Six Nations 2016

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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 11:53

It's a decent selection.  I'm surprised at some omissions: Launchbury, the Grays (esp Jonny), Visser, Greig Laidlaw are surprising, to me. Prop Vunipola, instead of Cole?

"Instead of whom?" Well, I'm fully aware that the Lions have a wealth of possibilities at lock. But, say, Lawes has been a bit slow of late. Whereas Launchbury's massive physicality and rampaging style ...

Youngs can be excellent, but is very inconsistent. Whereas Laidlaw Jr is canny as the devil, quick and good with the boot (either for goal, for touch or cannily into open space). Maybe his injuries have worked against him.

Visser? Well, he has the strength and power combination - and general accuracy, and also massive tackling force - that, again, the All-Blacks fear. For whom? Odd as it is for me to say so, perhaps Nowell. He is my favourite England player, thrilling in speed and unflinching effort. (He is like a pocket Brian Moore - fleeter of foot of course.) But I am not sure his defence is his strongest asset - and NZ will know that.

No problems at all with Warburton as skipper. He is not the fastest - in NZ, a worry - but he has everything else you would want from a leader and #6.

Hartley unlucky not to go to the land of his birth (and local knowledge), perhaps. But he is a firebrand who could be a liability. And whenever George has come on, it's seemed like an improvement. Not least in the throw-in to the lineout!

Having said all of that ... it's a 23-player game. (Well, potentially more in the course of a series.) I think there is a lot of hard-grafting, high-kicking spirit in the squad. O'Mahony, O'Brien, Itoje, George, Joseph and all, Farrell of course ... if such options are on the bench, they could have a decisive impact in New Zealand. Study the referee interpretations in advance, though.

We'll see in due course whether taipan's Cassandra forecast is well-founded. Maybe so. The ABs are always the toughest nut of all, esp on home soil.

My fear is that Gatland will trust his instinct again to play a slow, overconservative, grind-it-out game, seeking phase after phase after phase after phase. No, it's not a game for light-footed oh-what-jolly-fellows-are-we dashing deer - but as Gopperth points out (video above), you need something different, unexpected, hard but also more resourceful, faster, to break through against such mighty opponents.

This is Guscott's starting XV (BBC Rugby pages), which seems sound to me.
Bearing in mind you will need those fresh impact players to add some to that mix, during the match.

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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 12:18

Pete, the Lions have only won one series in NZ, in 1971.

That team had one of the greatest coaches of all time, and had ATG players littered all over the park.

I don't see many if any ATG players in this team. I also fear that Warburton is past his best and might struggle to make the test XV on merit.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Thu 20 Apr 2017, 14:16

taipan wrote:Pete, the Lions have only won one series in NZ, in 1971.

That team had one of the greatest coaches of all time, and had ATG players littered all over the park.

I don't see many if any ATG players in this team. I also fear that Warburton is past his best and might struggle to make the test XV on merit.

Looking at the 1971 team 10 players plus the coach are already in the rugby Hall of Fame. I can think of at least another 3 that must be close to selection.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 11:57

Well, "nobody said it would be easy...." ... certainly not me.

But some have claimed this was a weak All-Black squad, in the last World Cup (never my view).

I don't take previous history as a conclusive guide to any coming series, though. Just do it better. Gatland's supposed to be good at thoroughness - I hope he is. ... He should also know New Zealand, anyway.

We'll see ... could be tasty, .... in one way or another. AB 68 Lions 0 ...?

I forgot Halfpenny as an option from the bench. ... Talk of heart. I hope he's properly "back". He had a poor comeback 6N, esp by his own standards.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 12:02

Re Alan Wyn Jones.

I suppose if Wales had won more than 2 games in the 6N, he might have been prime candidate to go as skipper?
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Fri 21 Apr 2017, 13:14

PeterCS wrote:Well, "nobody said it would be easy...." ... certainly not me.

But some have claimed this was a weak All-Black squad, in the last World Cup (never my view).

I don't take previous history as a conclusive guide to any coming series, though. Just do it better. Gatland's supposed to be good at thoroughness - I hope he is. ... He should also know New Zealand, anyway.

We'll see ... could be tasty, .... in one way or another. AB 68 Lions 0 ...?

I forgot Halfpenny as an option from the bench. ... Talk of heart. I hope he's properly "back". He had a poor comeback 6N, esp by his own standards.

Well I hope the Lions are prepared to fight fire with with fire. This has the potential to be a dirty series and I fully expect a couple of Lion's players to be taken out by the Super Rugby teams.

I remember a chat I had with Tom Van Vollenhoven a few years back about Kevin Skinner and the 56 Bok tour.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 10:16

Lions struggling in first game, which should be the easiest game of the tour.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by Big Dog on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 10:20

taipan wrote:Lions struggling in first game, which should be the easiest game of the tour.

I thought they might. I've tipped the BaBa's
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 10:25

So much for the strongest Lions team of all time.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by Big Dog on Sat 03 Jun 2017, 21:28

13-7 win to the Lions
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Sun 04 Jun 2017, 16:27

"Never in doubt, mate."
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by taipan on Sun 04 Jun 2017, 16:31

PeterCS wrote:"Never in doubt, mate."

It never has been.
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Re: Six Nations 2016

Post by PeterCS on Sun 04 Jun 2017, 16:44

But the classic pretend-cool tongue-in-cheek these days ... by anyone who's just dodged a bullet

(or one bullet - before the shelling of your trenches & the chattering of enemy machine-guns start ...).
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Re: Six Nations 2016

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