Schmitt and cotter interviewing for lions job

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Post by stevetynant on Thu 21 Jul 2016, 8:42 pm

First topic message reminder :

Read that John spencer has confirmed that both cotter and Schmitt will be interviewed for the lions job today.this amazes me,not that I don't think they could do the job but that Schmitt is being considered whilst not committing,publicly at least for the Ireland post. Gatland remains favourite but not a one horse race I would say.just not sure what to make of this, what do other Ireland fans think this says about joes future prospects of taking Ireland to Japan for the next World Cup now?

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Post by nathan on Sun 07 Aug 2016, 9:06 pm

Would Cotter be getting the lions players killing bunnies....

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/scottish-rugby-coach-made-players-8579898

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 9:53 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Haven't seen you moaning about rugby like you do about the Lions though, its all professional now. The things you seemingly dislike are prevalent everywhere.

It's precisely because of professionalism that the Lions are an anachronism.

I suspect it's different for teams like England with huge player pools, but for a country like Ireland that has a very shallow pyramid of players, the good ones need to be looked after more than ever. The IRFU and provinces can only afford so much investment in academies and grass roots rugby, so losing a world class player has a big impact on Test/provincial performance as the quality of the understudies drop off very quickly. Flogging players at the end of a season on a tour where they play twice the games of a normal summer and against fresh opposition out to make individual reputations is a perfect storm. There are plenty of opportunities for players to get career threatening injuries without adding to them on a pointless tour that does nothing to help their country or province.

The concept of a group of players showing up and playing together is pure amateur era, and was fine in the... er... amateur era. Lining them out against a professional team is the most amateurish thing the Lions could do from a rugby perspective, irrespective of how much money rolls in.


It's the most profitable endeavour in world rugby. What could be more professional? From a rugby perspective I'd also point out that the Lions won the last tour and came mighty close in the tour before (thanks for that ROG), so I don't think it's fair to describe the current Lions as an amateur outfit. In fact there isn't anything amateur about it at all.

For some rugby is an anachronism, an essentially amateur sport completely ruined by professionalism. I'm wondering if you're one of those?

The concept of matching a scratch team against the world champions is naive. Occasionally upsets happen like beating Australia last time but one win in the professional era only proves the long odds of that happening.

Rugby isn't an anachronism, because teams were becoming more and more professional whilst others were languishing in the amateur era, the 1995 RWC basically heralded the professional era with everyone given the same ground rules and the sanction for change. Professionalism was inevitable, but the consequences of it were not fully considered by many. Whilst Test teams got paid to train full time together the Lions didn't change and still thought that they didn't have to prepare like their opponents and still stand a chance.

Whether professionalism has been good or bad for rugby is debatable, but it was inevitable. The Lions approach has remained rooted in the amateur era and it is increasingly falling behind. The only anachronism is the Lions concept that says a new team can compete against proven and settled Test outfits. I applaud the underdog spirit however illogical. clap

Sadly for your argument, all evidence is to the contrary. Since rugby turned professional, each and every Lions tour has been very closely fought with the exception of 2005, when the Lions were a collective shambles against a very good AB team.

1997 - Lions won. One of the most memorable Test series I can recall.
2001 - Series went to the wire. The Lions were sensational in the 1st Test, winning it comfortably. Many believe, myself included, that Lions team should have won that series.
2005 - See above.
2009 - One of the hardest and most closely fought Test Series you are likely to see. Watch the 2nd Test again and tell me that it's naïve to suggest the Lions can compete.
2013 - Lions won with a thumping victory in the 3rd Test. Many fans have heavily criticised Warren Gatland for not winning the series by a greater margin (which I personally think is ridiculous).

So, when you consider the facts, your position is untenable.

Professionalism was still in it's infancy in 1997, so it's hard to know what impact that had, also the Saffers were suffering after their RWC triumph and lost a series to the ABs for the first time in their history the previous year.
I agree some tests have been close but at the cost of players putting their bodies on the line and ending up crocked. The Lions maybe should have won in 2001 but they had already lost half a dozen players to injury even before the first Test so were never going to have the depth to see out a series.
2005 was supposedly the most "professional" tour ever, the result was expected more than it was an exception and the trend of career threatening injuries continued.
2009 I agree the series was hard and kept close by heroic bodies on the line bravado - the Captain blamed defeat on the large amount of injuries (hmmm).
So if the closeness of the result is more important than who is victorious it's worth mentioning that the series win against arguably the worst Australian team in the last 20 years, was one kick away from a series loss.

At your request, I've considered the facts presented, and the contra-position remains tenable.


No, what you've done is failed to address the point you initially made, and fallen back on the position that you don't like the Lions because of injuries. I'd freely accept that injuries are a big risk on Lions tours. No problem with that. It's a general issue in rugby, but no doubt the Lions placed a unique strain on players. It wouldn't be such a special achievement to win a series with the Lions if it was easy.

The position which is untenable is that "The only anachronism is the Lions concept that says a new team can compete against proven and settled Test outfits".

That is simply wrong. We know from history that the Lions can compete with settled Test outfits, as I have shown. That is simply undeniable.

Anyway, if it's the probability of success that concerns you, I'd suggest Ireland don't tour the SH ever again, and probably worth sitting out the World Cup as well. Same would apply to Wales and Scotland!

We know from history that the Lions have scraped one win in the last four since the game became truly professional, so that doesn't suggest "all evidence" supports their ability to compete. The point of the tour is a series victory and that is what they are competing for. Keeping the margin of defeat low is a hollow victory if that's what they can realistically achieve.


