Is there a glimmer of hope for the lions

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Post by stevetynant on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 2:34 pm

All of a sudden the all blacks are not now invincible, still the best side on the planet but definitely not unbeatable . A huge part in their downfall yesterday besides the fact Ireland were absolutely amazing was the problems they had in the second row, that shouldn't be a problem next year but it will be an area of strength for the lions. Surly gatland is watching what happened in Chicago and can see areas where the blacks can be targeted that up until yesterday didn't seem possible. I know it's a huge ask, little preparation time but not now mission impossible.the blue print is there,more strength in depth all of a sudden I'm starting to have hope. Can the lions do it?

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Post by TJ on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 2:46 pm

No. wrong coach.

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Post by majesticimperialman on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 2:56 pm

Of course then can. It will all depend on selection of the team.

After yesterday's 2 games their would not be many Welsh players on the team. now would they?

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:08 pm

There is even less chance of success for the Lions now (if that's possible). The scratch second row on show simply had no time to learn how to compete with the settled plays of the Irish.
Fast forward to the Lions and it is they who will be fielding a scratch second row (and the rest of the team), while the All Blacks won't be as unprepared a second time.

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Post by stevetynant on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:09 pm

After yesterday's display no but there's still quality in the Wales squad that harnessed correctly can be effective in new Zealand. Liam Williams,Rhys Webb, Faletau, Alan Wynn Jones,Warbuton,North,Chatteris.agreed not at the races yesterday but they don't become bad players overnight.My main concern now would be Gatland to be honest and I hope Shaun Edwards or Howley are no where near the coaching team. The lions won't have a scratch second row though will they they will have two international class players with quality in reserve which New Zealand may not

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Post by Artful_Dodger on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:13 pm

The problem is that Gatland wants to execute a strategy that requires a Welsh spine in terms of players and is largely ineffective against southern hemisphere teams hence Wales recent record against them.


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Post by stevetynant on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:15 pm

I'm not so sure, Wales are now adopting a differ rent approach to warrenball you could see it in new Zealand in the summer.he knows what has gone before won't be enough

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Post by stevetynant on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:19 pm

Another thought. Lack of preparation time shouldn't be the deciding factor in new Zealand it didn't seem to stop the barbarians against s Africa yesterday. Given baba rugby is not test match rugby and the boks a re not what the all blacks are but still food for thought

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Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:25 pm

The Lions will have a scratch second row unless they pick a pack from one country. It takes months to learn the subtleties of an effective lineout - the thrower, the lifters, the jumpers all have to work in harmony for dozens of different calls.
NZ had only locks who had to merge into the team, but the Lions could have an entire pack who hasn't played together.

As for the Barbarians there's a reason those games don't count towards Test caps - they're not taken too seriously.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:31 pm

NZ also tried something which didn't come off by playing Kaino in there, less to do with being scratch more to do with in hindsight not being a good enough lock.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:46 pm

stevetynant wrote:After yesterday's display no but there's still quality in the Wales squad that harnessed correctly can be effective in new Zealand. Liam Williams,Rhys Webb, Faletau, Alan Wynn Jones,Warbuton,North,Chatteris.agreed not at the races yesterday but they don't become bad players overnight.
No they have not become poor players overnight. In the case of Alan Wynn Jones, Warbuton and North it has been a slow decline over the last year or so. Great player as he was in his pomp Alan Wynn Jones will struggle to make the tour squad and I cannot see how he can make the test team and keep out the likes of Itoje, Kruis, Toner and Gray.

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Post by stevetynant on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:51 pm

Well as we all know there's a lot of rugby to be played between now and next year, Itoje and
Kruis are both unavailable to England at the moment aren't they and awj is class could do with a break to be honest.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 3:53 pm

Fantastic performance from Ireland yesterday. If they can produce anything like that again in 2 weeks time then it will be time to feel more optimistic.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 4:08 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:
stevetynant wrote:After yesterday's display no but there's still quality in the Wales squad that harnessed correctly can be effective in new Zealand. Liam Williams,Rhys Webb, Faletau, Alan Wynn Jones,Warbuton,North,Chatteris.agreed not at the races yesterday but they don't become bad players overnight.
No they have not become poor players overnight. In the case of Alan Wynn Jones, Warbuton and North it has been a slow decline over the last year or so. Great player as he was in his pomp Alan Wynn Jones will struggle to make the tour squad and I cannot see how he can make the test team and keep out the likes of Itoje, Kruis, Toner and Gray.

