By Thomas Branston
Owen Farrell helped the British and Irish Lions beat the unbeaten Super Rugby side Crusaders in a battle of the boot.
The Lions fly-half secured four from five penalties as they came away with a 12-3 win at the AMI Stadium in Christchurch to get their second win of the tour.
Crusaders fly-half Richie Mo’unga did get the hosts on the scoresheet in the first-half as they trailed 9-3 at half-time.
Farrell secured the match with nine minutes to go as he slotted the easiest of his penalties on the day, right in front of the posts from close range to secure a scalp for the Lions.
Warren Gatland started arguably his strongest team of the series to match the pace, creativity and strength of an unbeaten Crusaders side and it proved crucial as the Lions produced an improved performance against Super Rugby’s in-form outfit.
In a very tight game played upon a greasy surface, it came down to the penalty count and if it weren’t for the Crusaders attacking, try-scoring mentality the game could have been a lot closer on the scoresheet.
Owen Farrell kicked three from four attempts in the first period for the Lions while Richie Mo’unga slotted one for the Crusaders before half-time.
The England fly-half then added a crucial penalty with nine minutes to play to ease the pressure on the Lions.
The win inflicted a first defeat on the New Zealanders this season and a first under Head Coach Scott Robertson, and the revitalised Lions will now move on to face the Highlanders in Dunedin on Tuesday.