Ben Smith, 14 Israel Dagg, 13 Ryan Crotty, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Read, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Brodie Retallick, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Codie Taylor, 1 Joe Moody Replacements: 16 Nathan Harris, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Scott Barrett, 20 Ardie Savea, 21 TJ Perenara, 22 Aaron Cruden/Lima Sopoaga, 23 Anton Lienert-Brown
British and Irish Lions: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Elliot Daly, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Sean O’Brien, 6 Peter O’Mahony (c), 5 George Kruis, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Tadgh Furlong, 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola Replacements: 16 Ken Owens, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Maro Itoje, 20 Sam Warburton, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Jonathan Sexton, 23 Leigh Halfpenny
Date: Saturday, June 24 Venue: Eden Park, Auckland Kick-off: 19:35 local (07:35 GMT) Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa) Assistant Referees: Romain Poite (France), Jérôme Garcès (France) TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)