Toner and Gray laughing, how can someone/anyone believe that these two will be on the plane over captain AWJ?

Another Lions thread on the verge of becoming a thread to bitch about team Wales players, some people really need to get this anti-welsh chip off their shoulder. If you can't help yourself at least do it on the Wales thread.

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Post by Gwlad on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 4:33 pm

How many NH players know how it feels to beat NZ and know how to?

I dont think there'll be many Welshmen starting. Gats is off after RWC and I dont expect after the O Driscoll issue that he will pick Welshmen for the sake of it. The only shoo in is Faletau on form. Maybe Webb and L Williams. If Sexton is fit then clearly it will be Murray and Sexton. Best has put his hand up to Captain the Lions IMO though i understand that he and Gats dont get on.

Right now I'd say the momentum shift towards and Irish English side with a smattering of Scots!

The Irish props were outstanding yesterday


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 4:46 pm

Bar the fact that Vunipola will be the starting 8 if fit.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 4:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Bar the fact that Vunipola will be the starting 8 if fit.

We know you don't like to see Welsh players in any starting XV but that's a matter of perspective isn't it?

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Post by TJ on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 4:57 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
stevetynant wrote:After yesterday's display no but there's still quality in the Wales squad that harnessed correctly can be effective in new Zealand. Liam Williams,Rhys Webb, Faletau, Alan Wynn Jones,Warbuton,North,Chatteris.agreed not at the races yesterday but they don't become bad players overnight.
No they have not become poor players overnight. In the case of Alan Wynn Jones, Warbuton and North it has been a slow decline over the last year or so. Great player as he was in his pomp Alan Wynn Jones will struggle to make the tour squad and I cannot see how he can make the test team and keep out the likes of Itoje, Kruis, Toner and Gray.

Toner and Gray laughing, how can someone/anyone believe that these two will be on the plane over captain AWJ?

Another Lions thread on the verge of becoming a thread to bitch about team Wales players, some people really need to get this anti-welsh chip off their shoulder. If you can't help yourself at least do it on the Wales thread.

Gray is the best in the NH bar none. AWJ is a fading force. However I bet Gatland plays AWJ

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Post by TJ on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 4:58 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
stevetynant wrote:After yesterday's display no but there's still quality in the Wales squad that harnessed correctly can be effective in new Zealand. Liam Williams,Rhys Webb, Faletau, Alan Wynn Jones,Warbuton,North,Chatteris.agreed not at the races yesterday but they don't become bad players overnight.
No they have not become poor players overnight. In the case of Alan Wynn Jones, Warbuton and North it has been a slow decline over the last year or so. Great player as he was in his pomp Alan Wynn Jones will struggle to make the tour squad and I cannot see how he can make the test team and keep out the likes of Itoje, Kruis, Toner and Gray.

Toner and Gray laughing, how can someone/anyone believe that these two will be on the plane over captain AWJ?

Another Lions thread on the verge of becoming a thread to bitch about team Wales players, some people really need to get this anti-welsh chip off their shoulder. If you can't help yourself at least do it on the Wales thread.

Mikey - you need to get the chip of your shoulder - if anyone dare critise a welsh player they are labelled anti welsh by you.

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Post by Gwlad on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:00 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Bar the fact that Vunipola will be the starting 8 if fit.

Agree for the tour games but not tests. Falatau is a better 8 even in a weaker pack. RWC for example he shored up the pack even as we were going backwards and while i like Billy's ball carrying Faletau is the complete article

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Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:01 pm

AWJ with any other coach wouldn't be going but the Gatland is the sole reason why the All Blacks will turn the Lions over.

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Post by Cyril on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:04 pm

TJ wrote:
Gray is the best in the NH bar none.
Eh? Really? He's a fine player but I'm not sure he's even in the top 5 British and Irish locks.

Hmmm, possibly you're just trying to wind up mikey with that comment! Laugh

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:07 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Bar the fact that Vunipola will be the starting 8 if fit.

We know you don't like to see Welsh players in any starting XV but that's a matter of perspective isn't it?

