So after all of the build up and what have you, it ended as a draw. Ok it wasnt the result that anyone wanted, really. Not taking anything away from the Lions, as going to New Zealand and beating the All Blacks (best team in the world), drawing the series overall, is some achievement and they should be proud. But the quotes coming from players and coaches after the game, of wanting to play extra time etc, proves that nobody wanted a drawn series. But it is what it is and there is nothing we can do about it. Maybe there could for future Lions tours, but really, how often does it happen? The funny thing is, now with a draw, everyone wants a fourth test decider or, at the time extra time etc. But go back before the tour started and I imagine the Lions players and coaches would have bit your hand off for a drawn series against the world champions. Especially with the so-called suicidal tour schedule. So all in all well done to both teams and the Lions especially, what an achievement.
There are few points to take away from the whole tour. First up, there is no way that future Lions tours can be shortened. We got a drawn series from a 10 game tour and there’s talk of it being an 8 game tour? Really come on that’s just defeating the whole thing. This tour has shown us, if nothing else, that the Lions tours need to be at least 7 warm up games and the 3 tests. Otherwise the team don’t get time to gel and rest periods between will be shorter, would they not? Why change something that is so successful, with such a great history. The fans love it and so do the players. The ball has already started rolling anyway, as England have refused to let any of their players go and play for the barbarians in an unofficial fourth test against the All Blacks. Where will it roll to next?
Second point is that, the northern hemisphere teams should take note. The mighty All Blacks can be beaten, they are not invincible, pretty damn good and the best around, but beatable. Can any of the northen teams beat the All Blacks? Yes on their day anyone can beat anyone in 80mins, but will we see it anytime soon, I think not. The All Blacks are going to come back stronger from this. Yes ok Ireland beat them in Chicago but they beat them the following week and the All Blacks still haven’t lost back to back games in a long time. If you had the money to put a bet on between them and the All Blacks who would you put it on? I know who i would. Going into any games the All Blacks are always going to be the favourites. But their world dominance cannot last forever…can it? The players from this Lions tour have got to take their confidence and know how back to their home nations. One sad thing though is that one home nation will not play the All Blacks until 2019…England. They are doing great things at the moment and rightly so they should be, they have the biggest player pool to pick from. So they should be fighting to be the best. Maybe having to wait until next year for that fixture is good thing, as England will have time to improve and build, whereas New Zealand will have a crop of youngsters with a fair few more caps, from what we saw in the third Lions test.
My last point is, havent we got the best fans in the world. I mean massive shout out to all of those fans who travelled to New Zealand and out cheered and out sung the New Zealanders. They are just great and to hear them singing Lions or Oh Maro Itoje gave me goosebumps. It makes me want to do a Lions tour even more, and I will one day, it’s on the bucket list. So to all the Lions and rugby fans alike…isnt our game great. Oh and by the way, to all of those fans who travelled to New Zealand, even though i didn’t get there, we have got one thing in common. We all have to wait for the Lions DVD…and i for one can’t wait.