A drawn series, who would have thought that? Take a look at the video or check out the podcast from earlier today. There is a lot to talk about, that’s for sure

All Blacks

At the beginning of the series, a lot of people were picking a 3-0 victory to the All Blacks, but for the first time in Hansen’s reign, they have gone back-to-back tests without a win. The All Blacks let numerous try-scoring opportunities slip through their hands, some of them unforced, some of them forced. These lost opportunities then put them in the position that led to the biggest talking point of the entire series.

The decision! Copyright photo: Fotosport/David Gibson / www.photosport.nz
The decision!
Copyright photo: Fotosport/David Gibson / www.photosport.nz

Lions

Hats off to the Lions, they came to New Zealand under all sorts of pressure, performed badly in their opening matches, but somehow managed to build on performance after performance. Nothing can be taken away from the way they doggedly fought over the scraps that were left after their tight-five just about held their own. This Lions side will be remembered as one of the greats to visit this country. No, they are not of the ’71 ilk, but they may very well be remembered with the same fondness of the ’59 lads.

Dagg is taken and another attack is stopped in its tracks. Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz
Dagg is taken and another attack is stopped in its tracks.
Copyright photo: Andrew Cornaga / www.Photosport.nz

But for all of the great rugby, the biggest thing to come out of the series is that World Rugby really need to take a look at the officiating of the game. They need to support the referee and make it abundantly clear to all of the supporters how decisions are made. This can’t be allowed to happen in two years in Japan. Please, for the sake of the game, World Rugby move this forward, learn the lessons and make the necessary changes.

From The Shed

It is fair to say there was a bit of passion today in The Shed. Don’t miss this recap of what was a truly memorable Test match. Often for the right things, but it is impossible to gloss over a number of inconsistencies.

Photos: www.photosport.nz

Author: Steven Prescott

I am a total sports fanatic; it is as simple as that. I love all sports, and when I’m not sitting at my computer living my dream with The 1014, I am planning adventures. The last time I did this I ended up convincing my wife to cycle 26,125km across three continents, and 22 countries with me as part of the Pedalling Prescotts.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Hi guys,
    Big fan of what you have created.
    I think I may have watched each and every episode that you put together and think you did an outstanding job. Love your passion and knowledge and humility.

    I am from Canada and traveled to watch Test 2 and test 3. I am, I guess it is fair to say, a big All Blacks fan ( have traveled to the last 4 World Cups to watch the AB’S; ok,
    I a bit obsessive about the game and this team. Btw, never played Rugby but love it when it is played wide open and with skill.)
    Just arrived home.
    Was disappointed by the test in Wellington and loved the environment in Auckland for the third test.

    A couple of thoughts.
    I think a big theme that should be addressed is how the 2015 World Cup and the southern hemisphere dominance challenged the north to start to play more wide open. It didn’t start there but it certainly was accentuated by that event. When you add in the number of southern hemisphere coaches in the North, what we have now is a greater recognition of playing with ball in hand, the importance of using space and how decision-making under pressure is more valuable than blindly adhering to specific structures. I think this is great for the world game.

    One other note. While I believe that the home Union teams will feel more confident about beating the All Blacks in the future and in 2019 because of this tour, I also think that this series was exactly what the All Blacks needed to get in the right head space to win in Japan.
    They will be working extra hard over the next two years to be at their best in 2019 because of this drawn series and the kind of defenses they faced.
    They also, of course, blooded a young group and put them under pressure. This is immensely helpful in preparing for the next World Cup.

    I am not sure that people realize the impact of the All Blacks fielding an almost completely different backline in every test of this series.
    This to me is why we saw the uncharacteristic let down of clinical finishing skills. Think about the 2015 All Blacks and how for the last four tests in England they had essentially the same combinations. Those combinations and the amount of experience they had with each other really showed itself when they were under pressure. That team played boldly in the knockout round and yet made very few errors under pressure.
    The Boys in Black in this Lions series did not have that time with each other this year or in previous years. It showed. (It is part of the reason that Hanson went with the Hurricanes back line in the final test- to try to create some instant familiarity. But what became clear is they needed more time together in a high-pressure environment because it is simply a different context, level of pressure and environment at test level than in Super Rugby)
    That is not an excuse, merely an observation.
    Btw, I am more than happy with this result in the series as I value the World Cup far more than winning a Lion series and I think this series did everything the All Backs players and coaches needed to help them in 2019: build their youth, practice under real pressure and create the right attitude for the next two years. There will be no complacency in New Zealand.
    Thx
    JP

    • Thanks a lot for this comment JP. Really pleased you have been enjoying the content. That is great that you got to head over from Canada to check out the final two tests.
      That is a good point about the space awareness that is now becoming more prevalent in the north and my guess is that it also has a lot to do with the RWC2015 results and the southern-hemisphere coaches that are all over the game in the home unions.
      As for the observation about the ABs getting a lot out of trying new combinations, I touch on this in our Lions Review video that we shot last night (It will be out tonight NZT). It is the biggest highlight for me as an AB fan.
      Again, thanks for the comment. Cheers, Steven

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