Abroad Thoughts From Home Lions And All Blacks

It has been a strange week, whilst Jonsey, Slotty, Barnesy, Moose and almost every other rugby writer was experiencing the Endless Winter in New Zealand, I found myself walking my lovely little boy around the lake, daily, at 6am, when the temperatures were already in the mid twenties, and yes I am in Britain, or at least my body is.

My mind and soul are 11,400 miles away in Auckland, by the way my lovely boy is a seven month old black Labrador, who is most perturbed that we couldnt play rugby in the garden this week due to temperatures reaching the mid thirties.

Social media brought everything instantly to my iPad, even whilst I was in a perspiring puddle at 2am and unable to sleep I was getting updates from the boys down under.

It is strange to think that forty-six years ago,in 1971, I was in a similarly sleepless, albeit cooler state, as my radio battled to bring me commentary on the first test between The All Blacks and the Lions.

Yesterday I didn’t have to conjure  up images from Wilson Whineray’s excited radio commentary, as I did all those years ago, these days it’s razor-sharp pictures preceded by hours of analysis and predictions, and that’s just me sorting out my breakfast.

When a man called Moses is chosen to sing the NZ national anthem before kick off you know the writing’s on the wall,  and the commandment thou shalt not lose at Eden park is unlikely to be broken.

As night fell in Auckland it was ironic that a man called Daly crossed the All Blacks line within two minutes of the start, had he managed to ground the ball who knows what might have been.

The All Blacks were leading 13-3 when the score, that from this day forward will be known as “That Try” , swept ninety metres in twenty one seconds.

Touched down by O’Brien it was started ten metres from his own line  by O’my  goodness (Liam Williams) and on reaching  half way his pass started the O’key cokey between Jon Davies and Eliot Daly who took the ball to the All Blacks five metre line with an in out in out exchange before Sean O’Brien,with Knees bent arms stretched,dived over for a try that sent almost every Lions fan airborne with 35:23 on the clock.

For a while I dared to dream, but the All Blacks  are pretty good at delivering reality checks and they didn’t need their sponsors DHL to get a signature for this one.

The weather has now cooled by the way as has my optimism, but the series is not over yet, and Wellington next Saturday could yet be the start of a glorious sunny spell for the Lions.


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