Lions 2017

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Post by abarnbrook on Sun 04 Dec 2016, 7:08 pm

First topic message reminder :

Looking at the recent internationals and to beat allblack you need pace and vision so this is my team so far! 1.m.vunipola 2.hartley 3.furlong 4.itoje 5.kruis 6.faletau 7.stander 8. B.vunipola 9. Youngs 10.ford 11.watson 12.farrell 13.joseph 14.l.williams 15. Hogg 16.best 17.mcgrath 18.lee 19 .henderson 20.o'brien 21.murray 22.henshaw 23.north

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Post by TJ on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:35 am

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:Realistically it boils down to two players, AWJ and Rory Best. One of those will be captain...

Are either guaranteed their place in the side?


Cant think of any player right now that is guaranteed a place on the starting team. Can you?

Murray and Sexton as half backs - if Gatland has any sense. Individually probably the best. If you want your half backs as a pair clearly the best

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Post by Cyril on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:35 am

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Toner has longer arms.

AWJ has the advantage of being known by his initials.

It's a tricky one.

Toner also has shovels for hands and size 17 feet.
Gats should stick him in goal.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:38 am

TJ wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:
reallybored wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:Realistically it boils down to two players, AWJ and Rory Best. One of those will be captain...

Are either guaranteed their place in the side?


Cant think of any player right now that is guaranteed a place on the starting team. Can you?

Murray and Sexton as half backs - if Gatland has any sense.  Individually probably the best.  If you want your half backs as a pair clearly the best

Sexton at fly-half yes, with in Irish-looking midfield, unless he's injured then Biggar or Farrell to step in. It's not as clear as you make out as every No.9 we have blows hot and cold, but when hot they're very hot. Last season I had Rhys Webb and Gareth Davies penned in as Lions one and two scrum-halves. This season they've had a couple of poor games and been injured, whilst Ben Youngs has improved and been playing consistently well - and probably the best 9 right now. Murray is also playing well at present, but in the past he hasn't been that consistent.

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Post by Scottrf on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 9:59 am

I think Kruis is up there with most likely to be selected.

But yeah agree with the above. Form is important, injuries even more so, so hard to predict at this stage.

Hartley is being stated as a possible captain but who knows how much rugby he will play between now and then.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 10:03 am

Scottrf wrote:I think Kruis is up there with most likely to be selected.

But yeah agree with the above. Form is important, injuries even more so, so hard to predict at this stage.

Hartley is being stated as a possible captain but who knows how much rugby he will play between now and then.

Hartley is becoming like a certain Welsh captain - only fit when the internationals are on.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 10:59 am

TJ wrote:AJW is a fine player but there are quite a few better in the NH.  Stating this opinion does not mean you hate the welsh.

Correct.

uncle_nigel wrote:I don't really see who's miles better than AWJ which is what all the AWJ-haters keep making out.

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Post by TJ on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 11:03 am

Top NH locks

Itoje, Kruis, J Gray, AJW, Lawes, and plenty more

Who you think is better depends on a lot of factor. For me Gray is - his sheer workrate and his leadership are outstanding. Everytime he has played against one of these others his stats show far greater involvement in the game.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 11:04 am

TJ wrote:Top NH locks

Itoje, Kruis, J Gray, AJW, Lawes, and plenty more

Who you think is better depends on a lot of factor.  For me Gray is - his sheer workrate and his leadership are outstanding.  Everytime he has played against one of these others his stats show far greater involvement in the game.  

Is that because its Scotland and nobody else is doing the work?

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 11:20 am

lostinwales wrote:
TJ wrote:Top NH locks

Itoje, Kruis, J Gray, AJW, Lawes, and plenty more

Who you think is better depends on a lot of factor.  For me Gray is - his sheer workrate and his leadership are outstanding.  Everytime he has played against one of these others his stats show far greater involvement in the game.  

Is that because its Scotland and nobody else is doing the work?

