Eden Park is not so much a fortress for the All Blacks as an impenetrable force field.
They have not lost at the stadium since July 1994 when they went down to France 20-23, the only other minor hiccup came in August the same year when South Africa managed an 18-18 draw.
They have now gone 37 games unbeaten at the Auckland ground.
They haven’t lost at any ground in NZ since 2009.
These facts underline the enormous task faced by the Lions in the test series.
To win the series they have to win at least one (of the two) matches in Auckland plus forge a second win in Wellington. Incidentally the ABs haven’t been beaten in Wellington since 2003 (13-15 by Martin Johnson’s England).
The test schedule is Eden Park-Wellington-Eden Park on successive Saturdays. So a series win is dependent on winning twice at Eden Park or on two successive weekends.
This against the best team on the planet!
That is some ask!
The unbeaten run in Auckland will be stretched to 38 games tomorrow morning when I predict that the ABs will beat Samoa by at least 31 points.
Immediately before the AB game, Wales take on Tonga & even without their Lions they should have enough to be ahead by 15 at the final whistle
The game is live on Sky Sports for those lucky enough not to have to work on a Friday (or on any other day in my case!)