Firstly, just because it doesn't fit your argument, doesn't mean you can pretend that the game wasn't professional in 1997. It was professional. Players got paid to be rugby players on a full time basis. You can make a false distinction between "professional" versus "truly professional" in your own mind, but the facts are clear: rugby was a professional sport in 1997.

Secondly, I like how you are trying to shift your position from "compete" to "win". You said that it was naïve to suggest the Lions could "compete", and now you are suggesting that the Lions are amateur if they don't win. Naturally I could point out that the Lions did in fact win the last Test series, so recent evidence would negate your new position, but sticking with your initial assertion for a minute, I'd make a very strong argument that the Lions did in fact "compete" in the previous tour to South Africa. In fact it was one of the most closely fought Test series I can recall. If you wish to look at the facts another way, focused solely on victories in the Test series (your amended position, having lost the last argument), I would also point our that the Test series scores since the game turned professional (in the factual sense rather than your own version of it) are as follows:

South Africa: 1-1
Australia: 1-1
New Zealand: 1-0 (with one to play next year)

So, in terms of pure series victories, the only SH country to better the Lions is NZ (played one won one), with the "decider" if you like taking place next year.

I also wonder whether your position that a concept is "naïve" if it doesn't involve a victory stands to reason vis a vis other rugby teams. Why is the Lions an anachronism, and the concept of Ireland (for example) touring the SH not? The Lions are and have been, historically, considerably more successful in terms of victories (despite your level playing field concerns). Do we scrap those tours? Scotland haven't won a World Cup and, I suspect, never will. Do you just not bother? Your "level playing field" position doesn't really work either, because there's no such thing ultimately. Some nations just have better and bigger pools of players than others, with much stronger financial resources. Does your world of contradictory positions require Japan to simply pack up its tent and forget about playing rugby against teams it's unlikely to beat? I personally thought their efforts against South Africa was one of the most thrilling rugby spectacles in World Cup history. Anyway, I digress....

So, to summarise, the Lions can and do "compete". That doesn't mean they win every game, but they do compete. That is obvious and clear. Whether injuries are sustained, or whether you believe it's a level playing field or not, doesn't alter that position. Do I think players could be better protected during Lions summers? Yes, I do. Do I think the scheduling needs to be revisited? Yes, I do. Do I think the Lions will beat New Zealand next year? No, I don't. Do I think the Lions can "compete"? Of course.

FES - The Lions have won one of the last four series, it's on Google. Maybe people consider that as being competitive - I don't. BTW there were plenty of club sides that still had amateur players on their books up to 2000, and that is where the Lions were supplied from, so I don't concede that the game was totally professional in 1997.

I realise this is labouring the point but there is a fairly obvious difference between a Test team and the Lions in that the former has players practising together for a long time and the latter doesn't. It may be old fashioned to think that hard work through practice actually makes a difference, but the alternative is just to think it'll be all alright on the night? It actually undermines rugby as a team sport to suggest that time spent together as a team is irrelevant and paradoxically is against the original ethos of the Lions teams that lived together for months.

Naive means lacking experience or judgement - terms that are totally apposite for a group of scratch players who haven't learnt to trust each other. The irony is that the Lions tours stop teams like Scotland building the muscle memory to become great.

1. Ok, which Lions were amateur players in 1997? Please list them. I'm confident that all players involved in the tour were professional rugby players.

2. The Lions are also one from one and two from five. Depends on how you look at it really. It may well be your opinion that the Lions weren't competitive in 2001 and 2009 and you're entitled to it. I would disagree, and if that wasn't competitive, then we should probably all agree that NH teams really shouldn't tour the SH at all.

You are still struggling to explain why the Lions are naïve and uncompetitive, whereas Scotland, Ireland and Wales touring the SH is somehow ok? Especially in the light of your opinion that you are only competitive if you win the Test series.

One poke and your argument fall apart!

Finally, feel free to blame the Lions for Ireland's naïve failure to "compete" in the SH but leave Scotland out of it. From a Scotland perspective blaming the Lions would be your worst argument yet. For a start we've barely had any Lions since 1997!

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 6:05 pm

FES, it is amazing the number of definitions Google returns for the word “professional”, and the majority mean something other than livelihood. How much money makes someone ‘professional’ anyway – is it one pound per year or £100 per week or £1,000 per match? It would be interesting to know what players earned in 1997 to get a feel for how professional they were – but don’t waste your time on a wild goose chase, the point wasn’t about getting paid to play but rather the approach, attitude and environment.

Were Watsonians, Neath and Pontypridd fully professional outfits with full-time players, coaches and staff in 1997? I know that Ulster weren’t fully professional in 1999 and they won the European Cup that year – so part-time players were able to ‘compete’ against full time players in those days. However since then the game has become increasingly micro-managed, and every year makes it more so. The All Blacks are a product of cutting edge technology and increasingly intense analysis of details that then generate long term programmes for both players and the team. The Lions can’t match that because they don’t play together as a team before the tour.

For example here are some areas where the Lions cannot compete with the ABs:
Experience as a team
Practice as a team
Players knowledge of each other as individuals
Players trust in their coach
Coaches trust in the players
Coaches knowledge of player strengths/weaknesses

Therefore to make up for such team deficiencies, Lions players have to push themselves as individuals much further than they are allowed to with their normal teams, and maybe much further than they should for their own health. Ireland touring SA did not have the list of team disadvantages above as they have played together and are by definition not naïve inexperienced as a team – they didn’t take injured players in the first place and nearly won a three test series with 32 players where every squad member got Test experience.

