Waiting has been a feature of this tour...
For the Tests to start. For the Wallabies to kick a goal. For the run of injuries to stop. For a burger at 2.30am. For the Lions to score a try. For some, any, excitement in the second Test.
All this was superseded by the farcical 17 hours it took for the second IRB-appointed judge to decline to uphold the IRB’s appeal over the initial IRB-appointed judge’s verdict that James Horwill’s stamp in the first Test was not intentional.
Though the instinct on party lines is to cry foul, even excluding the questionable legitimacy of overruling the original verdict, in such a borderline case, the benefit of the doubt should be given to someone with the near, impeccable character of the Queensland and Wallabies skipper.
Australia coach Robbie Deans calls him the team’s spiritual leader and Lions historians will struggle to come up with a more gutsy call from an opponent than Horwill’s to spurn a penalty opportunity to go for a try with ten minutes to go.
This has all left the Australian press in a conflicted position though.
Nothing galvanises their support behind Australian teams like the feeling they are being hard done by.
From Bodyline to the Fabio Grosso-Lucas Neill penalty in the 2006 World Cup, they do not let the veracity of the situation judge their level of aggrievance.
They will no put a microscope to any British press criticism of the verdict to feed the ‘whinging Poms’ line and also hope their skipper is booed so can bask in moral superiority on Saturday.
Let’s hope this isn’t the case. There are plenty of Aussie sportsmen worthy of derision, Horwill is not one of them.
Admittedly I am biased. When I joined Horwill on a radio sports panel last year where he managed the rare double whammy of laughing at my attempts at humour and making me look stylish in the post-chat picture - more than enough to earn my eternal affection.
One thing this furore has done is take the focus away from the awful spectacle that was last Saturday’s game.
To casual fans over here who have enjoyed scintillating finishes in the AFL and Rugby League in recent weeks, the Sydney Daily Telegraph’s Phil Rothfield seemed to speak for many:
“The purists might enjoy their penalty goal shootouts but no one else gets a kick out of it.”
Horwill’s reprieve certainly gives Australia the favourites’ tag going into the decider in Sydney.
Though unfair on a personal level, the lack of Horwill would have made it a level playing field with the Lions having to do without their leader Sam Warburton.
Just as the Welshman’s absence brings the Wallabies’ under-strength back row closer to the level of the Lions, Horwill not being there would have given Warren Gatland one less headache of winning the second row battle in the continued absence of injured veteran Paul O’Connell.
That said, if you’re going to win a big series, it is better the opposition can’t put on an asterisk on it.
And what better end could it be than Brian O'Driscoll picking up the Tom Richards Trophy, even if it is legitimately up for question whether he is one of the best two centres in the squad on form.
The lone exciting moment from a Lion on Saturday was George North carrying Israel Folau down the field and clattering the giant winger into team-mate Rob Simmons, before falling to the ground.
The incident has rightly been described as wrestling-like, with the Wallabies’ Joe Tomane suggesting North would make himself a multi-millionaire by going to the WWE.
One high profile journalist disappointingly said the move was reminiscent of the Undertaker’s tombstone piledriver.
Hogwash. The real wrestling manoeuvre came from Folau, reversing the fireman’s carry into an atomic DDT - a more dangerous version of the move invented by the legendary Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts.
The only comparison to the ‘Dead Man’ was the way North got up to continue the match without leaving the field after a few shakes of the head. That was unworldly.
It’s important to get these things right.