Lions tour: All Blacks prop Joe Moody deflects blame off Sonny Bill Williams for second Test loss to Lions
All Blacks prop Joe Moody says their own shortcomings were to blame for the second Test loss to the British and Irish Lions, not the sending off of Sonny Bill Williams.
Moody says the team were quick to forgive Williams for his red card offence early in the 24-21 loss in Wellington, a result which sets up the series to be decided in Auckland next week.
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The players accept the cross-code international carried no malice into the shoulder to the head of Anthony Watson.
His remorse that he had let the team down was obvious afterwards, Moody said.
"We covered it off last night, but you can't blame it on one man.
"We're all behind him. I haven't seen him today but I'm sure he's sweet."
Moody said the Lions executed better than the first Test and adapted better to the wet and windy conditions.
Moody said playing for 55 minutes without veteran flanker Jerome Kaino - replaced by debutant midfield back Ngani Laumape when Williams exited - was difficult but not an impossible challenge for the remaining forwards.
"Everybody's got to lift and pick up an extra few per cent in everything they do," he said.
"You do notice it but that wasn't the make or break of the game for us. There were a lot of things we should have done better."
Moody left no doubt about how he and others felt soon afterwards, contemplating a first home defeat in eight years.
"I definitely soaked up the defeat a bit last night. I embraced that shit feeling and have used that for the week ahead.
"It's a little bit of a shock to the system and I'm glad I haven't had it often."
For Moody's replacement, veteran prop Wyatt Crockett, the loss was remarkable just his second in 61 Tests.