Saturday Jul 8, 2017 Series drawn as All Blacks and British & Irish Lions decider ends in stalemate

Series drawn as All Blacks and British & Irish Lions decider ends in stalemate
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The deciding Lions series match has finished 15-15, meaning that since they were tied at 1-1 going into the game, the series is drawn and we have no winner. Both sides made plenty of errors in a bruising clash in Auckland, but could not be separated come full time.

There was a controversial call by referee Romain Poite late in the game, after he ruled a penalty to the hosts for offside, but then changed his mind and gave a scrum instead.

It’s a decision that seemed clearcut by the laws of the game, but after going for the more lenient ruling, will be debated long into the night, and probably discussed for the next 12 years.

All Blacks skipper Kieran Read, playing his 100th Test match, questioned it with the referee, stating that it wasn’t an accidental offside as it was actually caught, but the decision stood.

Earlier in the game the hosts had scored two tries, through Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett, but it was the boot from Owen Farrell that helped the visitors along, as well as one long range kick from Elliott Daly.

Farrell then slotted a long kick of his own, getting three points from 48m with just a few minutes left in the match, levelling the game at 15-15.

That’s how it ended, with the Lions surely taking plenty of pride from the showing and having earned the respect of the New Zealand players and fans. The home side meanwhile will rue their numerous mistakes throughout the match, and perhaps, some Beauden Barrett missed kicks.

“I’m not sure what to make of that really – I was getting ready for extra time,” joked Lions captain Sam Warburton after the match. “Both teams are going to be gutted they didn’t take a series win… I guess it’s a little bit of an anticlimax from the player’s point of view,” he added.

Read felt the same, but did well not be drawn into discussing the Poite decision too much.

“Maybe it’s the right result for the series. Both teams played well in patches and tonight we just couldn’t be split,” said Read.

“It’s just one of those ones – I don’t know what to feel, it’s a funny one.”

36 Comments

  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    Oh okay. I was a bit confused when you said they were "unlucky" and I took that to mean he was unlucky to be sent off. I missed your point, my bad :-)

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I did notice someone mention that as the Lions beat the Maori All Blacks, then it's technically 2 wins, 1 loss and 1 draw to the AB's 2 losses, 1 win, 1 draw... ...I'll just leave that on the table...

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    they just finally got put under pressure by a team that could match them. The mistakes were forced on them by the Lions.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    Absolutely not. SBW was deservedly sent off. I point that All Blacks were their worst enemy during this Tour with this red card and some unlucky or clumsy penalties given.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    Well....I guess he did decide the outcome...He decided that it was down to either team to run the points in through the scrum...Not kick them...

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    Do you think SBW shouldn't have been sent off?

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    But 2 players that are both in the air are allowed to compete for the ball and they can make contact with each other in the process. You can't run in blindly and take out a man who is already in the air when you don't have a realistic chance of winning the ball.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    I agree with both. I don't like Reads challenge not being legit (although Poite called it as legit) and I don't like Owens 'touching' of the ball being classed as a penatly offence, but on strict interpretations of the laws and guidance I think they are penalties. The Read one would just need a little bit more flexibility in the guidance. For Owens, they could just change the law to say that if an offside player immediatly plays a ball following a knock on (i.e as an instinctive reaction), provided they release the ball immediately (if caught and as Owens did) then it is only accidental offside and therefore a scrum offence.

    Reply
  •  gerrymc
    gerrymc

    DR G, you are spot on. I think we have gone too far with favouring the catcher in aerial challenges.

    Reply
  •  colombes
    colombes

    From the SBW red card to this penalty, the All Blacks can feel unlucky to draw these series, but their home advantage should have been the x factor. So fair play to Lions, as they find a way to score through 40-50m penalties and some ref decisions. You provoke your luck. On a side note, this young Jordie Barrett looks very suchlike a certain John Kirwan.

    Reply
  •  reality
    reality

    Was I the only one that thought at first that the penalty was for Ben Teo running into Read's path and obstructing him from competing for the ball? In any case, a massive cop out from Poite in the end. Reminds me of Joubert in the World Cup final versus France. Too afraid to make any decision that could decide the match, so he just let everything go.

