Ioane scores try double as All Blacks down Lions in first Test

The All Blacks have gone 1-0 up in their series with the British and Irish Lions following a 30-15 victory at Eden Park in Auckland

Ioane scores try double as All Blacks down Lions in first Test
Rieko Ioane scored a double for the All Blacks (image source: Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Two tries from Rieko Ioane saw New Zealand claim a 1-0 lead in their series against the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland

Ioane, who was making his first start for the All Blacks, scored twice in the second half as the hosts claimed a 30-15 victory over the tourists. 

The Lions were in the game at the 50 minute mark following a stunning first half score finished off by Sean O'Brien, but were unable to push home in the final quarter and found themselves out of the contest and facing an uphill battle to salvage the three-match series. 

Williams magic gives Lions hope at the half

Following the weeks of build-up, the Lions started like a house in fire, with Jonathan Davies scything through the home side's defence in the opening passage of play, and after linking up with Conor Murray it took a brilliant try-saving tackle from Israel Dagg to thwart Elliot Daly in the left-corner. 

That missed opportunity cost the tourists, and following three points from the boot of Beauden Barrett, the All Blacks were soon over for their first try. A spell of pressure close to the Lions line resulted in a penalty which was taken quickly against a retreating defence, and with the ball shifted wide, Dagg fired a low ball to hooker Codie Taylor who showed exquisite hands to take the ball in his stride and dive over untouched in the corner. 

After All Black full-back Ben Smith was forced from the field following a head knock, Owen Farrell got the Lions on the board from the tee, before Barrett responded with another three points of his own after Ryan Crotty had made a line break which ended with him joining Smith on the sidelines with a hamstring pull. 

Liam Williams breaks for the Lions (image via: David Rogers/Getty Images)

The first half finished in stunning circumstances for the free-flowing Lions as their back three ripped the hosts apart. Liam Williams, who was one of Warren Gatland's bolters into the starting lineup, picked up the ball deep in his 22', and after stepping Kieran Read he set off upfield. 

Williams then linked up with Daly who marauded into the opposition 22, before offloading to Davies who in turn found O'Brien to finish off a sensational length of the field score to leave the Lions down by five at the half. 

Ioane capitalises on Lions errors to hand ABs 1-0 lead 

The first 20 minutes of the second half were always going to be crucial in the overall outcome and it was a case of missed opportunity which hurt the Lions once again on this Tour. 

They picked up where they had left off in the first half with another stunning break down the left-hand side masterminded by Williams and Davies, but after being brought down short of the line they failed to capitalise. 

The All Blacks cleared the ball, and were soon back on the attack at the opposite end of the field. 

Beauden Barrett on the charge for the All Blacks (image source: Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

A scrum just outside the 22 gave them a perfect attacking platform and following a ludicrous offload from Read to scrum-half Aaron Smith the ball found its way to Ioane who raced over in the corner.

Barrett, who was forced to play at 15 after Aaron Cruden replaced Ben Smith converted once more from wide out, before adding another penalty to edge New Zealand's lead to 15 and all-but ended the contest.

Ioane added his second try following a mistake by Williams, but the horse had already bolted at that stage, yet the Lions had the last laugh with Rhys Webb going over from close range. 

The Lions must new regroup in Wellington, starting with a fixture against the reigning Super Rugby champion Hurricanes on Tuesday evening, before the second Test against the All Blacks next Saturday at Westpac Stadium


Share on Facebook