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NEW ZEALAND-LIONS

New Zealand 21 - 24 Lions: match report, as it happened

Owen Farrell converted a late penalty to level the tour in Wellington, after Sonny Bill Williams had been sent off in the first half. Faletau and Murray scored tries.
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New Zealand 21 - 24 Lions: match report, as it happened
DAVID GRAYREUTERS

New Zealand 21 - 24 Lions: match report

The 2017 British and Irish Lions tour will come down to the third and final match, after Owen Farrell's late penalty secured a nail-biting victory for the visitors in Wellington.

In a match pockmarked by the Lions' indiscipline, it was New Zealand's Sonny Bill Williams who received a red card in the first half for a dangerous shoulder charge on Anthony Watson. It looked like the tourists would fail to make the one-man advantage count, yet tries from Faletau and Murray set the stage for Farrell to score the crucial three points with two minutes to go.

The atmosphere was expectant in Wellington, where the rain teemed down. The vociferous Lions support backed their team with gusto in a stadium where New Zealand have not lost since 2003.

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PETER PARKSAFP

The match was tied at 3-3 in the 25th minute, when Sonny Bill Williams made himself the flawed protagonist. Anthony Watson, the Lions' 23-year-old winger, claimed a high ball before Williams clattered in to him, the ex-boxer's shoulder clashing with Watson's face. The referee consulted with the video officials, and pulled out his red card. Williams is the first All Black to be sent off since 1967, and he could have no complaints.

New Zealand seemed to adapt better to going down to 14 men. The Lions back-row exerted pressure, but created little by way of breaks. In the second half, the visitors, who have not beaten New Zealand on tour since 1971, began to move the ball through their hands. Toby Faletau finished off a sweeping move in the corner after 60 minutes. Eight minutes later, Connor Murray burst over the line after Jamie George had broken New Zealand's defence.

Mako Vunipola entered the sin-bin in the second half for a reckless clear-out of Barrett in the ruck, yet it was the differing fortunes of the two goal-kickers that proved decisive. Beauden Barrett converted seven penalties, but it should have been more. By contrast, ice-cold is the blood that courses through Owen Farrell's veins. The Saracens man, who played at inside-centre, kicked with unerring accuracy. As he stared up at the posts with two minutes to play, there was little doubt that he would level the tour at one victory apiece. 

New Zealand 21 - 24 Lions: as it happened

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