Lions 2017 - the decider

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Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 31 May 2017, 9:03 am

First topic message reminder :



After months if not years, of debate, arguments and plenty bickering the time has come - The Lions are in New Zealand and the tour has begun!

I think it is fair to say that if you're not a fan of the concept of the Lions then this isn't the thread to bring it up - we have had plenty of that over several months and the debate has been done to death. This thread will hopefully be a positive place where those excited about the tour (like me!) can talk about everything that's going on. That's until Jamie Roberts gets a callup of course... Run

3 June - Provincial union team (Toll Stadium, Whangarei)

7 June - Blues (Eden Park, Auckland)

10 June - Crusaders (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)

13 June - Highlanders (Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin)

17 June - Maori (International Stadium, Rotorua)

20 June - Chiefs (Waikato Stadium, Hamilton)

24 June - New Zealand (First Test, Eden Park, Auckland)

27 June - Hurricanes (Westpac Stadium, Wellington)

1 July - New Zealand (Second Test, Westpac Stadium, Wellington)

8 July - New Zealand (Third Test, Eden Park, Auckland)



Last edited by RDW_Scotland on Mon 03 Jul 2017, 10:01 am; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 12:52 pm

So bearing mind that this is meant to be a safe place for Lions fans - how is everyone enjoying the tour so far...? Crying or Very sad

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by aucklandlaurie on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 1:04 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:So bearing mind that this is meant to be a safe place for Lions fans - how is everyone enjoying the tour so far...? Crying or Very sad

 I think its great - But I'm not a lions fan.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 1:08 pm

Well watching the Lions catapulting large centres and loose forwards up the middle is hardly inspiring. It's painfully predictable and the well drilled Super Rugby defences don't even look remotely intimidated or bothered by this attacking game plan.

The NZ teams thusfar have been the ones playing rugby.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by George Carlin on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 1:15 pm

aucklandlaurie wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:So bearing mind that this is meant to be a safe place for Lions fans - how is everyone enjoying the tour so far...? Crying or Very sad

 I think its great - But I'm not a lions fan.
Laugh
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by EST on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 1:27 pm

Well, it was certainly an improvement on the first game, and I am still hopeful the Lions can fashion a competitive team in time for the first test. However, there are obviously big question marks surrounding our attacking shape. We need our first choice midfield and halfbacks to start emerging pretty soon, so we can build that understanding and cohesiveness. I really think that Gatland has missed a trick by picking Farrell as a 10 - I think we need that second ball player in the midfield, a tactic that Gatland obviously doesn't like. We are left with Henshaw or Te'o playing one up rugby off the 10, and then playing into space after that - not a tactic that will trouble the AB's.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 1:30 pm

I didn't see the game today but from the last game and reading comments about this one it seems like we're not very good at bringing our outside backs into the game - Seymour and Hogg had to go looking for ball last week and sounds like the wingers today didn't have much of a chance to shine as they weren't given much ball in space.

As has been said that might be helped by playing Farrell at 12 but I don't see it happening - and it might not solve much given Sexton's form.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by EST on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 1:40 pm

Without watching the game back, we seemed to be employing a lot of screen passes, in the rugby league/sarries mould - however, we were doing it well behind the gain line, without conviction, and the Blues simply drifted onto the next man, meaning we ran out of space laterally. Despite Henshaw being there to provide a focal point of our attack, we didn't actually get him involved in the match very much.

Essentially we were stuck playing in no mans land, nobody carrying the ball over the gain line, and without the second ball playing option, we struggled to effectively get our outside backs into any space.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by eirebilly on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 2:41 pm

The backs got the ball today, especially whilst Payne was on. Finishing was an issue but the room was there and space created.

I thought that Biggar was having a good game until he went off injured to be replaced by Sexton who I thought offered very little shape in attack. The loss of Payne was crucial though, he marshalled the midfield defence well and was very lively in attack.

Nowell has been focused on a bit too much, he really did not have a very bad game. A few individual errors back to back made it look bad. I still do not think he was at fault for the first try, Haskell ran up out of the line unnecessarily which caused Nowell to have to move inside to cover Haskell's man and as such was in no position to catch Ioane.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by EST on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 2:45 pm

eirebilly wrote:The backs got the ball today, especially whilst Payne was on. Finishing was an issue but the room was there and space created.

I thought that Biggar was having a good game until he went off injured to be replaced by Sexton who I thought offered very little shape in attack. The loss of Payne was crucial though, he marshalled the midfield defence well and was very lively in attack.

