Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

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Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by toml on Wed 19 Apr - 21:21

So the squad is out.

Forwards:

Rory Best (Ireland), Dan Cole (England), Taulupe Faletau (Wales), Tadhg Furlong (Ireland), Jamie George (England), Iain Henderson (Ireland), Maro Itoje (England), Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), George Kruis (England), Courtney Lawes (England), Joe Marler (England), Jack McGrath (Ireland), Ross Moriarty (Wales), Sean O'Brien (Ireland), Peter O'Mahony (Ireland), Ken Owens (Wales), Kyle Sinckler (England), CJ Stander (Ireland), Justin Tipuric (Wales), Billy Vunipola (England), Mako Vunipola (England), Sam Warburton (Wales)

Backs:

Dan Biggar (Wales), Elliot Daly (England), Jonathan Davies (Wales), Owen Farrell (England), Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), Robbie Henshaw (Ireland), Stuart Hogg (Scotland), Jonathan Joseph (England), Conor Murray (Ireland), George North (Wales), Jack Nowell (England), Jared Payne (Ireland), Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), Tommy Seymour (Scotland), Ben Te'o (England), Anthony Watson (England), Rhys Webb (Wales), Liam Williams (Wales), Ben Youngs (England)

Who would you pick for the 1st Test?

1. McGrath
2. Best
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Kruis
6. O'Mahoney
7. Warburton
8. Vunipola
9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Williams
12. Farrell
13. Daly
14. North
15. Hogg

16. George
17. Vunipola
18. Cole
19. Henderson
20. Stander
21. Webb
22. Payne
23. Powell/ Watson

Everyone will have their own opinion (and bias) I'm just having a go.

Disappointed for Jonny Grey. I really think he should have went over Lawes

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by aucklandlaurie on Wed 19 Apr - 21:39

The team that plays this game will pretty much be the team that plays the Maoris at Rotorua.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by tigertattie on Wed 19 Apr - 21:45

Not the team I'd pick, but I can see Gatland rolling this out for the first test!

Jack McGrath (Ireland)
Ken Owens (Wales)
Dan Cole (England)

Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
Maro Itoje (England)

Sam Warburton (Wales)
Justin Tipuric (Wales)
Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

Rhys Webb (Wales)
Dan Biggar (Wales)
Liam Williams (Wales)
Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
Jonathan Davies (Wales)
George North (Wales)
Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)


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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Barney McGrew did it on Wed 19 Apr - 23:23

1 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)
2 Jamie George (England)
3 Jack McGrath (Ireland)
4 Iain Henderson (Ireland)
5 Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
6 Courtney Lawes (England)
7 Sam Warburton (Wales)
8 Ross Moriarty (Wales)
9 Ben Youngs (England)
10 Dan Biggar (Wales)
11 George North (Wales)
12 Ben Te'o (England)
13 Jonathan Davies (Wales)
14 Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)
15 Jared Payne (Ireland)

A team to strike fear into the heart of any Antipodean
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by TightHEAD on Wed 19 Apr - 23:26

tigertattie wrote:Not the team I'd pick, but I can see Gatland rolling this out for the first test!

Jack McGrath (Ireland)
Ken Owens (Wales)
Dan Cole (England)

Alun Wyn Jones (Wales)
Maro Itoje (England)

Sam Warburton (Wales)
Justin Tipuric (Wales)
Taulupe Faletau (Wales)

Rhys Webb (Wales)
Dan Biggar (Wales)
Liam Williams (Wales)
Robbie Henshaw (Ireland)
Jonathan Davies (Wales)
George North (Wales)
Leigh Halfpenny (Wales)



By the time they get to the Test it might be all that is left, Shane Williams will be on Standby.
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by chris_501 on Thu 20 Apr - 0:43

1. McGrath
2. Best
3. Furlong
4. AWJ
5. Itoje
6. Stander
7. Warburton
8. Vunipola

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Williams
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. North
15. Hogg