This concept is proving a struggle to get across, but it is hard to make it much simpler.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 9:56 pm

Yet the Lions would still be favourites over Ireland and have better odds than Ireland vs NZ. Is it just supporting British players which gets your goat?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 08 Aug 2016, 11:17 pm

We've already agreed there are plenty of occasional "fans" who have more money than sense and probably bet based on hope rather than judgement - the bookies must just lurve the Lions.

Supporting British and Irish players is what I'm arguing for! Flogging them into submission for a one off lost cause is the antithesis of support.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 8:00 am

As long as we see you calling for Ireland to pull out of any game with NZ for those reasons.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 8:42 am

The Great Aukster wrote:FES, it is amazing the number of definitions Google returns for the word “professional”, and the majority mean something other than livelihood. How much money makes someone ‘professional’ anyway – is it one pound per year or £100 per week or £1,000 per match? It would be interesting to know what players earned in 1997 to get a feel for how professional they were – but don’t waste your time on a wild goose chase, the point wasn’t about getting paid to play but rather the approach, attitude and environment.

Were Watsonians, Neath and Pontypridd fully professional outfits with full-time players, coaches and staff in 1997? I know that Ulster weren’t fully professional in 1999 and they won the European Cup that year – so part-time players were able to ‘compete’ against full time players in those days. However since then the game has become increasingly micro-managed, and every year makes it more so. The All Blacks are a product of cutting edge technology and increasingly intense analysis of details that then generate long term programmes for both players and the team. The Lions can’t match that because they don’t play together as a team before the tour.

For example here are some areas where the Lions cannot compete with the ABs:
Experience as a team
Practice as a team
Players knowledge of each other as individuals
Players trust in their coach
Coaches trust in the players
Coaches knowledge of player strengths/weaknesses

Therefore to make up for such team deficiencies, Lions players have to push themselves as individuals much further than they are allowed to with their normal teams, and maybe much further than they should for their own health. Ireland touring SA did not have the list of team disadvantages above as they have played together and are by definition not naïve inexperienced as a team – they didn’t take injured players in the first place and nearly won a three test series with 32 players where every squad member got Test experience.

This concept is proving a struggle to get across, but it is hard to make it much simpler.


Which of the Lions players in 1997 was not a full time rugby player? The answer is none. The Lions were professionals.

Next.

Have the Lions "competed" in all Lions tours since the Lions players all became professional rugby players, with the exception of 2005? Yes.

Done.

Have the Lions had more success in the SH than Ireland, Wales and Scotland, despite your arguments that only nations with constant and continuous player development programmes can compete? Yes.

Easy one.

Is your suggestion that Ireland "competed" against SA in the summer whereas the Lions did not "compete" in 2001 and 2009 utterly ridiculous? Yes.

There you go. Plain and simple.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 8:52 am

The Great Aukster wrote:We've already agreed there are plenty of occasional "fans" who have more money than sense and probably bet based on hope rather than judgement - the bookies must just lurve the Lions.

Supporting British and Irish players is what I'm arguing for! Flogging them into submission for a one off lost cause is the antithesis of support.

Why are they "occasional "fans"" exactly??

I think we've covered the "lost cause" point. It isn't a lost cause. The Lions have won two from five. I'll keep stating that, in the hope it eventually sinks in.

Given that you support the players so much, can you let me know which of the players doesn't want to be included in the Lions? It will be helpful to know so that the thousands of fans who regularly debate Lions line-ups can exclude them. There is a precedent for a player taking himself out of contention - Will Carling. Surely if the Lions is so awful and wrecks careers, the players can just sit it out? There's no contractual obligation at all. Perhaps they don't think it's a lost cause, or do you think they are too stupid to realise that it's a pointless anachronism?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 9:20 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:..can you let me know which of the players doesn't want to be included in the Lions?...
We know Jonny Wilkinson declined the offer to go on the last tour, so it has happened.

I thought that was interesting, because he went in 2001 and 2005, which were the same tours that led BOD to wonder whether the experience was really all it was talked up to be. BOD saw the light in 2009 but Wilkinson didn't go on that one, so he may still have felt as ambivalent as BOD.

I can't think of any player who would turn the chance down today. In fact, we have the opposite problem, where players ought to get injuries treated but don't want to miss out.

However, it's not impossible that a couple of dud tours in a row like we had before might prompt some to wonder where their best interests lie. After all, it's common enough for players to retire from Test rugby in the hope of extending their club careers.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 9:57 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:..can you let me know which of the players doesn't want to be included in the Lions?...
We know Jonny Wilkinson declined the offer to go on the last tour, so it has happened.

I thought that was interesting, because he went in 2001 and 2005, which were the same tours that led BOD to wonder whether the experience was really all it was talked up to be. BOD saw the light in 2009 but Wilkinson didn't go on that one, so he may still have felt as ambivalent as BOD.

I can't think of any player who would turn the chance down today. In fact, we have the opposite problem, where players ought to get injuries treated but don't want to miss out.

However, it's not impossible that a couple of dud tours in a row like we had before might prompt some to wonder where their best interests lie. After all, it's common enough for players to retire from Test rugby in the hope of extending their club careers.



