Well it was cak or bust! Lose this one and you might as well pack and go home. It didn’t start well with rain that was belting down, across and around! Is that why it is called Wellington? Nobody in their right mind would go out on an evening like this and yet 46 highly trained players decided they would.
The first half saw an exchange of penalty kicks between Barrett and Farrell – there always seems a certain poetic similarity about those two names together. It means they left for half-time with the score 9 – 9 but there had been something very significant happen in that half.
For the first time in 50 years an All Black had been sent off. Now there are a lot of people who would suggest that is long overdue! Sonny Bill Williams thought he would join what looked like a completed tackle by not using his arms and striking an opponent’s head with his shoulder. The ref had no option – Red Card.
This only galvanised the All Blacks and Barrett kicked his side into a 9 point lead. Mako Vunipola was sin-binned for a totally unnecessary late tackle on the fly-half but Taulupe Faletau then crashed over in the left corner to give the Lions hope.
Barrett kicked a 7th penalty to give the home side a little daylight once again. Conor Murray then broke through to score a try and Farrell’s conversion from out wide levelled it up at 21-21.
With just 4 minutes to go the combination of the weather and poor disciple saw Charlie Faumuina penalised for taking Kyle Sinckler out in the air and for Farrell to stroke over the critical three points to seal a famous win.