Owen Farrell kicked four penalties as the British and Irish Lions belatedly boosted their hopes of a successful 2017 with a 12-3 win over the Canterbury Crusaders.

New Zealand’s top provincial side had hoped to pile more derision upon Warren Gatland’s ailing side just three days after an embarrassing defeat to the Auckland Blues.

But a brilliant forward performance shut out the hosts while Farrell kicked four from five attempts to serve as a reminder that the Lions may not be the pushovers the Kiwi media were beginning to portray.

Despite being thumped in the first Test, the Lions hit back in the second, taking advantage of the early sending-off of Sonny Bill Williams to eke out a 24-21 win in Wellington.

And a heroic performance in the third and decisive test, in which the Lions clawed back a six-point deficit to snatch a 15-15 draw through another late Farrell penalty, illustrated how far they had come since their win over the Crusaders.


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