There ain't any English, Welsh, Scots or Irish just Lions.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:08 pm

Gwlad wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Bar the fact that Vunipola will be the starting 8 if fit.

Agree for the tour games but not tests. Falatau is a better 8 even in a weaker pack. RWC for example he shored up the pack even as we were going backwards and while i like Billy's ball carrying Faletau is the complete article

4 years ago yes, Ithink Billy is only behind Read now and catching fast.

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

Cyril wrote:
TJ wrote:
Gray is the best in the NH bar none.
Eh? Really? He's a fine player but I'm not sure he's even in the top 5 British and Irish locks.

Hmmm, possibly you're just trying to wind up mikey with that comment! Laugh

I'd have J Gray, who I hope we're all talking about(!) in my starting side with Launchbury and Itoje at 6.

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Post by exile jack on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:15 pm

Given the tour itinerary,and the coaches yet to be announced,i'd like to feel that Moriarty,Liam W,Webb and Faletau will go to NZ.I think North,Gareth D and AWJ have quite a bit to do but I could see AWJ as the Captain of the non-test side.Gats would be silly to take Warburton as he's an injury waiting to happen.I think that any other Welsh players need outstanding seasons given the competition elsewhere around the UK.If Wales carry on like they did yesterday and England,Scotland and particularly Ireland don't that competition will be irresistable.

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Post by TJ on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:16 pm

Oh yes - its Ickle jonny not big Ritchie.

He did miss a tackle a couple of weeks ago - the 3rd of his pro career. He regularly tops the defending and attacking stats in the pro 12. I have never seen a player who is involved in the game as much and for a huge man his workrate is fantastic.

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Post by Cyril on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:18 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:
TJ wrote:
Gray is the best in the NH bar none.
Eh? Really? He's a fine player but I'm not sure he's even in the top 5 British and Irish locks.

Hmmm, possibly you're just trying to wind up mikey with that comment! Laugh

I'd have J Gray, who I hope we're all talking about(!) in my starting side with Launchbury and Itoje at 6.
Surely there are enough 6s in Britain and Ireland to enable us to play Itoje in his best position (though I'm sure Itoje could do a fine job).

I've just never seen Gray as being as good as some make out. Kruis is certainly ahead of him as well. Arguably he's been as good as Itoje for England.

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Post by hugehandoff on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:35 pm

An awesome performance and result for Ireland, but we must not get too carried away with 1 result. And that implies to Wales as well. The overarching context is important and it is easy to get carried away by the latest results. We need to properly assess where we all are post the AIs.

NZ were missing their engine room (and no.3 lock) and that really affected them. And Ireland were good enough to take advantage. It just shows how awesome Whitlock and Retallick are. Chuck in home advantage and the rest of their amazing side and the challenge remains as near impossible as ever. But at least yesterday showed that they are human and do feel the pressure and do make mistakes.

Ireland now need to back this up with another win. And England need to back up their summer win with more victories and performances this autumn. 4-0 and nothing less will do. At that point the Lions go go down under with some confidence. Add in some very good Scots and Welsh players and we can believe.

But if the ABs get a big win in 2 weeks then we can all slink back into our boxes. Fingers crossed for another cracking match.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:43 pm

Cyril wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:
TJ wrote:
Gray is the best in the NH bar none.
Eh? Really? He's a fine player but I'm not sure he's even in the top 5 British and Irish locks.

Hmmm, possibly you're just trying to wind up mikey with that comment! Laugh

I'd have J Gray, who I hope we're all talking about(!) in my starting side with Launchbury and Itoje at 6.
Surely there are enough 6s in Britain and Ireland to enable us to play Itoje in his best position (though I'm sure Itoje could do a fine job).

I've just never seen Gray as being as good as some make out. Kruis is certainly ahead of him as well. Arguably he's been as good as Itoje for England.

It'd be 6 or the bench at present but the way he improves could mean he's the best in the world come the Lions. Kruis for me was the standout player in the 6Ns but his form before and after is short of what I believe the others are capable of. We are blessed in a fair few positions though!

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:52 pm

Problem with Kruis is perception.

