New Zealand captain Kieran Read admitted he felt “hollow” after Saturday’s thrilling 15-15 draw at Eden Park left his team’s series against the British & Irish Lions all-square.
For the All Blacks’ No 8 it was a particularly special night as he was playing his 100th Test.
When you walk away with a draw, it doesn’t really mean much. I will probably look at it in the future with a bit more pride.All Blacks’ captain, Kieran Read
But he struggled to hide his disappointment at not being able to mark the landmark night with a series-clinching win.
“I feel pretty hollow, to be honest,” Read said.
“When you walk away with a draw, it doesn’t really mean much.
“I will probably look at it in the future with a bit more pride.”
Read’s frustration was accentuated when the All Blacks thought they had a chance to win it with just seconds left.
But as Beauden Barrett lined up a kick at goal, referee Romain Poite consulted television replays and awarded a scrum to New Zealand instead for accidental offside.
“In my view it is a penalty and I think he ruled it correctly from the start,” said Read.
“I guess when you bring in replays, and everything, you will get different decisions.
“That was not why we didn’t win the game, it was an accumulation of everything throughout the game.
“It was just one of those that goes against you and you have to deal with it.”
When New Zealand boss Steve Hansen was asked if he would have wanted extra-time, he said: “There’s no simple answer.
“There was some really good rugby played, and maybe a drawn series was fair.
“We played well in the first Test, they played well in the second. We did well enough to win it in the third but they hung in there. So rugby’s always had a draw and it’s not a World Cup final; it is a three-match series. So my own belief is probably leave it the way it is.
“If you’re good enough to get a drawn series, both teams will get the credit that comes from it.”