Lions XV Prediction

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Post by cascough on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 9:37 am

I did this with a friend a year out from the first test in 2013 and thought it might be fun to do it for this tour. I actually managed to guess 9 of the 15, which I was pretty pleased with. Can anyone do better this time round...

Aim of the game

Who do you think will be in the starting XV for that first test.

Note...this is not who you want, or who you think should be in, there are plenty of threads arguing about that. This one is supposed to be fun!

Positional changes are still incorrect, so if you pick Itoje at 6 and he lines up at 4 you're still wrong! This is as much about trying to predict game-plan as it is personnel.

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Post by cascough on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 9:44 am

I'll guess

15.Halfpenny
14.Maitland
13.Joseph
12.Henshaw
11.Watson
10.Sexton
9.Murray
8.Vunipola
7.O Brien
6.Stander
5.Itoje
4.AWJ
3.Cole
2.Hartley
1.Mcgrath


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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 10:03 am

Ok, playing by the rules. Who I think will start, not who I hope or who deserves it (although some of these players do deserve it):

1. Vunipola
2. George
3. Cole
4. Itoje
5. AWJ (C)
6. Stander
7. Warburton
8. Faletau

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Williams
12. Roberts
13. Joseph
14. North
15. Halfpenny

16. McGrath
17. Best
18. Furlong
19. J Gray (Token Scot who isn't a doctor)
20. Robshaw
21. Webb
22. Farrell
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Post by rodders on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 10:05 am

I predict the test team will be England plus Connor Murray as the token Irish guy and AWJ as captain.

They'll get whitewashed 3-0 and that will be the end of the Lions for good.
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Post by cascough on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 10:09 am

I reckon your selection has a decent chance, Rugger. Even if you are struggling with the concept of 15 Wink

rodders - who are your 13 englishmen and where are they playing? AWJ at 4 or 5?

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 10:13 am

cascough wrote:I reckon your selection has a decent chance, Rugger. Even if you are struggling with the concept of 15 Wink

rodders - who are your 13 englishmen and where are they playing? AWJ at 4 or 5?

Well no Scot is going to start in a Lions Test match. That's just not going to happen. So in order to make the post ethical I had to extend it into the subs bench to get Johnny Gray on there.
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Post by cascough on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 10:22 am

We've no time for your ethics here Rugger. All that's needed is your take on the sordid innards of Gatland's mind. Somewhere amongst the shrine to Rob Howley and the picture of Sean Fitzpatrick on a dart board lurks a Lions XV.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 10:29 am

Well in my defence the pack looks pretty good, but those backs know how to play Warrenball. JJ better get a good novel out on the pitch for him because he's never getting the ball.
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Post by RDW on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 11:27 am

1. Vunipola
2. Best
3. Cole
4. Itoje
5. AWJ (C)
6. Stander
7. O'Brien
8. Faletau

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. North
12. Henshaw
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg

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Post by IanBru on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 11:34 am

Vunipola
Hartley
Nel
Itoje
Gray
Stander
Warburton
Faletau

Murray
Sexton
Seymour
Henshaw
Daly
Watson
Hogg
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Post by Cyril on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:40 pm

rodders wrote:I predict the test team will be England plus Connor Murray as the token Irish guy and AWJ as captain.
Murray is inconsistent. He's had a good set of games recently but was horribly off-form a while back.

Gatland may well pick him though as he's a lot like Mike Phillips.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:46 pm

1 Up for grabs
2 Best
3 Furlong
4 AWJ
5 Gray
6 Itoje
7 Up for Grabs
8 Vunipola
9 Murray
10 Sexton/Farrell
11 Up for grabs
12 Henshaw
13 Joseph
14 North
15 Hogg

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Post by R!skysports on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:47 pm

I am surprised that North features so much still. Horribly off form and seems to be knocked out by a breeze

I do worry about his long term health,,,,

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Post by True Raven on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:48 pm

Cyril wrote:
rodders wrote:I predict the test team will be England plus Connor Murray as the token Irish guy and AWJ as captain.
Murray is inconsistent. He's had a good set of games recently but was horribly off-form a while back.

Gatland may well pick him though as he's a lot like Mike Phillips.