There is an element of truth in this. Johnny Gray does shame a lot of his peers into upping their game just with his insane workrate. IMO it's no coincidence Scotland and Glasgow's packs both perform better with Gray playing.

As for the "AWJ" haters. I don't think anyone hates him. In fact on the thread I started up about how well he plays and used him as a measure of how well Gray is currently playing based on an article that Rugby world used to fight the case that both were almost certain to tour.

Having praise like that from an independent rugby publication with no axe to grind is high praise indeed when looking at who is availabvle for selection for the Lions in the summer.

Nige, I really think you have to accept just as we will in Scotland and as the Irish will and the English will that some of the extremely talented locks we have may not tour because of how good that player pool is.

AWJ has an advantage due to his familiartity with Gatland but in terms of skill and ability there is practically nothing between the 1st choice locks of all the home nations.

Furthermore this would also mean I would not make him captain. Purely because competition for that position is extremely high.
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Post by beshocked on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 11:26 am

TJ Kruis managed to power through both Gray bros to score a try in the 6 nations.... I would say that Kruis was more decisive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l7AvhSgugRg

Itoje powered through two players to help assist for a crucial try against Wales in the 6 nations and was man of the match.

Without these tries England would have in all likelihood not won the GS.


Scottish fans like to hype up Jonny Gray but how many times can you say he actually helped make a real difference between winning and losing. You lost against Australia when you should have won.

Scotland's so called big players like Hogg,Russell and J.Gray didn't do enough. It's harsh of J.Gray because I thought he played well but someone needed to drag Scotland over the line. Hogg in my opinion was disappointing. Russell added some excitement in attack but lacked game control.

Same thing happened in the RWC, someone needed to drag Scotland over the line. Australia were there for the taking.

J.Gray was outclassed by Kruis in the 6 nations and Kruis intervention for England was crucial.

Kruis-Itoje anchoring the 2nd row for England was important in helping England win the GS.

Competition is hotting up in England 2nd row though with Launchbury and Lawes playing well.

lostinwales I think sometimes Scottish fans believe J.Gray and Hogg are better than they are. Both good players but overrated. Especially Hogg who most definitely shouldn't have won 6 nations player of the year.

It's frustating because I like Hogg and want to give credit when I think players play well.

I must admit it does annoy me when backs have won the 6 nations player of the year whilst more influential forwards have been ignored.

Imanol Harinorduquy in 2010. Billy Vunipola in 2016. Two ridiculous decisions. Especially when Billy won 3 man of the matches during the 6 nations.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 11:42 am

Hogg was player of the six nations, there is a reason for that, he scored some brilliant tries lighting up what is normally a dour forward orientated tournament where teams seek to squeeze the life out of each other. He was electric in attack and was rightly given that accolade by a string of terrific performances.

He was also instrumental in Glasgow's demolition of Leicester in the European cup, played well in all the matches in the Autumn, scored 2 tries, one being a brilliant individual effort and the other running a superb support  line to finish off a great team move.

If that's not playing well Beshocked I'm struggling to see what he could do to impress you. Hogg will most likely start because he is the best full back in the NH at the moment. And it's not just me who's saying that. It's hard to find a lions team that doesn't have Hogg at 15. If you feel there are better cases, make them.

Kruis and Itoje on the other hand are amazing players. Johnny Gray will not be the first and he won't be the last to be out muscled by Kruis, but I'm grateful the 6N is coming up. A great proving ground to see where everyone is at the moment. Gray is not a bad player just because Kruis scored a drive over try.

It's hard to compare like for like in the autumn since the teams aren't playing each other.
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Post by lostinwales on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 12:04 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Hogg was player of the six nations, there is a reason for that, he scored some brilliant tries lighting up what is normally a dour forward orientated tournament where teams seek to squeeze the life out of each other. He was electric in attack and was rightly given that accolade by a string of terrific performances.

