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Key performances in first Lions Test

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 24/06/2017 Angelo Risso


1. Kieran Read, All Blacks (No.8):

Captain fantastic. A genuinely incredible performance for a man who hasn't played for almost two months, with 59 ball-carrying metres, two offloads and eight tackles. Rendered the bustling Taulupe Faletau anonymous.

2. Rieko Ioane, All Blacks (wing):

Cometh the hour, cometh the (young) man. The 20-year-old showed off his blistering pace to dot down for two tries in just his first Test start, justifying his selection over established finishers Julian Savea and Waisake Naholo.

3. Sonny Bill Williams, All Blacks (second-five):

The big winner in the battle of the rugby league converts. With Ben Te'o opposite him, Williams made 17 carries in the face of dizzying Lions line speed and kept it simple with just two offloads.

4. Liam Williams, Lions (fullback):

Showed the best and worst of his game. The zippy Welsh No.15 effortlessly broke the All Blacks line to help create Sean O'Brien's length-of-the-field scorcher, before dropping a high ball straight to Ioane for the winger's second.

5. Conor Murray, Lions (halfback):

The box-kicking specialist. Lofted 11 kicks from the base of the ruck for the Lions, causing the All Blacks' back three plenty of grief. But with only 50 passes to Aaron Smith's 99, the Irishman simply didn't have enough ball.

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