The 2021 Lions

Mr Notherone

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Been a strange week with the SA 'Water Boy' producing a hour long video of how the ref got so many decisions wrong and disrespected his captain. No place for such antics in rugby and I hope World Rugby comes down heavily on him. SA fans must be embarrassed and would prefer their team did their talking on the pitch.

I expect SA to throw the kitchen sink at us today - should be one hell of a match. I think we have to win it today. If the Bokke get the momentum they will be strong favourites for the third test and series.
 
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I'm so disappointed with this Lions performance.

SA certainly meant business after last week, and the Lions didn't cope with their aggression. Hogg was poor, dropping 3 easy catches in the 1st half, and he contributed very little overall. He wasn't the only failure.Not many Lions players deserve a good review.

If they play like this next week, SA will coast to a series win.
 

Mr Notherone

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Yes that was very poor. SA did what they do well enough and kept at it. Lions were shocking in the air and the back three were terrible, I'd change all three, maybe keep Watson with Adams and Williams. Starting front row went OK and Itoje and Curry were pretty consistent.

We didn't play through the 3/4s at all and didn't find any width. I'd also look at Beard, Henderson and Beirne to add some grunt. Lawes was a shadow of his performance last week. It's a big task now - all the momentum with SA :(
 

JRT

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I thought the subs were a mistake. Ken Owens killed our line out thereby handing SA a huge advantage. Subbing the whole front row saw us concede scrum pens.
Poor execution all round meant there was no more than a few phases at best.
I put this down to poor tactics from Gats. You know how they play and you know what’s coming. Sticking 50/50 balls up in their 22 is handing them possession and taking off concerted pressure.
Not looking great for the 3rd test as far as I can see.
 

Mr Notherone

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Yes I agree. A few tweaks won't do it imo and Gatland might as well throw the dice. No point in having Russell and Smith there if neither don't at least make the bench. We need Williams and Adams and a faster scrum half. Murray was so predictable and we need more pace in the back row. I'd rather lose the series by trying to play some rugby than by offering nothing and getting steamrolled again.
 
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boisker

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As a start... I’d ‘rest’... Hogg, van de merwe, Murray, Biggar and Conan...

not sure on the front row, as they may not have a massive choice of fit/able to play... personally I’d have arranged for Marler to be kidnapped yesterday afternoon and bundled onto a plane:)

would love to see Russel/Smith as the 10 options (starting Smith would be a huge gamble and def won’t happen.... and unlikely WG will give him a bench spot) with Faletau at 8.... not sure which scrum half... as long as we try someone other than Murray...
 

aenoon

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Yes I agree. A few tweaks won't do it imo and Gatland might as well throw the dice. No point in having Russell and Smith there if neither don't at least make the bench. We need Williams and Adams and a faster scrum half. Murray was so predictable and we need more pace in the back row. I'd rather lose the series by trying to play some rugby than by offering nothing and getting steamrolled again.
I agree entirely.
Liam Williams for Hogg.
Hogg is a brialliant runner and attacker, but Williams is second to none at catching the high ball, and indeed hurting the attacker whilst doing so.
Josh Adams for Vand der Merwe.
Adams can catch, and finish, not as strong on breaking tackle as Van der Merwe, but is more all round.
Finn Russell at stand off, coupled with Ali Price at scrum half.
Not a lot to be said about Russell, genious or devil, but he needs to be on with Price this time, a match winning duo.
 
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Mr Notherone

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Here's the team for the final test. More pace and form in the backs, but DVDM is lucky to keep his place. Hope Jones is fit as he's been the form loose head. Surprised there is no change to the back 5 who were outplayed in the second test. Good to see a proper lock on the bench and Russell and Simmonds. Given his current form, not sure what Murray brings off the bench unless we are well ahead by then? SA have picked their three locks to start (one at blindside) - a massive starting pack. Fingers and toes crossed.

15. Liam Williams
14. Josh Adams
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Duhan van der Merwe
10. Dan Biggar
9. Ali Price
1. Wyn Jones
2. Ken Owens
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Maro Itoje
5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain
6. Courtney Lawes
7. Tom Curry
8. Jack Conan
Replacements: 16 Cowan-Dickie, 17 Vunipola, 18 Sinckler (subject to outcome of disciplinary hearing) 19 Beard, 20 Simmonds, 21 Murray, 22 Russell, 23 Daly
 

LukeNZ

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The second half will be the telling point. I feel SA will be frustrating, slowing and pulling key Lions attacking players in to situations, for a grinding in the first half.

They will then cut loose with the boot and look for wide speculators to get a try or possibly 2. Then they will sit on defense and long range clearance kicking to keep the Lions backs running in their own half.

They are the most powetful force in World rugby when and if they get it together.

Key might be, not giving them anything to push against.

🙃
 
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Here's the team for the final test. More pace and form in the backs, but DVDM is lucky to keep his place. Hope Jones is fit as he's been the form loose head. Surprised there is no change to the back 5 who were outplayed in the second test. Good to see a proper lock on the bench and Russell and Simmonds. Given his current form, not sure what Murray brings off the bench unless we are well ahead by then? SA have picked their three locks to start (one at blindside) - a massive starting pack. Fingers and toes crossed.

15. Liam Williams
14. Josh Adams
13. Robbie Henshaw
12. Bundee Aki
11. Duhan van der Merwe
10. Dan Biggar
9. Ali Price
1. Wyn Jones
2. Ken Owens
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Maro Itoje
5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain
6. Courtney Lawes
7. Tom Curry
8. Jack Conan
Replacements: 16 Cowan-Dickie, 17 Vunipola, 18 Sinckler (subject to outcome of disciplinary hearing) 19 Beard, 20 Simmonds, 21 Murray, 22 Russell, 23 Daly
There's not a lot of creativity in the Lions selection. I fear the worst.
 

aenoon

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There's not a lot of creativity in the Lions selection. I fear the worst.
And then Finn Russell entered the fray!
Why did they not play him in second test match?
Link up play with Ali Price, and then his use of the ball, was outstanding.
However, as soon as Price was substituted, his input reduced, but my oh my, what a player. Goldust!

 
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JRT

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Oh well, that was a disappointment. I hope this really is Gat's last Lions gig. Trying to out SA SA's one-dimensional rugby was always going to be tough. Russell showed a glimmer of what could have been with a different tactical mindset. All in all a poor showpiece for rugby.
IRB need to look at rules around stoppages and timewasting.
 

aenoon

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Oh well, that was a disappointment. I hope this really is Gat's last Lions gig. Trying to out SA SA's one-dimensional rugby was always going to be tough. Russell showed a glimmer of what could have been with a different tactical mindset. All in all a poor showpiece for rugby.
IRB need to look at rules around stoppages and timewasting.
Yep, was a bit tiring how often the Boks water carriers and medical staff hit the pitch.
Was even more tiring that ref did not stop clock on same!
Still cant understand why the best kicking stand off only got 70 minutes in the last test though?
Boks play a kicking game, why did we not couneract same with a stand off whom can cause mayhem with tactical kicks?
However, well done S.A, world champions, and defeaters of the Lions.
 
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