Lions crash test dummy

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Lions crash test dummy

Post by poissonrouge on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 11:22 am

There has been a bit of discussion on the Ireland England game thread about Jonny Sexton being in the firing line - in fact it was confirmed that he was "targeted" by England (Link to Mail article) and previously he was singled out for special attention by France.
Which got me thinking - what is the best option for Lions flyhalf against the All Blacks. Conventional thinking might suggest that you pick the most skilled player, but should other factors be involved in the decision? The All Blacks are known to be uncompromising in their pursuit of victory, and surely they as England did, would consider whether it would be profitable to "disrupt the 9 and 10s rhythm" as Launchbury refers to.?
There are a few names floating around for possibly filling the flyhalf position, but do we need to consider their durability as well as their skill. A list follows with some comments on suitability for filling the position of crash test dummy for the Lions.
Jonny Sexton - hard as iron nails, but is there a risk of metal fatigue?
Finn Russell - this is the one who has to strap a mini pillow to his forehead
George Ford - Looks a bit small to me.
Owen Farrell - From rugby league stock - teak tough and looks it.

So on balance  - maybe Farrell is the one Gatland should be pinning the target to, as to me he looks the best bet to stand up to a bit of All Black fly(half) swatting?
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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Shifty on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 11:45 am

I think Biggar and Farrell are to basic and won't get the line moving, New Zealand WILL score tries and if we don't then it will be another duffing in New Zealand for the Lions.

Having a small fly half is fine provided he isn't the first line of defense. IF we can look after him in the way Ireland always looked Ronan O'Gara then we'll be fine. Personally I expect Warburton to be given the blind side flanker role and stay on his shoulder in defense to prevent him being targeted.

I think Sexton is in the driving seat myself.
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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by IanBru on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 11:51 am

I share your worries that players will be targeted. We need only look back to 2005 to find examples! That being said, we won’t win by picking the most durable player, we win by fronting up and matching the ABs punch-for-punch. As it happens, I'd pick Farrell at 10 anyway.

I think it’s time to dust off the old ‘99’ call or, adjusted for inflation, the ‘947’ call…
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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by TJ on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 11:55 am

I think Sexton would cope better than Farrell with being targeted because of his temperament and because he can move the ball on quicker

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by TJ on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 11:56 am

AS for targeting players - every team does that. Pick out the weak link or the hot head and try to put them off / make them lose their temper

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by EST on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 12:17 pm

poissonrouge wrote:There has been a bit of discussion on the Ireland England game thread about Jonny Sexton being in the firing line - in fact it was confirmed that he was "targeted" by England (Link to Mail article) and previously he was singled out for special attention by France.
Which got me thinking - what is the best option for Lions flyhalf against the All Blacks. Conventional thinking might suggest that you pick the most skilled player, but should other factors be involved in the decision? The All Blacks are known to be uncompromising in their pursuit of victory, and surely they as England did, would consider whether it would be profitable to "disrupt the 9 and 10s rhythm" as Launchbury refers to.?
There are a few names floating around for possibly filling the flyhalf position, but do we need to consider their durability as well as their skill. A list follows with some comments on suitability for filling the position of crash test dummy for the Lions.
Jonny Sexton - hard as iron nails, but is there a risk of metal fatigue?
Finn Russell - this is the one who has to strap a mini pillow to his forehead
George Ford - Looks a bit small to me.
Owen Farrell - From rugby league stock - teak tough and looks it.

So on balance  - maybe Farrell is the one Gatland should be pinning the target to, as to me he looks the best bet to stand up to a bit of All Black fly(half) swatting?

He does that because he suffered a very significant head injury last season, not because of any unwillingness to engage in the physical stuff.

The best player should start at ten, so it's Sexton for me.

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by poissonrouge on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 1:11 pm

He does that because he suffered a very significant head injury last season, not because of any unwillingness to engage in the physical stuff.
The pillow comment was a lighthearted one - I am not in any way criticising Russell for any failure to engage merely pointing out that as you say he got a really bad whack last year and maybe (just as with Jonny Sexton) it might be better to put someone else in the firing line!

And the whole thread is a bit tongue in cheek anyway - I think Sexton is probably the best bet for 10 (with Farrell at 12 as a dual playmaker maybe), although I do worry a bit about Sextons long term health - I take the point about Ireland protecting ROG in the old days but somehow - whether it is a change in the way the game is played or a masochistic streak on Sextons part - it doesn't seem that easy to protect Jonny
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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Cyril on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 1:14 pm

Sexton at 10 with Farrell at 12. I'd love to see that partnership.

Farrell to move to 10 if/when NZ 'do a BOD' on Sexton.

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by poissonrouge on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 1:19 pm

Farrell to move to 10 if/when NZ 'do a BOD' on Sexton.
That's what I am worried about!!
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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by EST on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 1:21 pm

poissonrouge wrote:
He does that because he suffered a very significant head injury last season, not because of any unwillingness to engage in the physical stuff.
The pillow comment was a lighthearted one - I am not in any way criticising Russell for any failure to engage merely pointing out that as you say he got a really bad whack last year and maybe (just as with Jonny Sexton) it might be better to put someone else in the firing line!