Nowell has been focused on a bit too much, he really did not have a very bad game. A few individual errors back to back made it look bad. I still do not think he was at fault for the first try, Haskell ran up out of the line unnecessarily which caused Nowell to have to move inside to cover Haskell's man and as such was in no position to catch Ioane.

I have to say Eirebilly, that's certainly not the impression I got from the game. We may have had lots of the ball, but we certainly didn't create much with it. I will have to re-watch the game, but we were lateral and I can't recall us creating much space.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by Cyril on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 2:51 pm

EST wrote:
eirebilly wrote:The backs got the ball today, especially whilst Payne was on. Finishing was an issue but the room was there and space created.

I thought that Biggar was having a good game until he went off injured to be replaced by Sexton who I thought offered very little shape in attack. The loss of Payne was crucial though, he marshalled the midfield defence well and was very lively in attack.

Nowell has been focused on a bit too much, he really did not have a very bad game. A few individual errors back to back made it look bad. I still do not think he was at fault for the first try, Haskell ran up out of the line unnecessarily which caused Nowell to have to move inside to cover Haskell's man and as such was in no position to catch Ioane.

I have to say Eirebilly, that's certainly not the impression I got from the game.  We may have had lots of the ball, but we certainly didn't create much with it.  I will have to re-watch the game, but we were lateral and I can't recall us creating much space.
I don't recall Payne being 'lively in attack' either (nobody for the Lions was or has been in either game). Payne defends well enough, but when the Lions attacked the bit that stuck out for me was when he was penalised for crossing.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by eirebilly on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 2:53 pm

Early on in the game I thought that there was a lot of space being created. Twice over the tryline (disallowed tries) is a good example of the space created.

Biggar has coped a lot of flaq on here but he was certainly better than Sexton (who I feel is madly off form).

I also see Haskell getting a lot of praise but I thought he was poor today. I cant wait to see SOB given a chance as neither Haskell or POM (not very many minutes to prove himself) looked very good.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by eirebilly on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 2:55 pm

Cyril wrote:
EST wrote:
eirebilly wrote:The backs got the ball today, especially whilst Payne was on. Finishing was an issue but the room was there and space created.

I thought that Biggar was having a good game until he went off injured to be replaced by Sexton who I thought offered very little shape in attack. The loss of Payne was crucial though, he marshalled the midfield defence well and was very lively in attack.

Nowell has been focused on a bit too much, he really did not have a very bad game. A few individual errors back to back made it look bad. I still do not think he was at fault for the first try, Haskell ran up out of the line unnecessarily which caused Nowell to have to move inside to cover Haskell's man and as such was in no position to catch Ioane.

I have to say Eirebilly, that's certainly not the impression I got from the game.  We may have had lots of the ball, but we certainly didn't create much with it.  I will have to re-watch the game, but we were lateral and I can't recall us creating much space.
I don't recall Payne being 'lively in attack' either (nobody for the Lions was or has been in either game). Payne defends well enough, but when the Lions attacked the bit that stuck out for me was when he was penalised for crossing.

Because he expected Haskell to pass the ball instead of going into contact. If you watch back, had Haskell of passed to him, there was a decent hole for Payne to go threw. That was pure miss-communication to me.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by EST on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 2:57 pm

eirebilly wrote:Early on in the game I thought that there was a lot of space being created. Twice over the tryline (disallowed tries) is a good example of the space created.

Biggar has coped a lot of flaq on here but he was certainly better than Sexton (who I feel is madly off form).

I also see Haskell getting a lot of praise but I thought he was poor today. I cant wait to see SOB given a chance as neither Haskell or POM (not very many minutes to prove himself) looked very good.

Certainly there were a few instances, but I would say they were the exception not the rule.

I'd agree that Biggar was playing well before he went off, he ran with square shoulders and wasn't playing too deep. He could well usurp Sexton - who is playing as poorly as I have ever seen.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 2:58 pm

If Biggar is out does that mean Sexton will have to be involved in a 3rd game in the space of 7 days? He barely manges 3 games a month usually!

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by eirebilly on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 2:59 pm

Exceptions to the rule by the end of the game, I will give you that thumbsup

Before the injuries, I thought the Lions were looking comfortable and quite attacking.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by eirebilly on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 3:00 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:If Biggar is out does that mean Sexton will have to be involved in a 3rd game in the space of 7 days? He barely manges 3 games a month usually!

Hogg's chance to shine at 10 for the Lions coming up... Just like 4 years ago in OZ Wink
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by tigertattie on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 3:18 pm

Surely it's going to have to be Farrell moved to 10?
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 3:59 pm

My point was if Sexton is on the bench (as the only other fit 10) he'll have already played in 2 games this week. so far from ideal.

