SEAN O’BRIEN handed the Lions a massive boost as he was cleared of landing a punch on Waisake Naholo to play in the Third Test.
But All Blacks star Sonny Bill Williams is OUT of Saturday’s Eden Park decider as he was banned for four weeks for smashing Anthony Watson in the face.
O’Brien stayed in Wellington last night as the rest of the squad flew south to Queenstown without him.
The Irishman will link up with his team-mates on the South Island today.
After the hearing he said: “I hope Waisake is OK. I would like to thank the panel for carefully considering the case and I am looking forward to re-joining the whole squad to prepare for the final Test.”
Relieved Lions boss Warren Gatland said: “We would like to thank the panel for their professional and diligent approach. Sean is a tough but fair player and we are pleased that the panel dismissed the citing.”
But hours before Lions coach Graham Rowntree wasted no time in firing a rocket to his All Blacks slayers telling them to cut out the stupid indiscipline that almost cost them the win against Steve Hansen’s 14-men.
England legend Rowntree said: “We have got to sort it out because it is going to kill us.
“We have to sit them down and show them every day. We can’t be doing this. It is all about what you do in the heat of the battle under fatigue, you can’t be doing it. We have to keep reiterating that point to the players.
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“We will have to sit down and look at it in the cold light of day. It is not the same individuals. There is a trait to what we are doing but it is not the same individuals. We can’t lose a Test series on the back of some stupid penalties.
“That would be unacceptable. How do you life with that for the rest of your life? There’s a series on the line. How many of them have won a series in New Zealand?
“And what excites the guys is – there’s more in our game. There’s more to come in our game. We’ve got some great rugby players. “The best rugby players in the home nations, and they’ve had a taste of it. After the first test they were hurting – they were down. Now – let’s get this done. Let’s raise our game again.”
Whilst Rowntree hinted that serial offenders who coast the tourists stupid penalties could be dropped, that is unlikely to happen after such a historic win at the Cake Tin.
He said: “If that is what it takes. Gats has shown he is not afraid of doing things like that.
“But as I say, it is not as if it is the same offenders. We will be very frank and objective with the lads. The pictures are undeniable. That will be a big theme of the week.”
And pumped-up Rowntree is also expecting a huge backlash from the wounded All Blacks as they suffered their first defeat in the capital since 2003.
The scrum coach added: “There will be a massive reaction.
“They don’t normally make so many mistakes, do they, and they’ll be hurting from that – as we were from last week. So we’re expecting a reaction at Eden Park. They don’t lose there very often, do they. That will be driving them on.
“But we’re driven on by our game and our standards and wanting to get this done. We kept ourselves alive with that performance. We’re still in it going into the third game. The decider.”