Defence won All Blacks the game - Read


New Zealand's defending under pressure early in the second half was key to their opening-Test victory over the British and Irish Lions, according to captain Kieran Read.

The All Blacks recorded a 30-15 victory over the tourists in Auckland on Saturday but had to withstand a period of pressure early in the second half, with a fantastic Sean O'Brien try late in the first having given the Lions momentum.

A Rieko Ioane double put the result beyond doubt before Rhys Webb scored a late consolation, but Read says the match was by no means straightforward for his side.

"I thought it was a hell of a Test match," he told Sky Sports. "We certainly got tested in the first half, especially, and just after half-time.

"I guess our defence just after half-time probably won us the game. Then we got our opportunity and took it.

"They played outstanding. It showed two pretty skillful teams working pretty hard for each other. It was a tough Test match. We had to work hard for that.

"Momentum changed a few times and we were able to scramble well and then take our opportunity."

Discussing whether the result has any impact on the team's approach to the second Test in Wellington next weekend, Read added: "I guess it makes it a one-off game and those games are pretty dangerous for any side.

"We'll go into it that same as what we prepared this week. I don't think it'll change, we'll have to work hard for it."