He was also instrumental in Glasgow's demolition of Leicester in the European cup, played well in all the matches in the Autumn, scored 2 tries, one being a brilliant individual effort and the other running a superb support  line to finish off a great team move.

If that's not playing well Beshocked I'm struggling to see what he could do to impress you. Hogg will most likely start because he is the best full back in the NH at the moment. And it's not just me who's saying that. It's hard to find a lions team that doesn't have Hogg at 15. If you feel there are better cases, make them.

Kruis and Itoje on the other hand are amazing players. Johnny Gray will not be the first and he won't be the last to be out muscled by Kruis, but I'm grateful the 6N is coming up. A great proving ground to see where everyone is at the moment. Gray is not a bad player just because Kruis scored a drive over try.

It's hard to compare like for like in the autumn since the teams aren't playing each other.

Its always hard to separate the system the players operate in from what they offer, which in turn has often made it difficult for the best Scots to get wider exposure. And of course form goes up and down. This time a year ago Kruis was a decent international lock. Since the start of the last 6N he's been one of the best.

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Post by profitius on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 12:11 pm

AW Jones will be starting for the lions and likely be captain. He is a good player and stands out for his leadership.
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 12:40 pm

Well, Rory isn't going to be Captain - unless Ireland has a spectacular 6N and Gatland feels compelled by public opinion.  Otherwise, I don't think Gatland rates Best and I think that sense of being unwanted threw up the lack of confidence nightmare Rory had last time.

I've come to respect Warburton over the years as he's matured and as I've been able to let my own instincts know him better.  But I think you're right Prof, and I'd like to see AWJ take the role.  I wouldn't be personally too emotionally involved in caring who gets it - but for the player himself; yes honours do mean something, yes sometimes symbolism does outweigh the pragmatism of the role.  So AWJ should get it for the honour but also, he wouldn't remotely let down the role on the practical front.

However, if England have a special 6N then it'll be Hartley that Gatland chooses.  Gatland can't afford a Hartley in the squad who is brooding on a slight... could return Dylan to old ways during games.

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Post by beshocked on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 12:49 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Hogg was player of the six nations, there is a reason for that, he scored some brilliant tries lighting up what is normally a dour forward orientated tournament where teams seek to squeeze the life out of each other. He was electric in attack and was rightly given that accolade by a string of terrific performances.

He was also instrumental in Glasgow's demolition of Leicester in the European cup, played well in all the matches in the Autumn, scored 2 tries, one being a brilliant individual effort and the other running a superb support  line to finish off a great team move.

If that's not playing well Beshocked I'm struggling to see what he could do to impress you. Hogg will most likely start because he is the best full back in the NH at the moment. And it's not just me who's saying that. It's hard to find a lions team that doesn't have Hogg at 15. If you feel there are better cases, make them.

Kruis and Itoje on the other hand are amazing players. Johnny Gray will not be the first and he won't be the last to be out muscled by Kruis, but I'm grateful the 6N is coming up. A great proving ground to see where everyone is at the moment. Gray is not a bad player just because Kruis scored a drive over try.

It's hard to compare like for like in the autumn since the teams aren't playing each other.

You can be a good player but be overrated. Hogg fits into that category.

Best Scotsman in the 6 nations? Quite possibly. Best player out of all the nations? Not at all.

People love Hogg for the reasons you say he's electric, he's a great athlete but he has flaws. He was not all conquering in the 6 nations either.

It's favouring style over substance, there is more to being a full back than scoring tries (though Hogg didn't excel in the try scoring in the 6 nations).

I agree Gray is not a bad player just because Kruis scored a try but Kruis influenced that game. That try effectively won the match. It's one game, one moment but sometimes that's all it takes.

Kruis has done much more than that too. His combination with Itoje has improved both of them. For England they've combined very effectively.

Rugby obviously isn't just about who is the best player - it's combinations and building the best team.

