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Lions hold New Zealand to dramatic draw as Test series finishes all square

Warren Gatland’s team came close to securing a first series win over the All Blacks since 1971 in a thrilling stalemate.

RUGBY UNION 09/07/17 06:56
Lions hold New Zealand to dramatic draw as Test series finishes all square

Owen Farrell kicked a penalty two minutes from time as the British and Irish Lions claimed a dramatic 15-15 draw against world champions New Zealand at Eden Park.

In doing so, a pulsating three-Test series ended 1-1 as both sides fought themselves to a standstill.

The All Blacks thought they had a chance to win it with just seconds left, but as Beauden Barrett lined up a kick at goal, referee Romain Poite consulted television replays and awarded a scrum to New Zealand instead for accidental offside.

New Zealand looked to have silenced the Lions’ roar, but they were guilty of blowing a number of gilt-edged chances that ultimately returned to haunt them.

The Lions’ hopes of series glory on New Zealand soil for a first time since 1971 were ultimately thwarted against an All Blacks side that made it 40 Tests unbeaten at Eden Park.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland said: “The New Zealand public and fans have taken us to their hearts. It’s been a great series. I think we should embrace this concept of the Lions, I think it’s been brilliant. We’ll just enjoy the next couple of days as a squad and reflect back on what this group of players have achieved. Some of these players have been on two tours now and are undefeated as Lions players. Those players who have been on two tours should be very, very proud of their achievements.”

All Blacks boss Steve Hansen said: “There was some really good rugby played, and maybe a drawn series was fair. We played well in the first Test, they played well in the second. We did well enough to win it in the third but they hung in there. So rugby’s always had a draw and it’s not a World Cup final; it is a three-match series. So my own belief is probably leave it the way it is. If you’re good enough to get a drawn series, both teams will get the credit that comes from it.”

Tweet of the match

Moment of the match

Owen Farrell’s nerveless late penalty snatched the Lions a stunning and against-all-odds draw. The England star kept his cool to slot over his third three-pointer and ensure the tourists claimed a share of the spoils.

Star man – Jonathan Davies

Another sumptuous performance from the Wales centre. His two bullish hits on full-back Jordie Barrett summed up his mixture of industry and ingenuity.

An unfamiliar feeling

Captains Sam Warburton and Kieran Read had to collect the Lions series trophy jointly. Such was the oddity of the drawn series. And both skippers clearly felt awkward on accepting the trophy together.

Player ratings

New Zealand: Jordie Barrett 8, Israel Dagg 6, Anton Lienert-Brown 7, Ngani Laumape 7, Julian Savea 6, Beauden Barrett 8, Aaron Smith 7, Joe Moody 7, Codie Taylor 7, Owen Franks 7, Brodie Retallick 8, Sam Whitelock 7, Jerome Kaino 7, Sam Cane 8, Kieran Read 7. Replacements: Aaron Cruden 6, Malakai Fekitoa 7, Ardie Savea 7, Wyatt Crockett 7, Charlie Faumuina 7, TJ Perenara 6, Nathan Harris 6, Scott Barrett 6.

British and Irish Lions: Liam Williams 6, Anthony Watson 7, Jonathan Davies 9, Owen Farrell 7, Elliot Daly 8, Johnny Sexton 7, Conor Murray 8, Mako Vunipola 7, Jamie George 7, Tadhg Furlong 8, Maro Itoje 8, Alun Wyn Jones 7, Sam Warburton 8, Sean O’Brien 7, Taulupe Faletau 8. Replacements: Ken Owens 6, Jack McGrath 7, Kyle Sinckler 6, Courtney Lawes 6, CJ Stander 6, Rhys Webb 6, Ben Te’o 6, Jack Nowell 6.

Dylan Hartley signs new contract with Northampton

Dylan Hartley signs new contract with Northampton

Dylan Hartley signs new contract with Northampton

Dylan Hartley signs new contract with Northampton

Dylan Hartley signs new contract with Northampton

Dylan Hartley signs new contract with Northampton

The 31-year-old replaces Tom Wood as captain.

The 31-year-old replaces Tom Wood as captain.

The 31-year-old replaces Tom Wood as captain.

The 31-year-old replaces Tom Wood as captain.

The 31-year-old replaces Tom Wood as captain.

The 31-year-old replaces Tom Wood as captain.

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