Lions Player Ratings: The All Blacks power to victory

New Zealand dominate the second half to win the first test

BY Simon Maguire 14:52 Saturday 24 June 2017, 14:52 24 Jun 2017

Dejected Lions players. ©INPHO/James Crombie

The first test between the British & Irish Lions and New Zealand lived up to the hype as physically frantic match pushed both sides to the brink.

The All Blacks pulled away in the second half with two tries from Reiko Ioane to seal a 30-15 victory.

We rate the Lions players after the pulsating clash at Eden Park: 

Liam Williams - 7

Struggled under the high ball and was guilty of not gathering the box-kick which led to Ioane's second try. However, he was alert in attack and was pivotal in the Lions' first try when he had the bravery and vision to run from inside his own 22 to set up one of the best tries scored in recent memory.  

Anthony Watson - 7

Went looking for work whenever he could but forced offloads when going to ground was the better option. Brilliant early take to halt an New Zealand attack out wide.  

Jonathan Davies - 7

His best match on tour by some distance. Linked the play well throughout and ran some excellent support lines. 

Ben Te'o - 8

Superb throughout and did exactly what was expected of him. Kept Sonny Bill under-wraps while he was on the field but was lucky not to be carded for a dubious tackle on the All Black in the second half.

Lions' Owen Farrell and Ben Te’o tackle Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Marty Melville

Elliott Daly - 6

Should have finished off in the corner early on and the game could have turned out differently. Fairly anonymous compared to the rest of the outside backs. 

Owen Farrell - 7

Controlled his back-line well in the first half but his influence faded in the second half. Should have converted O'Brien's try to really put the pressure on the home side.  

Conor Murray - 8

Box-kicked accurately though-out and put his body on the line in defence.

Lions' Conor Murray. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Mako Vunipola - 7

Emptied the tank by the time he was replaced, made his presence felt in defence. 

Jamie George - 7

Deserved to start and operated the line-out efficiently.  

Tadhg Furlong - 6

Didn't see as much of him about the park as w are used to. Threw a needlessly risky pass early on. Scrummaged superbly and was out of gas when replaced. 

Alun Wyn Jones - 5

Appeared way off the pace and was overshadowed by his opposite number. Itoje has to start ahead of him in Wellington next weekend.  

George Kruis - 7

Got through a mountain of work and was a nuisance in the loose.  

Peter O'Mahony (c) - 9

Superb in the line-out and made 13 tackles in 53 minutes. Led form the front. The Lions fell apart when he departed - could be a coincidence, might also not be.  

Lions' Peter O'Mahony is tackled by Sonny Bill Williams of the All Blacks. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Peter Meecham

Sean O'Brien - 8

Relentlessly physical display and powered thought the defence so much he was left isolated at times. Slipped off a tackle on Read early on but ran a brilliant support line for his try. 

Taulupe Faletau - 7

Started strongly and made the hard yards. Faded as the All Blacks dominated the second half. 

Bench - 5

There was little impact from the bench to swing the game back in the Lions' favour. Itoje has to start next weekend with perhaps Stander and Lawes readied to be brought on.

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