J.Gray not missing a tackle is commendable but he has to keep growing, being more influential, start turning narrow Scottish losses into wins, he doesn't need to do it alone but players need to shoulder the burden.

I like Hogg I just think people focus on his strengths more than the aspects of his game he needs to work on.

Scotland needed a top class performance from Hogg against Australia which they didn't get.

Looking great vs Georgia isn't the same.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 1:04 pm

The Hogg being overrated thing I just don't understand.

He is the best attacking full back in the world, and it's only his defensive frailties that make Smith a better full back overall IMO. Again I'm not hearing many cases from you or anyone else who is better placed than Hogg to be the starting 15 for the lions. It's fair enough pointing out a perceived weakness as in he didn't do much against Australia or Argentina, but he carried the furthest and beat the most defenders in those games. He had no scoring influence on the outcome however.

Furthermore players who did stand out in those games like Johnny Gray and Huw Jones and both of them influenced that game hugely by scoring all of Scotlands trys. One missed tackle by Peter Horne cost us the game, something they couldn't influence.

Your argument falls down because both of those players influenced the game, but the game was lost because of an error by another.
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Post by The Great Aukster on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 1:35 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
TJ wrote:Top NH locks

Itoje, Kruis, J Gray, AJW, Lawes, and plenty more

Who you think is better depends on a lot of factor.  For me Gray is - his sheer workrate and his leadership are outstanding.  Everytime he has played against one of these others his stats show far greater involvement in the game.  

Is that because its Scotland and nobody else is doing the work?

There is an element of truth in this. Johnny Gray does shame a lot of his peers into upping their game just with his insane workrate. IMO it's no coincidence Scotland and Glasgow's packs both perform better with Gray playing.

As for the "AWJ" haters. I don't think anyone hates him. In fact on the thread I started up about how well he plays and used him as a measure of how well Gray is currently playing based on an article that Rugby world used to fight the case that both were almost certain to tour.

Having praise like that from an independent rugby publication with no axe to grind is high praise indeed when looking at who is availabvle for selection for the Lions in the summer.

Nige, I really think you have to accept just as we will in Scotland and as the Irish will and the English will that some of the extremely talented locks we have may not tour because of how good that player pool is.

AWJ has an advantage due to his familiartity with Gatland but in terms of skill and ability there is practically nothing between the 1st choice locks of all the home nations.

Furthermore this would also mean I would not make him captain. Purely because competition for that position is extremely high.

If there is "practically nothing between the 1st choice locks", then AWJ would be the standout choice for captain because of his familiarity with Gatland. The deciding factor is effectively outside skill and ability.

This logic is flawed in that it is not familiarity with the coach that's important but rather familiarity with the rest of the team. In other words a lock isn't selected in isolation but rather as part of a unit and the best unit is picked in toto.

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Post by Guest on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 1:44 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:The Hogg being overrated thing I just don't understand.

He is the best attacking full back in the world, and it's only his defensive frailties that make Smith a better full back overall IMO. Again I'm not hearing many cases from you or anyone else who is better placed than Hogg to be the starting 15 for the lions. It's fair enough pointing out a perceived weakness as in he didn't do much against Australia or Argentina, but he carried the furthest and beat the most defenders in those games. He had no scoring influence on the outcome however.

Furthermore players who did stand out in those games like Johnny Gray and Huw Jones and both of them influenced that game hugely by scoring all of Scotlands trys. One missed tackle by Peter Horne cost us the game, something they couldn't influence.

Your argument falls down because both of those players influenced the game, but the game was lost because of an error by another.

He's like Shane Willliams for me: rated mainly by his own countrymen but not much by others, scores good tries, creates something from nothing, weak in defence, the rest of the world dislikes him. People outside Scotland will slate him all the way to the end of his career, as with Shane. Hogg will be referred to in terms such as 'squashed goblin', or similar, soon too. 'Tis the way.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 1:52 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
Sexton at fly-half yes, with in Irish-looking midfield, unless he's injured then Biggar or Farrell to step in. It's not as clear as you make out as every No.9 we have blows hot and cold, but when hot they're very hot. Last season I had Rhys Webb and Gareth Davies penned in as Lions one and two scrum-halves. This season they've had a couple of poor games and been injured, whilst Ben Youngs has improved and been playing consistently well - and probably the best 9 right now. Murray is also playing well at present, but in the past he hasn't been that consistent.

