Steve Hansen said recently that the way to beat the All Blacks “was to score more points than them”. Today that happened albeit for 65 minutes against 14 men after Sonny Bill Williams was red carded for a dangerous tackle on Anthony Watson.
A lot will be said about the sending off but the Lions scored two tries through Faletau and Murray to clinically beat the All Blacks who failed to cross the tryline.
The match was a great one for the statistician. The first time an All Black has been dismissed since 1967. The first time in 39 games the All Blacks haven’t scored a try.
The statistic that All Blacks coach Steve Hansen will not want is to be the coach of and All Blacks team that lose to the British and Irish Lions.
Hansen’s opposite number raised a smile at the end of the game, not quite as much as the rest of the coaching team, but knows it will still be a massive job to 15 All Blacks next week even though Sonny Bill Williams will not be part of the next chapter.
“We take a huge amount of confidence from stepping up physically which was the challenge. We scored some nice tries and the red card is significant for the All Blacks.
“We know what New Zealand teams are like when they lose, we saw that in Chicago and we know we’re in for an almighty battle at Eden Park but we’ve come out of tonight with some belief and confidence in keeping the All Blacks tryless. I don’t know the last time that happened,” Gatland said.
So it’s on to Eden Park for the decider and perhaps a few more statistics.