Lions v All Blacks – 3rd test

LionsAllBlacks

Tonight’s 3rd test between the British and Irish Lions and the All Blacks is one of the biggest and most anticipated games of rugby for a long time outside the Rugby World Cup.

There’s something special about a closely contested series. It is 1-1 after two tests, so everything is riding on this game.

The winner is already rugby, and no matter who wins the game will have benefited a lot from this series.?

Who’s going to win? I have no idea, both teams start the game on 0-0, and it could easily go either way.

There could end up being one dominant team, or it could be close all the way and come down to one piece of brilliance or one bad mistake.

It’s great to have a game to watch that is so full of interest and uncertainty.

Of course I want the All Blacks to win, but if they turn out to be no good enough then so be it.—

The Lions have won the toss and will kick off at Eden Park.

Half time 12-6 to the All Blacks.

The Lions have played well at times but the ABs had the better of the first half that’s been full of action. Two very good tries, but a few missed chances as well through handling mistakes.

The Lions need to come out in the second half with new energy and lift themselves or they may struggle as fatigue sets in. They don’t look as committed as they were last week.

Still anyone’s game, but advantage at this stage to the All Blacks, both on the scoreboard and on dominance.

An odd second half, very stop start, mistakes from both sides.

Final score 15-15, a drawn series.

The All Blacks seemed to see it as a failure, the Lions saw it as a success.

One very contentious decision where it seems that a penalty (kickable) to the All Blacks was changed to a scrum after referring to the video ref – I didn’t think the video ref could be used for general play decisions like that, it still looked like a deliberate play so offside, but the ref ruled and the All Blacks didn’t finish off so the result stands.

Lions-All Blacks 3rd test teams

There is more anticipation for the third test and the British and Irish Lions and the All Blacks than I can remember for a long time outside the World Cup, and it’s getting right up there along side finals in interest.

The All Blacks team for the third test has been announced, with an unchanged forward pack and the selectors going for young prospects rather than experience in a couple of forced changes but Julian Savea replaces Riko Ioane. Jordy Barett has been named at fullback, and Ngani Laumape is at second five with Malakai Fekitoa in the reserves.

The match day 23 for the Test (with Test caps in brackets) is:
1. Joe Moody (27)
2. Codie Taylor (18)
3. Owen Franks (93)
4. Brodie Retallick (63)
5. Samuel Whitelock (87)
6. Jerome Kaino (80)
7. Sam Cane (43)
8. Kieran Read (99) – Captain
9. Aaron Smith (61)
10. Beauden Barrett (52)
11. Julian Savea (53)
12. Ngani Laumape (1)
13. Anton Lienert-Brown (12)
14. Israel Dagg (64)
15. Jordie Barrett (1)
16. Nathan Harris (7)
17. Wyatt Crockett (61)
18. Charlie Faumuina (49)
19. Scott Barrett (7)
20. Ardie Savea (15)
21. TJ Perenara (32)
22. Aaron Cruden (49)
23. Malakai Fekitoa (23)

All Blacks Head Coach Steve Hansen said:

“Firstly, on behalf of the All Blacks and all of New Zealand, I’d like to congratulate ‘Reado’ (Kieran Read) on reaching the milestone of 100 Test matches.

It’s a special achievement to play just one Test, so to play 100 is a remarkable effort. His playing ability speaks for itself and inspires others, and he now joins a unique group of special All Blacks.

We’d also like to congratulate Jordie on making his first Test start in what will be a very memorable occasion for him.

“This final match in the DHL New Zealand Lions Series is going to be a cracker. It’s the Series we expected it to be, as the Lions have quality players. It now comes down to this Saturday – the winner takes all – and that’ll create its own unique pressures and it’s going to be interesting to see how both sides cope with it.

“We’ve had a good week of preparation and are very excited by the opportunity that’s ahead of us, and I’m sure the Lions are as well. We know it’ll be a physical and intense match, but just as importantly, it’ll be a game where both teams will have moments of momentum, and the ability of everyone to adapt and adjust throughout the 80 minutes will be crucial.”

1 News: Lions name unchanged team for third Test against All Blacks

That’s not surprising.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has rewarded his victorious Test players by naming an unchanged team for their tour-ending showdown against the All Blacks.

Lions: Liam Williams, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Davies, Owen Farrell, Elliot Daly, Johnny Sexton, Conor Murray, Toby Faletau, Sean O’Brien, Sam Warburton (c), Alun Wynn Jones, Maro Itoje, Tadgh Furlong, Jamie George, Mako Vunipoloa.

Reserves: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Kyle Sinckler, Courtney Lawes, CJ Stander, Rhys Webb, Ben Te’o, Jack Nowell.

I’m looking forward to Saturday night.