British and Irish Lions draw epic conclusion in New Zealand tour


New Zealand boss Steve Hansen compares drawing the Test with the Lions is 'like kissing your sister'

The Chiefs First Five is off to France after the Super Rugby season.

There was an uncomfortable silence at full-time at Eden Park after the historic series ended one match apiece, with All Blacks captain Kieran Read and Lions counterpart Sam Warburton hoisting the trophy together at the presentation.

"It's not a World Cup final, so if you're good enough to get a draw then maybe it's right that both teams get recognised".

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My resentment of the Men In Black's supporters - thanks to a dismissive comment here about the opposition, a smug remark there about yet another historic victory - has been growing over the past few years, which we should simply call the Steve Hansen years. Some felt the Lions were unlucky not to win, others felt they were lucky to draw and some were wondering why there's no extra-time or even a deciding test. I'd have liked that. His initial instincts were that it was a penalty, he spoke to his team of three and one of them said it was accidental. "Again, it is what it is, it's happened and we can't change that".

But he was drawn back to it through further questioning and he may yet have more to say once the game's officials review the Test in the coming days. "(Along with) Nigel Owens, they are supposedly the three best referees in the game.

After a night to sleep on it, Hansen said yesterday the side never wanted to blame referees and would not start now. "We all know what should have happened but, at the end of the day, it's a game".

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"There's too many avenues that you can go down, but that's not the ref's fault, that's the rulebook". We have got to help the referees to make it easier for them to referee the games.

Despite the Poite debate, though, the positive impression left by the tour was plain and TVNZ's website was happy to see the Lions head coach rise above his clashes with his native land's media, headlining a press conference clip: "Warren Gatland hilariously mocks himself by wearing clown nose to press conference".

Beauden Barrett's conversion made it 12-6 at the break, but the All Blacks undone their good work immediately when the restart failed to go 10 metres and Read gave away a penalty for taking out Liam Williams off the ball. That's all I want to say about that, and if you ask me questions about that, I'm probably not going to go there. "If we'd scored another try ourselves there wouldn't be this conversation".

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