On this day in 2017: Owen Farrell secures series draw for Lions in New Zealand
Owen Farrell was left to reflect on the “weird” feeling of a drawn Test series after his late penalty for the British and Irish Lions denied world champions New Zealand victory at Eden Park on this day in 2017.
England star Farrell, who won the second Test in Wellington with a 77th-minute penalty, left it 60 seconds later this time as the Lions claimed a 15-15 draw.
It meant the series finished 1-1 and left the 1971 Lions still as the only squad to have won a Test series on New Zealand soil.
“It’s a bit weird, really,” said Farrell, who booted four penalties, while wing Elliot Daly landed a long-range effort as the Lions fought back after conceding first-half tries to Ngani Laumape and Jordie Barrett.
“I suppose it is a brilliant achievement. At the same time, it is never nice to be on the end of a draw.
“It was another tough and proper Test match. It has been a brilliant series – this is a fantastic team we were playing against.
“Ours was put together not so long ago, and it shows the quality of players that have been picked to have such little preparation and be able to not just compete, but properly be up there and feel like we could have done better.”
Farrell played down his match-levelling exploits in Auckland, but once again the Saracens marksman’s goal-kicking withstood fierce pressure as he recovered from a hesitant overall performance, especially during the opening 40 minutes.
And the Lions returned home after surpassing most expectations of what they might have achieved on New Zealand territory, even if Test series glory eluded them.
Farrell added: “It has been an unbelievable tour. I think everybody has thoroughly enjoyed it.
“We always thought we would be competitive – I don’t know what everybody else thought. We came here to win, and we always said that.”