So, like playing Test cricket, you build up to the big event all season, play to the limit over a number of days… and there’s no winner. The Lions series is New Zealand produced plenty of drama, but no outright champion.
The final whistle of the third Test – a match which closed with an equalising penalty for the tourists and a ‘will he won’t he’ moment for the referee and the All Blacks – brought the series and the season to a close and provoked an avalanche of opinion on how to find a winner.
There seemed to be indignation in certain parts of the media that the series could not produce a winner and a flurry of opinion pieces on how it could be settled.
Granted, there was a flat atmosphere when the final whistle blew, but the physical and mental exertion of the series would explain that on both sides. Also the confusion around the penalty-not-penalty of the closing moments played its part.
But does a series need a winner? To all those who expressed an opinion that there should be a deciding Test, what happens if that ends in a draw? Ashes series in cricket are played over five or six games and can still end in draws. To those who said extra-time should be played, what would happen if the scores were still level at the end of that? We’ve already all decided that a penalty shoot-out is not for us either.
The Tig loved the series – an All Blacks charge into a 10-point lead, a dramatic red card, a Lions fightback, a touch of stardust here and there, monumental defence and commitment wherever you looked, an impressive second Test victory for the Lions and the nip and tuck of the final encounter. What was not to like?
What’s wrong with a draw when a draw is hard earned by both sides? Everyone's a winner. Leave it there and look forward to the next one.