2005 Lions Tour: Tuesday, July 5Auckland 13 Lions 17, Eden ParkScorers: Auckland: Try: Isa Nacewa; Con: Brent Ward; Pens: Ward 2Lions: Try: Martyn Williams; Pens: Charlie Hodgson, Ronan O'Gara 3
Munster and Ireland fly-half O'Gara came on to replace the injured Charlie Hodgson at the end of the first quarter, and knocked over penalty hits on 27, 36 and 75 minutes to guide Ian McGeechan's midweek Lions to their fifth successive victory.
McGeechan's charges had previously beaten Taranaki, Wellington, Southland and Manawatu on tour.
Geordan Murphy, Gordon D'Arcy, who looked almost back to his best, and Denis Hickie, who spilled a try-scoring crossfield kick, played a full part in the tourists' final midweek outing, while Munster prop John Hayes was replaced on the hour mark by Matt Stevens.
Leinster back Shane Horgan also joined O'Gara, who kicked very effectively throughout, in coming off the replacements bench to good effect, and he took Will Greenwood's outside centre berth for the closing half-hour.
A wasteful opening from the tourists in front of a capacity Eden Park attendance, was blown apart on 39 minutes when Wales flanker and the Six Nations Player of 2005 Martyn Williams touched down in the right corner, after a jinking run from England wide man Mark Cueto.
Leading 14-3 at the break, thanks to three penalties from Hodgson and O'Gara (2), Pat Lam's Auckland outfit made a fight of it as full-back Brent Ward's second penalty (53 minutes) and an Isa Nacewa try, created by fly-half Tasesa Lavea on 62 minutes.
Ward's conversion left the home side one point behind at 13-14. The Auckland kicker watched on in agony, however, on 69 minutes as his penalty attempt came back off an upright.
Some defiant Lions' defence mopped up the best of Auckland's attacking punch, which included flying All Black winger Joe Rokocoko, and O'Gara's late penalty saw the midweek men maintain their 100% record.
AUCKLAND: Brent Ward; Isa Nacewa, Ben Atiga, Sam Tuitupou, Joe Rokocoko; Tasesa Lavea, Steve Devine; Saimone Taumoepeau, Semisi Telefoni, John Afoa, Brad Mika, Bryce Williams, Justin Collins (Captain), Daniel Braid, Angus MacDonald.
Replacements used: Jerome Kaino for Mika (46 mins), Chris Heard for Taumoepeau (64), Kurtis Haiu for MacDonald (68), Gavin Williams for Nacewa (71), Isaia Toe'ava for Atiga, John Fonokalafi for Telefoni (both 77). Not used: Taniela Moa.
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:
(15) Geordan Murphy (Leicester/Ireland)
Replacements used: Ronan O'Gara (Munster/Ireland) for Hodgson (21 mins), Shane Horgan (Leinster/Ireland) for Greenwood (51), Martin Corry (Leicester/England) for White (55), Matt Stevens (Bath/England) for Hayes (59). Not used: Andy Titterrell (Sale Sharks/England), Brent Cockbain (The Ospreys/Wales), Chris Cusiter (The Borders/Scotland).
HT: Auckland 3 Lions 14; Attendance: 47,500Referee: Steve Walsh (New Zealand)