The Horowhenua Mail - - FRONT PAGE -

While the All Blacks’ loss to the Lions in the sec­ond test in Welling­ton was dis­ap­point­ing, to say the least, the stage is now set for an epic bat­tle at the third test in Auck­land, and makes it more likely that the four-na­tion army will in­vade our shores again in the fu­ture.

Be­fore the All Blacks went down 21-24 on Satur­day night New Zealand tours were seen to be too far, too hard and – most crit­i­cally – too pre­dictable in their out­come. No Lions team has won a test se­ries here in the past 46 years.

Dur­ing this tour, many words have been penned about the wis­dom, and in­deed the point, of putting to­gether Lions teams with lit­tle prepa­ra­tion time to face the best of New Zealand rugby.

But now the tour­ing team has risen above that and be­yond the other dis­ad­van­tages of a crowded 10-match tour­ing sched­ule at the end of a long plane jour­ney and their pun­ish­ing north­ern hemi­sphere play­ing sea­son.

The tour­ing Lions fans, who have in­vested con­sid­er­able amounts of time and money to come half-way across the world, will feel they have re­ceived a div­i­dend from their vic­tory on Satur­day night. If the Lions win next week at Eden Park, they will feel they have hit the jack­pot.

Well, good luck to them – and go the All Blacks.

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