In a game of fine margins, Barrett cost the All Blacks a series victory

The Doc Roar Pro

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    It was a gripping and brutal series and ultimately neither side could be separated.

    In a tight series, errors are magnified and the obvious difference that separated the sides was goalkicking. Quite simply, had Beauden Barrett kicked more accurately in the second and third Tests, New Zealand would have been victorious by a score of 3-0.

    This was a tour for the ages and after copping a pasting in the first Test, the Lions did tremendously well to level the series and then hang in for a draw in the deciding match. Yes, I say hang on because that is what it felt like for much of 80 minutes.

    New Zealand always looked the more likely but crucial handling errors and errant goal-kicking meant the Lions managed to stay in touch.

    The Lions won their fair share of possession but did not really threaten the All Blacks’ line. On the one occasion they came close, a cut out pass to Watson was intercepted by Beauden Barret.

    The All Blacks’ trademark clinical finishing let them down with Savea dropping the ball when all he had to was catch it and canter over the try line. There was also a forward pass that prevented a simple try for Savea. It took two pieces of magic to ultimately break the resolute Lions defence.

    Seeming as though they had done this for a lifetime in the backyard, Beauden Barrett send a precise cross-field kick allowing Jordie Barrett to jump for the ball and in one motion catch and then pass the ball pack to his support player in Ngani Laumape.

    The devil is in the detail – firstly Barrett showed vision to spot the kick and the potential mismatch, although I think my blind uncle would have spotted that, such was the space out wide. The kick was high enough which allowed Jordie Barrett to jump at the ball and left Daly stranded as he was unable to tackle the player in the air.

    The catch and pass from Jordie Barrett was pure magic and the support play from Laumape was excellent.

    The second try came off the back of a set piece where Laumape took it hard through the 12-13 channel before releasing a wicked offload to his support runner in Leinart-Brown who set up an easy score for Jordie Barrett.

    Rieko Ioane New Zealand Rugby Union All Blacks 2017

    (AAP Image/SNPA, David Rowland)

    The game was punctuated by numerous errors and meant that neither side really gained any real momentum. But high stakes matches are a war of attrition.

    Knowing there would be no tomorrow, the forwards pack smashed into each other for 80 minutes. It was an even contest, the gainline statistics were even, offloads were close and the support play and clean-out work was outstanding throughout.

    The scrums were a ripping contest but being even for most the of the match, the entrance of Kyle Sinckler seemed to shift the balance in New Zealand’s favour.

    Sinckler conceded one penalty that lead to a try. It seemed as if he was scrummaging on ice, frequently collapsing and he was lucky not to give up any further penalties. The lineout was a win for the All Blacks, their try came off the back of the lineout and was solid throughout winning 100 per cent of their own throws.

    Jamie George was penalised on several occasions for errant throws and prevented the Lions from getting momentum off the back of attacking lineouts. For the third Test in a row, neither side managed to use the maul as a weapon with the respective maul defences bringing down the ballplayer or managing to halt progress before metres were gained.

    The tactical kicking game from both sides was fascinating to observe. Connor Murray used to his box kicks to get the Lions repeatedly out of trouble, gaining territory and giving his team a breather in the process. The undoubted highlight though was the tactical kicking exhibition put on by Beauden Barrett.

    I have mentioned his cross field kick already that lead to a try but there were several other gems, particularly when the heat was on in the last quarter. Time and time again, he found touch in the Lions 20 or was able to place the Lions back three under pressure.

    Ultimately, the difference was kicking for goal. The Lions were perfect in this respect. Elliott Daly landed a monster kick from his own half to give the Lions early momentum in the second half.

    The Farrell kick to level the scores with four minutes to go was one of the great moments of the series. It would have been the biggest kick of his life and it was not an easy one being 45m out but he managed to scrape it over the bar, sending Lions fans into pandemonium.
    It is hard to be critical of Beauden Barrett but his goal-kicking errors were the difference in the end.

    I can recall the first Test where the UK Sky commentators repeatedly referenced Barrett’s main flaw being goal kicking – he proved them all wrong with a superlative performance. But since then he has had his struggles, he kicked 69 per cent in the second Test and 50 per cent in this Test which included missing a relatively straight forward conversion.

    The importance of a brilliant goal kicker cannot be understated and in the post-Carter era, the All Blacks found that out that the hard way with Barrett squandering golden opportunities to complete a series victory.

