Lions vs New Zealand | 3rd Test
10th July 2017
To quote Sam Warburton “Rugby was the winner”.
In what can only be described as one of the most unusual finishes to a test series and this was very evident in the player’s reactions as they weren’t entirely sure what to do at the end.
Kieran Read was notably frustrated at the end and on the face of it you could possibly see why after a change of heart from the referee meant a very kickable penalty was reduced to a scrum, which the Lions were able to defend and force the ball into touch for the end of the game.
The game started fast and with a couple of errors from the Lions the All Blacks had the bulk of the possession and field position. Their first try came from a Hurricanes masterclass in the crossfield kick after the ever composed Beauden Barrett hoisted a kick towards his younger brother Jordie, the 6″5′ full back outjumped Elliot Daly in the air and knocked it down into the path of team mate Ngani Laumape who powered over.
The second try of the game for the All Blacks was also born and finished by the Hurricanes, as Laumape made the burst with a lovely offload to Anton Lienert-Brown who found a charging Jordie Barrett for the two run on debutants to score for the All Blacks. The All Blacks were enveloping
The Lions then began to settle and work their way back into the game through the boot of Owen Farrell and one monster effort from Elliot Daly. The intensity and aggression that was so predominant in the win last weekend came back to the fore as they smashed into everything. They unfortunately left some chances go begging with missed lineouts in key positions and turnovers conceded in open play. The All Blacks also left several chances out there with Julian Savea dropping the final pass with the line seemingly at his mercy.
The two sides battled it out for the rest of the fixture and every time the All Blacks snuck ahead, Farrell was able to snag them back with ice cold kicking. The Lions were led into this fight through brilliant acts from so many yet the actions of both Maro Itoje and Jonathan Davies stood out as game changing actions, the likes of which their team mates were buoyed by.
This result will feel strange to the players for some time but what an incredible effort they have put in throughout this tour to New Zealand They have been regularly written off and given no hope but have come out on the other side with a magnificent drawn series against one of the best teams this sport has ever seen and the legacy of the Lions intact.
Only two days have passed since the end of this year’s tour and we can barely contain our excitement for the next tour to South Africa in 2021.