Lions defeat All Blacks to level series

New Zealand centre Sonny Bill Williams has been handed a four-week suspension for his risky shoulder charge on Anthony Watson during the All Blacks’ eventful 24-21 defeat by the British and Irish Lions in Wellington on Saturday (1 July).It’s brilliant for rugby that this series will go down to a decider, but the Lions have to do something no other team has done since 1994 – beat the All Blacks at Eden Park – to claim the series.The tourists claimed a famous 24-21 victory over New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday to level the series despite conceding a total of 13 penalties which saw them almost throw the game away.The All Blacks were comprehensive 30-15 winners in the first test of this series.The star All Blacks midfielder became the first Kiwi player in 50 years to receive a red card on Saturday, sent off by referee Jerome Garces in his side’s 24-21 second-Test loss to the Lions in Wellington.”It doesn’t make it any easier to swallow”, he said.”The big thing about when you lose is that it’s painful, isn’t it?””We snuck a win, we’ll take it”.What impact did the dismissal of Williams, a two-time NRL premiership-winning player, have on the result?Andy Farrell also warned the Lions not to expect the All Blacks to play the same way as they did last weekend in Auckland.It appeared to be a masterstroke, as the All Blacks led by nine points at one stage in the second half.The Saracens-based Vunipola, who progressed through the English youth system and chose to play for the Red Rose instead of Wales, made 12 tackles and was solid in the scrum in last week’s 30-15 first-Test defeat in Auckland.The 31-year-old said he was “really disappointed, but happy with being able to get in there and say my piece”.New Zealand coach Steve Hansen refused to be drawn into whether Williams deserved a red card for a risky tackle on Anthony Watson in the 25th minute. He threw himself into a no-arms tackle on Watson, striking the young winger in the head with his shoulder. “There is a (judicial) process and we trust the process”.”We’re off to Queenstown for a bit of skiing and recreation stuff”, said Gatland, adding: “That was a joke”.”We looked comfortably defensively; obviously it’s hard for them with Sonny Bill off the park”.Sean O’Brien may also miss the final Test, as he has been cited for a unsafe challenge on Waisake Naholo.