( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by PeterCS on Fri 30 Jun 2017, 19:16

And we will indeed (see).

That's almost my watchword on this Forum by this stage!
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 08:28

So the moment of truth has arrived.

Hopefully the Lions can regroup and take the series to a decider.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 09:03

Sonny Bill red carded.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 09:23

All square at half time.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 10:25

Lions scrape through after doing their best to chuck it.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by JGK on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 10:29

How did the ref miss that Lions knock on in that last line out?

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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 01 Jul 2017, 10:30

JGK wrote:How did the ref miss that Lions knock on in that last line out?

Haven't seen the replay. I thought it was a knock but maybe an All Black arm.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by Big Dog on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 09:02

Ref was shyte but at least it sets up a classic decider.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by PeterCS on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 02:22

"We're light as a feather
Heavy as the weather
If it was rainstorms
"
(Norah Jones)

As suggested previously, the Lions made heavy weather of heavy weather last week.

But even if the storming rain was not great for fast play, quick passes, long throws, given the advantage (Watson may not have seen it that way at the time of impact) of playing much of the game against 14 after that harmless shoulder-charge to the face was punished, the men in red and motley eventually prevailed.... only just.

Strangely enough, or maybe not, SBW's dismissal seemed to disjoint the Lions more than the home team. Views vary as to how much of a body-blow losing one man out of your 15 is. It should be a big disadvantage, especially coming so early in the match, as there is always potentially a gap somewhere.

On the other hand, it can rally the determination and redouble the combined efforts of the 14. And since it has been that as many as eight replacements can come off the bench, greater physical exhaustion of the weakened side by the end of play need not be quite such a decisive factor as it used to be. The knack for their opposition has to be to make the difference count, relentlessly seeking the gap. So quick thinking, fast accurate play, and wearing the shortened side down, mentally as well as physically, are at a premium.

But the Lions seemed overly desperate to profit from the extra man, hectic, made mistakes in their rush, even gave away more penalties than they should in a frenzy to make the extra man count. Warburton might perhaps have done a bit more to calm the guys down, while getting the ball out faster and breaking the gap(s).

And then Mako, who summed that all up with foolish impetuosity - an unofficial warning and then a yellow card was definitely all the visitors wanted to turn the tide of scores against them.

As for the selections - the Murray-Sexton-Farrell worked reasonably well. Though still not fast enough (see previous paragraph). Warburton - well yes, those conditions played well to his strengths. Itoje was a giant. George missed a throw-in early, bad start, otherwise continues to grow. At least decent performances from most of the individuals - it was collective zip that was most lacking in the circs. ...
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by PeterCS on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 02:30

But that was last week.

Now for the showdown, .... perhaps.

Gatland & Co have gone with the same 23 - well okay, don't change a winning team, an old adage. Not sure I wouldn't have gone with McGrath for Vunipola. Level heads needed, as well as determination and good, flexible-enough but uncomplicated planning. Mako used as an impact player, maybe. And I'd have O'Mahony back on the bench. But presumably the coaches know best. (?)


So who's going to win? NZ must be favourites. Something like 5-2 on, maybe? Wounded pride, favourite ground, maddening crowd, ... and most of all, they are (should be) able to play with 15 players again!

As for the Lions. Well, their performance could go either way.

I don't mean so much buckle under the certain assault, or else make the running themsleves & thrive.

I mean they could go either way from last week's narrow win.

Thankfully perhaps, there are not TOO many England players in the side. Meaning: as in cricket, England rugby teams have tended too often to tail off when they've had a win, or are expected to win (*).

Those hostile to England teams (including armchair critics among their own supporters/"supporters") often put this down to arrogant complacency, or something of that sort.

I don't think it's that, at all. I think it's rather they have tended way too often to be uncomfortable with favourite status, they like to have mountains to tackle and climb, not to reach a summit. It's not they are lax/lazy - just not the same continuous, uncluttered, calm resolve that great teams generally show.

A nervous, too easily rattled, self-doubting, hectic, diminished effort has then lost them key matches.

(*) despite Ireland's mighty effort at the end of this year's 6N, Eddie Jones seems to have broken some of that over-tense mentality, freed players & team to play to win, with a calmer determination.

Whereas Wales teams - and even more, the Irish ... see Sean O'Brien, Tadhg Furlong, Peter O'Mahony (true, he got freaked out like an Englishman in the First Test, suddenly captain may not have helped), Sexton, Henderson ... are typically more used to an uncluttered will to win. And rarely - touch wood - lose their heads in pursuit of that win, as far as skills, luck and opposition allow.

Calm determination.

There are a couple of things that might perhaps work in the Lions' favour, against the adverse odds.

One is that the collective effort of winning last week may be carried through in a group/individual confidence that has no lesser urgency or speed. Might even be more speed, with less haste... and dither, and mistakes.

The other is simply that one further game of experience actually binding as a unit, in a tour that has been, as previously mentioned, too short. (Which is the best argument for not changing the team.)


Personally, I fear the restored Savea. "The real Savea" that is: J.

And I'm glad Ben Smith, also D Coles (NZ hooker, not England prop -s) are not around ....


Prediction?: no idea. In the air. (And in hand. And on the ground.)

The All-Blacks are sure to blow up a storm. Probability is they will prevail. But it should be interesting, at least.

I just hope nobody loses their head. Least of all, errr, Anthony Watson ...
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by Bradman on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 02:46

I hope for our sakes they smash you.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by PeterCS on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 03:34

How will that save your face? :-/
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by PeterCS on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 03:34

That was not Williams speaking to Watson, btw.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 08:31

Game on.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by Big Dog on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 08:50

Lions on the brink of scoring but gave away an intercept pass which indirectly resulted in an AB try.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:00

Big Dog wrote:Lions on the brink of scoring but gave away an intercept pass which indirectly resulted in an AB try.

Yep, should have gone through the hands rather than the speculative pass over the top.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by Big Dog on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:13

Two penalties to Lions. One point game.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:18

Lions concede a try at exactly the wrong moment.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by Big Dog on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:19

taipan wrote:Lions concede a try at exactly the wrong moment.

It was just too easy. No one marking the outside men. Pretty basic stuff.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:27

Barrett's poor goal kicking keeping the Lions alive.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by PeterCS on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:28

ABs with their tails up at half time. Too many bad decisions by the Lions - you've got to hand it to the home side though - massive pressure exerted.

And with more precision, NZ might be 15 or more points ahead.

Not sure Sexton is fit to continue. That may be a bad thing.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by PeterCS on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:31

Big Dog wrote:
taipan wrote:Lions concede a try at exactly the wrong moment.

It was just too easy. No one marking the outside men. Pretty basic stuff.

Watson in particular seems systematically to be tucking too far in. I wonder why? If it's to supplement/cover the inside centres, Te'o (or other specialist) should be playing and Lions should decide on which #10 they want.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by PeterCS on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:33

And still think Williams is not the most natural #15 against a side like the world champions. Very talented, but a natural winger.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by Big Dog on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:39

Once again no one marking the winger. Fortunate forward pass saves the Lions.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

Post by taipan on Sat 08 Jul 2017, 09:48

Lions have to make these 10 minutes count.
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Re: ( Rugby Union: ) Lions tour to New Zealand, 2 June - 8 July 2017

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