And Ben Youngs is the model of consistency. The guy has more ups and downs than a rollercoaster.

Murray has the shirt if the team was picked now but dont rule out Webb if he is back by the six nations

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Post by profitius on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:49 pm

This is my team so far. Lots of places up for grabs but theres a little thing called the 6 nations to come and the squad will be based mostly on that.

15 Hogg
14
13
12 Farrell
11
10 Sexton
9
1
2
3 Furlong
4 AW Jones
5
6
7 SOB
8 Vunipola B
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Post by Cyril on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 1:52 pm

True Raven wrote:
Cyril wrote:
rodders wrote:I predict the test team will be England plus Connor Murray as the token Irish guy and AWJ as captain.
Murray is inconsistent. He's had a good set of games recently but was horribly off-form a while back.

Gatland may well pick him though as he's a lot like Mike Phillips.

And Ben Youngs is the model of consistency.  The guy has more ups and downs than a rollercoaster.

Murray has the shirt if the team was picked now but dont rule out Webb if he is back by the six nations
You'll notice I didn't say Youngs should necessarily be picked instead. He's inconsistent too, but has also had an excellent few months.

Again, it depends what you want. I think Gats will angle towards Murray as he's a Mike Phillips type of scrum-half and that will fit his gameplan.

Webb is a good player but has been unlucky with injury.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 4:29 pm

the original post is what you think Gatland will pick. not who you think should go, or who is in form.
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Post by Cyril on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 4:33 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:the original post is what you think Gatland will pick. not who you think should go, or who is in form.
Yep, I think he will pick Murray (though I wouldn't, as he's likely to be back off-form again by then).

As well as Murray, we're likely to see North (and possibly Cuthbert!) as they're the big, direct guys Gats prefers. I'd be surprised if Jamie Roberts and Kearney don't feature too.

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Post by TJ on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 4:52 pm

I really can only do the backs. don't know much about those smelly fat boys in the scrum

I think Gats will go for
Youngs 9 / Farrell 10
Roberts 12
Joeseph 13
North on one wing and 1/2p at full back
dunno about the other wing

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Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 6:37 pm

If he picks those back

1 we will be murdered
2 I wont be watching

3 players who don't command a regular place in those position for their national side.
AB will be delighted Roberts plays - too predictable
1/2 kicks superbly but their are a number of better 15's
As for Youngs playing the rugby of his life behind a dominant pack but when the going gets tough he caves - seen it to many times.
Murray is made of stronger stuff mental and against the AB's you need that

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Post by EnglishReign on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 6:51 pm

Vunipola
Hartley
Furlong
Itoje
Gray
Stander
O'Brien
Vunipola

Murray
Sexton
L Williams
Henshaw
Joseph
Watson
Hogg

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Post by Cyril on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 7:13 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
As for Youngs playing the rugby of his life behind a dominant pack but when the going gets tough he caves - seen it to many times.
Murray is made of stronger stuff mental and against the AB's you need that
Murray truly is becoming the most overrated player in the rugby world. People have short memories of the dross he's served up in the recent past.

Youngs has beaten NZ too.

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Post by Maine man on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 7:16 pm

Vunipola, Best, Furlong, Itoje, Wyn Jones, Stander, Warburton, Vunipola, Murray, Sexton, Williams, Henshaw, Davies, North, Hogg.
Not the team I'd pick but I'd only make 3 or 4 changes.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 8:23 pm

Cyril wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
As for Youngs playing the rugby of his life behind a dominant pack but when the going gets tough he caves - seen it to many times.
Murray is made of stronger stuff mental and against the AB's you need that
Murray truly is becoming the most overrated player in the rugby world. People have short memories of the dross he's served up in the recent past.

Youngs has beaten NZ too.

He had one bad patch but has been at top form in 2016.
Youngs by contrast has had multiple bad patches.

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Post by king_carlos on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 8:54 pm

What I think Gats will go with if they are fit (will inevitably change due to injury):

1.Vunipola 2.George 3.Nel 4.Itoje 5.AWJ 6.Stander 7.Warburton 8.Faletau
9.Murray 10.Sexton 11.North 12.Henshaw 13.Joseph 14.Watson 15.Williams

I'd actually be pretty happy with it too - if they are in form. Although Warburton being favourite for skipper frustrates me. Not because I don't rate him as a player or captain, I actually like him as both. Simply frustrates me because Warburton will never make it through a Lions tour without getting crocked and needing a replacement - although that has happened to every Lions skipper but Johnno in the Pro era to be fair.

