On This Day in 2017 – British and Irish Lions tie Test and series in New Zealand

Owen Farrell’s late penalty saw the decisive third match finish 15-15.

By Press Association Published: 8 July 2022 - 5.00am

Owen Farrell’s late penalty clinched the British and Irish Lions a 15-15 draw against New Zealand at Eden Park on this day in 2017 as a pulsating Test series ended 1-1.

Farrell hauled the Lions level with three minutes remaining with his fourth penalty of the contest.

Elliot Daly also kicked a penalty for Warren Gatland’s men, who had been 12-6 down at half-time.

The British and Irish Lions and New Zealand could not be separated after a thrilling series in 2017
The British and Irish Lions and New Zealand could not be separated after a thrilling series in 2017 (David Davies/PA)

The All Blacks thought they had a chance to win it with just seconds left but, as Beauden Barrett lined up a kick at goal, referee Romain Poite consulted television replays and awarded a scrum to New Zealand instead for accidental offside.

It was just a second drawn series in history for the Lions, with the 15-15 result following a 30-15 defeat in the opening encounter at the same ground and then a 24-21 triumph in Wellington.

Gatland, who had been had mocked up by a New Zealand newspaper as a caricature clown after the Lions’ defeat in the opener, walked into the post-match press conference following the draw sporting a fancy dress red clown’s nose.

And he said: “It was my idea. I had it last week but I didn’t think it was right time to wear it (after the second Test).”

He added: “The New Zealand public and fans have taken us to their hearts. It’s been a great series.

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton and New Zealand’s Kieran Read shake hands after the 2017 series was drawn
British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton and New Zealand’s Kieran Read shake hands after the 2017 series was drawn (David Davies/PA)

“What was disappointing for me was how much negativity was out there. I think we should embrace this concept of the Lions, I think it’s been brilliant.

“We’ll just enjoy the next couple of days as a squad and reflect back on what this group of players have achieved. Some of these players have been on two tours now and are undefeated as Lions players. Those players who have been on two tours should be very, very proud of their achievements.”

New Zealand native Gatland was also Lions boss for the tour to Australia in 2013 that the team won 2-1 and was in charge again for the 2-1 defeat in South Africa in 2021.

The latter series was played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, with Morne Steyn landing a late penalty in the decider at the Cape Town Stadium to seal victory for the Springboks.

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