    Reply
  •  pete
    pete

    I think they're still a good side with plenty of talent but you can't replace experience easily. The likes of Nonu and Conrad may have dealt with the rush defence better. The back line was completely changed from the first test and losing calm heads like Ben Smith and Crotty in particular make it taugh. I thought Jordie and laumape played exceptionally but youth and inexperience in such a big game showed in the end. With a few uncharacteristic errors. But again that could also be attributed to the pressure the lions put them under.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    http://laws.worldrugby.org/?domain=9&guideline=8&language=EN It does hinge on wether Read was in a 'realistic' position to catch the ball. Its definitely a fair attempt so at worst a penalty, but he doesn't get anywhere near the ball. He has one arm fully outstretched and misses by a good few inches. The is no way he can realistically get as high as Williams as Williams has been lifted as well. All he effectively does is to force the knock on from Williams when he was never going to realistically get the ball. So 'realisitically' the only way he could have caught the ball would have been to have steamrolled through Williams, which would have been a yellow/red. Therefore, if the laws and guidance are to be strictly inforced, it should have been a penatly to Lions.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I'd say that is a fair reflection. I'd never view it as 'excuses' because it is true. Where would you rate this AB team compared to the McCaw, Carter, Umaga era? I thought Jordie played incredibly well, look like part of the team from the offset... No "trying to make an impression" or looking a bit daunted, he looked like a tried and tested AB player... Definitely can see his inclusion going forward!

    Reply
  •  pete
    pete

    Definitely missing some experience and cool heads. Losing Crotty, Ben Smith and Naholo all out with concussion. SBW out for being SBW's - certainly didn't help. Young Jordie and Laumape then thrown in for their first ever test starts and it's red hot test decider... Not having a moan but bound to make you more fallible.

    Reply
  •  pete
    pete

    What a game/series. As a Kiwi I'm obviously hurting that final call didn't go our way, luckily it didn't have any bearing on the outcome of the game/series!?!?! Butwe only have ourselves to blame. Savea dropped a sitter with the line open, so did Cane (I think) while bursting through the gap. Lost chances in the first 20 and then BB's kicking is just not good enough. Kick the simple ones in front at least! Then to really kill it, we get taken out of play in our last minutes of play. AB's of old would have finished that but then again, this Lions team was pretty damn good and their defence was incredible.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    As much as I understand the current ruling of the laws recently has been along the lines that you describe and perhaps on any other day, Read (or a player not in black - ahem) would have found themselves on the sticky end of a referee, I still don't like it, I don't think it's a fair reflection of how the game should be played (it isn't tiddlywinks, or ballet or whatever) and I am glad out of all the possibilities Poite could have chosen, he decided to put his choice into a decision which meant there was fair competition for the outcome of the game: kiwis could have dominated that scrum, crossfield kick to some large maori to power through, or a set up of tight play leading to a break etc... rather than a simple kick or even a penalty and card to Read...

    Reply
  •  gerrymc
    gerrymc

    If you look at the way challenges in the air are refereed, I don't think it makes any difference whether or not Read had a realistic chance to claim the ball. It's the old 'duty of care' chestnut. Launching your self into the air and colliding with an opposition potential catcher, also in the air, and taking him out, have been getting penalised and yellow carded all season long. Savvy teams are not now competing in the air, for fear of losing a man to the bin.

    Reply
  •  hoot
    hoot

    I agree.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    I don't know, I think if anything the AB's lack of shine was probably more due to the Lions defence... I mean, take for instance the second test, AB's very nearly won that, it was only down to perhaps BB's lack of kicking prowess, probably a handling errors that really sunk them in that game. I certainly won't sit here and say it was because of SBW's red card that they lost the game, I think despite his red card they very nearly won the game - or the Lions very nearly lost the game with their horrendous discipline. Of course you can't resurrect the players of old, however, I think had old DC been the goal kicker, things would have turned out very differently.... Test 3 was very interesting. BB for me is highlighted as a brilliant 10 that just needs more kicking practice, the connection between the stuff he produces with the canes and the stuff he pulled out on the field with the AB's was clear as day. Lions rush defence was fantastic, but the AB's highlighted that quite early on with their cross field kick and try, they tried it again and caught OF in no mans land, but Lions cleverly adapted. You're probably right that future fixtures will be tempted to produce an upset, but I think much like the baabaas, the Lions thrived off their experience...young players really did their best throw their youth and energy about and the old heads really did well to calm and direct players about. I'm not sure many future international sides will be able to call on that sort of experience and youth in the same way. Perhaps the Lions had the combination just right... I suppose it could go one way or the other, kiwis might be reeling and looking to damage anyone that comes close, but at the same time it might have knocked them for 6... One thing to add, they're still dangerous, that final kick off was testament to that, they normally take all their opportunities, this time I think they just let a few go...I'm sure they'll regroup and head forward though...