16. George
17. Vunipola
18. Cole
19. Lawes
20. Faletau
21. Webb
22. Daly
23. Nowell


Last edited by chris_501 on Thu 20 Apr - 0:44; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Too many Scots first time round)

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 20 Apr - 0:47

The first test will be hard to call, and this will no doubt change due to injuries, but I could see Gatland going for the following:

1. McGrath
2. Owens
3. Cole
4. Alun Wyn Jones
5. Falatau
6. Warburton
7. Tipuric
8. Moriarty

9. Webb
10. Biggar
11. Williams
12. Henshaw
13. Davies
14. North
15. Halfpenny
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 20 Apr - 0:53

This would be mine for the 1st Test, based on Gatland's squad:

1.McGrath 2.Best 3.Furlong 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.CJ Stander 7.Warburton 8.B Vunipola 9.Murray 10.Sexton 11.Watson 12.Farrell 13.Joseph 14.Williams 15.Hogg

16.M Vunipola 17.Owens 18.Sinckler 19.AWJ 20.SOB 21.Webb 22.Henshaw 23.North

Big debate for me was whether to go with Farrell or Henshaw at 12. I think Farrell offers more creativity and if the coaches can get the Sexton/Farrell axis working well then the Lions might even have a sniff. That said, Henshaw is the better direct runner and has more pace. Difficult call.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Scottrf on Thu 20 Apr - 0:54

Not a bad selection FES.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 20 Apr - 0:56

My team, from those selected would be:

Starters:
McGrath, George, Furlong, Itoje, Kruis, O'Mahony, Warburton(c), Vunipola, Murray, Sexton, Watson, Farrell, Joseph, Seymour, Hogg

Finishers:
Owens, Vunipola, Sinckler, Lawes, Stander, Youngs, Daly, Williams


Reasoning:
I want a very good setpiece pack to start, tried and tested units at half back and centres, pace in the back 3 and good ability under the high ball, especially when chasing kicks from the Irish half-backs.
I want a bench full of impact, which means at times I am not picking the second best option but rather the players who woudl provide most spark with 20 to go. For this reason Best and Cole (who I would start ahead of the pair I chose on the bench) would not make the 23. Same applies to AWJ vs Lawes.



However the team I expect to see would look more like:

Mcgrath, Best, Furlong, AWJ, Itoje, Stander, Warburton, Vunipola, Murray, Farrell, Williams, Te'o (or Henshaw), JD2, North, 1/2p

Reps: George, Vunipola, Cole, Kruis, Faletau, Webb, Sexton, Hogg

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 20 Apr - 1:01

LondonTiger - I'm a big fan of POM as well but for me he has midweek legend written all over him. There's the makings of a great midweek side in that squad:

1.Marler 2.George 3.Cole 4.Henderson 5.Lawes 6.POM 7.Tipuric 8.Faletau 9.Youngs 10.Biggar 11.Nowell 12.Teo 13.JD2 14.Seymour 15.Payne

It would be better with Dunbar at 12 instead of Teo, and even with the dirt track side I can't find space for Halfpenny, but that's a pretty useful group.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by wolfball on Thu 20 Apr - 1:19

funnyExiledScot wrote:This would be mine for the 1st Test, based on Gatland's squad:

1.McGrath 2.Best 3.Furlong 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.CJ Stander 7.Warburton 8.B Vunipola 9.Murray 10.Sexton 11.Watson 12.Farrell 13.Joseph 14.Williams 15.Hogg

16.M Vunipola 17.Owens 18.Sinckler 19.AWJ 20.SOB 21.Webb 22.Henshaw 23.North

Big debate for me was whether to go with Farrell or Henshaw at 12. I think Farrell offers more creativity and if the coaches can get the Sexton/Farrell axis working well then the Lions might even have a sniff. That said, Henshaw is the better direct runner and has more pace. Difficult call.