Agreed. I hadn't realised Wilkinson was offered the chance to tour last time and turned it down, but it does nicely prove the point. Players are not obliged to go on the Lions, and if it was the dreadful fools errand that some on here believe it to be, then I'm certain more would drop out. As you say, there is precedent for it, and also for players retiring early from international rugby. Wilkinson had obviously been to hell and back with injuries and was on to a good thing with Toulon, both financially and in rugby terms. The Lions had never been a happy place for him either. The Lions clearly should have won in 2001 and Wilkinson played a role in that defeat (throwing the killer interception pass to Joe Roff in the second test), and he was also front and centre of the 2005 debacle, being comprehensively outplayed by Dan Carter and looking rather lost in the experiment at 12. You can see why he didn't fancy another crack at it, and it's entirely down to the players whether or not to go for it.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 1:41 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:As long as we see you calling for Ireland to pull out of any game with NZ for those reasons.

I'm confident that Ireland will have players who know each other and have played together before, so you will have a long wait.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 2:10 pm

Never seen Ireland compete and they may get injured, Surely you'll want it stopped?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 2:54 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:FES, it is amazing the number of definitions Google returns for the word “professional”, and the majority mean something other than livelihood. How much money makes someone ‘professional’ anyway – is it one pound per year or £100 per week or £1,000 per match? It would be interesting to know what players earned in 1997 to get a feel for how professional they were – but don’t waste your time on a wild goose chase, the point wasn’t about getting paid to play but rather the approach, attitude and environment.

Were Watsonians, Neath and Pontypridd fully professional outfits with full-time players, coaches and staff in 1997? I know that Ulster weren’t fully professional in 1999 and they won the European Cup that year – so part-time players were able to ‘compete’ against full time players in those days. However since then the game has become increasingly micro-managed, and every year makes it more so. The All Blacks are a product of cutting edge technology and increasingly intense analysis of details that then generate long term programmes for both players and the team. The Lions can’t match that because they don’t play together as a team before the tour.

For example here are some areas where the Lions cannot compete with the ABs:
Experience as a team
Practice as a team
Players knowledge of each other as individuals
Players trust in their coach
Coaches trust in the players
Coaches knowledge of player strengths/weaknesses

Therefore to make up for such team deficiencies, Lions players have to push themselves as individuals much further than they are allowed to with their normal teams, and maybe much further than they should for their own health. Ireland touring SA did not have the list of team disadvantages above as they have played together and are by definition not naïve inexperienced as a team – they didn’t take injured players in the first place and nearly won a three test series with 32 players where every squad member got Test experience.

This concept is proving a struggle to get across, but it is hard to make it much simpler.


Which of the Lions players in 1997 was not a full time rugby player? The answer is none. The Lions were professionals.

Next.
Many teams in 1997 did not have full time players, ergo the overall standard required was lower than when everyone became full time.


funnyExiledScot wrote:Have the Lions "competed" in all Lions tours since the Lions players all became professional rugby players, with the exception of 2005? Yes.

Done.
Winning the occasional Lions battle at the cost of losing the NH war is a Pyrrhic victory.

funnyExiledScot wrote:Have the Lions had more success in the SH than Ireland, Wales and Scotland, despite your arguments that only nations with constant and continuous player development programmes can compete? Yes.

Easy one.

Is your suggestion that Ireland "competed" against SA in the summer whereas the Lions did not "compete" in 2001 and 2009 utterly ridiculous? Yes.

There you go. Plain and simple.

The Lions have secured two victories in the professional (your definition - paid) era. Both were against teams in disarray and transition and by 2-1 series victory margins.

In the 2009 Lions series, SA lost by a margin of 19 points in the last Test so by your definition didn't compete having already won the first two by 5 and 3 points respectively (competitive). OTOH Ireland also lost 2-1 in South Africa but by a margin of 6 points in all three games so by your definition that is more competitive.

in 2001 the margins in the first two tests were both three scores so again by your definition Australia were not competitive in the first and the Lions not competitive in the second, so that's one test in three that was actually competitive based on the margin of score.

in 2013 the margins were close in the first two and a walkover in the third.
In 2016 England won the series 3-0 but two of the games were more than one score so obviously Australia weren't competitive or alternatively England were better than the Lions in 2013. Of course England having already secured the series win could have eased off in the third for player welfare etc. etc.


All the above indicates is that home teams can still lose despite having all the advantages in their favour, and the Lions can still win despite having all the disadvantages against them. The disadvantages are still there though.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 3:02 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Never seen Ireland compete and they may get injured, Surely you'll want it stopped?

Why? Rugby is a contact sport and getting more dangerous every year - everyone who has played it and watches it accepts that. There are calls to ban tackling and there will be undoubtedly calls to ban the sport altogether if there are more concussions etc.

One problem is that there is a much greater likelihood of injury with the Lions than with individual Test nations because the Lions is a short term blitz whereas Test rugby is planned and prepared for. Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 3:06 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Never seen Ireland compete and they may get injured, Surely you'll want it stopped?

Why? Rugby is a contact sport and getting more dangerous every year - everyone who has played it and watches it accepts that. There are calls to ban tackling and there will be undoubtedly calls to ban the sport altogether if there are more concussions etc.

One problem is that there is a much greater likelihood of injury with the Lions than with individual Test nations because the Lions is a short term blitz whereas Test rugby is planned and prepared for. Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.

I assume you've got facts and stats to back that claim rather than just making it up? You don't of course. And Ireland have never even competed with NZ.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 3:07 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.
Just like O'Driscoll routinely played on for Ireland while concussed and North and Roberts (fractured skull) have done the same for Wales. Test sides will thrash their best players and hang the consequences just the same as the Lions do.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 4:34 pm

I was about to congratulate Japan for holding out so long without conceding but they've actually scored the first try and converted it.

Japan lead NZ 7-0

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 4:44 pm

Sonny Bill Williams has what looks like an ankle injury, and has been helped off the field.

