Lions History

New Zealand 2005 - Fixtures & Results

Wellington
British and Irish Lions

6 vs 23

June 15, 2005 19:10 PM - Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand

Wellington 6 British and Irish Lions 23

Wellington

Pens:

Jimmy Gopperth (2)

British and Irish Lions

Tries:

Gethin Jenkins (1)

Gareth Thomas (1)

Cons:

Jonny Wilkinson (2)

Pens:

Jonny Wilkinson (3)

Overview

The Lions put their New Zealand tour back on track after defeat to the Maori with a patchy victory over Wellington.

The tourists dominated the first half but had to settle for a 13-6 interval lead via two Jonny Wilkinson penalties and a converted Gethin Jenkins try.

Wilkinson kicked a third penalty on the resumption before moving to centre, Stephen Jones taking over at fly-half.

And Gareth Thomas sealed victory near the end when he touched down his own kick ahead, Wilkinson converting.

After last Saturday's setback, it was a far more encouraging display from the Lions 10 days before the first Test against the All Blacks.

Dwayne Peel and Jenkins all but cemented their Test spots with strong showings, while hooker Shane Byrne improved the line-out and lock Danny Grewcock showed up well.

The Lions coaches also took the chance to see Wilkinson, who missed a couple of tackles in the first half, at inside centre outside Jones for the last half-hour.

A lack of precision prevented the tourists turning their advantage into points, despite a more proficient display at the breakdown, where flanker Neil Back improved matters.

They would have been heartened by turning over Wellington ball inside the first 20 seconds, only for Wilkinson, on his first tour outing, to push his drop-goal attempt wide.

Gavin Henson followed suit with a longer-range effort in the sixth minute, after Martin Corry was fortunate to escape censure for a swinging arm at Wellington's Kristian Ormsby.

Ormsby responded by taking out Corry off the ball moments later, allowing Wilkinson to kick the Lions into the lead.

They started to play with confidence, the busy Thomas bursting onto a Henson pass in midfield as the tourists strung some promising phases together.

But despite dominating, they had to wait until the 24th minute to add to their tally when Julian White forced up Joe McDonnell at a scrum, Wilkinson landing the penalty.

When Neil Back conceded a penalty on the floor, Wellington fly-half Jimmy Gopperth halved the hosts' deficit.

But the Lions continued to control the ball, only for their execution to let them down on several occasions.

Corry blew a golden opportunity when, with four men outside him, he stepped inside and charged for the line, only to be stopped short by Wellington hooker Mahonri Schwalger.

Ben Kay, following up, will want to forget his botched attempt at picking up and diving over.

The Lions kicked a penalty to touch only for Josh Lewsey to knock on Peel's pass, but finally got their reward four minutes before the break.

Peel took a quick line-out take from Grewcock and dummied to pass before bursting through the scattered line-out.

He fed the supporting Corry, who sent Jenkins charging over from 15m, Wilkinson adding the conversion for a 13-3 lead.

Gopperth added a second penalty for Wellington moments before the interval, and the Lions lost their momentum in the second half.

Early half-breaks from Thomas and Jason Robinson saw Wilkinson punish a Wellington infringement with a third penalty.

But the hosts responded well and number eight Thomas Waldrom burst to within inches of the line before being penalised for holding on.

Centre Ma'a Nonu also showed his All Black credentials by leaving a flailing Thomas for dead down the left wing.

The Lions sent on Jones, Shane Horgan, Chris Cusiter and Matt Stevens in a messy period of play around the hour.

They finally added a second try four minutes from time when Thomas stepped inside a defender, kicked ahead and won the chase to the line.

Source: BBC

Line Ups

Wellington

Shannon Paku

Lome Fa'atau

Ma'a Nonu

Tane Tu'ipulotu

Roy Kinikinilau

Jimmy Gopperth

Piri Weepu

Joe McDonnell (capt)

Mahonri Schwalger

Tim Fairbrother

Luke Andrews

Ross Filipo

Kristian Ormsby

Ben Herring

Thomas Waldrom

Replacements

Tamati Ellison

Cory Jane

Riki Flutey

Luke Mahoney

Justin Purdie

Kane Thompson

British and Irish Lions

Josh Lewsey

Gareth Thomas

Brian O'Driscoll (capt)

Gavin Henson

Jason Robinson

Jonny Wilkinson

Dwayne Peel

Gethin Jenkins

Shane Byrne

Julian White

Danny Grewcock

Ben Kay

Simon Easterby

Neil Back

Martin Corry

Replacements

Shane Horgan

Stephen Jones

Chris Cusiter

Matt Stevens

Gordon Bulloch

Richard Hill

Before the match...

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