That's the best starting 15 I've seen with some quibles about the bench. The nailed on starters to me are:

Itoje, Stander, Warburton, Vunipola, Murray, Sexton, Hogg

Though Stander/Vunipola might be unbalanced.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by funnyExiledScot on Thu 20 Apr - 2:38

wolfball wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:This would be mine for the 1st Test, based on Gatland's squad:

1.McGrath 2.Best 3.Furlong 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.CJ Stander 7.Warburton 8.B Vunipola 9.Murray 10.Sexton 11.Watson 12.Farrell 13.Joseph 14.Williams 15.Hogg

16.M Vunipola 17.Owens 18.Sinckler 19.AWJ 20.SOB 21.Webb 22.Henshaw 23.North

Big debate for me was whether to go with Farrell or Henshaw at 12. I think Farrell offers more creativity and if the coaches can get the Sexton/Farrell axis working well then the Lions might even have a sniff. That said, Henshaw is the better direct runner and has more pace. Difficult call.

That's the best starting 15 I've seen with some quibles about the bench. The nailed on starters to me are:

Itoje, Stander, Warburton, Vunipola, Murray, Sexton, Hogg

Though Stander/Vunipola might be unbalanced.

True, but with Itoje at lock they should get away with it.

Whilst the team looks good on paper, the bigger concern is how few would get into the ABs XV.....

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Thu 20 Apr - 2:55

I wouldn't have Stander and Billy V both starting, the Irish back row for instance looked more balanced with POM at 6.

6. O'Mahony 
7. Warburton 
8. Billy V

Standers ability to play 6/8 makes him a better option out of the two. O'Mahony is a nuisance for the opposition line-out and that could be key.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Thu 20 Apr - 22:33

All whinging aside though, I think inside the 41 players Gatland has taken my prefered XXIII is still in there...

1. McGrath
2. Owens
3. Furlong
4. Lawes
5. AWJ (if fit)
6. Stander
7. Warburton (if fit)
8. Billy V

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. North
12. Farrell
13. Joseph
14. Williams
15. Hogg

16. Mako V
17. George
18. Cole
19. Itoje
20. Faletau
21. Webb
22. Teo/Davies
23. Seymour

Although with some of the big lumps Gatland has picked I might be quite misguided on what we are going out there to do, but certainly that's the sort of test XXIII I'd go for.
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 20 Apr - 22:45

I would pick, assuming fitness of all:

McGrath Best Furlong
Itoje Kruis
POM Warburton Vunipola
Murray Sexton
Farrell Joseph
Williams Hogg North

Vunipola George Sinckler Lawes Stander Webb Henshaw Daly

I expect Gatland to pick something more like:

McGrath Owens Furlong
AWJ Itoje
Stander Warburton Faletau
Murray Sexton
Henshaw Davies
Williams Halfpenny North

Vunipola Best Cole Lawes Tipuric Webb Farrell Daly

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by LondonTiger on Fri 21 Apr - 0:17

What would be interesting would be trying to name the team for the 3rd test, perhaps just after the one for the first test has been named. Tours to NZ can disrupt teh best laid of plans. In 2005 just 5 of the guys who started the first test wore the same jersey two weeks later with 8 new people and two positional changes.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by nganboy on Fri 21 Apr - 21:25

Yeah not sure that worked out so well for them.
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by LondonTiger on Sun 18 Jun - 19:55

So, with the squad for the Chiefs named, the 1st Test squad looks clearer. Looking purely at those players not included we have:

Mako, McGrath, George, Owens, Furlong, Sinckler
Kruis, Itoje
POM, SOB, warburton, Faletau
Murray, Webb, Sexton, Farrell
Te'o, JD2, JJ
North, Watson, 1/2p

Draft in a second row (AWJ?) and that could easily be the test squad. Player most at risk I guess is JJ - while he could cover wing, a more utilised back may be selected.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Engine#4 on Sun 18 Jun - 21:04

Other than a form Liam W and a fit Hogg that's around about the team I would have hoped for. Centre and fullback look weak compared to the top talent in the world.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by R!skysports on Mon 19 Jun - 3:15

Why does anyone have North in there team. Been on poor for for years and cost several tries already through basic mistakes

??

