Well done you Lions!

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As much as saying that might stick in the craw, and believe me it does, it’s simply the truth. The men in red thoroughly deserved their victory in the 2nd test.

Playing 14 or 15, red card or not, the Lions were clearly the better side. They did to the All Blacks what had been done to them the previous weekend – smashing defence, determined carries, winning what’s called the contact area, continuing to attack & look for gaps, scoring great tries and forcing the opponent into playing for (pretty much) field position & penalties only.

(Do recall in the 1st test the Lions scored no 2nd half points until that try after the full time siren had sounded).

Suck it up AB fans, we were second best. It’s a wake-up call for the team and equally, hopefully, a reminder to us public too that winning is never something to be assumed by right.

Yes, and we must be honest here, complacency can occasionally become part of our AB fan-psyche. Why? Because we are bathed in success. Almost to the extent we expect it, certainly to the point we demand it, but how often do we take the time to really appreciate it?

Ok. Enough of all that bad stuff. Let’s draw a line right here and move to the good…

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This next week is what being an All Blacks fan is all about. There’s only 4.5million of us, we’re a tight-knit bunch related by birth (one deg of separation!), fiercely patriotic in our support, intolerant of failure, unrealistic of expectation yet all the while uncompromisingly loyal to our team. And that’s the key.

We love this team, the world’s greatest team, OUR team. And there is no better All Blacks side than a wounded one. We’re at our absolute best when the world is against us.

Back us into a corner – we love that. Tell us we’re finished – please, do it again and then one more time after that. Call us boorish, oafish, diss our haka, accuse us of foul play/cheating and bring it loud & proud from now ’til Saturday. PLEASE.

It steels our team is what it does. It reinvigorates our pride. It makes us only more determined to rebound from defeat and be devastating when doing so.

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Now then. Think about that for a moment. A more resolute, more committed All Blacks with even more motivation given this is the series decider. That is what we will bring.

No boasting. No chest-beating theatrical press-conference quotes. No fanciful hope or exaggerated hyperbole. We bring a proven, experienced, super-talented, match-hardened team driven by the need to prove & constantly prove we are the world’s best.

Forget this “fear of failure” tosh. That’s for yesteryear. These current guys don’t need to reference failure because they haven’t had it. I guess being back to back world champions does that to a team. I guess losing just 5 times in 6 years does it too.

We’ve just lost in NZ for the first time since 2009 and now head to Eden Park for the decider. That’s Fortress Eden Park in case you’d forgotten.

Whoever once said “it doesn’t get better than this” was almost right. The only “better” bit will hopefully come Saturday night…

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