Id be very surprised if Youngs started the first test at SH if all others are fit on current form. Yes he is having a good run behind the most dominant pack in world rugby at the moment but I think Murray is probably the best scrum half in the world right now followed by TJ Perrenara and then Youngs. If the decision is tight then I think Gatland will be swayed by Murray's adonis physical stature.


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Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 1:55 pm

BamBam wrote:They wouldnt be my choices for captain either, just naming two guaranteed starters Wink

I'd have either Hartley or Best, whichever one starts. AWJ is behind 3 or 4 locks for me, so no way would I make him captain

Agreed and Gats in his q & a session stated re the captain, "Form is paramount on the Lions and we will put the best Test side out. The captain will probably be someone who is doing the role at the moment."

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Post by Scottrf on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 1:59 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:Id be very surprised if Youngs started the first test at SH if all others are fit on current form. Yes he is having a good run behind the most dominant pack in world rugby at the moment but I think Murray is probably the best scrum half in the world right now followed by TJ Perrenara and then Youngs.
It's still Aaron Smith.

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 2:01 pm

Scottrf wrote:
GunsGermsV2 wrote:Id be very surprised if Youngs started the first test at SH if all others are fit on current form. Yes he is having a good run behind the most dominant pack in world rugby at the moment but I think Murray is probably the best scrum half in the world right now followed by TJ Perrenara and then Youngs.
It's still Aaron Smith.

Not a chance. He has had a poor year particularly November. Murray got the better of him twice this year.

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Post by Scottrf on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 2:05 pm

A poor last couple of games, with things outside of rugby as a distraction. Not a poor year.

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Post by BamBam on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 2:09 pm

Guys, when debating beshocked on Stuart Hogg, please remember that this is the person who thinks Alex Goode is a Test level full back

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 2:09 pm

Scottrf wrote:A poor last couple of games, with things outside of rugby as a distraction. Not a poor year.

A great team too, no? Plus............. unfortunately for the Lions anyway.... Aaron Smith will be in Black Wink

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 2:10 pm

Scottrf wrote:A poor last couple of games, with things outside of rugby as a distraction. Not a poor year.

Doesn't matter the reasons. As of right now Murray is better. Smith was weak in Chicago, was dropped for Paris but average when he came on and a bit better in Dublin. Murray was consistently good over the whole of November and to a considerably higher standard than Smith.

I watched all 6 games that both players featured in.


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Post by SecretFly on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 2:11 pm

BamBam wrote:Guys, when debating beshocked on Stuart Hogg, please remember that this is the person who thinks Alex Goode is a Test level full back

Was it you that had a nice little descriptive name for Alex, Bam?

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Post by BamBam on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 2:56 pm

SecretFly wrote:
BamBam wrote:Guys, when debating beshocked on Stuart Hogg, please remember that this is the person who thinks Alex Goode is a Test level full back

Was it you that had a nice little descriptive name for Alex, Bam?

I have many, some that I'd get banned for

Mr Jink Jink Splat springs to mind though!

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:05 pm

Yep, that's the one I remember, Bam OK

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Post by beshocked on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:23 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:The Hogg being overrated thing I just don't understand.

He is the best attacking full back in the world, and it's only his defensive frailties that make Smith a better full back overall IMO. Again I'm not hearing many cases from you or anyone else who is better placed than Hogg to be the starting 15 for the lions. It's fair enough pointing out a perceived weakness as in he didn't do much against Australia or Argentina, but he carried the furthest and beat the most defenders in those games. He had no scoring influence on the outcome however.