NZ finally take the lead with four minutes to go.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 4:47 pm

Japan get back to 12-12 with a conversion to come.

It's good. Japan lead 14-12 with a minute to go.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 4:49 pm

Game is delayed while an injured NZ player is being taken off. It's the guy who replaced SBW.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 4:52 pm

JAPAN BEAT NZ 14-12!!!

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 4:55 pm

Japan only had to win a last lineout to close the game but they overthrew. It looked like NZ would press to get a score but they were eventually bundled out.

That shakes things up. It ought to give GB pause for thought, since we face Japan in our next match.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:00 pm


Please ignore my Olympic Sevens postings!

Got carried away there....

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:33 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
All the above indicates is that home teams can still lose despite having all the advantages in their favour, and the Lions can still win despite having all the disadvantages against them. The disadvantages are still there though.

Finally you seem to grasp the glory that is the Lions!

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:34 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:
Please ignore my Olympic Sevens postings!

Got carried away there....

No worries. They are actually very much on point. Some on here would no doubt suggest that Japan shouldn't have bothered being there in the first place, and would also now propose that NZ weren't "competitive" against Japan because they lost.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:40 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Never seen Ireland compete and they may get injured, Surely you'll want it stopped?

Why? Rugby is a contact sport and getting more dangerous every year - everyone who has played it and watches it accepts that. There are calls to ban tackling and there will be undoubtedly calls to ban the sport altogether if there are more concussions etc.

One problem is that there is a much greater likelihood of injury with the Lions than with individual Test nations because the Lions is a short term blitz whereas Test rugby is planned and prepared for. Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.

I assume you've got facts and stats to back that claim rather than just making it up? You don't of course. And Ireland have never even competed with NZ.

Those who read about rugby, will be more than aware of the concussion issue and indeed the clamour to ban tackling - I'm surprised you haven't heard of it.

Regarding Ireland never having competed with NZ, I assume that you only accept victories as a measure of competing - FES has already discounted that in favour of the margin of defeat, albeit I'm not sure if his definition is finishing within one two or three scores. So if winning is the measure of having competed then I agree - Ireland have never beaten the ABs.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:41 pm

Cyril wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.
Just like O'Driscoll routinely played on for Ireland while concussed and North and Roberts (fractured skull) have done the same for Wales. Test sides will thrash their best players and hang the consequences just the same as the Lions do.

Through the lens of facts, the "Great" Aukster crashes and burns once more!

Actually, as I've noted before, if there is a fair criticism of the Lions it is the likelihood of injuries given the insane scheduling (and the potential lack of cover if players get injured, leading players to be used when not 100% or in different positions (which carries its own risks of course)). Happy to concede on that one, and I do think the scale of the risk is unique to the Lions.

Still, as pointed out, crazy to suggest that the Lions are uniquely guilty of ignoring player welfare. Rory Lamont for one would attest to the contrary.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:42 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
All the above indicates is that home teams can still lose despite having all the advantages in their favour, and the Lions can still win despite having all the disadvantages against them. The disadvantages are still there though.

Finally you seem to grasp the glory that is the Lions!

When did I ever say there was no 'glory'? It is the damage caused by the glory hunters that I'm debating against.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:44 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Never seen Ireland compete and they may get injured, Surely you'll want it stopped?

Why? Rugby is a contact sport and getting more dangerous every year - everyone who has played it and watches it accepts that. There are calls to ban tackling and there will be undoubtedly calls to ban the sport altogether if there are more concussions etc.

One problem is that there is a much greater likelihood of injury with the Lions than with individual Test nations because the Lions is a short term blitz whereas Test rugby is planned and prepared for. Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.

I assume you've got facts and stats to back that claim rather than just making it up? You don't of course. And Ireland have never even competed with NZ.

Those who read about rugby, will be more than aware of the concussion issue and indeed the clamour to ban tackling - I'm surprised you haven't heard of it.

Regarding Ireland never having competed with NZ, I assume that you only accept victories as a measure of competing - FES has already discounted that in favour of the margin of defeat, albeit I'm not sure if his definition is finishing within one two or three scores. So if winning is the measure of having competed then I agree - Ireland have never beaten the ABs.


No, your position would be that Ireland have never "competed" against the All Blacks, whereas I would argue that certainly in 2013, Ireland were extremely competitive.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:44 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
Cyril wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.
Just like O'Driscoll routinely played on for Ireland while concussed and North and Roberts (fractured skull) have done the same for Wales. Test sides will thrash their best players and hang the consequences just the same as the Lions do.

Through the lens of facts, the "Great" Aukster crashes and burns once more!

Actually, as I've noted before, if there is a fair criticism of the Lions it is the likelihood of injuries given the insane scheduling (and the potential lack of cover if players get injured, leading players to be used when not 100% or in different positions (which carries its own risks of course)). Happy to concede on that one, and I do think the scale of the risk is unique to the Lions.

Still, as pointed out, crazy to suggest that the Lions are uniquely guilty of ignoring player welfare. Rory Lamont for one would attest to the contrary.

The term 'more likely' does not mean 'will always'.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 5:47 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
All the above indicates is that home teams can still lose despite having all the advantages in their favour, and the Lions can still win despite having all the disadvantages against them. The disadvantages are still there though.

Finally you seem to grasp the glory that is the Lions!

When did I ever say there was no 'glory'? It is the damage caused by the glory hunters that I'm debating against.

When you described it as an anachronism. When you said that it was a lost cause, and that the Lions were naïve to think they could compete. When you suggested it will eventually subside in favour of endless tours by NH sides to the SH.

