Ki­wis turn on SBW af­ter Lions vic­tory

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

DIS­GRACED cen­tre Sonny Bill Wil­liams was yes­ter­day ac­cused of cost­ing the All Blacks the sec­ond Test against the Bri­tish and Ir­ish Lions, as New Zealan­ders even tried blam­ing rugby league for their first loss on home soil since 2009.

Wil­liams be­came only the third All Black to be sent off fol­low­ing Cyril Brown­lie in 1925 and Colin Meads in 1967 in the Lions’ 24- 21 win in Welling­ton on Satur­day to square the se­ries with one match re­main­ing.

A week ago, Wil­liams was praised for his gen­eros­ity when he gave away his shorts and socks to a young Lions fan af­ter the All Blacks won the first Test, rem­i­nis­cent of the way he gave away his win­ner’s medal af­ter the 2015 World Cup fi­nal.

But his dis­missal for a head­high shoul­der charge in the 25th minute of the sec­ond Test turned him into a vil­lain.

It was a piv­otal mo­ment in the match and al­though the All Blacks were able to build an 18- 9 lead, the im­pact of 14 play­ers against 15 told late in the game as the Lions roared back in the fi­nal quar­ter.

Lions flanker Sean O’Brien was cited yes­ter­day for a swing­ing arm hit on winger Waisake Na­holo and prop Mako Vu­nipola was lucky to es­cape with a yel­low card for shoul­der charge on Beau­den Bar­rett.

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