Furthermore players who did stand out in those games like Johnny Gray and Huw Jones and both of them influenced that game hugely by scoring all of Scotlands trys. One missed tackle by Peter Horne cost us the game, something they couldn't influence.

Your argument falls down because both of those players influenced the game, but the game was lost because of an error by another.

Being a good rugby player isn't just about attack. It's about game management, especially from full back. Some control is needed. Not just running the ball back.

I am not saying Hogg is a bad player and yes he's probably the favourite to start for the Lions at 15 but I do think he's overrated. I do not think he's the finished article. He has his strengths but areas to work on.

A full back generally does well in terms of metres, they should do but I didn't really see Hogg pinning the opposition back and he doesn't always make good decisions.

J.Gray and Huw Jones were indeed influential but their performances were in vain. Someone needs to take responsibility for losses.

If Hogg had played as well as those two then Scotland would have likely beaten Australia.


Bambam I am sorry that I don't think Hogg is the best player in Europe....

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Post by dummy_half on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:34 pm

Back to the discussions about strength in depth at lock, I could make a case* for taking all 4 of Itoje, Kruis, Lawes and Launchbury being selected for the squad - certainly as a quartet they would stand comparison with several Lions squads of the past.
That there is a very good case for Johnny Gray, AW-J, Henderson, and a less good case for Toner, Richie Gray and Charteris shows it is definitely an area of strength

*Not that I expect all to be selected, and it will depend mainly on who England pick in the 6Ns...

As for Hogg at fullback, I can see Beshocked's point - while Hogg is a brilliant counter-attacking runner and has an almighty hoof, his flaws (passing errors and poor defensive work) tend to get glossed over more than for some of his contemporaries - as England fans we are rather more critical of Mike Brown over some similar issues (especially the failing to link with supporting players once he's made an incisive break). I'm not saying the Lions have a clearly better option, or that it is not worth putting up with the flaws for the moments of genius, but I think sometimes the assessment of Hogg is a little too generous..

Actually, as I was writing the last bit about flaws and moments of genius, another player sprang to mind - David campese. A player now rated as an all time great, but who on more than one occasion made an absolute howler that cost his team tries, matches and even a Lions series (just watched the you tube clip of this - the Australian commentary is brilliant...).

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:36 pm

Which 15.... NH...is the finished article with nothing to work on or be careful about?

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:39 pm

dummy_half wrote:Actually, as I was writing the last bit about flaws and moments of genius, another player sprang to mind - David campese. A player now rated as an all time great, but who on more than one occasion made an absolute howler that cost his team tries, matches and  even a Lions series (just watched the you tube clip of this - the Australian commentary is brilliant...).

I had a video of the '89 Lions tour when I was younger, and for some reason they used Australian commentary for the match highlights. I remember it well: 'you don't do that on your own goal line! You don't pull on a green and gold jersey to pull off that sort of Mickey Mouse rugby!'

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:41 pm

Full back is one of those positions where missed tackles count really badly against you since if you miss them you're in trouble and likely to concede a try.

Hogg's tackling is an area of weakness in his game when compared to his ludicrous strengths in attacking with the ball in hand and his tremendous kicking prowess.

However, this wee video from the game against England shows 3 try saving tackles in one match!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz8YoLHjDu4

So his defence isn't as poor as some are making out.

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Post by SecretFly on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:46 pm

David Campese
Quade Cooper.

Flawed geniuses with a ball and lovely to experience it all (the wonderful moments and the true madness).... especially when you don't have to worry about them being on your team. Whistle

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Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:48 pm

dummy_half wrote:Back to the discussions about strength in depth at lock, I could make a case* for taking all 4 of Itoje, Kruis, Lawes and Launchbury being selected for the squad - certainly as a quartet they would stand comparison with several Lions squads of the past.
That there is a very good case for Johnny Gray, AW-J, Henderson, and a less good case for Toner, Richie Gray and Charteris shows it is definitely an area of strength

*Not that I expect all to be selected, and it will depend mainly on who England pick in the 6Ns...

