Make no mistake the British Lions have done world rugby union a massive favour.
The All Blacks were seen as invincibles by their most partisan of supporters. They were supposed to blow the Lions away with the pace of their play, as they’d been doing to Australia and South Africa lately.
But put them under pressure and they are as fallible as any other team. They drop balls in sight of the try line and they miss kicks that are easy by international standards. They whinge at refereeing decisions just like the rest of the world.
The All Blacks are good, but they are not that special. A drawn series was an anti-climax, but I bet England coach Eddie Jones (above) was smiling at the end. His side are as good as the supposed best team in the world.
HERO OF THE WEEK
How good must the British Lions coach be feeling after his side claimed a shock, yet thoroughly deserved, drawn series in New Zealand. Depicted as a clown by the more childish members of the Kiwi press, Gatland responded in the best possible way by masterminding an outstanding result from the toughest of tours.
LUKAKU IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH
It’s a great move for Romelu Lukaku, but Manchester United might just have wasted £75 million on a flawed performer. It’s easy being Everton’s best player, but there’s far more pressure becoming the main man at United. I’m unconvinced Lukaku works hard enough or is good enough technically.
MAKING THE BEST OF A BAD JOB
Those in charge of the Checkatrade Trophy made the best of a bad job last week by arranging the group stages into a series of local derby matches. The only possible way for Posh fans to become interested in the early rounds of a justifiably maligned competition was to pair them with Northampton Town and Cambridge United so credit where credit is due.