I'd prefer Kruis in the second row for his line-out and ruck work, Tipuric/O'Brien at openside, Seymour/May on the left wing and Hogg at full back.

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Post by brennomac on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 9:24 pm

rodders wrote:I predict the test team will be England plus Connor Murray as the token Irish guy and AWJ as captain.

They'll get whitewashed 3-0 and that will be the end of the Lions for good.

Too much to hope for

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Post by Mr Bounce on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 9:50 pm

1. Vunipola
2. Hartley
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Kruis
6. Robshaw
7. O'Brien
8. Vunipola
9. Youngs
10.Sexton
11.Williams
12.Henshaw
13.Joseph
14.Watson
15.Hogg

That's what I'd like to see (changed my mind from a few days ago).
However, this is likely to be Gatland's choice in my mind:

1. Vunipola
2. Hartley
3. Cole
4. Itoje
5. AW Jones
6. Stander
7. Warburton
8. Faletau
9. Murray
10.Sexton
11.North
12.Roberts
13.Davies
14.Williams
15.Halfpenny

I am worried about Gatland picking off-form players because of previous things they've done, especially with Wales-tinted glasses. Woodward did the same with his English buddies back in 2005 - a Jones/Henson/O'Driscoll 10/12/13 combo for the first test would've been fantastic but no, SCW HAD to have a crocked Jonny in there...

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Post by majesticimperialman on Wed 14 Dec 2016, 9:52 pm

Vunipola
Hartley if no more bans best other wise
?
Itoje
Grey
Robshaw
?
Vunipola If Fit. Faletasu otherwise
Youngs
Sexton
Farrell
Noel
Joseph
Watson
L Williams

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Post by TJ on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 12:26 am

Geoff

Thats what I think the backs Gatland would like to play - He likes a steady hand at 10, a big lump at 12 and thus 1/2p at 15 to take the kicks NOrth is Gatland fave type of winger as well

another prediction - it will be 3 nil and the lions won't get close in any one of the games

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Post by Guest on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 8:17 am

TJ wrote:Geoff

Thats what I think the backs Gatland would like to play - He likes a steady hand at 10, a big lump at 12 and thus 1/2p at 15 to take the kicks  NOrth is Gatland fave type of winger as well

another prediction - it will be 3 nil and the lions won't get close in any one of the games

I hope that if Gatland selects a team more to your liking that you'll give a grovelling apology and actually get behind the Lions?  That would only be fair.  It has to be to TJ's liking though, of course.

Edit: apology is probably the wrong word. But you know what I mean Wink

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Post by TJ on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 8:45 am

NO problem Griff.

I think the chance of him playing the sort of team I would like to see is close to zero. I like mercurial mavericks who play off the cuff and heads up rugby and I think that would be our only chance of winning even one game.

Feel free to remind me once selection is made.

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Post by Guest on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 9:26 am

TJ wrote:NO problem Griff.

I think the chance of him playing the sort of team I would like to see is close to zero.  I like mercurial mavericks who play off the cuff and heads up rugby and I think that would be our only chance of winning even one game.

Feel free to remind me once selection is made.

Will do!

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 9:27 am

I am assuming some guys get fit very quickly before the end of the season, but Gats team (slightly tongue in cheek, but maybe not a million miles away):

Jenkins
Best
Cole
Itoje
AWJ(c)
Lydiate
Warburton
Faletau
Webb
Sexton
North
Henshaw
JJ
Williams (Probably Liam, but still a chance for Shane)
1/2p

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Post by Cyril on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 9:31 am

TJ wrote:I like mercurial mavericks who play off the cuff and heads up rugby and I think that would be our only chance of winning even one game.
That's not how England and Ireland beat NZ. You can't just throw the ball about and expect to win.

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Post by Guest on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 9:42 am

Cyril wrote:
TJ wrote:I like mercurial mavericks who play off the cuff and heads up rugby and I think that would be our only chance of winning even one game.
That's not how England and Ireland beat NZ. You can't just throw the ball about and expect to win.