As for Hogg at fullback, I can see Beshocked's point - while Hogg is a brilliant counter-attacking runner and has an almighty hoof, his flaws (passing errors and poor defensive work) tend to get glossed over more than for some of his contemporaries - as England fans we are rather more critical of Mike Brown over some similar issues (especially the failing to link with supporting players once he's made an incisive break). I'm not saying the Lions have a clearly better option, or that it is not worth putting up with the flaws for the moments of genius, but I think sometimes the assessment of Hogg is a little too generous..

Actually, as I was writing the last bit about flaws and moments of genius, another player sprang to mind - David campese. A player now rated as an all time great, but who on more than one occasion made an absolute howler that cost his team tries, matches and  even a Lions series (just watched the you tube clip of this - the Australian commentary is brilliant...).

Eh?

His passing is pretty good actually. Look at some of his flip passes which resulted in tries.

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Post by dummy_half on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 3:58 pm

Tattie

I've seen Hogg throw plenty of wild passes, particularly when flat out - tends to throw the ball forward or at least much too flat for his support player. As I say, Mike Brown is much the same - once they've made the initial break and are in a broken field situation neither are great at finding support players. Hogg is though a better ball handler than Brown when he joins the attacking line and is executing skills at 3/4 pace, it's just the longer passes on the run that need more work.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:05 pm

so bad at passing he was used out of position at 20 years old on the last lions tour at 10. Headscratch
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Post by carpet baboon on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:20 pm

If we are talking bad passing may I present jd2. For all his talents the pass is not one

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Post by uncle_nigel on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:27 pm

profitius wrote:AW Jones will be starting for the lions and likely be captain. He is a good player and stands out for his leadership.

Very well said this guy. Spoken like a true fan with both eyes open.

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Post by lostinwales on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:31 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
profitius wrote:AW Jones will be starting for the lions and likely be captain. He is a good player and stands out for his leadership.

Very well said this guy. Spoken like a true fan with both eyes open. someone who agrees with me

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Post by uncle_nigel on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:34 pm

SecretFly wrote:Which 15.... NH...is the finished article with nothing to work on or be careful about?

Liam Williams, and Leigh Halfpenny.

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Post by carpet baboon on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:35 pm

uncle_nigel wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Which 15.... NH...is the finished article with nothing to work on or be careful about?

Liam Williams, and Leigh Halfpenny.

Is this your true fan with both eyes open opinion?

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Post by beshocked on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:36 pm

Ruggerradge to be fair Hogg was excellent in that game vs England last year. As I've said many times I think Hogg is good. Just a bit overrated. It's not even Hogg's tackling which I criticise him for.

I think it's his overall game control, I am talking about stuff you won't see in the highlights reel. Also believe at times he doesn't play as well as people think which is why I keep going back to that Australia game.

dummy half I agree about Brown. His ball skills and decision making at times are questionable. We are certainly more critical of Brown. I am not even saying Brown is a bad player either, it's just appreciating that players have aspects of their game to work on.

To be fair you could say that about many players, there are aspects that the likes of Farrell Jr,Itoje,AWJ,J.Gray,Mako IMO need to work on.

If the Lions are going to stand a chance vs the ABs they need to iron out any weaknesses.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:39 pm

lostinwales wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
profitius wrote:AW Jones will be starting for the lions and likely be captain. He is a good player and stands out for his leadership.

Very well said this guy. Spoken like a true fan with both eyes open. someone who agrees with me

Laugh

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Post by R!skysports on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:44 pm

dummy_half wrote:Back to the discussions about strength in depth at lock, I could make a case* for taking all 4 of Itoje, Kruis, Lawes and Launchbury being selected for the squad - certainly as a quartet they would stand comparison with several Lions squads of the past.
That there is a very good case for Johnny Gray, AW-J, Henderson, and a less good case for Toner, Richie Gray and Charteris shows it is definitely an area of strength

*Not that I expect all to be selected, and it will depend mainly on who England pick in the 6Ns...

