Lions week 1

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Lions week 1

Post by Gwlad on Tue 07 Feb 2017, 4:40 am

First topic message reminder :

Its well documented that Gatland, a winning Lions coach, is an unbiased equal opportunities selector, a believer in form, who will treat this 6 Nations as an extended audition for the series.

He is going to pick a form Lions side and won't be shy of slaughtering sacred cows like he has in the past. Neither Best nor Hartley did their Captaincy bids much cop this week and  with his winning Lions captain experience, at the moment it's very much Alun Wyn's to lose.

So, picked a Lions side based on who played in position of each week's 6 Nations and see where we're at by the end:

Week 1.

1. McGrath
2. Best
3. Furlong
4. AWJ (Capt.)
5. Gray
6. Warburton
7. SOB
8. Heaslip
9.  Murray
10. Russell
11. North
12. Farrell
13. Henshaw
14. Williams
15. Hogg

Bench: Mullan, Hartley, Cole, Itoje, Haskell, Webb, S Davies, Daly.

Forwards: Some controversial picks. I think the Irish front row is an outstanding unit at the moment and Best marginally edges Hartley who is a must for his abrasiveness but needs to just play as we know he can and stop biting.
Gray and AWJ in the engine room is about work rate and unseen defense. Itoje is clearly knocking loud and he and Gray almost certainly will be the 2 and 3 with AWJ.
Warburton had a cracker without the captaincy and if he maintains this level of performance, with his Lions experience, will start at 6 or 7 but Haskell and Stander are up there on the blind side.
SOB is the best of a poor showing and if he remains injury free he gets the nod. Tipuric deserves a mention but i think he may not have the required physicality. Warburton's ability to cover both may guarantee him a place in the 23.
Honestly Heaslip because i couldn't pick anyone else and the Lions 8 will be Billy or Taulupe anyway.

Backs: Likewise Murray is the standout 9 with Webb threatening and Care a distinct outside bet. If Laidlaw had another gear I'd pick him for his boot and leadership. Youngs was poor.
10 was a shocker this week but Russell's hands are sweet. S Davies had a superb game but Ford was terrible. IMO if fit it is Jonny's spot but Farrell may well start here as he has the sort of abrasive confidence and tactical nous required.
If not 10 then Farrell will be 12, its that simple.
Henshaw has to be the pick. JD2 had a good game but passes so badly. I'd like to see Joseph claim this spot over the next few weeks.
Liam Williams got one score and nearly two; his sheer will to win in every collision and every high ball is staggering. He offers most at 15 but is such a talismanic player that I am sure he will figure.
North showed that he only needs a sniff of space and he will finish even when injured.. He has the Lions experience, pace and power. An exceptional player...if he can stay fit.
Hogg. What need you say? Best back 3 by far and second to Captain, is the first name on my team sheet.

Bench: lots of big English impact which could be crucial. Mullan was superb in his cameo and my bolter up front. Itoje will either bench or start for sure. Haskell's versatility, Super rugby experience and physicality in the collision could make a real difference in the last 1/3rd. Webb's my pick but Care fizzes and equally possible. Davies was spectacular, my backs bolter, uber flat and kicks tactical like Carter. Daly just has an X factor and offers a secondary siege gun boot to Farrell.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:09 pm

nathan wrote:

I have to say, i thought Murray was fairly quite over the weekend. He's normally shouting at the ref too, wonder if he watched Webb doing it and thought.... i dont want to look like that.

No Schmidt does his homework...shouting at Nigel is a no no. That lad is best left alone to order things his own way. Murray wasn't quiet gamewise which was a bonus for me.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Cyril on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:13 pm

Best's throwing isn't good enough. He'll be getting the yips again soon.

Gatland knows that from Rory's shocking display (worst Lion's performance ever?) in 2013.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:20 pm

Best gets the yips
Hartley gets rabies.

Gatland has much to think about.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Cyril on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:24 pm

SecretFly wrote:Best gets the yips
Hartley gets rabies.

Gatland has much to think about.
Ferris had rabies?

Biggar had ants in his pants but I think he's on medication for it now.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by rodders on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:32 pm

Cyril wrote:
worst Lion's performance ever?

Hmm that would be Jonny Wilkinson in 2005 or Phil Vickery in 2009.
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Re: Lions week 1

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 1:38 pm

Cyril wrote:Best's throwing isn't good enough. He'll be getting the yips again soon.

Gatland knows that from Rory's shocking display (worst Lion's performance ever?) in 2013.

It was good enough in both tests v NZ this year. Hartley's form/discipline/rugby knowledge isnt good enough over all.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by rodders on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 2:04 pm

Go easy there guns, he's got plenty of time to read the law book on the flight.
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Re: Lions week 1

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 2:16 pm

rodders wrote:Go easy there guns, he's got plenty of time to read the law book on the flight.

He could ask his friend Wayne Barnes to give him some grinds.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Scottrf on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 2:18 pm

You guys should love Hartley for calling Barnes a cheat, it's what you do every time he refs an Ireland game.
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Re: Lions week 1

Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 2:19 pm

Hartley on the plane: "Ru...   Roug...............  Rub..............  Hey, guys, can anyone read this first word here on the cover?"

Haskell (who got onto the plane whilst pretending to be an Air Hostess):  "I'll help.  I did jorgraffy at school."

Hartley:  "No you f**k off.  I want someone whose brain isn't tattooed to a post in the Millennium."

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 2:20 pm

Scottrf wrote:You guys should love Hartley for calling Barnes a cheat, it's what you do every time he refs an Ireland game.

Hartley for Lions Coach, Captain, Doctor and Mascot!