Saying that, Farrell is very unlikely to get subbed anyway so it would only be if he gets injured - Gatland might risk no 10 on the bench with Hogg or Laidlaw providing cover in an emergency. Would also mean he can bring another outside back on the bench to try out later on.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by eirebilly on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 4:02 pm

Its why I said that Hogg will probably be selected as cover for 10 RDW.

Sexton cant play again so soon.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 4:26 pm

So given the players due a start are we looking at

1 Vunipola
2 George
3 Furlong
4 AWJ
5 Kruis
6 PoM
7 SoB
8 Faletau

9 Murray
10 Farrell
11 North
12 Teo
13 Davies
14 Williams
15 Hogg

Subs - McGrath, Owens, Cole, Itoje, Warbuton, Laidlaw/Webb, JJ, Watson/Seymour

With question marks over 8, 12, 15 and the subs

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by EST on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 5:21 pm

That looks about right to me, although I wonder if he is tempted to pick SOB at 8 and give Warburton some more game time.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 5:23 pm

EST wrote:That looks about right to me, although I wonder if he is tempted to pick SOB at 8 and give Warburton some more game time.

I think that would be a mistake - we desperately need to win this and need to have our best team out. There's not much between SoB and Warbs at 7 but there is a big difference between SoB and Faletau at 8.

Warbs will get 30 minutes or so and will have another 2 games before the tests to get up to speed.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by George Carlin on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 7:36 pm

eirebilly wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:If Biggar is out does that mean Sexton will have to be involved in a 3rd game in the space of 7 days? He barely manges 3 games a month usually!

Hogg's chance to shine at 10 for the Lions coming up... Just like 4 years ago in OZ Wink
I'd be seriously urined off if that happened again.

Laidlaw has played a dozen test matches at 10 and so could cover at a push, particularly given that he was allowed to contribute precisely 4 minutes of his time today.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by Cyril on Wed 07 Jun 2017, 7:40 pm

It would be crazy to have either Hogg or Laidlaw as back-up 10 (and unfair on them too).

If there's any doubt on Biggar (and Sexton is always an injury risk) we need to get another 10 out there asap.

You should only have this situation if you get a freak set of injuries during a game ie when you lose both fly halves and have to re-shuffle.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 08 Jun 2017, 11:32 am

It's crazy taking players who are not match fit in the hope they regain fitness and form.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by GunsGermsV2 on Thu 08 Jun 2017, 11:59 am

I wouldnt have brought Sexton even if he is the best OH he gets injured too much lately.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sat 10 Jun 2017, 5:15 pm

Fantastic attacking performance from Finn Russell today, albeit against an average Italy side. Highlights here

http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40233474

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by George Carlin on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 6:24 am

RDW_Scotland wrote:Fantastic attacking performance from Finn Russell today, albeit against an average Italy side. Highlights here

http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40233474
If he can repeat that against the Wallabies next week, then he is definitely in the shop window for an injury call up.

Not that I think anyone other than Ford will be chosen as Gatland is still flirting with Farrell at 12.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by Gwlad on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 7:27 am

TightHEAD wrote:It's crazy taking players who are not match fit in the hope they regain fitness and form.

Injury is one thing, form another and Sexton proved how wrong you are today with a return to something like his best in various areas

whats crazy is not realizing that the chief role of a coach in the modern game on a tour is managing limited esources to optimize performance ; otherwise based on your stupid assumption, any injured player should be sent straight home.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 10:51 am

Gwlad wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:It's crazy taking players who are not match fit in the hope they regain fitness and form.

Injury is one thing, form another and Sexton proved how wrong you are today with a return to something like his best in various areas

whats crazy is not realizing that the chief role of a coach in the modern game on a tour is managing limited esources to optimize performance ; otherwise based on your stupid assumption, any injured player should be sent straight home.

Oh the child was wrong again? That's something we don't see often Whistle

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 10:54 am

Moriarty is unavailable due to a back problem which occurred in the first tour game. Perhaps we should call up an additional back-row player as well as a 10 but surely the time to do that is now.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 2:40 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Fantastic attacking performance from Finn Russell today, albeit against an average Italy side. Highlights here

http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40233474
Nobody doubts Russell's abilities especially against a poor side. He needs to prove he can make sensible decisions when under pressure. At the moment the jury is out.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by TightHEAD on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 7:26 pm

Beginning to look like Hogg might be out of the tour.

Mike Brown to replace Hogg or maybe Russell or Ford and rely on Watson Williams 1/2p Payne to cover FB???
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by Gwlad on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 7:28 pm

Never Mike Brown he offers nothing but attitude and an inability to pass, was very poor against Argentina.
Watson, Half and Williams is plenty.