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    The Crowd Says (118)

    • July 9th 2017 @ 6:06am
      Gewurtz said | July 9th 2017 @ 6:06am | ! Report

      Indeed. Barrett must shoulder the responsibility., His kicking is erratic, at best.

      • July 9th 2017 @ 8:58am
        Noodles said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:58am | ! Report

        Barratt could have kicked better. Savea could have held a pass. The ref could have made different decisions. All true. And you could say it about every game of rugby ever played.
        Two good teams going flat out. What more do you people want? Give it a break and AB fans realise that this is a younger side in development. They are already fabulous and might yet become amazing.
        Certainly we in Oz are not looking forward to their motivated response to a drawn series!

        • July 9th 2017 @ 12:45pm
          markie362 said | July 9th 2017 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

          Well said mate

        • Roar Pro

          July 9th 2017 @ 6:36pm
          The Doc said | July 9th 2017 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

          Thanks for the comment Noodles. Cant argue with any of that. yes and agree we (wallabies) are going to be in for some real hurt come rugby championship. The production line of good NZ players is endless really

        • July 9th 2017 @ 8:29pm
          Tezza said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

          You know your rugby – well said

        • July 9th 2017 @ 11:02pm
          jeremy said | July 9th 2017 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

          No, Carter set the bench mark for goal kicking and Barret is not good enough, need to look for another Carter but better.

      • Roar Guru

        July 9th 2017 @ 9:08am
        Kashmir Pete said | July 9th 2017 @ 9:08am | ! Report

        Going by look on Jamie George’s face, I think he felt a couple of his second half throws might have cost the Lions a win.

        Cheers
        KP

      • Roar Rookie

        July 9th 2017 @ 4:46pm
        Phantom said | July 9th 2017 @ 4:46pm | ! Report

        The ref being a little more accurate would have made a bigger difference.

        • July 9th 2017 @ 11:09pm
          jeremy said | July 9th 2017 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

          French hate yous because you took them out of the world cup, dobbed in their french terrorists that blew up rainbow warrior and because new zealand is the second pommy land therefore they still hate anything english.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 10:51am
        Link said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        Barrett is too flaky to be a good test 10.

    • July 9th 2017 @ 6:31am
      FunBus said | July 9th 2017 @ 6:31am | ! Report

      Don’t blame Beudy. Apparently, someone close to the ABs has told a couple of favourite Kiwi journalists that a woman with a pommy accent called Penelope was caught coming out of the team hotel with a vial containing a mix of botulism and e-coli. The guys were obviously food-poisoned. He also mentioned that 22 of the 23 had gone down with the Ebola virus in the week leading up to the game. The ref also missed 143 forward passes by the Lions; 246 off-sides, and should have issued 5 red cards. It’s no wonder our brave blokes couldn’t win.
      Go you mighty All Blacks.

      • Roar Guru

        July 9th 2017 @ 10:59am
        taylorman said | July 9th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        Geez, I’d have done a better job than that. Weak.

      • July 9th 2017 @ 12:10pm
        ClarkeG said | July 9th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

        good work…quite a bit of thought gone into that.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 9th 2017 @ 4:11pm
        Kirky said | July 9th 2017 @ 4:11pm | ! Report

        Busboy!! Intelligence to the max, wicked reply mate typical though from uneducated Englishmen! ~ sort of what you’d expect!

        • July 10th 2017 @ 12:22am
          FunBus said | July 10th 2017 @ 12:22am | ! Report

          Not all Englishmen are uneducated, Kirky. Just like not all Kiwis are thin-skinned, small-minded hillbillies.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 8:46am
            ClarkeG said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

            Whereas there is a probably a better than evens chance that you are all of the above. 🙂

      • July 10th 2017 @ 4:28pm
        Glenzo said | July 10th 2017 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

        That’s hillerious mate, for the neutral it was a great series, kudos to both teams it was a great series. Would liked to have seen another final test, but hey I am asking to be spoilt for more.

    • July 9th 2017 @ 6:51am
      pete said | July 9th 2017 @ 6:51am | ! Report

      Might be fairer to say that slotting the kicks would have won it, rather than saying not slotting them cost the win. There were other duffed opportunities too so I wouldnt single any one person out as having lost the win for the Nuns. Well done Lions. Copped a lot from NZ fans and media coming into this and can walk away very proud. Taking it up the the ABs on home turf is great feat.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 9th 2017 @ 4:25pm
        Kirky said | July 9th 2017 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

        No player should shoulder the blame as these things happen but at the end of the day the Referee was the principle problem as he didn’t do his job as required, he allowed Itoje to dwell offside all through the game and he wasn’t the only one as it’s been a total abomination the amount of offside stuff by the Lions that they got away with throughout the whole tour!