I think it's fair to suggest you don't really "get" the Lions. If it doesn't benefit Ireland, then it should fall away. That seems to be your perspective.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 9:00 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Never seen Ireland compete and they may get injured, Surely you'll want it stopped?

Why? Rugby is a contact sport and getting more dangerous every year - everyone who has played it and watches it accepts that. There are calls to ban tackling and there will be undoubtedly calls to ban the sport altogether if there are more concussions etc.

One problem is that there is a much greater likelihood of injury with the Lions than with individual Test nations because the Lions is a short term blitz whereas Test rugby is planned and prepared for. Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.

I assume you've got facts and stats to back that claim rather than just making it up? You don't of course. And Ireland have never even competed with NZ.

Those who read about rugby, will be more than aware of the concussion issue and indeed the clamour to ban tackling - I'm surprised you haven't heard of it.

Regarding Ireland never having competed with NZ, I assume that you only accept victories as a measure of competing - FES has already discounted that in favour of the margin of defeat, albeit I'm not sure if his definition is finishing within one two or three scores. So if winning is the measure of having competed then I agree - Ireland have never beaten the ABs.

So you have absolutely nothing that backs up your made up lie that playing in aLions team puts you at greater risk of injury? No, i'm not an idiot who equates victory with competing.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 9:52 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Never seen Ireland compete and they may get injured, Surely you'll want it stopped?

Why? Rugby is a contact sport and getting more dangerous every year - everyone who has played it and watches it accepts that. There are calls to ban tackling and there will be undoubtedly calls to ban the sport altogether if there are more concussions etc.

One problem is that there is a much greater likelihood of injury with the Lions than with individual Test nations because the Lions is a short term blitz whereas Test rugby is planned and prepared for. Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.

I assume you've got facts and stats to back that claim rather than just making it up? You don't of course. And Ireland have never even competed with NZ.

Those who read about rugby, will be more than aware of the concussion issue and indeed the clamour to ban tackling - I'm surprised you haven't heard of it.

Regarding Ireland never having competed with NZ, I assume that you only accept victories as a measure of competing - FES has already discounted that in favour of the margin of defeat, albeit I'm not sure if his definition is finishing within one two or three scores. So if winning is the measure of having competed then I agree - Ireland have never beaten the ABs.


No, your position would be that Ireland have never "competed" against the All Blacks, whereas I would argue that certainly in 2013, Ireland were extremely competitive.

An objective position is one that is measured against a standard. A win or loss is a fact and therefore it is perfectly reasonable to look at win/loss as a measure of success. Equally the margin of victory is something that can be definitively measured so if that is your definition of competitiveness what is the points margin that you consider competitive?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 10:21 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
All the above indicates is that home teams can still lose despite having all the advantages in their favour, and the Lions can still win despite having all the disadvantages against them. The disadvantages are still there though.

Finally you seem to grasp the glory that is the Lions!

When did I ever say there was no 'glory'? It is the damage caused by the glory hunters that I'm debating against.

When you described it as an anachronism. When you said that it was a lost cause, and that the Lions were naïve to think they could compete. When you suggested it will eventually subside in favour of endless tours by NH sides to the SH.

I think it's fair to suggest you don't really "get" the Lions. If it doesn't benefit Ireland, then it should fall away. That seems to be your perspective.

It is an anachronism because the scales have been unfairly weighted towards the SH in the 'professional' era - the concept was for an amateur era that has long since gone. The team is inexperienced together  - naive means inexperienced so that is purely a statement of fact. Again it hasn't been "suggested it will eventually subside in favour of endless tours by NH sides to the SH", but rather that there was too much money involved to see it disappear anytime soon, irrespective of the damage it causes.

Seeing an underdog win is glorious, but when it is done in the pursuit of cash at the cost of country (and club) that takes some of the gloss off - I get that.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Tue 09 Aug 2016, 10:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So you have absolutely nothing that backs up your made up lie that playing in aLions team puts you at greater risk of injury? No, i'm not an idiot who equates victory with competing.

Without prejudice - if you're going to start accusing anyone of lying, the onus is entirely on you to prove it.

As for "competing", what is your definition?

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 2:40 am

Although the exchanges here are getting testy, I can find common ground with both sides.

You'll get no argument from me if you want to say the Lions concept is very popular with supporters, players, host countries, sponsors and broadcasters. Call it great entertainment, and I'll actively agree. If you also want to say it represents the true spirit of rugby, then I might think that lays it on a bit thick, but I won't feel a need to take you to task.

If, however, you go on to maintain it's a great development path for players, or that it gives Home Nations players valuable experience in overcoming the mental challenge of competing with the top Southern Hemisphere teams, then I'll strongly disagree.

If you were going to decide the ideal four year preparation cycle for a World Cup, then a Lions tour two years in would be one of the last ideas you'd come up with. I'd go further and say it can be highly disruptive to effective planning, not least because of the injury toll or plain exhaustion.

I'm happy to acknowledge all the positives about a Lions tour but there are costs. If everyone is happy to keep paying those costs, then all is well. I just don't think we should pretend those costs don't exist.


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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 9:42 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
All the above indicates is that home teams can still lose despite having all the advantages in their favour, and the Lions can still win despite having all the disadvantages against them. The disadvantages are still there though.

Finally you seem to grasp the glory that is the Lions!

When did I ever say there was no 'glory'? It is the damage caused by the glory hunters that I'm debating against.

When you described it as an anachronism. When you said that it was a lost cause, and that the Lions were naïve to think they could compete. When you suggested it will eventually subside in favour of endless tours by NH sides to the SH.

