Thank goodness for Jordie and Beauden B. Without their incisive running and ball playing, we in Aotearoa would surely be waking up this morning to the reality of the first Lions series win here since 1971. It is a fact that the older Barrett’s misses of handy kicks at goal may have ultimately cost a victory, however. How spoilt rotten we were for year after year by Grant Fox, Andrew Mehrtens and Dan Carter.
After the younger Barrett’s erratic performance in the Hurricanes- Lions recent midweeker, no-one could really be blamed for at least not having some doubts how he would fare last night. We (and I) needn’t have really worried so much. So often those with exceptional natural talent and with enough belief in their abilities will almost invariably ‘be right on the night’. It does hold true what this site’s ed. more or less said via Twitter- it is rare for a new All Black to perform badly on debut- a certain hapless Auckland fullback in the first two test of 1977 being an exception, but we won’t go there…again.
The real story of the match was the All Blacks backs dropping more ball within metres of the line during the first half than they would usually shell over several matches. Put that down to pressure and the sceptre of a nation’s expectation. The game was won and lost on those moments, plain and simple. The Lions’ first test wastefulness paled in comparison. The All Blacks could have been out of sight by halftime.
As is usual in ‘Matches of the Century’- yawn, wake me up when the promos and subsequent hyperbolic reviews are over- some reporters got carried away with their grandiose claims. Mark Reason should be changing his last name to ‘Unreasonable’. Mark, respectfully, what glasses were you watching the game through? A game from heaven? You have got to be joking. Sure, it was intense and tension-filled, but it was a bumble-a-thon from almost start to finish. The execution from both teams bordered on dire more often than not. Incredible, ‘heavenly’ matches were those like the World Cup final of 2003 or NZ-South Africa at Ellis Park, 2013.
Continuing the media watch theme- having two separate reviewers for two teams in the same match is absolutely self-defeating and stupid. The Sunday-Star Times did this and it turns out that the All Blacks’ ratings are, on average 1.5-2 points higher than the Lions’. Er, what was the final score again? Yes, the All Blacks did more attacking, but they also made far more errors. All in all, a complete waste of print space.
And just so you are aware, not all Lions supporters were the life and soul of the party. Go to the ‘Spin-off’ site and have a read of the behaviour towards a troupe of young girls called ‘Hi-Jinx’. Deplorable. Good riddance to that particular group. I also bumped into a mob yesterday who claimed the only reason the All Blacks have been any good for years is down to pilfering talent from the Pacific Islands. Wrong and laughable when considering the make-up of their own side. I didn’t grace their ignorant accusations with a reply, you will be happy to know.
You would think the only Kiwis waking up this morning and celebrating the draw will be the TAB, who now have enough in their coffers to solve the national debt of some small nation somewhere.
And lastly, did this summary all sound a bit negative? Maybe so, but realism is never really shrouded in positivity, right?
firstname.lastname@example.org (Paul M)