British and Irish Lions
Warren Gatland's side secured their first win over New Zealand in Wellington since 2003. Getty Images

The British and Irish Lions managed to capitalise on Sonny Bill Williams' daft and dangerous shoulder charge to secure a crucial 24-21 over New Zealand in Wellington on Saturday (1 July) and level the series ahead of the final Test in Auckland next week.

Neither side were in the mood to give their opponents an inch during the opening exchanges. New Zealand eventually opened the scoring halfway through the first period through Beauden Barrett but their lead lasted all of four minutes. Owen Farrell managed to master the difficult conditions to convert a penalty of his own and get the Lions back on level terms.

Just moments later, history was made. Williams became the first All Black to be sent off since 1967 after being given his marching orders for a dangerous shoulder charge on Anthony Watson.

Referee Jerome Garces was made aware of the ludicrous challenge by the Television Match Official (TMO), and after reviewing the footage, had no choice but to show Williams a red card.

The 31-year-old's dismissal was well received by the travelling Lions supporters, but their cheers were soon muted when Barrett edged his side in front with another penalty. Farrell responded in kind just two minutes after, and the pair managed to kick through the posts before the end of the first half to make the scoreline 9-9.

A needlessly high tackle from Conor Murray allowed Barrett to convert his fourth penalty of the night on 48 minutes, and the Taranaki fly-half managed to kick Steve Hansen's into a nine-point lead. But the advantage was soon shortened by Taulupe Faletau, who capitalised on some excellent work from Watson on the right flank to crash over the line. Farrell, whose kicking was sharp in the first half, did not come close with the conversion.

Sonny Bill Williams
Williams' shoulder charge was met with the correct punishment. Getty Images

Barrett extended the All Blacks' lead to seven points with another penalty, but the deficit was reduced to nothing when Murray went over after Jamie George broke the New Zealand line.

Farrell made amends for his previous failure with a strong conversion, and after Kyle Sinckler was taken out dangerously with just two minutes of normal time remaining, the Saracens star kept his composure to kick a history-making penalty.

The 14 men of New Zealand fought valiantly but couldn't muster a response in the seconds that remained. Williams' moment of madness ensured that the Lions levelled the series and defeated the All Blacks for the first time in Wellington since 2003.