Highlights: It’s a draw! 15-15, All Blacks and Lions can’t be split

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    The All Blacks and British and Irish Lions have drawn the third Test at Eden Park in a tense and thrilling encounter 15 points apiece, and have subsequently drawn the 2017 Lions series.

    It was a fast paced and furious affair as both sides threw everything they had into this deciding Test match as it went down to the wire.

    The All Blacks dominated the opening exchanges, starting at a furious pace as they kept the Lions pinned in their half, the eventual pressure telling as a cross kick from Beauden Barrett was slapped back by his brother Jordie for Ngani Laumepe to scoop up and open the scoring, which Beauden duly converted for the early lead after the first quarter.

    The Lions, however, would claw their way back into the match, both sides looking to play expansively but neither executing well and two penalties to Owen Farrell saw the All Blacks with a slender one-point lead heading into the shadows of halftime before an attacking raid from the All Blacks.

    Anton Leinert-Brown ran onto a superb offload from Laumepe to set Jordie Barrett free to score on debut and the All Blacks led at halftime by 12 points to 6.

    The Lions would turn up the heat in the second half, an early penalty from the kick off by Elliot Daly from a staggering 55 meters set the tone and the Lions would again work their way back into the match.

    Another Owen Farrell penalty locked the scores up as both sides struggled at times with the defensive pressure.

    A yellow card to Jerome Kaino stalled the All Blacks momentum after catching Alan Wyn Jones high –
    pivotal for the Lions as they kept the New Zealanders at bay.

    An All Blacks penalty from a collapsed scrum saw Beauden Barrett break the deadlock however with five minutes to go.

    Farrell nailed another penalty from 45 out to lock the game up, and the Lions were good enough to hold out a final onslaught from the All Blacks, forcing the New Zealanders out five meters from the line to finish the match.

    It was tense and at times brutal and neither side will be completely satisfied with the final result, execution letting both sides down at crucial moments.

    Of course, the usual referring controversies will surround the match, but it was a fantastic contest and in the end probably a fair result overall to cap off what has been a fantastic series.

    A Rotundity and happy ex hooker who just loves Rugby really, oh and my kids and Kendra of course who lets me watch as much Rugby as I want, mostly. Follow Digby Ross on Twitter @Diggercane.

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