Saturday 21 April 2018

'A drawn game is like kissing your sister' - The bizarre reaction to Lions draw with All Blacks

British and Irish Lions' Sam Warburton and New Zealand's Kieran Read lift the Series Trophy
British and Irish Lions' Sam Warburton and New Zealand's Kieran Read lift the Series Trophy

From "immortality" to kissing your sister - The reaction to this entertaining Lions Tour in New Zealand has been as bizarre as the atmosphere that greeted the final whistle at Eden Park.

The series ended all square as Warren Gatland's brave Lions battled to an unlikely draw at the All Blacks' fortress.

Sky Sports commentators have come in for a bit of criticism for their somewhat over-the-top partisan coverage of the Lions and one comment after today's Eden Park nail-biter has everyone talking on social media.

In the build up to this test, Sky made the match feel a bit like Maximus Decimus Meridius and the Roman army taking on the Germanic Tribes in the opening battle scene of Ridley Scott's Oscar winning Gladiator.

"Right here the lads will stand here in the shadow of Everest, a sporting mountain that is rarely climbed," former England centre turned Sky Sports hypeman Will Greenwood said in the lead up to the first Test in Auckland.

"To achieve their goal they must transition from good to great, not just a collective skill, nor a collective rugby intelligence, but a collective will.

"Look into the eyes of your teammates and know that they will give their all as you will give yours, and from this the mutual trust and confidence will grow that will allow you to conquer your Herculean challenge.

"You have what it takes to become legends. You will measure up. You will excel. You will write your own history. You will be remebered."

Today, the phrase was all about "kissing your sister".

That's the question that was posed to Lions skipper Sam Warburton and Steve Hansen also used the phrase in his post-match interview.

Twitter, of course, had a strong reaction.

Meanwhile, many former players and big names from the sporting world were left with a feeling of anti-climax after a pulsating clash at Eden Park.

Here is some of the best of the reaction on Twitter:

Former Ireland and Lions centre Brian O'Driscoll summed up the mood, saying: "Bizarre feeling at the end of that!"

Northampton Saints full-back Ben Foden then suggested an alternative: "They should play another one next week!"

It was a feeling shared by Harlequins winger Ugo Monye, former hurdler Dai Greene and Olympic bronze medal-winning heptathlete Kelly Sotherton.

Monye said: "Test match next wk by any chance?!!! Can't be a draw!!!"

Greene said: "Noooooo! Let them play on. We want a winner. This a terrible conclusion to the series. You can't have a draw, the players won't want a draw either."

Sotherton added: "Is that it? Seriously golden try not happening or something? Anyone else felt this ain't over?"

Some footballers were keen on penalties to decide the series, including Gary Lineker.

"Well that's a bloody anti-climax," said the former England striker. "With Farrell and not a German in sight, we might have won a penalty shootout."

Former Manchester City and Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton said: "Surely it's got to go to penalties. The one sport that we actually excel at them..."

Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher said: "Great series @lionsofficial but organise a 4th test or play extra time!"

Michael Owen was more philosophical, with the ex-England striker saying: "There is nothing as captivating as sport at the highest level. Brilliant series. Those last few minutes were unbelievable!"

Former Lions coach Sir Clive Woodward also preferred to analyse the action, saying: "Truly brilliant game, massive well done to Gatland & all involved, game was special & nobody deserved 2 lose but huge courage from Lions."

Online Editors

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