Lions History

New Zealand 2005 - Fixtures & Results

New Zealand
British and Irish Lions

38 vs 19

July 9, 2012 19:10 PM - Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand

New Zealand 38 British and Irish Lions 19

New Zealand


Tana Umaga (capt) (2)

Ali Williams (1)

Rico Gear (1)

Conrad Smith (1)


Luke McAlister (5)


Luke McAlister (1)

British and Irish Lions


Lewis Moody (1)


Stephen Jones (1)


Stephen Jones (4)


And so the rout is complete. A defeat by 19 points seems almost respectable after last week. This, however, was almost an exact replica.

A feisty start from the Lions, huge effort and commitment throughout from the men in red, but an even huger gulf in class. And it could have been worse but for interventions by the world's most vocal touch-judge, Stuart Dickinson.

Sir Clive Woodward can have no complaints this time about officials failing to spot off-the-ball incidents. In the second half, courtesy of Mr Dickinson, New Zealand had one superb counterattacking try disallowed and one penalty reversed at times when they were pressing hard. Both were for late tackles way back in play; both were contentious, particularly the second.

The disallowed try could have been yet another sublimely conceived score by the All Blacks, featuring an inspired kick into space by second-row forward Chris Jack (a lock, of all people - the humiliation), which was gathered brilliantly by Sitiveni Sivivatu, who galloped home. But possession for the try had been won when Stephen Jones had dropped the ball with the fearsome Jerry Collins looming and the All Blacks' chief destroyer followed through with his tackle.

The lateness of it was borderline, but he had not used his arms. And so what could have been an even worse deficit was turned into a minor Lions comeback during the 10 minutes Collins spent in the sin bin - even if Donncha O'Callaghan's failure to make use of a three-man overlap was criminally wasteful. This was midway through the second half, and if any were sorry to have been denied so brilliant a try there were ample compensations elsewhere. Four had been notched up by then, all for the All Blacks, all involving something special.

Collins was not the only one to go to the bin. Tana Umaga was sent there as early as the ninth minute for killing the ball. The Lions went 6-0 up with the penalty, Dwayne Peel was looking sharp, so was Josh Lewsey, as were the forwards. All seemed well with the world.

Briefly we forgot that that was how it had been at the same point in the game the previous week.

But now the 14-man outfit decided, cruelly, to shift through the gears. When you are so much better than your opponents you can afford to pick and choose your moments, but couldn't they just have allowed the Lions the dignity of scoring when they had all their players there?

Two minutes later, Sione Lauaki drove from the base of a scrum. Then Conrad Smith, perhaps feeling lonely without his mate in the centre, dummied laconically to Sivivatu outside him and, when that piece of skill had been bought, he opted next to show his power by running clean through Geordan Murphy, the last line of defence.

Lauaki? Smith? It is true, you might not have noticed them during last week's rout but that was because they were not there - or at least not at the start. Then Lauaki came off the bench - this week he started because one of the All Blacks' best players, Richie McCaw, was out injured. Smith was also given a chance and yet another, very possibly the best of the lot, was missing in Daniel Carter.

So, to run the ship, they drafted in a young lad of 22 who they had heard could play fly-half. Luke McAlister is normally a centre, but he might as well have been Carter himself, so natural did he look in the hotseat.

Among the many creative delights he had in store was a lateral kick of remarkable inventiveness. He produced it in the fifth minute of his captain's absence. It bobbled horribly as Peel tried to control it on the try-line, and Ali Williams pounced to score as Rodney So'oialo's challenge took Peel out.

Having started well again, the Lions had been slammed back on the canvas within five minutes. And then the All Blacks captain returned to join the fun.

Stephen Jones did keep the Lions in the hunt with two more penalties to claw them back to 14-9, but that was when Umaga, so threatening a presence throughout, decided to strike. This time McAlister showed his aptitude for the half-break and Umaga chose a perfect line off it to go over under the posts. It was 24-12 at half-time.

And then it was 31-12. Umaga again. Justin Marshall was on now, a handy replacement with 80 caps, for the excellent Byron Kelleher, and so too was Marty Holah. The latter drove, the former whipped the ball away, and through went Umaga, smashing aside one of the Lions' more formidable presences, Paul O'Connell, in the process. McAlister, obviously, converted.

It still bewilders how one side should make things look so much easier than the other. The Lions actually shaded both possession and territory, but just could only labour in vain. Again they were forced to go for the corners as the penalty count mounted in their favour. Again and again they drove. One was held up over the line.

Then, in the 65th minute, Lewis Moody, a worthy warrior, made it over after another sweaty drive. And then you remembered that the All Blacks pack was a man short with Collins in the sin bin.

The final indignity came late in injury time, when Will Greenwood's pass was intercepted by Rico Gear, who kicked on, raced away and finished with distressing coolness. He didn't even seem to be trying.

And that's what makes so much worthy endeavour by these beleaguered tourists so sad to watch.

The All Blacks looked effortless again. And they made it a whitewash.

Source: Guardian

Line Ups

New Zealand

Mils Muliaina

Rico Gear

Conrad Smith

Tana Umaga (capt)

Sitiveni Sivivatu

Luke McAlister

Byron Kelleher

Tony Woodcock

Keven Mealamu

Greg Somerville

Chris Jack

Ali Williams

Jerry Collins

Rodney So'oialo

Sione Lauaki


Justin Marshall

Campbell Johnstone

James Ryan

Marty Holah

Derren Witcombe

Nick Evans

Doug Howlett

British and Irish Lions

Geordan Murphy

Mark Cueto

Will Greenwood

Gareth Thomas (capt)

Josh Lewsey

Stephen Jones

Dwayne Peel

Gethin Jenkins

Shane Byrne

Julian White

Donncha O'Callaghan

Paul O'Connell

Simon Easterby

Lewis Moody

Ryan Jones


Ronan O'Gara

Shane Horgan

Matt Dawson

Graham Rowntree

Gordon Bulloch

Martyn Williams

Martin Corry

Before the match...


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