Keith Wood: "The All Blacks butchered two or three really easy try-scoring opportunities"

New Zealand and the Lions drew the 2017 series

BY Simon Maguire 17:03 Saturday 8 July 2017, 17:03 8 Jul 2017

All Blacks' captain Kieran Read and Lions' captain Sam Warburton lift the DHL NZ cup. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

Former Ireland captain Keith Wood believes a drawn series was a fair reflection on the 2017 Lions Tour.

Wood, a two-time Lion, joined Saturday's Off the Ball to reflect on the deciding test and the Tour as a whole.

Speaking to Ger Gilroy, he said: "My full-time reaction was similar to everybody else. My young fellas were looking at me saying 'well, what happens now?' - and nothing happens now. 

"It's a little bit unsatisfying at the end of it but I couldn't kind of get away from the fact that I think the Lions have accomplished a huge amount over the last couple of weeks. It felt somehow fair. 

"They did accomplish a huge amount. I thought they played well, not all the time but I thought they attacked when they needed to, enough in this game in particular if we just talk about this game. They managed to stay in the game in the first half when they had no business to stay in the game. They could have been 20 points down quite easily.


All Blacks' Beauden Barrett kicks. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Peter Meecham

"Their scramble defence and their organised defence was quite excellent. The amount of pressure they put on the All Blacks was quite significant but still the All Blacks butchered two or three really easy try-scoring opportunities - they butchered them.

"Beauden Barrett, who I think is a class act, and you just can't win test matches if you're not knocking over your kicks," he added.

A massive talking point at the end of the match was the penalty awarded to New Zealand which was then downgraded to a scrum. 

"Well it goes to the Scotland-Australia game in the World Cup - that's where the precedent was set that you can change your decision on the TMO for something like that. I looked at it and it was funny because I couldn't figure out what the hell had happened. 

"At first I thought, Kieran Read had hit him in the air or if he had a proper effort at going for the ball? Secondly, I kind of missed it - it was like pin-ball for a second. I didn't see the accidental offside and when I looked at it again and when the referee went back to it again, I said, 'you know what? In the spirit of the game he may have made the right decision. And then, it showed another view and Owens had caught the ball and for me, it's a penalty."

Wood also discusses the decision to go for goal instead of going down the line and the defensive genius of Andy Farrell. The full interview can be heard here:

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