        Bad handling cost the Kiwis no doubt about that as they left possibly four tries out there, the principle offender being Julian Savea but, these things happen so quickly and if the pass sticks you’re over the line for a try, and at least the All Blacks scored a couple and the Lions never ever looked like scoring a try as they instead used the typical tried and true Northern Rugby method of winning by kicking goals and if the Referee allows the sort of offences to happen as this Ref; did, they kick them!!

        I would imagine Mr Poite will have a bit of answering to do!

        • Roar Rookie

          July 9th 2017 @ 4:48pm
          Phantom said | July 9th 2017 @ 4:48pm | ! Report

          Media reports state that Poite is feeling bad today. I guess he has good reason if he has watched a replay.

      • Roar Pro

        July 9th 2017 @ 6:39pm
        The Doc said | July 9th 2017 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

        Thanks for the comment Pete. Yes could have said it that, semantics really and of course multiple duffed opportunites but kicking for goal is a direct chance to score 3 points and some of the shots he missed were very gettable. The Lions should be incredibly proud of their efforts – personally felt like a win for the Lions (at least it did when I was at the pub). no one has come that close in a series against NZ in a long time

    • July 9th 2017 @ 6:52am
      soapit said | July 9th 2017 @ 6:52am | ! Report

      barrett kicked about his usual this series. cant blame him for not magically doing better than he normally does. ab coaches picked and made him sole goal kicker regardless so responsibilty for ir lies with them

      • Roar Guru

        July 9th 2017 @ 7:21am
        Jokerman said | July 9th 2017 @ 7:21am | ! Report

        That’s a valid point, Soapit. Barrett was something like 15/20 in the tests. Birdy for him in the first test. Par second and third. He kicked how one would expect.

        Took a while to show but the absents of Carter and McCaw is now showing. Though the new wave will come through now, and I believe the All Blacks will become stronger from this Lions tour.

        The new Barrett, Jordie what a find! We missed Coles. The cards killed us.

        A dry track. Southern ref. A settled All Black team, and I still feel the All Blacks are a 15 point better team. The Lions played their luck and got a draw, and so it is.

        The All Blacks also had to take the ref out of the equation for the final five. They knew it. They had their chances, but the ref came in and delivered with what many expected.

        • Roar Guru

          July 9th 2017 @ 7:59am
          taylorman said | July 9th 2017 @ 7:59am | ! Report

          Yes agree. If the ABs need a goalkicker to win matches then largely the rest of the side are not doing enough. Trouble is we’re not going to face another side like this for a while and goalkicking will largely drop back into the background again. Hopefully the Bok resurgence has something good behind it but other than that it’s going to be back to the easy ride again.

          I’m not going to spend days splitting hairs on this series. The Lions came to play and a few things happened. Points wise the ABs had the better in the first test win but overall and in the end the two sides were very even and couldn’t be split. Refs and ref cards were annoying but don’t detract from the fact that these were very close teams.

          Onwards and upwards!

          • Roar Rookie

            July 9th 2017 @ 4:50pm
            Phantom said | July 9th 2017 @ 4:50pm | ! Report

            If Jordie is to become a fixture then he can take on the kicking. Shift him to the right wing to accomodate smith at fb.

            • Roar Rookie

              July 10th 2017 @ 6:41pm
              ukkiwi said | July 10th 2017 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

              I would look at b Smith on the wing – he had only had one season there for the AB’s (2014 I think) and broke try scoring records. I would keep Jordy at full back, but then who do you drop. I think there’s plenty more to come from J Savea on the wing. But yes – I would accomodate J Barrett somewhere, he’s too dynamic to leave out.

        • July 9th 2017 @ 8:21am
          Redsfan1 said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

          Blaming the ref, the Kiwi go to.. Give us all a break. The All Blacks got a good deal from Garces and Poite was very lenient to NZ in the scrums. Especially when wasting time with AB resets under pressure. Number of times the Lions had driven through the AB pack and he wouldnt call a full arm.

          • Roar Guru

            July 9th 2017 @ 11:50am
            taylorman said | July 9th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

            Geez reds, you’re obviously not reading the weekly hometown refs series coming out of oz super rugby are you?

