The British and Irish Lions have had their tour hopes dented after head coach Warren Gatland’s side suffered their first defeat in New Zealand, losing 22-16 to Super Rugby franchise the Blues in Auckland.
The travelling outfit responded to an early Rieko Ioane try by putting back-row powerhouse CJ Stander in for a converted try after 17 minutes, but Sonny Bill Williams’ injury-time intervention saw the Blues steal a 12-10 lead at the break.
Two second-half penalties from Leigh Halfpenny steered the Lions into the slimmest of leads with 10 minutes remaining, but a superb score and conversion from Ihaia West sealed the victory.
New Zealand were always going to be considered favourites to beat Gatland’s men this summer, although their odds of winning the series have now improved from an already imperious 1/5 (1.20) to an even more dominant 1/7 (1.14) following Wednesday’s result.
The Lions, meanwhile, were being considered at 3/1 (4.00) to win the series with some bookmakers, but after a poor start to the tour, they’ve now dropped to 5/1 (6.00) in places to emerge victorious.
British and Irish Lions Series Winners Odds
- New Zealand: 1/7 (1.14)
- British and Irish Lions: 5/1 (6.00)
- Drawn Series: 40/1 (41.00)