As for Hogg at fullback, I can see Beshocked's point - while Hogg is a brilliant counter-attacking runner and has an almighty hoof, his flaws (passing errors and poor defensive work) tend to get glossed over more than for some of his contemporaries - as England fans we are rather more critical of Mike Brown over some similar issues (especially the failing to link with supporting players once he's made an incisive break). I'm not saying the Lions have a clearly better option, or that it is not worth putting up with the flaws for the moments of genius, but I think sometimes the assessment of Hogg is a little too generous..

Actually, as I was writing the last bit about flaws and moments of genius, another player sprang to mind - David campese. A player now rated as an all time great, but who on more than one occasion made an absolute howler that cost his team tries, matches and  even a Lions series (just watched the you tube clip of this - the Australian commentary is brilliant...).

Well I think this thread and everyone that mentions Hogg shows that is not the case. Every error he makes is magnified beyond belief, and every try saving tackle, defender beaten, high ball taken is duely put into the pile....yes but his mistakes (which generally are no more than any other fullback)

2 years ago I would not have him starting the lions, or maybe even going. He has temperament issues and not playing that well. The last year and a half he has been on fire. Winning 6 nations man of the tournement, multiple MOM, influential in Glasgows rise etc

HOWEVER - this 6 nations is where it will be decided and there are a lot of good players who may be on form that could play exceptionally well and deserve the place



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Post by dummy_half on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:49 pm

beshocked wrote:Ruggerradge to be fair Hogg was excellent in that game vs England last year. As I've said many times I think Hogg is good. Just a bit overrated. It's not even Hogg's tackling which I criticise him for.

I think it's his overall game control, I am talking about stuff you won't see in the highlights reel. Also believe at times he doesn't play as well as people think which is why I keep going back to that Australia game.

dummy half I agree about Brown. His ball skills and decision making at times are questionable. We are certainly more critical of Brown. I am not even saying Brown is a bad player either, it's just appreciating that players have aspects of their game to work on.

To be fair you could say that about many players, there are aspects that the likes of Farrell Jr,Itoje,AWJ,J.Gray,Mako IMO need to work on.

If the Lions are going to stand a chance vs the ABs they need to iron out any weaknesses.

I certainly wasn't implying it either - while different from Hogg (in that he doesn't have the blistering pace), Brown is very effective at beating the first up tacklers and getting into good counter-attacking positions, but these quite frequently get wasted because of his inaccuracy in passing. If he could iron that out (and to be honest, I don't think he ever will now), he'd be a genuinely world class full back rather than merely a very good one, even if he is only reasonably quick rather than lightning fast. Still a better option for England than Goode, even if Goode is the better performer at club level.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:56 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
profitius wrote:AW Jones will be starting for the lions and likely be captain. He is a good player and stands out for his leadership.

Very well said this guy. Spoken like a true fan with both eyes open. someone who agrees with me

Laugh

Someone is easily pleased, poor boyo Wink.

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Post by uncle_nigel on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 4:58 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
uncle_nigel wrote:
SecretFly wrote:Which 15.... NH...is the finished article with nothing to work on or be careful about?

Liam Williams, and Leigh Halfpenny.

Is this your true fan with both eyes open opinion?

Halfpenny has been well established since 2011. Liam Williams did so the same year but for his club. He established himself as a force from 15 when in NZ.

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Post by beshocked on Thu 08 Dec 2016, 5:07 pm

dummy half I agree.

Unfortunately for Goode his chances seem to be over. Though even Roko getting man of the match vs Fiji didn't help his international chances so sometimes it's hard to know what a player can do to be selected.


I do expect Gatland to favour Welsh players. Lydiate will likely be fast tracked into the side again despite there being plenty of better players.

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