He's been around a few years now and was only 'average' to start off with, so that initial assessment seems to define him for many on here. But this last year he's been stellar. He isn't as eye catching or as versatile as Itoje (but then who is?) He has certainly been very effective though, and as good as or better than any other 2nd row in Europe.

One more comment - no. 8's. Faletau is a more versatile player than Billy. Billy is more likely to change a game through his one man wrecking ball plays. New model Billy works hard all game too. I think Billy is better (but then I would) but I'd understand if the coach wanted a different balance in the scrum, because they offer different things.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 5:59 pm

I acknowledged Kruis for his 6Ns work though your summary does work perfectly for me in regards Haskell who I still refuse to be sold on!

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Post by TJ on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 6:25 pm

Haskell is a donkey - good at what he does but his slowness limits his usefullnes. The lessons for me from the Welsh and Ireland games is still - no substitute for speed.

Is it time for another lions selection thread?  Not had enough rows recently ;-)

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Post by stevetynant on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 6:42 pm

To me I don't think the lions will be under pressure in the tight given the front five the lions will have and especially the props that leaves faletau and vunipola to give us options.it might even leave the door open for tipuric to be included. I think the Irish props plus mako ,the English second rows perhaps gray, stander,obrien,vunipola,faletau there's some serious ball carrying there. Number 7 looks the most vulnerable position at the moment. But I'm talking myself into real optimism here.

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Post by Cyril on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 6:57 pm

TJ wrote:Haskell is a donkey - good at what he does but his slowness limits his usefullnes.  The lessons for me from the Welsh and Ireland games is still - no substitute for speed.

Is it time for another lions selection thread?  Not had enough rows recently ;-)
Haskell is far from slow for a flanker! He's got good a good turn of pace and very good line speed in defence.

Considering what he did to Aus in the summer he seems quick enough to me. It does depend on the system though.

His weakness used to be giving away silly penalties but he seems to be on top of that.

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 7:21 pm

stevetynant wrote:To me I don't think the lions will be under pressure in the tight given the front five the lions will have and especially the props that leaves faletau and vunipola to give us options.it might even leave the door open for tipuric to be included. I think the Irish props plus mako ,the English second rows perhaps gray, stander,obrien,vunipola,faletau there's some serious ball carrying there. Number 7 looks the most vulnerable position at the moment. But I'm talking myself into real optimism here.

Forget O'Brien. A very special player at his best but I would be amazed if he ever got back to that level.

Also worth saying that although the current NZ vintage is very good, I don't think its the best ever. All you have to do to be the best is better than everyone else, and maybe that isn't as hard to be at the moment, at least in the SH.

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Post by TJ on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 7:26 pm

cyril - sorry but thats laughable - compare to Watson or hardie - they are quick back rows - pace to outpace many backs

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Post by lostinwales on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 7:34 pm

TJ wrote:cyril - sorry but thats laughable - compare to Watson or hardie - they are quick back rows - pace to outpace many backs

Doesn't actually make them better or more effective players though. Its going to be about balance and these guys offer different things.

In the summer 'lumbering' Haskell was up against two of the fastest smartest back rows around (although Pocock sadly didnt last that long) Guess who came out on top?


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Post by Cyril on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 7:44 pm

TJ wrote:cyril - sorry but thats laughable - compare to Watson or hardie - they are quick back rows - pace to outpace many backs
I said he was 'far from slow' not the fastest. Haskell played 7s, has has made plenty of breaks and, for his size, is pretty agile.

Watson and Hardie may be quick but are not that effective against the best. As lostinwales says it's all about balance. Otherwise you just play a lightweight, quick side that get destroyed.

I think you have a very high opinion of Scottish players and I generally don't see it.


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Post by TJ on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 7:49 pm

Oh I wouldn't play either Watson or Hardie for the lions. Watson has yet to really make his mark and Hardie is short of match fitness right now. We are not exactly short of good back row options for the lions.

The only scots who should be in a lions team are maybe Hogg and Jonny gray. Laidlaw perhaps to captain the midweek side. Bennett an outside chance

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 8:34 pm

I just hope they decide on the right tactics and pick the right players to carry out those tactics.

And everyone will have to be defensively rock solid to exceptional! I wonder if Gustard might get himself in there as defence coach?

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Post by yappysnap on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 8:50 pm

Or Farrel as defence coach?

