Lions tour: How the All Blacks and Lions rated in the first test video

Lock Brodie Retallick was a colossus for the All Blacks against the Lions.

Lock Brodie Retallick was a colossus for the All Blacks against the Lions.

Who starred and who stumbled in the All Blacks and Lions' first clash? Here's who we rated.


Ben Smith 4: Poor start dropping his first three high balls and didn't look right. Off in the 27th minute for a concussion test and didn't return in a big worry for the All Blacks.

Israel Dagg made a big contribution for the All Blacks.

Israel Dagg made a big contribution for the All Blacks.

Israel Dagg 8: A big presence with an early try-saving tackle, powerful boot and lively counter-attack. Brilliant offload for Rieko Ioane's first try. Top night's work at the back.

* All Blacks overcome Lions in first test
* Napier: ABs land emphatic blow
* Reason: All Blacks and Lions deliver test for the ages
* UK media praise Ioane
* Read: 'A bloody tough test match'
* Coles back training but out of Lions tests

Ryan Crotty 6: Busy start and combined effectively with Sonny Bill Williams on attack and defence. Off with a hamstring injury in the 33rd minute.

Fullback Liam Williams sparked the Lions with a brilliant counter-attack.

Fullback Liam Williams sparked the Lions with a brilliant counter-attack.

Sonny Bill Williams 7: Ran headlong into the Lions' midfield all night and defended stoutly. Few trademark offloads but the physical presence the All Blacks needed and got them rolling forward.

Rieko Ioane 7: Saw very little ball in the first half then took his two chances superbly. Pace a huge asset, and no mean feat to burn off Elliot Daly for the match-sealing try.

Beauden Barrett 7.5: Well contained by the Lions defence but showed some magical touches and strong in the air when he switched to fullback. Perfect night off the kicking tee a highlight.

Big defence from Owen Farrell and Ben Te'o on Sonny Bill Williams who was a key man for the All Blacks.

Big defence from Owen Farrell and Ben Te'o on Sonny Bill Williams who was a key man for the All Blacks.

Aaron Smith 7.5: Picked for his speed of mind and pass, and delivered with a busy, decisive performance. Directed the attack well and his quick taps helped with some killer blows.

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Kieran Read 8.5: A colossus. Six weeks off? Who cares. Carried endlessly and produced one jolting tackle to snuff out a Lions raid that shook Eden Park. Wonderful touch off the scrum for Ioane's first try, and got given the final three minutes off.

Sam Cane 8: Huge work rate and kept pace with his skipper. Everywhere on defence, forced turnovers and ripped the ball from George Kruis like he was a 10-year-old.

Jerome Kaino 5: Rarely sighted in the first half and off in the 46th minute after colliding with Cane.

Sam Whitelock 7: Early poor read on defence but then reverted to type with an energetic performance around the park in tandem with Retallick.

Brodie Retallick 8: Massive first half and helped the All Blacks gain ascendancy. Carried, offloaded and forced turnovers with his gadget arms. Highly influential.

Owen Franks 6.5: Scrum was strong on his watch, conceded one potentially costly penalty. Subbed in the 54th minute.

Codie Taylor 7: Throwing fell away late as the lineout wobbled but pretty good all-round. Stunning pickup for his try and copped a powerful fend during a Lions raid.

Joe Moody 7: Solid performance, one storming run and the scrum was very good. Joined his mate Franks wandering off in the 54th.


Wyatt Crockett 7 (54th minute): Arrived and the All Blacks produced a monster scrum to set up a try. Solid as usual.

Charlie Faumuina 7 (54th): Handy double act off the bench with Crockett and just lifted the powerful All Blacks forward display.

Ardie Savea 7 (46th): Did his job and a menace at the breakdown as the game tilted the All Blacks' way, added punch and energy.

TJ Perenara 7.5 (57th): Made an impact, again. Kicked accurately for Ioane's second try and pinched a turnover. Busy and effective, the ideal bench halfback.

Aaron Cruden 7 (27th): Shaky early, then grew into the game strongly. Excellent vision and set up his outsides well. Solid night at the office, earlier than expected.

Anton Lienert-Brown 7 (33rd): Unlucky to be benched in the first place and didn't let anyone down. With Crotty's injury probably starts next week.

Not rated: Nathan Harris, Scott Barrett. - MARK GEENTY


Liam Williams 8: The Welsh wizard launched one of the greatest tries at Eden Park after wrongfooting Kieran Read. Skilled with the ball in hand, committed in the air and not afraid to mix it at the breakdown. His final touch - and only blemish - led to Rieko Ioane's second score.

Anthony Watson 6: The England wing took a brilliant overhead mark and looked a slippery customer with the ball in hand. Bad knock-on in second half when he saw little of the ball. 

Jonathan Davies 8: Strong, direct runner who was instrumental in the move for the Lions' first try, breaking Beauden Barrett's tackle.

Ben Te'o 7: Put in some big hits and stuck to SBW like glue and looked lively when he got a chance. Inexperience showed with a wrong option with a try beckoning.

Elliot Daly 7: Excellent in the air, putting pressure on the All Black receivers. Robbed of a try by Israel Dagg's desperation tackle, but returned the compliment later. Stood up Lienert-Brown in leadup to the Lions' brilliant first try.

Owen Farrell 6: The best defensive pivot in world rugby made some telling tackles. Running game looked rusty. Lions lost impetus with his move to 12.

Conor Murray 7:  The Irish ace enjoyed his Battle of the Box Kicks with equally accurate All Black Aaron Smith. Made a promising early break but pass needs to be snappier. 

Taulupe Faletau 7: Saw little of the ball in hand but made over 20 tackles. Key stop on Rieko Ioane.  More will be expected of the Welshmen on attack.

Sean O'Brien 7: Not as quick at the breakdown as his All Black opposite and missed an important tackle on Read. But his superb support play paid dividends with his try. Never gave up.

Peter O'Mahony 7: The skipper led by example in his first Lions test. Took a good lineout steal and buried his head in the tight till replaced by Sam Warburton.

George Kruis 7: Safe as the Bank of England in the lineout with a key steal. Used his big body to useful effect in the tight stuff. Poor dropped ball when Lions needed a settler after NZ's second try.

Alun Wyn Jones 5: Struggled with the pace of the game and shelled a first-half pass with a promising move beckoning. Will be under threat from Maro Itoje for a second test start.

Tadhg Furlong 7:  Fast becoming the world's top tighthead. Made some good early metres. Not many scrums, but held his end up well.

Jamie George 7: Justified Warren Gatland's faith with a solid effort. Threw well and made a couple of big hits. Led the tackle count till his replacement.

Mako Vunipola 6: Carried the ball with early gusto but well contained thereafter. More was expected.


Ken Owens 5: Undistinguished start when his first lineout throw was nabbed by Sam Whitelock.

Jack McGrath 6: Wouldn't be happy when the All Blacks scored off their best scrum of the night soon after he packed down. Bounced back with some burrowing runs.

Kyle Sinckler 6: The big unit stretched the defence with a barnstorming run. Always willing to take the ball up.

Maro Itoje 7: Replaced Wyn Jones early in the second spell. Few opportunities on attack, but a veritable tackling machine. Grabbed a lineout steal near the Lions' line.

Sam Warburton 5: Turned the ball over after winning a lineout. Will struggle to get a test start on this effort.

Rhys Webb 7: Slick passer and deserved his late try with a sniping run and a surge through the tackle.

Johnny Sexton 5: Came on at first five-eighth with the Lions on the back foot. One costly mistake with the Lions on attack.

Not rated: Leigh Halfpenny. - TONY SMITH

 - Stuff


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