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon 19 Jun - 5:53

So my team for the first test:

1. Marler
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Kruis
6. POM (c)
7. O'Brien
8. Faletau
9. Murray
10. Russell
11. North
12. Teo
13. JD2
14. Seymour
15. Watson

16. Owens
17. Mako
18. Cole
19. AWJ
20. Stander
21. Webb
22. Farrell
23. Halfpenny

I don't give a monkeys if Gatland will pick Russell for the Test or not. But he's the best fly half at the Lions disposal. Farrell, Sexton and Biggar have all been a disappointment. That's who I'd pick.
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by TJ on Mon 19 Jun - 6:29

No point in playing Russell with unfamiliar players around him. If he had been picked as no! from the start then maybe the squad would have got used to him but as it is now? Well he can say he is a lion but thats it.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by chris_501 on Mon 19 Jun - 6:57

Russell still seems something of a Hail Mary shout. If things are going wrong, let's chuck him on as the great white hope. In reality, he is probably slightly more of a hot and cold player, which is tough to base a game around in such a short space of time.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon 19 Jun - 7:03

chris_501 wrote:Russell still seems something of a Hail Mary shout. If things are going wrong, let's chuck him on as the great white hope. In reality, he is probably slightly more of a hot and cold player, which is tough to base a game around in such a short space of time.

I'd say he is a hot and cold player. Right now he is white hot. I hope he gets more than a hail Mary shot. He's playing better than that.
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by TJ on Mon 19 Jun - 7:18

problem is no one else will be on the same wavelength as him - so he will would create space for players but no player would be ready to go into that space as none of them are used to playing with a 10 like him.

Just look at some of the things he has done in these matches - all read and backed up by the scots backs. Two chips in quick succession leading to a try. visser read it. A double run around move - the rest of the backs read it and knew it was coming. a backhanded no look flip to Watson - he was in the right place knowing it was likely.

None of the lions play with somone who plays like this. None of them would have been in the position to score from the opportunities he created.

When a Scot makes a break there are normally 3 support players in the AB style - one each side and one behind. In the last lions game support runners for those who made breaks was non existant.

all russell would end up doing is giving the ball away and getting isolated

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by robbo277 on Mon 19 Jun - 7:20

LondonTiger wrote:So, with the squad for the Chiefs named, the 1st Test squad looks clearer. Looking purely at those players not included we have:

Mako, McGrath, George, Owens, Furlong, Sinckler
Kruis, Itoje
POM, SOB, warburton, Faletau
Murray, Webb, Sexton, Farrell
Te'o, JD2, JJ
North, Watson, 1/2p

Draft in a second row (AWJ?) and that could easily be the test squad. Player most at risk I guess is JJ - while he could cover wing, a more utilised back may be selected.

Agree that's what it will be, those 22 + AWJ. Given that I'd go:

Mako, George, Sinckler, Itoje, Kruis, POM, SOB, Faletau, Murray, Sexton, North, Farrell, JJ,Watson, Halfpenny.
Owens, McGrath, Furlong, Jones, Warburton, Webb, Te'o, Davies.

Gatland won't, but that's what I'd have from the 23 picked.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by king_carlos on Mon 19 Jun - 7:31

LondonTiger wrote:So, with the squad for the Chiefs named, the 1st Test squad looks clearer. Looking purely at those players not included we have:

Mako, McGrath, George, Owens, Furlong, Sinckler
Kruis, Itoje
POM, SOB, warburton, Faletau
Murray, Webb, Sexton, Farrell
Te'o, JD2, JJ
North, Watson, 1/2p

Draft in a second row (AWJ?) and that could easily be the test squad. Player most at risk I guess is JJ - while he could cover wing, a more utilised back may be selected.

