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Gatland ready to fix Lions for Wellington

25 June 2017

Two second-half tries from winger Rieko Ioane helped New Zealand to a 30-15 victory in the first Test against the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland.

This was a collective, from 23 players, and a coaching staff. Hansen outthought Gatland on this occasion and the All Blacks outplayed the Lions.

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.

First blood to New Zealand as the All Blacks proved too good for Warren Gatland's Lions at fortress Eden Park.

Rhys Webb came on and scored a consolation try after the siren but this was an ominous performance from the All Blacks.

The Lions nearly scored after three minutes amid a positive start when Elliot Daly went over following a superb break by Jonathan Davies, but the try was disallowed as Israel Dagg was able to force him into touch.

With Saturday's win the All Blacks are now strongly favored to win the series, last won by the Lions in 1971.

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And perhaps their desire to move the ball was triggered on a false alarm -on an isolated piece of brilliance that made them think they could play a bit wider than they had been. The lithe fullback dashed into a huge gap in midfield as the All Blacks stood off tackles and Williams found support right and left.

After a rousing Haka, the Lions nearly got off to the flawless start with a line break from Jonathan Davies who fed Elliot Daly, but the winger was held up over the line.

"It was a hell of a Test match - we got really tested in the first half and just after half-time".

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

With the Lions needing to win the second Test in Wellington next week to keep the series alive, Gatland said the tourists now "know what to expect".

After that New Zealand solved their defensive issues and the Lions barely had a sniff.

We take a look at the key moments that decided the series opener.

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That in turn gave the 25-year-old his first opportunity from the tee, which he took in the 30th minute to make it 10-3.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said his players had the edge he'd witnessed in the week before the 2015 World Cup final at Twickenham.

Four minutes later, the All Blacks crossed for the opening try, taking a quick tap penalty near the line with hooker Codie Taylor crossing and Barrett adding the extras. Instead, the tourists conjured a magnificent try from nothing to go to halftime at 13-8, five points behind and still very much in the game.

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

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams 7, Anthony Watson 7, Jonathan Davies 8, Ben Te'o 8, Elliot Daly 6, Owen Farrell 6, Conor Murray 6, Mako Vunipola 6, Jamie George 5, Tadhg Furlong 6, Alun Wyn Jones 4, George Kruis 5, Peter O'Mahony 5, Sean O'Brien 6, Taulupe Faletau 5.

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.

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

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Gatland ready to fix Lions for Wellington