The Final Test

So that's it. All over. And nobody wins. But you can't complain, after three rugby matches of that intensity. I'm not a Sky subscriber, never have been, and probably never will be. But in a crisis I'm prepared to cadge, and my friendly neighbour Gary's been happy to oblige. that was for tests 1 and 2. For 3, as it happens, he's committed to a stall in Wenlock, and i'm collecting for amnesty in Newport, on the 11.00 am shift. So there's nothing for it - I'm driving to Newport at 7.30 am, so that I can be settled in the Pheasant before kick off at 8.30, can watch the whole game, and then go and rattle my tin on the streets.

What a game. Yes, the All Blacks had the chance, fluffed three tries and missed two very easy kicks. We didn't really get close to scoring - apart from an intercepted pass that nearly gave them a try - but we kicked our kicks, we made our tackles, and we held out the best team in the world. The two tries the all Blacks did score were truly clinical - they just see what needs to happen, and then do it, very fast - but the Lions didn't collapse, did hold together, and this was pure drama - all of us held together, daring to sustain the dream that we could - despite the odds, against all probability - survive. And thanks to canny Sam Warburton inviting the ref to look at the TMO, and eccentric Roman Poite reckoning that maybe it's accidental offside rather than the other kind, the Lions do scrape through. (See The Luck of the Draw in Poems from the News).