I think it's fair to suggest you don't really "get" the Lions. If it doesn't benefit Ireland, then it should fall away. That seems to be your perspective.

It is an anachronism because the scales have been unfairly weighted towards the SH in the 'professional' era - the concept was for an amateur era that has long since gone. The team is inexperienced together  - naive means inexperienced so that is purely a statement of fact. Again it hasn't been "suggested it will eventually subside in favour of endless tours by NH sides to the SH", but rather that there was too much money involved to see it disappear anytime soon, irrespective of the damage it causes.

Seeing an underdog win is glorious, but when it is done in the pursuit of cash at the cost of country (and club) that takes some of the gloss off - I get that.

Not according to you. There are, after all, still amateur rugby clubs knocking about.

You said it was naïve to suggested the Lions could compete (which is wrong), not that the Lions were inexperienced as a unit (which is obvious).

You also predicted that the Lions would eventually, in the long term, disappear (who knows), leading me to suggest that it's replacement would, presumably, be another round of NH teams touring the SH (like we have every year outside of a Lions year). Granted that it's speculation, but if the Lions did disappear what do you think would replace it? Answers on a postcard.

Rugby is professional now, even you can probably accept that. I don't think the Lions is anymore about "the pursuit of cash" than any other club or country, and whilst injuries to players do obviously have a knock-on effect to "country (and club)", it's also the case that injuries at club level has a knock-on effect to "country (and Lions)", and injuries at country level has a knock-on effect to "Lions (and club)".

All of this would have been much easier had you simply admitted to hating anything that could potentially get in they way of Ireland reducing its margin of defeat against the SH sides, and one day even "competing" Wink

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 9:53 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Although the exchanges here are getting testy, I can find common ground with both sides.

You'll get no argument from me if you want to say the Lions concept is very popular with supporters, players, host countries, sponsors and broadcasters. Call it great entertainment, and I'll actively agree. If you also want to say it represents the true spirit of rugby, then I might think that lays it on a bit thick, but I won't feel a need to take you to task.

If, however, you go on to maintain it's a great development path for players, or that it gives Home Nations players valuable experience in overcoming the mental challenge of competing with the top Southern Hemisphere teams, then I'll strongly disagree.

If you were going to decide the ideal four year preparation cycle for a World Cup, then a Lions tour two years in would be one of the last ideas you'd come up with. I'd go further and say it can be highly disruptive to effective planning, not least because of the injury toll or plain exhaustion.

I'm happy to acknowledge all the positives about a Lions tour but there are costs. If everyone is happy to keep paying those costs, then all is well. I just don't think we should pretend those costs don't exist.



This is a well argued post, and I think it nicely sets out the pros and cons of the Lions. I would certainly not want anyone to think that my defence of the Lions, which I admit to hugely enjoying, is in someone blind to the adverse consequences.

As you say, it can be disruptive to World Cup planning (albeit, as shown in 2003, not necessarily fatal) and there's no questioning it's unique toll on players and risk of injury. I wouldn't dispute that at all.

One area which I do think is "grey", is around the potential benefit to some players. I do think that certain players (as I've listed previously on here) have benefited from the Lions and the experience it gives, but I don't think this is a big selling point as it's really a case by case basis.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 10:05 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So you have absolutely nothing that backs up your made up lie that playing in aLions team puts you at greater risk of injury? No, i'm not an idiot who equates victory with competing.

Without prejudice - if you're going to start accusing anyone of lying, the onus is entirely on you to prove it.

As for "competing", what is your definition?

In this case giving them a good game but the original point was around your thoughts that it means beat. By the way it was your assertion that playing for the Lions ends with more injuries; you can't back that up you just plucked it from the air.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 4:40 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:The concept of matching a scratch team against the world champions is naive.
funnyExiledScot wrote:Not according to you. There are, after all, still amateur rugby clubs knocking about.

You said it was naïve to suggested the Lions could compete (which is wrong), not that the Lions were inexperienced as a unit (which is obvious).
To make this clearer maybe one of the other equally good definitions of naïve could be substituted, such as lacking in wisdom, lacking in judgement, or innocent.

The Great Aukster wrote:I agree the Lions are in no danger of disappearing - for now. There are enough well-heeled ex-rugby players who have the time and money to boost the SH economy every four years and reminisce about when they were fit over a pint or eight.
funnyExiledScot wrote:You also predicted that the Lions would eventually, in the long term, disappear (who knows), leading me to suggest that it's replacement would, presumably, be another round of NH teams touring the SH (like we have every year outside of a Lions year). Granted that it's speculation, but if the Lions did disappear what do you think would replace it? Answers on a postcard.

Do you not think there is enough to debate on the issues already posted without making up more?   Smile

funnyExiledScot wrote:Rugby is professional now, even you can probably accept that. I don't think the Lions is anymore about "the pursuit of cash" than any other club or country, and whilst injuries to players do obviously have a knock-on effect to "country (and club)", it's also the case that injuries at club level has a knock-on effect to "country (and Lions)", and injuries at country level has a knock-on effect to "Lions (and club)".
Test nations play for trophies such as the RWC and the 6N, because it sustains the sport in those nations. The regular continuity of those competitions grab the next generations of kids who dream of playing for their country.
Equally at club level there are trophies to be won and that is what inspires the fans.
If the Lions didn’t generate huge revenues they would no longer exist, because the players would be withdrawn by the other teams who pay them to do something else.
It's a question of scale the Lions tour is much longer than a summer tour and therefore has more knock-on effects (not just injuries).

funnyExiledScot wrote:All of this would have been much easier had you simply admitted to hating anything that could potentially get in they way of Ireland reducing its margin of defeat against the SH sides, and one day even "competing"  
Hasn’t this been already covered?
The Great Aukster wrote:As I mentioned to 7&1/2 I don't detest the Lions, just how the players and fans are exploited in the name of rugby.

