Sport

Lions missed out on beating All Blacks due to lack of preparation

Lions missed out on beating All Blacks due to lack of preparation”

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton has admitted that he did not know how to feel following his side's thrilling 15-15 draw with New Zealand in the third and final match of their tour this morning.

With Owen Farrell's 78th-minute three-pointer levelling the scores at 15-15, the resulting All Blacks' kick-off was knocked forward - where Welsh hooker Ken Owens, in an offside position, touched the ball.

The Lions were penalised for offside but after going to the TMO to check an illegal tackle, Romain Poite reduced the penalty to just a scrum deciding on accidental offside.

From that set piece the Lions held firm and although New Zealand may complain about that decision but they were in a position of their own making after wasting a hatful of chances in the first half, with Beauden Barrett once again missing an easy penalty, which could have proved the difference.

Scots watching - polls this week have shown there were fewer with commitment to the Lions than ever before - will be howling anew in frustration as the most notorious similar case involving their team, in the RWC quarter-final two years ago, resulted in a penalty which Australia kicked to win 34-33.

All Blacks captain Kieran Read, who was looking to hit back in his 100th worldwide after last week's second-Test defeat in Wellington, said it was "certainly not what we came here to do". It's better than losing.

He added: "The players have come together in six weeks, we've taken the double world champions right to the final whistle".

Warren Gatland has a suggestion that we would all love to see happen.The Barbarians are down to play the All Blacks at Twickenham in November and Gatland is enthused by the idea of letting his British and Irish Lions stepping in to take the place of the Baa-Baas.

His opposite number with the All Blacks, Kieran Read, was utterly deflated at the end. "The mind is pretty powerful in that regard", he said.

"As a rugby player, these are the moments that you want to be involved in on the biggest stage".

Gatland was the happier of the two coaches, even though he felt his team could have played better. The All Blacks threw everything at us in the first 20 minutes and we hung in there. That is an accumulation of factors across the series.

"That is because we have been really tested and pushed and that has put us in good stead". They stuck at it.

"I would have been there for long enough and so I don't know what I'm going to do post-2019". A half-time score of 24-6 rather than 12-6 would have been a fair reflection on the first 40 minutes.

Farrell finished the night with 12 points from four penalty kicks, while Elliott Daly also booted a huge effort from 55 metres for the Lions just after half-time.

As the referee blew full time on what has been a mammoth Lions series there was an eerie feeling around Eden Park. They pressed within metres of the All Blacks line, then swung the ball wide but Barrett was lurking and claimed an intercept - caught from behind he passed to Laumape who, in turn, was run down by Jonathan Davies.

The last half hour mirrored the series, as compelling a drama as sport can produce.



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