    Reply
  •  ajv1beta
    ajv1beta

    What a strange tour in the end. In spite of my deep cynicism at some of the selections and the original touring party - and I'm still heated on behalf of all Scots, I might add! - the series ended up being minutes away from being a roaring success. Strange times! Worth pointing out - was it just me or did the ABs not look remotely invincible in this series? The aura surrounding them for years has been that even on bad days, they are almost unbeatable and will find ways to win. In Test 1 that looked sort-of the case, but Tests 2 and 3 felt like a very different proposition. One that was slightly nervous, tentative, vulnerable to turnovers and often sloppy in execution. This is an ABs team that I think upcoming opponents will be licking their chops at the prospect of facing, especially a renewed South Africa. Almost a shame the dream England match is still a year off - I'm sure those involved with the Lions will be itching to have a crack at the ABs once back in the white shirts! Ireland and Wales will also have players with a firm belief that the ABs are beatable under the right tactical approach, and an improving Scotland will be more determined than ever to take the big scalp. If this tour did anything, it exposed chinks in the previously impenetrable All Blacks armour - and that's gonna make the Rugby Championship and the next few years on the run to RWC 2019 even more interesting.

    Reply
  •  drg
    drg

    The Laws Poite had to choose from... 11.7 Offside after a knock-on: When a player knocks-on and an offside team mate next plays the ball, the offside player is liable to sanction if playing the ball prevented an opponent from gaining an advantage 11.6 Accidental offside: (a) When an offside player cannot avoid being touched by a ball or by a team mate carrying it, the player is accidentally offside. If the player's team gains no advantage from this, play continues. If the player's team gains an advantage, a scrum is formed with the opposing team throwing in the ball. With those in mind, and given the choice Poite made (11.6a) I can understand Hansens call for clarification in some capacity. In my mind the Lions player did 'catch' the ball... therefore, very easy to call it as 11.7....what I believe Poite has given this as is an unintentional catch...so an instinctive catch...."when a player cannot avoid being touched by a ball".... The issue here is that every single game of rugby seems to highlight a grey area in the laws... Lions player caught the ball, then dropped it on purpose (imo, in more or less the same direction the ball was heading in anyway)...what we're doing is either penalising instinctive moves, or not penalising them.. It's a tough call and I can see Hansens point, the only issue would be if say it bounced of Lions 15 and then bounced off Lions 16's chest or something, would we still realistically want to see penalties for that in any minute of the game? So I think tough call, Poite probably took into consideration Reads contact in the air etc and the fact that the AB's probably wouldn't have recovered that ball anyway and the apparent accidental side of things and made a call... as stated by many on the AB's side, it wasn't the reason they didn't win. This draw will have happier memories for the Lions than the AB's but I hope the scenes at the end are the real ones that stick. 'Brothers in arms' an all that. Great to have them mixed up!

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    The only 10 at a similar level is Cruden, and he is off to Montpellier soon so he won't be available for selection. I don't think Barrett is a centre, plus they already have SBW, Jordie Barrett, Crotty, Lienert-Brown, Ioane, Laumape and Fekitoa as options in the centres. Ben Smith is the best 15 in world rugby so I can't see them moving him to accomodate Barrett. BB had a quiet series by his standards but I think he will be the AB's fly half for quite a long time.

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    I think Read has just attempted to compete for the ball in the air. He made contact with Williams but didn't take him out, and Read had a realistic chance to claim the ball.

    Reply
  •  vladimir
    vladimir

    As usual, Poite folds under pressure. I guess he was a bit at a loss about: 1) an unclear knock-on, 2) a suspicious challenge in the air from Read (what he asked TMO for i believe) 3) pressure coming from every angle, 4) the clock. He took the only uncommited decision that would avoid him penalizing anyone. Tbh, a penalty could have been awarded to any team.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Unfortunately not one major sports TV outlet in America has even mentioned this series and its importance.

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    These comments are much more civil than on YouTube, and there the Kiwis are really in a bother about not winning the series. I'm sorry, but in sports a 100% winning situation just doesn't exist. There might be dynasties by teams in sports now and then, but things seem to even out over time. It's about time the Lions returned to Great Britain/Ireland with something other than a series loss. I doubt the runway at Heathrow is going to be jammed with fans like in 1971, but I imagine the Lions are going to get some attention from the British and Irish public for what they've accomplished on tour. Good on them. And I predicted that they would not lose. Kiwis were saying a year ago that there was going to be a white wash and a thrashing of the Lions. Maybe they have opened their collective mouths a bit too often!

