Gatland: Lions spots up for grabs after flop

Fasting won't slow Sonny Bill

Fasting won't slow Sonny Bill

And after Codie Taylor's try the Lions went over for a memorable score through Sean O'Brien after great work from Liam Williams, Daly and Jonathan Davies as they sparked a spectacular counter-attack.

He said the Lions were a class outfit and that they had the respect of the All Blacks.

The Lions now have to win in Wellington next weekend to keep the series alive, but Gatland believes they can still push the world champions as they try to keep alive their dream of being the first Lions side since 1971 to win a series in New Zealand.

But the All Blacks were too strong up front, and the Lions curiously blunted.

Lions now play Hurricanes on Tuesday before tackling New Zealand in the second Test next Saturday at Westpac Stadium, Wellington (both 8.35am).

O'Mahony is tackled by Sonny Bill Williams. Owen Farrell found Elliot Daly and he fought his way past Israel Dagg but the winger grazed the touchline before touching down and the try was chalked off.

Weight of possession began slowly to build in the All Blacks' favour as they met the Lions kicking threat through Dagg and Ben Smith.

Having moved ahead through a Beauden Barrett penalty, the All Blacks increase their advantage with a wonderful, opportunistic try.

But Read did not see it that way and says the Lions made it tough for his victorious New Zealand side.

The All Blacks bulldozed the Lions' scrum - a supposed strength of the tourists - and Kieran Read produced a masterful move at the base of the fast-advancing set-piece.

While the Lions switched off, expecting a shot at goal, the All Blacks took a quick tap which resulted in a try to Taylor in the corner.

Farrell succeeded with his first penalty in the 30th minute, putting the Lions on the board at 10-3, but Barrett goaled again to restore a 10-point margin.

All Blacks full-back Ben Smith failed a Head Injury Assessment, while Ryan Crotty picked up a hamstring injury and could miss the rest of the series.

New Zealand, though, held firm in the face of some outstanding rugby by the Lions to make it 39 successive games unbeaten at Eden Park.

Five minutes later, from a repeat of the same direct approach, the All Blacks won another penalty close to the Lions line.

After penalties were exchanged around the half-hour mark, Warren Gatland's men made arguably the biggest statement of their tour when they uncorked a breathtaking 80m breakout try sparked by the brilliance of Liam Williams, continued by Daly and Davies and then finished by tireless flanker Sean O'Brien.

The Lions emerged from the locker room after half-time with their confidence restored and with their willingness to attack - called into question before the match - now in full evidence.

Indeed, the hosts dictated the tempo of the match while the visitors, unable to find a way through, frequently resorted to box kicks, which more often than not just gave possession straight back to the All Blacks. A fine knock from the New Zealand skipper.

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