Since you still haven't defined what you mean by competing, I’ll ask this again in case you missed it the first time.
The Great Aukster wrote:An objective position is one that is measured against a standard. A win or loss is a fact and therefore it is perfectly reasonable to look at win/loss as a measure of success. Equally the margin of victory is something that can be definitively measured so if that is your definition of competitiveness what is the points margin that you consider competitive?”

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 4:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So you have absolutely nothing that backs up your made up lie that playing in aLions team puts you at greater risk of injury? No, i'm not an idiot who equates victory with competing.

Without prejudice - if you're going to start accusing anyone of lying, the onus is entirely on you to prove it.

As for "competing", what is your definition?

In this case giving them a good game but the original point was around your thoughts that it means beat. By the way it was your assertion that playing for the Lions ends with more injuries; you can't back that up you just plucked it from the air.

No 7&1/2 – if you can’t define what a “good” game is then it is perfectly reasonable to suggest a good game is a win and a bad game is a loss - one opinion is no more ridiculous than the other. Yet unlike synchronised diving, rugby already has a ready made comparator between two teams called the score. It doesn’t tell the whole story but it is an indicator. The losing bonus point is also awarded for keeping the score close in some matches, and again is something factual that can be measured.

The Great Aukster wrote:One problem is that there is a much greater likelihood of injury with the Lions than with individual Test nations because the Lions is a short term blitz whereas Test rugby is planned and prepared for. Players are more likely to be managed and rehabilitated with their Test side rather than hiding injuries or being asked to play with a broken arm.

The bold bit is what I’m assuming you’re referring to as a “made up lie”? Lions players often play more than twice the games of a normal summer tour and are therefore more likely to be exposed to injury – that is statistical probability and neither conjecture nor made up.

In UK law, there is a ‘presumption of innocence’ – and accusing someone of being a liar requires proof. An assertion put forward for debate is different territory to a personal accusation. No need to apologise BTW, but if you insist on getting personal, I'll assume you've conceded the debate.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 5:06 pm

So you have nothing then.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 5:07 pm

If you can actually back up your argument great.

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Post by funnyExiledScot on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 5:43 pm

I'd don't think you can assign a specific margin of defeat to construe whether or not a rugby team is competitive in a particular fixture. What is clear as day is that it isn't as simple as win/lose, which was your proposal (for the Lions, but not for Ireland).

Keep trying.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 6:04 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:If you can actually back up your argument great.

To simplify:

More playing time = more risk

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 10 Aug 2016, 6:18 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:I'd don't think you can assign a specific margin of defeat to construe whether or not a rugby team is competitive in a particular fixture. What is clear as day is that it isn't as simple as win/lose, which was your proposal (for the Lions, but not for Ireland).

Keep trying.

OK

So you only have your own interpretation of what "competing" means, therefore anyone can also have theirs. If as you suggest, everyone has their own interpretation there can be no factual basis to say the Lions were or were not competitive. Or more to the point there is no factual basis to suggest that keeping the score close is any more or less of an indicator than win or lose, or the volume of the crowd or the number of tv viewers or the amount of beer sold by Tennants.

So what is clear, is that in your opinion it isn't as simple as win/lose - fair enough. Yet that is also confusing as you mentioned "glory" as being the essence of the Lions. Normally glory is associated with victory, or do you believe that defeat is just as glorious?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 7:56 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If you can actually back up your argument great.

To simplify:

More playing time = more risk

Right, easy solution then, clubs and the relevant countries actually rest their players properly ahead of the Lions. As it is the Lions tours in isolation are not a problem.

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Post by George Carlin on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 8:37 am

Just found this interesting and increasingly angry thread.

Schmidt and Cotter would have been a fabulous combination as they are good friends and understand each other well. Honesty amongst senior members of a coaching team is a rare and valuable thing indeed.

Now that Joe has ruled himself out for family reasons (allegedly), I think that the best we can hope for is Gats as head coach and Cotter as forwards coach which would be a solid combo. Add the likes of Baxter and Gustard and it would look very serviceable indeed. We would also need a separate attack coach unless Wazzaball is officially vetoed - Townsend would actually be a good choice for this, although I suspect it will never happen.
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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:51 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If you can actually back up your argument great.

To simplify:

More playing time = more risk

Right, easy solution then, clubs and the relevant countries actually rest their players properly ahead of the Lions. As it is the Lions tours in isolation are not a problem.

No 7&1/2 – Thanks for acknowledging “that there is a much greater likelihood of injury with the Lions than with individual Test nations”.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 11 Aug 2016, 9:53 am

George Carlin wrote:Just found this interesting and increasingly angry thread.

Schmidt and Cotter would have been a fabulous combination as they are good friends and understand each other well. Honesty amongst senior members of a coaching team is a rare and valuable thing indeed.

Now that Joe has ruled himself out for family reasons (allegedly), I think that the best we can hope for is Gats as head coach and Cotter as forwards coach which would be a solid combo. Add the likes of Baxter and Gustard and it would look very serviceable indeed. We would also need a separate attack coach unless Wazzaball is officially vetoed - Townsend would actually be a good choice for this, although I suspect it will never happen.

George - How long did it take Townsend to get the Glasgow backline humming? I seem to remember there was a lot of criticism of him immediately after he arrived.

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