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Look, I'm an American, and in sports such as American football and baseball, caught balls can be dropped, and then the runner is safe at first if the first baseman drops the ball out of his mit, or the ball hit into the outfield isn't an out as the outfielder lost control of the ball and it hit the ground, or the ball thrown by the quarterback is incomplete because the ball caught by his team mate was dropped right away and no control of the ball took place! And for crissakes, read Law 11.6 A and B. Now, if the Lions player actually caught the ball and turned around and proceeded to "play it" by running forward toward the All Blacks' goal line, then it would be a penalty against the Lions. He didn't do that! I referee, by the way, and rarely have I called a penalty for accidental offside, but more than often award a scrum to the non-offending side. A similar situation occurred with Scotland v Australia in the last RWC, and I believe Scotland got screwed because it wasn't certain that the ball went off an Australian or a Scot.

    Reply
  •  im1
    im1

    We can argue it all day, but as Read said, the call at the end wasn't the reason they didn't win. Great series, played with honour and by both teams and coaches regardless of whatever the press want to report. These lions were a fantastic team and in someways that is a complement to the all blacks, because they took on the best of 4 nations and are equal. At the same time for the lions, a scratch team travelled to the other side of the world and matched one of the greatest sides that sport, not just rugby, has ever seen. Full marks to kaino at the end as I understand itwas his call to mix the teams up in the presentation. In years gone by I think and hope that supporters and players will look back on this as the "one that got away", but also look at the players on the other side and think "S@$t! We were as good as those boys?! Wow! That must have been some series!!!" I loved every single minute of this and hope it continuous for the rest of the time I'm able to watch it.

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    I think Barrett is on balance one of the best kiwi players, but think he playing in the wrong position? He takes the ball up far too much as first receiver imho and is a bit predictable on the whole. I wonder if this is why the abs have not managed to ignite the backline? Is there a better 10 in nz, because I think he would be more effective at 12/13/15

    Reply
  •  45678
    45678

    For it to have been offside, there would first have to be a knock on, which there wasn't. If you look at the 22 the ball travels marginally backwards. It looks like a knock on at first instance because Williams is trying to milk a penalty and lands behind the ball and Owens is tracking back There were countless minor infringements and dubious calls that probably favoured the abs on balance, but this was a great spectacle and we should savour the occasion and sportsmanship rather than bitch like girls

    Reply
  •  gerrymc
    gerrymc

    It's pretty obvious it should have been a penalty to the Lions as Read launches himself into the air and clatters into Liam Williams who is off the ground attempting to catch the ball. If that was a winger (Read) chasing a box kick on a full back, I think you would have been looking for a penalty and a yellow card.

    Reply
  •  hoot
    hoot

    Larry, as much as I wish you were right, I just don't think you are. How can a Lions player drop a ball that he hasn't caught!!

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Law 11.6 A and B as written indicate to me that there was no intentional offside, so yes, a scrum awarded to New Zealand. The ball could barely be said to have been caught, as the Lion player immediately dropped it. And looking as I have a few times at the replay, it seems the ball went sideways to him anyway, so it wasn't forward. Then let's look at the All Black player challenging for the ball when it was in the air. Contact was made bodily. So, the All Blacks should have gotten penalized. Then the Lions could have kicked the ball in touch downfield, won a lineout from close range, and Farrell might have drop kicked the Lions to a series win!

    Reply
  •  larry
    larry

    Law 11.6 A and B as written indicate to me that there was no intentional offside, so yes, a scrum awarded to New Zealand. The ball could barely be said to have been caught, as the Lion player immediately dropped it. And looking as I have a few times at the replay, it seems the ball went sideways to him anyway, so it wasn't forward. Then let's look at the All Black player challenging for the ball when it was in the air. Contact was made bodily. So, the All Blacks should have gotten penalized. Then the Lions could have kicked the ball in touch downfield, won a lineout from close range, and Farrell might have drop kicked the Lions to a series win!

    Reply
  •  dancarter
    dancarter

    So... rock, paper, scissors?

    Reply

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Series drawn as All Blacks and British & Irish Lions decider ends in stalemate | RugbyDump