Thursday, September 23

Warren Gatland in favor of extension if the Lions final test ends in a stalemate | British and Irish lions

Warren Gatland would be in favor of the decisive third match of Saturday’s test between the British & Irish Lions and South Africa going into overtime in the event of a tie, thus avoiding a second consecutive series ending in a stalemate.

It is understood that the touring agreement states that the series will be tied if the third test is a tie and Gatland is aware of that stipulation. Therefore, the expected result is still a draw, but as already shown, changes can be made on short notice, with a second game against the Sharks arranged and Cape Town selected to host the three Trials at hour 11. Early in the tour, Rassie Erasmus was also eager for the Lions to play South Africa A twice, a proposition Gatland made light of.

Four years ago, Owen Farrell’s penalty in the 77th minute secured a 15-15 draw in the third test against New Zealand, prompting scenes of confusion at full time with players on both sides unsure of precise protocols. and whether the extension would take place. The two captains, Kieran Read and Sam Warburton, were later photographed holding the trophy aloft together.

Subsequently, New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen described a series draw as “a bit like kissing your sister”, while Warburton said he was “devastated”. There were even suggestions that the All Blacks’ game against the Barbarians at Twickenham the following November could act as an unofficial decider if Lions players were available for the invite side, though that never materialized.

The 1955 series in South Africa also ended in a draw and asked if he would like to see overtime if the scores are level after 80 minutes on Saturday, Gatland said: “Maybe it’s something someone can talk about for the next few days. , on whether we can get to extra time if it is a tie. That is not a bad idea. “

Captains Kieran Read and Sam Warburton with the trophy after the Lions' tied series in New Zealand in 2017.
Captains Kieran Read and Sam Warburton with the trophy after the Lions’ tied series in New Zealand in 2017. Photograph: Hannah Peters / Getty Images

Television broadcasters are likely to like the idea as well, given that both tests so far have been short on enthusiasm, albeit very tense. In December, England beat France in the final of the Fall Nations Cup, a tournament that failed to capture the imagination until extra time at Twickenham. The Springboks, however, have pointed to the touring deal, which strongly suggests a tie, denying local audiences a potentially exciting finale to what has been a turgid series.

Meanwhile, Sharks owner Marco Massoti has come out in defense of Erasmus after World Rugby confirmed disciplinary proceedings against the South African rugby manager for misconduct following his video spiel last week. Massoti wrote on social media: “I have a team of New York lawyers ready to take over Rassie and SA Rugby. Let’s put World Rugby to the test. “

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Asked about his relationship with Erasmus, Gatland added: “I met him on several occasions and he has always been very friendly. We have a drink after games and chat. I went to their locker room after the World Cup semi-final. [lost by his Wales side] and congratulated them on a close game. I have spoken to him several times on the phone. You’ve obviously done what you’ve done because you felt it would work for you. I really don’t want to be dragged into that. “

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