That's a very good point actually Cyril. Scotland too did not beat SH teams in recent years with 7s style rugby. We can't expect players from different countries to come together very quickly, with little preparation, and play fling-it-about rugby that they haven't managed against the ABs with their own countries. Ireland played good rugby, some good running rugby and tries, but where the beat them for me was battering them in the tight, in contact and the tackle area.

Maybe its a ready made excuse for any loss. "Well, if Gats had instructed them to fling it about then we would have won. That's it, I'll never watch another Lions tour again! Gats has ruined the whole ethos of the Lions!" Wink

I'm not a proponent of Gatlandball either btw. And I'm more than happy for a team full of non-Welshmen. But it's far too easy to criticise selections a year before they're made, and all to easy to criticise tactics before they've happened Smile

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Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 9:46 am

I think Wales, Ireland and England play quite similar styles at the moment so they will make up the bulk of the players and I think should gel reasonably well together. England have more flair in the back than Ireland and Wales at the moment but other than that not huge differences.

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Post by tooboredtowork on Thu 15 Dec 2016, 11:56 pm

1 Vunipola
2 Hartley
3 Nel
4 Itoje
5 AWJ
6 Faletau
7 O'Brien
8 Vunipola
9 Murray
10 Sexton
11 Williams
12 Farrell
13 Joseph
14 North
15 Hogg

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Post by cb on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 7:06 am

My XV would be:-

1.  McGrath
2.  George
3.  Furlong
4.  Itoje
5.  Kruis
6.  Stander
7.  O'Brien
8.  Vunipola
9.  Murray
10. Farrell
11. Williams
12. Henshaw
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg


Slightly tongue in check with George at 2 and Farrell and Sexton are very close at 10.  Possibly even Sexton 10 and Farrell 12 as some others have put.  Mobile front 5 and very solid back-row

I certainly hope we are competitive.

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Post by TJ on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 8:50 am

I wasn't saying "just throw the ball about" If a player is used to playing in one way then no matter how good they are it will be difficult for them to play in a different style. If a coach is used to coaching a certain style then again to coach a differnt style would be very difficult and would lead to them having to coach things they did not believe in.

Townsend and the Glasgow players are used to being able to move away from set patterns and to make their own judgements. ie Hogg when catching a kick in jhis own half will allways look to counter attack first. Gatland would expect any ball fielded in their own half to be kicked back deep.

Townsend has made it clear that his players are allowed and expected to play whatever is in front of them. Gatland likes them to play to clear structures. Townsend gives his players permission to try things and to make mistakes. Gatland wants safety first

Its the clash of styles thats the problem

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Post by Guest on Fri 16 Dec 2016, 9:11 am

TJ wrote:I wasn't saying "just throw the ball about"  If a player is used to playing in one way then no matter how good they are it will be difficult for them to play in a different style.  If a coach is used to coaching a certain style then again to coach a differnt style would be very difficult and would lead to them having to coach things they did not believe in.

Townsend and the Glasgow players are used to being able to move away from set patterns and to make their own judgements. ie Hogg when catching a kick in jhis own half will allways look to counter attack first.  Gatland would expect any ball fielded in their own half to be kicked back deep.

Townsend has made it clear that his players are allowed and expected to play whatever is in front of them.  Gatland likes them to play to clear structures.  Townsend gives his players permission to try things and to make mistakes.  Gatland wants safety first

Its the clash of styles thats the problem

Not necessarily. Shane Williams played some of his best rugby under Gats. He was a heads up player. He was mercurial, an open field runner. "Give it to Shane" was the call. He didn't seem to be shackled to the bosh game. Can't remember him hoofing it down field too much either. I think our game has become boring because he's now gone, rather than Gatland making him a boring player and trying to make him play Warrenball. There's just been no-one to replace him....yet (Keelan Giles will, IMO, break into the Wales team soon. Yet if he does then he will not be in the mould that you say Gatland always picks). So to a certain extent I think Warrenball has evolved due to the personnel available. Perhaps he's looking at what he's got at his disposal in Wales and choosing a gameplan to suit, rather than trying to get the big lumps at his disposal to develop twinkle toes and the ability to dance around people?

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