1.Vunipola 2.George 3.Furlong 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.O'Mahony 7.Warburton (c) 8.Faletau
9.Murray 10.Farrell 11.North 12.Te'o 13.Davies 14.Watson 15.Halfpenny

16.Owens 17.McGrath 18.Sinckler 19.Jones 20.O'Brien 21.Webb 22.Sexton 23.Joseph

That's my best bet at what Gatland will go for. I'd prefer O'Brien starting, Joseph at 13 and a more versatile back in the 23 shirt - Daly or Williams. Stander struggling for form on tour is a real blow, his physicality at 6 should suit a direct game plan perfectly.

Halfpenny and North looking at starting spots sums up the back three players patchy form since the tour started. In fact I'd think I can honestly say that Watson is the only back 3 player to consistently impress so far. It's definitely an area of concern coming up against 11.Savea 14.Dagg/Naholo 15.Smith. Just the small thought of Jordie Barrett as a bench option too.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Scottrf on Mon 19 Jun - 7:34

As well as he's playing, Russell isn't right for our gameplan. We will win by control not flair. Our back play will be blunt whoever the 10 is.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by TJ on Mon 19 Jun - 8:00

No - the lions will not win by control - the only way they will win is by creating tries - a lot of them.

Russell ain't right tho for the lions as a late call up for the reasons I put above. With the right selections this need not be the case

Trying to control the game will inevitably mean a loss. NZ will score tries

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Scottrf on Mon 19 Jun - 8:03

Control doesn't mean no tries. It means playing in the right areas of the field, doing the basics well, defending well.

You would have probably said Crusaders would score tries.

We won't beat NZ trying to play like them.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by TJ on Mon 19 Jun - 8:19

YOu might win a one off game that way - Ireland did. You will not beat a well prepared NZ over a 3 test series like that. Its just not going to happen.


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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by DaveM on Mon 19 Jun - 9:01

king_carlos wrote:

1.Vunipola 2.George 3.Furlong 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.O'Mahony 7.Warburton (c) 8.Faletau
9.Murray 10.Farrell 11.North 12.Te'o 13.Davies 14.Watson 15.Halfpenny

16.Owens 17.McGrath 18.Sinckler 19.Jones 20.O'Brien 21.Webb 22.Sexton 23.Joseph


I agree, but I really hope O'Brien starts with Warburton on the bench. North's lack of form is a concern, as he is an important player for us. As for bench options, Joseph is reasonably versatile (when he started playing first team rugby for LI he was a wing as I recall), although he hasn't had to show it for England. If Daly or Williams were to be picked instead then that would be fine though.

We will set out to play a controlled game I presume, with lots of trying to play for territory, reliance on the set piece and an aggressive kick chase. We have players to make breaks though - we need to make sure we finish those opportunities.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Scottrf on Mon 19 Jun - 16:26

TJ wrote:YOu might win a one off game that way - Ireland did.  You will not beat a well prepared NZ over a 3 test series like that.  Its just not going to happen.

So how many tries did we score across the winning tests the last time the Lions won there?

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon 19 Jun - 16:29

Scottrf wrote:
TJ wrote:YOu might win a one off game that way - Ireland did.  You will not beat a well prepared NZ over a 3 test series like that.  Its just not going to happen.

So how many tries did we score across the winning tests the last time the Lions won there?

I'm fairly sure NZ back in those days wouldn't have battered Samoa 70 odd points to nil.

It's one thing holding the Crusaders out, amid a monsoon. It's an entirely different proposition to try and keep the all blacks out.
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Scottrf on Mon 19 Jun - 16:32

Obviously. But it's 100 times harder to try and be better ball in hand when we have a scratch side and not a single one of our backs is better at that game than theirs.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon 19 Jun - 16:37

Scottrf wrote:Obviously. But it's 100 times harder to try and be better ball in hand when we have a scratch side and not a single one of our backs is better at that game than theirs.