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 8:56 pm

Seemingly working for Ireland isn't it yappy. Forgot he was there actually!

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 9:49 pm

Yesterday was the second time that a Farrell built defence has put enough pressure on the All Blacks to get a win. He should be nowhere near decisions about attacking structure or set-plays from first phase as they are two areas which fell apart after he got more control of them under Lancasters. As a defence coach he has many attributes though.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 10:03 pm

king_carlos wrote:Yesterday was the second time that a Farrell built defence has put enough pressure on the All Blacks to get a win. He should be nowhere near decisions about attacking structure or set-plays from first phase as they are two areas which fell apart after he got more control of them under Lancasters. As a defence coach he has many attributes though.
True. There were lots of Irish posters bemoaning his appointment at the time. I suspect they are glad to eat their words.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 10:08 pm

Given that the current AB set-up are usually very good at getting their key player fit and peaking for the big events, such as the RWC, I expect that the side the Lions face will looke a lot more like below.

1.Moody 2.Coles 3.O Franks 4.Retallick 5.Whitelock 6.Kaino 7.Cane 8.Read
9.A Smith 10.Barrett 11.J Savea 12.SBW 13.Lienert-Brown 14.Dagg/Naholo 15.B Smith

16.Taylor 17.Tu'ungafisi 18.Faumuina 19.Romano/Tuipulotu 20.A Savea 21.Perenara 22.Cruden 23.Fekitoa

Not taking anything away from Irelands fantastic performance and win but the ABs full primed for 3 Lions tests at home will be a very different proposition. Especially when many potential Lions will probably be crocked by the season ahead.

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Post by GeordieFalcon on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 10:20 pm

What about that winger...mulder and scully....

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Post by SecretFly on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 10:22 pm

Exiledinborders wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Yesterday was the second time that a Farrell built defence has put enough pressure on the All Blacks to get a win. He should be nowhere near decisions about attacking structure or set-plays from first phase as they are two areas which fell apart after he got more control of them under Lancasters. As a defence coach he has many attributes though.
True. There were lots of Irish posters bemoaning his appointment at the time. I suspect they are glad to eat their words.

Maybe there were but I honestly didn't see many of them turn up here, Exiled; and I know that a lot of us in 606 thought it was a great move.  The coaching team needed a new fresh voice at the time, Joe had done attack and defence on his own through the last Six Nations (not an ideal situation!) and I for one always thought Farrell could add some 'visceral intensity' to the coaching set-up.  
Joe is intense but in a highly technical way.  I think Irish players needed an 'emotion' setter coach to be in the mix though and I hoped and felt Farrell might do that job.  Scientist Joe and Hairdrier T-osser Andy. Wink  I think the Irish coaching set-up have a good mix now that hopefully might allow our performances to be more balanced.

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Post by king_carlos on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 10:27 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:What about that winger...mulder and scully....

Nehe Milner-Skudder?

Yep he'll almost certainly be back if fit. I don't know how I forgot him, he's a fantastic player and a guy I really enjoy watching play.

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Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 06 Nov 2016, 10:29 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
king_carlos wrote:Yesterday was the second time that a Farrell built defence has put enough pressure on the All Blacks to get a win. He should be nowhere near decisions about attacking structure or set-plays from first phase as they are two areas which fell apart after he got more control of them under Lancasters. As a defence coach he has many attributes though.
True. There were lots of Irish posters bemoaning his appointment at the time. I suspect they are glad to eat their words.

Maybe there were but I honestly didn't see many of them turn up here, Exiled; and I know that a lot of us in 606 thought it was a great move.  The coaching team needed a new fresh voice at the time, Joe had done attack and defence on his own through the last Six Nations (not an ideal situation!) and I for one always thought Farrell could add some 'visceral intensity' to the coaching set-up.  
Joe is intense but in a highly technical way.  I think Irish players needed an 'emotion' setter coach to be in the mix though and I hoped and felt Farrell might do that job.  Scientist Joe and Hairdrier T-osser Andy. Wink  I think the Irish coaching set-up have a good mix now that hopefully might allow our performances to be more balanced.
I remember a few but anyway I agree about coaching set-up. Farrell is an excellent defence coach. After all he learned from the master - Gustard. The 6N will be interesting.

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