Despite the pair being at the centre of a refereeing controversy that resulted in a tied series in 2017’s British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand, Kieran Read has put aside his frustrations to pass on well wishes to Wales hooker Ken Owens.
With a win a-piece entering the final game of the tour, the All Blacks and Lions were both searching for a victory that would confirm their position as series champions.
In the dying minutes of the match, with the scores tied up 15-all, Owens was blown up for being offside after playing the ball from a Lions knock-on.
Referee Romain Poite quickly changed his mind and reversed the call, however, deeming Owens’ play accidental. New Zealand captain Read, in his 100th test, remonstrated with Poite but the Frenchman refused to award a full penalty, instead calling for a scrum.
The All Blacks soon knocked the ball on from the ensuing play and fulltime was called, ending the match – and series – in a famous draw.
KEN'S 250 | Messages of congratulations have come in for Ken from across the rugby world ?
Here are a few (with some familiar faces!!) ahead of today's game ?
Nifer o negeseuon yn llongyfarch Ken ar draws y byd rygbi, dyma rhai i chi pic.twitter.com/F3ilSWrOhx
— Scarlets Rugby (@scarlets_rugby) August 29, 2020
Read was in an uncharacteristically foul mood following the game and Owen revealed on the House of Rugby podcast earlier this year that the All Blacks captain wouldn’t speak to the hooker when he visited the NZ changing shed.
“I went into the New Zealand changing room afterwards to congratulate Kieran Read on his 100th cap and he wouldn’t really speak to me,” Owens said.
“To be fair, he did apologise after the third place play-off at the  World Cup. There were obviously emotions running high at the time.”
With the series now water under the bridge, Read has now done for Owens what Owens attempted to do for him following that third Lions test and congratulated the hooker for achieving an impressive milestone over the weekend.
In Saturday’s game between Scarlets and Dragons, Owens clocked up his 250th game for his beloved Scarlets team. Professional rugby players from around the world were contacted by Owens’ club to applaud the 33-year-old for his impressive achievement, and Read was one such player that Scarlets reach out to.
Read was forthcoming in his praise.
“From this side of the world, I’d like to congratulate you on your 250 games for the Scarlets,’’ said Read. “It’s a hell of an achievement; I can’t think of many other players around the world who get to achieve that for their club.
“So congratulations, mate, and enjoy it.”
Scarlets emerged 41-20 winners in the Welsh derby and still have a shot at making the PRO14 playoffs, providing that Connacht score an unlikely win over Munster in tomorrow’s match.
In other results, Leinster’s victory over Ulster ensured the Irish powerhouses finished the regular season undefeated while Glasgow managed to tip up Edinburgh in a game which had no bearing over the finals picture.
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