          • July 9th 2017 @ 1:26pm
            Muzzo said | July 9th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

            Haven’t watched, many games on this tour, Reds?
            Did you happen to notice, or hear, the fans from both sides, booing, erratic decisions, by these officials, during this tour? Even when the Lions were playing, the mostly under strengthed Super rugby teams, it was so noticeable. Geeeez!!!!

          • July 9th 2017 @ 1:32pm
            Andy said | July 9th 2017 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

            Wallabies coaches players and fans blame refs when they lose by 30, pot kettle black??

          • July 9th 2017 @ 3:44pm
            Jumbo said | July 9th 2017 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

            Yeah the scrum, the great northern strength we were told. They struggled against our weak super rugby competition apparently. The northern myth of dominant fowards also, good to see oz contributing to southern success, oh hang on..

            • July 9th 2017 @ 7:47pm
              Henry said | July 9th 2017 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

              You are a loser mate.. the northern team picked props that aren’t scrummagers but ball players.. and I believe the northern pack beat all the super packs if not in the scrum then definitely the loose…. and the match the great all blacks.. this lions team would smash the wallabies and the saffas including all their super teams

          • July 9th 2017 @ 9:44pm
            double agent said | July 9th 2017 @ 9:44pm | ! Report

            Ludicrous stuff Redsfan.

      • July 9th 2017 @ 10:01am
        James in NZ said | July 9th 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        Missing those texts from ‘Mick the kick’ no doubt.

    • July 9th 2017 @ 7:01am
      Pinetree said | July 9th 2017 @ 7:01am | ! Report

      Yes, i wrote multiple times about the weakness of BB goal kicking, and I believe his territory kicking was outshone by the Lions as well, as Ireland also showed last year, and the Crusaders and Chiefs this year in SR.

      But I believe a lot of criticism should be directed at Hansen for his backs selection in the last 2 tests as well, particularly test 3. It was an inexperienced back line, and the time to trail out newbies or still green talent was not the Lions series. A big mistake IMO. To have 2 players on debut, and a 3rd with 12 caps ALB, was just too green looking. I thought the counter to the Lions superb kicking game was not thought through (I picked the Murray/Sexton/Farrell axis before the series, as this was the best way to expose the lower standard of kicking from the ABs).

      For the 2nd and 3rd test, I would of played BB at FB, and played Dagg on the wing to counter the high ball kicks, and would of chosen Cruden to start at 10. With the injuries, I would of also been tempted with sopoaga at 12 to counter the massive Lions kicking game, and maybe even Fekitoa starting at 13 for the greater experience, even though Fek’s has been a little short on form this year. But in these BIG games, experience should not be underestimated. I did think however, that the newbie Ioane should of stayed over the Bus in his home town, and I believe Ioane is a special talent, and Savea’s form has not been good this year.

      I also thought it was a mistake to pull a forward out in the 2nd test in JK on a rainy day after the SBW RC, and I thought Read and Cane were put under too much pressure to recover from the awesome Lions pack.

      As for the Lions, they really came to play, their lineouts were massive in game 1 and 2, they hit the right areas in their back line moves to expose space, and played with a lot of composure. The lions were tactically the better team of the tour, and by some margin in this test series.

      I predicted a 3-0 series win to the ABs, and I would make the same prediction if I had to choose again. It’s not like the betting agencies wee predicting any different. But on the selections of test 2 and 3, I did see cracks appearing in Hansen’s wisdom, and was very nervous on the lack of experience and goal/territory kicking ability. If Hansen does not sort out the kicking options moving forward, we could have a repeat of 2009 where the SB exposed our lack of kicking. The challenge is, will Hansen be assertive enough to see it as a problem and fix it.

      • July 9th 2017 @ 7:22am
        Pinetree said | July 9th 2017 @ 7:22am | ! Report

        I forgot to add, that this has been the best competitive series in a long time for me, felt like England 2002/03 and the SB at their best, or the late 90’s/early 2000’s against the Wallabies. and despite my disappointment in the ABs selections, rugby was the winner in this series, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Lions’ fans’ should be very proud of their team!

      • July 9th 2017 @ 7:35am
        Harry said | July 9th 2017 @ 7:35am | ! Report

        I read somewhere that Ioane has the flu, so was sick rather than being dropped?

