Kiwis turn on SBW after Lions victory
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.