Happily see Watson start in the tests

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by TightHEAD on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 7:30 pm

Hogg out might be good timing to bring in another fly half who is on form and un injuried
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by Gwlad on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 7:31 pm

Not really since Biggar Farrell and Sexton are all fit.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by BigTrevsbigmac on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 8:03 pm

George Carlin wrote:
RDW_Scotland wrote:Fantastic attacking performance from Finn Russell today, albeit against an average Italy side. Highlights here

http://m.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40233474
If he can repeat that against the Wallabies next week, then he is definitely in the shop window for an injury call up.

Not that I think anyone other than Ford will be chosen as Gatland is still flirting with Farrell at 12.

Ford wasn't too shabby against Argentina either.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 8:59 pm

Both are able replacements but I think in most pundits and selectors eyes, Ford's stock is a little higher. Ford was particularly good though wasn't he?

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RiscaGame on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 9:42 pm

It would have to be Ford for me, if the need arose.

Though Anscombe is in NZ soon and Sir Warren is a bit of a fan.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Sun 11 Jun 2017, 10:16 pm

I really don't think we'd need another replacement - there's plenty squad cover and he'd only be involved in one game at best.

Would be gutted for Hogg though.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by tigertattie on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:35 am

Where are folk getting reports that Hogg is out the tour now? I'm only seeing that he'll miss the next midweek game!
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:37 am

tigertattie wrote:Where are folk getting reports that Hogg is out the tour now? I'm only seeing that he'll miss the next midweek game!

He's needing to see a specialist to see if it is worse than feared - with these kind of injuries you normally can't tell straight away due to the swelling.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/scotland/40239403

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by EST on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:50 am

I really hope Hogg can get another chance during the tour, he is a special player.

From the three games, here is my stab at a selection for the first test, presuming Hogg is out:

1. Mcgrath
2. George
3. Cole
4. Kruis
5. Lawes
6. O'Mahoney
7. Tipuric
8. Faletau

9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. North
12. Farrell
13. Davies
14. Watson
15. Williams

16. Vunipola
17. Owens
18. Furlong
19. Itoje
20. O'Brien
21. Webb
22. Te'o
23. Daly

I don't think Gats will play Sexton/Farrell together, but after the weekend I really think he should. He stumbled onto that combination, and I think we saw signs of how well having two ball players in midfield could work. Yes, Goodhue exposed Farrell in defence, but I think that understanding would grow given some time together.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by BamBam on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 9:58 am

I know Farrell has got a lot of the blame for the break by Goodhue, but what happened to trusting your inside man? It seemed to me that whoever that was left far too much of a gap, Farrell was drifting and got stepped on the inside, but I don't think it was completely his fault

I'd like to see JJ outside a Sexton/Farrell combo but Saturday will be too soon to play JJ again after Tuesday so I think he's missed the boat

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by EST on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 10:08 am

BamBam wrote:I know Farrell has got a lot of the blame for the break by Goodhue, but what happened to trusting your inside man? It seemed to me that whoever that was left far too much of a gap, Farrell was drifting and got stepped on the inside, but I don't think it was completely his fault

I'd like to see JJ outside a Sexton/Farrell combo but Saturday will be too soon to play JJ again after Tuesday so I think he's missed the boat

Like I said, I think the midfield defence would get better the longer Sexton/Farrell played together. I like JJ, but I think Davies has come into some great form over the tail end of the season and who has shown signs of being very dangerous this tour.


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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by BamBam on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 10:10 am

Agree with you that it'll improve, Sexton and Farrell are arguably the best defenders at fly half around, and Farrell hasn't come up short defensively at 12 either


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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by nickj on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 1:17 pm


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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 1:26 pm


All I read from that was the he was going to be given all the time he needed, and that it is too early to tell yet?

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by eirebilly on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 1:40 pm

I would hope the backline looks like this :

09 : Murray
10 : Farrell
11 : North
12 : Henshaw (although Te'o has played very well)
13 : Davies (JJ is in for a big shout as is Payne if he stays uninjured)
14 : Watson
15 : Hogg (injury permitting) or Payne (if he shows up well tomorrow). I like Williams but not so sure of his confidence right now.

I really do not wish to see a Farrell / Sexton 10 / 12 pairing against the AB's.
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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

Post by RDW_Scotland on Mon 12 Jun 2017, 1:43 pm

There is very little justification in picking Williams based on his performances just now - he looks shot of confidence on the pitch, especially under high ball chases which will be a key tactic for the Lions.

I don't think he should be in the test team IMO.

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Re: Lions 2017 - the decider

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