        Glad to see Hansen have the nerve to blood young players in situations like this. Jordie played well, so did Laumape, and to my mind playing Sopoaga out of position makes much less sense.

        Anyone paying attention to NH rugby over the last few years knew in advance this was a very strong Lions side, so no surprises they played as well as they did.

        • July 9th 2017 @ 8:04am
          Pinetree said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:04am | ! Report

          My suggestion of Sopoaga playing at 12 was because I thought that the added experience and an extra player maker would go a long way to counter the Lions kicking game. Sopoaga has pretty good defence, and is a straight direct runner for a 10. Not unheard of for a team to play a second play maker.

          Obviously you thought the lack of experience of JB and Laumape was not a concern, but I believe the closer the game got to the end with the pressured applied to play well in the last 20, that inexperienced showed.

          So, in your opinion Harry, was the lack of experience and kicking not a problem for the ABs?

          • July 9th 2017 @ 8:14am
            Fionn said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:14am | ! Report

            I don’t think the lack of kicking was a problem, I thought you kicked better than the Lions (aside from goalkicking), the problem was not converting your chances – dropped balls when hot on attack and the like.

            Laumape wasn’t poor, you just lacked a world class specialist 12 in Crotty and 15 in Ben Smith. I don’t think that Sopoaga would necessarily have been a step up from Laumape.

            • July 9th 2017 @ 8:31am
              Pinetree said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

              I didn’t say Laumape was poor, he played well for his first game. But the inexperienced did show near the end I thought. I thought Sopoaga could of stepped in to kick goals as well.

              You don’t think that a lot of the missed chances from knock on’s etc was due to the inexperience?

              I don’t blame any particular player, but overall, the ABs were very green in the 12, 13 and 15 positions. Positions that I would consider experience key when closing out games.

              The ABs did panic and BB and Cruden kicked away needless possession at the end, maybe due to the lack of options and experience from the other backs in the dying minutes?

              • Roar Guru

                July 9th 2017 @ 9:22am
                Fionn said | July 9th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                I think Jordie Barrett should have kicked the goals anyway. Jordie is the kicker for the Hurricanes, having Beauden do it seemed insane.

                No, two of the worst knock ons were from Savea and Barrett, hardly inexperienced.

                I agree that the centres let the team down. I thought Jordie was great.

              • July 9th 2017 @ 11:56am
                Pinetree said | July 9th 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

                I thought JB was put in the starting team to kick goals as well at first. I found that odd too..

          • July 9th 2017 @ 8:33am
            Kane said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:33am | ! Report

            Not sure how much added experience Lima would bring. He’s got the same amount of test starts as Laumape now

            • July 9th 2017 @ 8:36am
              Pinetree said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

              Sopoaga has had far more time in the AB camp I would of thought, learning the patterns of the AB game? No?

              • July 9th 2017 @ 10:21am
                Kane said | July 9th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

                Have to agree with that… if the game plan hadn’t changed from last year.

                But I would have thought Laumape’s played far more at 12 than Lima and far more playing outside Beauden at 10? No?

              • July 9th 2017 @ 10:49am
                Pinetree said | July 9th 2017 @ 10:49am | ! Report

                Kane – Fair point about the BB/Laumape combination and the inexperience of Sopoaga at 12. I guess it was having so many inexperienced players in the 12/13/15 positions that got me. Maybe if BB shifted to 15, and Cruden starting would of added at least some added experience in the starting team.

                If anything, it goes to show that when players like B Smith and Crotty get injured, our depth is not as strong without that experience as we like to think it is. We certainly need to build depth in experience in the centres, and backup for the fullback position as well.

              • July 9th 2017 @ 12:37pm
                Kane said | July 9th 2017 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

                100% agree. The positives in taking out of this series was that we’ve blooded some young guys against just about the best team they’ll play for a long time and it’s given the whole team a wake up call. Much like 2009 was to set the team up for 2010-11 I expect this to do the same for the team for 2018-19

          • July 9th 2017 @ 8:44am
            Harry said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

            So, in your opinion Harry, was the lack of experience and kicking not a problem for the ABs?

            (I wish there was a way to highlight / italicise quotes)

            That is a loaded question. If I was a lawyer in court, I would advise my client not to answer it. Of course lack of experience played a part, but what were the options at 12? Playing Fekitoa and ALB at 12 and 13? Perhaps, but as you point out, Fekitoa hasn’t been up to snuff lately. Sopoaga? Again, perhaps although he has no track record of playing tests in that position either.