Can't the same argument be made about a defensive system? Considering the amount of time we'll likely be defending at the weekend, especially when taking into account how well NZ look after the ball.

I dunno, I just would have thought it would be as difficult to hammer out a flawless defensive system as much as a sharp attack.
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Scottrf on Mon 19 Jun - 16:41

Well, there is some evidence. Which has looked better so far?

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon 19 Jun - 16:50

Scottrf wrote:Well, there is some evidence. Which has looked better so far?

Have you ever seen an attack coached by Howley that is good at attacking?

It's not as if we have been a fortress either. We have leaked tries...
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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Scottrf on Mon 19 Jun - 17:02

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Well, there is some evidence. Which has looked better so far?

Have you ever seen an attack coached by Howley that is good at attacking?
So why do we want to pretend bringing in Russell will make us better than NZ at attacking?

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon 19 Jun - 17:15

Scottrf wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Well, there is some evidence. Which has looked better so far?

Have you ever seen an attack coached by Howley that is good at attacking?  
So why do we want to pretend bringing in Russell will make us better than NZ at attacking?

At least he creates something though. He's been just as solid defensively all summer long.

Our attacking system for most of the games has been uninspiring one up bashing. How many tries have the backs scored in this series? No wonder the kiwi press are extracting the urine.

It's probably too late now as you have rightly suggested. The game plan is in place and I'm dreading Saturday. Strangling the all blacks into submission rarely works. In fact the only times a NH team has beaten them recently is by slicing them up and most importantly dominating the breakdown.

For the record, Ashton, Tuilagi and Barrett scored the tries that beat them in 2013 and Murphy, Stander, Zebo, Henshaw and Murray scored the tries that beat them in Chicago. So that's roughly 80% tries scored by the backs. I have no idea what % of tries have been scored by the Lions backs, I'd wager its less than that.

I'm very worried that we don't have the cutting edge to beat this team and it's a shame because if we had gotten the right players on the right pitch at the right time I believe we could win this. It just hasn't happened that way.

I hope I'm wrong, but like I said I'm dreading this weekend.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by Exiledinborders on Mon 19 Jun - 17:24

DaveM wrote:
king_carlos wrote:

1.Vunipola 2.George 3.Furlong 4.Itoje 5.Kruis 6.O'Mahony 7.Warburton (c) 8.Faletau
9.Murray 10.Farrell 11.North 12.Te'o 13.Davies 14.Watson 15.Halfpenny

16.Owens 17.McGrath 18.Sinckler 19.Jones 20.O'Brien 21.Webb 22.Sexton 23.Joseph


I agree, but I really hope O'Brien starts with Warburton on the bench. North's lack of form is a concern, as he is an important player for us. As for bench options, Joseph is reasonably versatile (when he started playing first team rugby for LI he was a wing as I recall), although he hasn't had to show it for England. If Daly or Williams were to be picked instead then that would be fine though.

We will set out to play a controlled game I presume, with lots of trying to play for territory, reliance on the set piece and an aggressive kick chase. We have players to make breaks though - we need to make sure we finish those opportunities.
I really cannot see Warburton starting. He has done nothing to justify it. I suspect he will be on the bench. I agree re North. Apart from poor form he seems to have lost an awful amount of pace in the last year or so. I would probably go with Williams rather than Daly assuming Halfpenny is there for the long kicks.

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 19 Jun - 17:31

I'm really trying to be positive against such a challenge. So looking forward to the second test when we hopefully have Pom sob and faletau.in the back row. Itoje and Kruis with Lawes on the bench and Sexton Farrell and.Joseph in the backs!

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Re: Lions team for the First Test: 24th June 2017, Eden Park

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