And the whole thread is a bit tongue in cheek anyway - I think Sexton is probably the best bet for 10 (with Farrell at 12 as a dual playmaker maybe), although I do worry a bit about Sextons long term health - I take the point about Ireland protecting ROG in the old days but somehow - whether it is a change in the way the game is played or a masochistic streak on Sextons part - it doesn't seem that easy to protect Jonny

Gotya, got the wrong end of the stick there.

Yeah, a Sexton and Farrell combination for me with one of Joseph or Ringrose looks good to me.

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by tigertattie on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 1:28 pm

Shifty wrote:I think Biggar and Farrell are to basic and won't get the line moving, New Zealand WILL score tries and if we don't then it will be another duffing in New Zealand for the Lions.  

Having a small fly half is fine provided he isn't the first line of defense.  IF we can look after him in the way Ireland always looked Ronan O'Gara then we'll be fine.  Personally I expect Warburton to be given the blind side flanker role and stay on his shoulder in defense to prevent him being targeted.  

I think Sexton is in the driving seat myself.  

Isn't the openside flank going to be more responsible for looking after the 10?

besides, the reason that Sexton is targeted is because without him, Ireland aren't anywhere near as threatening. Most teams will "target" the 9 or 10 as they dictate the plays and control the game. If you pressurize them, you force them not to play the game they want to! This is why Scotland are either hot or cold as Russell is prone to getting frustrated when pressured!
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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Gwlad on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:23 pm

England's clear and unsportsmanlike targeting of Sexton was just another sign of a poor weekend for the integrity of Rugby Union. What with the blatant cheating by the French, biting and treatment of Sexton it reminds me that this is a sport where some think ti is okay to use fake blood.

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Cyril on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 3:41 pm

Gwlad wrote:England's clear and unsportsmanlike targeting of Sexton was just another sign of a poor weekend for the integrity of Rugby Union. What with the blatant cheating by the French, biting and treatment of Sexton it reminds me that this is a sport where some think ti is okay to use fake blood.
Luckily Dan Biggar would never scream in a ref's face and jump up and down like a kid having a tantrum, eh? Model pro Smile

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Gwlad on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 4:24 pm

Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:England's clear and unsportsmanlike targeting of Sexton was just another sign of a poor weekend for the integrity of Rugby Union. What with the blatant cheating by the French, biting and treatment of Sexton it reminds me that this is a sport where some think ti is okay to use fake blood.
Luckily Dan Biggar would never scream in a ref's face and jump up and down like a kid having a tantrum, eh? Model pro Smile

Yeah he modeled himself on Farrell.

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by BamBam on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 4:25 pm

Its unsurprising that Biggar would aspire to be like Owen Farrell, given the latter's quality

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Cyril on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 4:26 pm

Gwlad wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Gwlad wrote:England's clear and unsportsmanlike targeting of Sexton was just another sign of a poor weekend for the integrity of Rugby Union. What with the blatant cheating by the French, biting and treatment of Sexton it reminds me that this is a sport where some think ti is okay to use fake blood.
Luckily Dan Biggar would never scream in a ref's face and jump up and down like a kid having a tantrum, eh? Model pro Smile

Yeah he modeled himself on Farrell.
The apprentice has now surpassed the master in that respect.

Farrell's fine now. I thought Biggar had grown up too, but it appears not. Perhaps he's just frustrated with the current Welsh set-up as I don't think he's like that too much for Ospreys these days.

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Gwlad on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 4:27 pm

BamBam wrote:Its unsurprising that Biggar would aspire to be like Owen Farrell, given the latter's quality

Except that Biggar is first choice 10 and Farrell can't hold that shirt down.

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Cyril on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 4:28 pm

Gwlad wrote:
BamBam wrote:Its unsurprising that Biggar would aspire to be like Owen Farrell, given the latter's quality

Except that Biggar is first choice 10 and Farrell can't hold that shirt down.
Yeah, but Sarries are better than Wales...

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by Hero on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 4:54 pm

Can we please only use the report feature if it's actually report worthy?

The above post has been reported. If this post offends anyone then seriously turn off the internet.

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Re: Lions crash test dummy

Post by robbo277 on Mon 20 Mar 2017, 5:01 pm

TJ wrote:I think Sexton would cope better than Farrell with being targeted because of his temperament and because he can move the ball on quicker

Wasn't that much wrong with Farrell's temperament after the late hit from Moriarty earlier in the tournament.

I'd go with Sexton and Ford as my 10s and Farrell and Henshaw as my 12s, with 2/3 other centre options (probably Joseph and Jones, possibly Ringrose as well, or cover from Daly and Payne selected in the back 3) on the plane.

I'd go with Sexton, Farrell and Joseph if I had to pick my test team now. I think two play-makers is the way to go, I'm just struggling to find a second option for second 5/8th.

In absence of an obvious candidate, I'd say that Henshaw is probably the best player and although he doesn't really fit the play maker game plan he could slot right in next to Sexton without much trouble if Farrell was injured.

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