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 2:21 pm

Scottrf wrote:You guys should love Hartley for calling Barnes a cheat, it's what you do every time he refs an Ireland game.

I think it was really funny he missed a Lions tour for that or was it the world cup?

I wonder what it will be this time.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Cyril on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 2:52 pm

rodders wrote:
Cyril wrote:
worst Lion's performance ever?

Hmm that would be Jonny Wilkinson in 2005 or Phil Vickery in 2009.
You need to re-watch that Best game. If he was playing darts it would have ended up in somebody's pint!

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by SecretFly on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 3:07 pm

What could Best do? Gatland kept ringing him all through the night before the game: "You're shyte!", "You are a shyte gobshyte", "You're Irish and a shyte gobshyte shyte.", "You're below our standards, you shyte."

So it's clear - Best was tired.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by chris_501 on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 2:11 pm

Here's my Lions team based on this weekend's games -

1. Marler
2. Owens
3. Cole
4. Launchbury
5. Lawes
6. Stander
7. Tipuric
8. Moriarty

9. Webb
10. Ford
11. Watson
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. North
15. Kearney

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 3:42 pm

GunsGermsV2 wrote:
Cyril wrote:Best's throwing isn't good enough. He'll be getting the yips again soon.

Gatland knows that from Rory's shocking display (worst Lion's performance ever?) in 2013.

It was good enough in both tests v NZ this year. Hartley's form/discipline/rugby knowledge isnt good enough over all.
Gatland is not picking a team today to play next week based on this year's 6N. Hartley had hardly played up until the 6N so it was to be expected that he took time. Yesterday he looked pretty good.

Gatland will I assume pick on form over an extended period. The Lions are not blessed with an outstanding hooker but if you look at international performances over the last year or so Hartley is as good as anyone. As for his discipline it has been okay for England.


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Re: Lions week 1

Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 5:02 pm

No NH hooker has been any better than any other, but Hartley has captained his team to two 6N Championships. Lions selection is never about ability and always about circumstance.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 5:21 pm

You spend an awful lot of time thinking about the Lions. Let it go.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by The Great Aukster on Sun 12 Mar 2017, 10:16 pm

Thanks for the concern but there's a Lion's tour this summer - bit surprised you don't like the hype.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Sgt_Pooly on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:21 am

Best's throwing was not good enough again, it's a major weakness. Hartley is becoming the Lions hooker by default rather than glowing performances. Brown had a brain fart within 2 mins against England and Owens isn't really good enough despite playing quite well at the weekend.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 6:26 am

You don't like the lions aukster and just complain that you prefer ireland and don't want the irish players involved. For about 9 months now.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by The Great Aukster on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 9:28 am

Wow, you've been tracking my posts for 9 months - was the seed planted and is now due to be born into a beautiful idea that you can embrace?
Not sure how it's possible to complain about preferring Ireland (or anything for that matter)? Anyway I make no apology for putting Ireland first, and will continue to do so. However it's not just Irish players come back in bits from the Lions tours, so the same arguments apply.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 9:33 am

If you truly support the lions as you professed to doing you'll want to see them do as well as popsicle including playing irish men.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:41 am

The lock position is wide open...how many good locks in the home nations! Spoilt for choice.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by beshocked on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:46 am

Geordiefalcon of course there's the Gatland factor but I think the English 2nd rows and Itoje have been the most effective in the 6 nations.

J.Gray outclassed by English 2nd rows not for the 1st time.

Ireland struggling at lineout time pegs them back.

An English hooker and 2nd row combo seems to be the most promising at the moment.

Professor of the lineout will likely pick them anyway. Take a bow Borthwick.


Moriarty in my opinion is like having an extra flanker which can stop the opposition but to beat the ABs I think more go forward needed.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by captain carrantuohil on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 10:48 am

Less wide open than it might have been before last weekend, GF. One or two locks have cemented a claim; one or two have likely played themselves out of contention.

Of those who have turned out in the 6N so far, it's impossible not to select Lawes, Launchbury and Itoje, the latter of whom will likely go as one of those utility players whose versatility will mean that they can select another two pure locks. It's very hard to see Gatland not picking A-WJ to make the trip - he may even be skipper, which leaves just one vacancy. At the moment, that probably lies between Jonny Gray, who did himself few favours on Saturday, and Kruis, whose form and fitness obviously have to be taken on trust. The older Gray and the Irish locks have not done enough to force themselves to the front of the argument.

Someone is going to be hard done by, for sure, but I think that this is one position in which the English claims can't be ignored.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:08 am

It was a bit difficult for Johnny Gray to look good, in a pack going backwards. I rate that lad so highly.

He should travel..

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:18 am

Gatland doesn't want the best players for their national sides. He wants the best players who can fit the way he plans to play, along with people who will make the tour party gel. That's how someone like Matt Stevens got on the last tour.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Scottrf on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:20 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Gatland doesn't want the best players for their national sides. He wants the best players who can fit the way he plans to play, along with people who will make the tour party gel. That's how someone like Matt Stevens got on the last tour.
Probably because he could supply the 'entertainment'.
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Re: Lions week 1

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 11:24 am

Scottrf wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:Gatland doesn't want the best players for their national sides. He wants the best players who can fit the way he plans to play, along with people who will make the tour party gel. That's how someone like Matt Stevens got on the last tour.
Probably because he could supply the 'entertainment'.
Don't think there's any doubt that was the main reason. More so than his alleged versatility.

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Re: Lions week 1

Post by propdavid_london on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 12:54 pm

Wasn't that how Andy Powell got on his tour? And likely to be the reason Zebo will go on this one? He's a character.

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Re: Lions week 1

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