            My comment was that I was glad to see Shag have confidence in the youngsters, and I stand by that. It will put us in good stead for the future. There were multiple factors that went into why the ABs didn’t win the series – missed kicks, dropped passes, injuries, deserved red cards, curious refereeing decisions, and most important and relevant of all, a very good Lions team.

            • July 9th 2017 @ 8:57am
              Pinetree said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:57am | ! Report

              Harry – All fair points mate. I agree that the Lions played superb, as I acknowledged above. I would of thought blooding in players in the RC would of been perhaps more astute, but I am very happy with the look of the newbies, just not when they are played all at once against a very good Lions side 🙂

      • Roar Pro

        July 9th 2017 @ 6:46pm
        The Doc said | July 9th 2017 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

        Thanks for the comments Pine tree. Many intelligent points. Not sure I agree that the backline was that inexperienced – you had Dagg on a wing, savea on the other (46 tests or so) and the debutant in Barrett was brilliant and barely put a foot wrong (which in such a high stakes match is remarkable). Losing Ben smith and crotty were big blows but not many sides in the world could have reshuffled so well.
        I thought they would put BB and FB and put Kruden in at 10 but Hansen chose this formation and I thought for the most part BB was excellent at no 10 both with his running and field kicking.
        As for the decision to take of Kaino in a wet and windy Wellington, hard to know what was right and wrong – keep the backline full and maintain width/lose an experienced forward vs be 1 short in the backline: easy in hindsight and had NZ won we would all be applauding the coaching team but alas the margins and small and fickle in games of such magnitude.

      • July 9th 2017 @ 11:15pm
        jeremy said | July 9th 2017 @ 11:15pm | ! Report

        Yep, experiment with an inexperienced side against the aussie or sth africa teams not the Lions games.

    • July 9th 2017 @ 7:10am
      Fionn said | July 9th 2017 @ 7:10am | ! Report

      I don’t think it’s quite fair to blame Barrett.

      Yes, if Barrett had slotted his kicks the All Blacks probably would have won, but

      – if Daly hadn’t kicked the long range beauty then the All Blacks probably would have won

      – if Savea had caught that easy ball than they probably would have won

      – if Kaino hadn’t committed that YC the they probably would have won

      – if the ABs had committed fewer penalties they probably would have won

      – If Barrett had managed to free his foot on that intercept or the scramble defence from the Lions was less committed the ABs probably would have won

      – if Poite had given a penalty rather than a scrum than the All Blacks probably would have won

      – if Hansen had given the kicking duties to Jordie Barrett as i thought he would then the All Blacks probably would have won.

      At the end of th day these things didn’t happen, Lady Luck came down on the side of the Lions, and the Lions dug in and defended like their life depended on it, and forced the draw.

      Great series to behold.

      • July 9th 2017 @ 7:41am
        Winston said | July 9th 2017 @ 7:41am | ! Report

        If SBW didn’t do that shoulder charge we probably would have won.

        • July 9th 2017 @ 11:20am
          Lannash said | July 9th 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

          Not the first time SBW has been carded out for similar offences. I imagine the ABs have a sports psych on board. If he remains unreliable use him as an impact player off the bench.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 9th 2017 @ 4:53pm
            Phantom said | July 9th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

            Couldn’t agree more. Use him when the game needs changing.

      • July 9th 2017 @ 10:58am
        rebel said | July 9th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

        Good comments Fionn

        • July 9th 2017 @ 8:40pm
          Fionn said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

          Cheers mate.

      • Roar Pro

        July 9th 2017 @ 6:52pm
        The Doc said | July 9th 2017 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

        Thanks for the comment Fionn. Agree can never pin it one bloke – in a series there a many moments and missed and taken opportunities both ways that contribute to the ultimate result. I highlighted several of them above. As you rightly said, Lions rode their luck to some degree. defended well and got a good result.
        But at the end of the day, points are hard to come by and direct shots at goal (either conversion or penalty) are clearcut scoring chances. Things like yellow and red cards, choice of kicking duties, commiting penalties are all multiple variables that may or may not lead to scoring chance s ie. plenty of work still has to be done to score even when a man up. That Barrett missed several clearcut kicks for goals is highly significant in the series result

        • July 9th 2017 @ 8:31pm
          Fionn said | July 9th 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

          Definitely a fair comment, Doc.

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