Belfast Telegraph

Lions hold All Blacks to dramatic 15-15 draw as Test series ends 1-1

By Gareth Hanna

The British and Irish Lions have drawn 15-15 with New Zealand in the third and final Test in Auckland with the series finishing 1-1.

The 15-15 result saw the spoils shared in a second half that threatened to go either direction. Two first-half tried from the hosts had put the Lions 12-6 behind at half-time, two Owen Farrell penalties keeping them in touch.

And when Elliot Daly kicked a monster penalty within a minute of the restart, the dream was ignited. Farrell drew the Lions level at 12-12 and then again at 15-15 with just three minutes on the clock after Beauden Barrett had restored New Zealand's advantage.

As if the tension wasn’t unbearable enough, the referee blew for a New Zealand penalty straight from the restart, although the TMO saved the Lions' skin as it revealed there had been no offside.

"My goodness, you don't get away support like this, on the other side of the world, in any other sport," reflected Lions captain Sam Warburton.

"A massive thank you to all the fans, the players don't under-estimate all the time, effort and money you spend to come half way across the world to watch us play.

It makes a massive difference."

And Maro Itoje, a firm fans’ favourite on this tour, said: "I’m incredibly proud and honoured to have been a part of this team. It’s been one of the best six or seven weeks of my life to wear this red jersey is a dream come true for me."

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