Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

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Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:33 am

Vunipola 40
George 17 (0 starts)
Furong 16
AWJ 110
Kruis 20

Itoje 12

What is the obvious stat here capwise that without AWJ the lions don't have? jesus that kiwi tight5 average 70 plus each don't they?!?! How can anyone not view our tight 5 as massively inexperienced. Mako Vunipola I still classed as inexperienced and he'd have to lead!!! with this being Georges first ever test start also.

I think George starting is a massive call, one I understand, I personally would've gone for Owens but hey, off the bench he's a great option. George will need experience around him, he needs a cool head who's seen everything before, and I think Sinckler is a victim of Georges selection, had Owens started I think Sinckler would have also.

Very few people seem to rate AWJ, he has been lauded the best lock in the world recently, until Howley got his hands on the team and created another horror show, most people were considering AWJ, Itoje and Jonny Grey as test starters (Istill don'T understand Greys exclusion but hey).

The AWJ is a non issue, he's good enough, he's needed far more than any other player we have, let alone forward, let alone lock.

My worry is points left on the park, and Gatlands selection of players who are still in recovery from FULL 80 MINUTES!!!!!

There are too many question marks around starters for me to feel comfortable...

Georges lack of experience,
Front row combination looks unbalanced,
Back row combo looks unbalanced,
Inexperienced captain,
Farrells lack of game time at 10 on the highest stage, and injury
Teo's inability to do anything but act like Jamie Roberts
Davies's fitness
both wingers defencive capabilities (although Watsons less so)
Kicking options are limited
Liam Williams lack of gametime from 15
Inexperience of the squad as a whole

I think this is a risky selection, and I get it, Gatland has to take risks to win in NZ, but for me risks can be optimised and minimilsed in certain areas, whereas it almost feels like an 'everything on red 23' moment.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by BamBam on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:34 am

Posted on another thread, but if we're valuing cap count and experience over actual playing ability, someone should check on Jason Leonard's availability for the weekend

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:40 am

Who said cap count over performance? Widely regarded as one of the best locks in the world, when selection is this tight and cap count this low experience HAS tobe taken into account, how could it not be?!

3 top class locks to choose from, 2 have less than 33 caps between them, neither have ever travelled with a lions tour before, the starting hooker has never started an international game, what possible reason could you give that excludes the 110 world renowned option?! Even the captain is ineperienced as a player, let alone captain!!

Your playing against the best team in the world, how could you fielda tight 5 in it's entirity who have less caps than the average kiwi forward?!

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Cyril on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:40 am

Fanster wrote:Farrells lack of game time at 10 on the highest stage
He played 10 when England beat NZ.

That was about the same time AWJ was last in form.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Scottrf on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:41 am

I don't think it would be such a controversial decision were lock not our area of strength. If he played 6 for example.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Griff on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:44 am

BamBam wrote:Posted on another thread, but if we're valuing cap count and experience over actual playing ability, someone should check on Jason Leonard's availability for the weekend


Your post would be much better if you just picked a current player.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:44 am

BamBam wrote:Posted on another thread, but if we're valuing cap count and experience over actual playing ability, someone should check on Jason Leonard's availability for the weekend

Not sure you can separate him from his pint glass for one enough to get even one scrum completed.

Using the experience criteria, I guess we should be selecting:

Marler (51 ccaps)
Best (104)
Cole (74)
Lawes (58)

Alongside AWJ

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by BamBam on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:44 am

Northern Hemisphere locks better than AWJ

Kruis, Itoje, Lawes, Launchbury, Henderson, Gray, Gray

If AWJ is "world renowned", "top class" and "recently the best lock in the world ( Laugh  Laugh  Laugh )", the ABs would be bricking themselves at the thought of facing two of the above

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Griff on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:45 am

Regardless of the caps we have to pick on form and he's the glaring pick in that first 15 that hasn't been playing well so far on tour.  The other 14 you could all make an argument for as being the form picks.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by BamBam on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:46 am

Not sure LT, I reckon Leonard's rotundness would help him hit a ruck with far more effectiveness than Wyn Jones

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by BamBam on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:46 am

Griff wrote:Regardless of the caps we have to pick on form and he's the glaring pick in that first 15 that hasn't been playing well so far on tour.  The other 14 you could all make an argument for as being the form picks.

I agree! Would make some changes to the bench and not sure if playing Williams and Daly so long on Tuesday was the best idea, but not bad at all

But when a thread is made about one particular person who has been the most polarising choice ...

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by EST on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:48 am

The most important thing the Lions pack have to do, is not give away penalties. Gatland and Farrell have made this point repeatedly.

AWJ has given away more than most.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:48 am

Controversial makes it sound worse, we have a lot of locks, Hell I think Grey and Launchbury would make a great starting partnership for this test!

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:49 am

Cyril wrote:
Fanster wrote:Farrells lack of game time at 10 on the highest stage
He played 10 when England beat NZ.

That was about the same time AWJ was last in form.

Plus his won two European cups at No10, could argue that is a higher level than a Lions game.
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Griff on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:51 am

BamBam wrote:
Griff wrote:Regardless of the caps we have to pick on form and he's the glaring pick in that first 15 that hasn't been playing well so far on tour.  The other 14 you could all make an argument for as being the form picks.

I agree! Would make some changes to the bench and not sure if playing Williams and Daly so long on Tuesday was the best idea, but not bad at all

But when a thread is made about one particular person who has been the most polarising choice ...

I still think AWJ was fine to be picked to tour, but I know that is not a universal opinion. But since being on tour he has played himself OUT of the test team.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by marty2086 on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:53 am

TightHEAD wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Fanster wrote:Farrells lack of game time at 10 on the highest stage
He played 10 when England beat NZ.

That was about the same time AWJ was last in form.

Plus his won two European cups at No10,  could argue that is a higher level than a Lions game.

You could argue it but you'd look stupid trying to

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Scottrf on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:55 am

Yeah as good as Clermont are, I think NZ are better.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:56 am

The idea of starting a tight 5 without AWJ is laughable, Whitelock would have more caps than our entire tight 5, thats ludicrous, and anyone willing to send a tight 5 that inexperienced in front of this kiwi pack has clearly never had to select a team before!

Lets also ignore the fact he captained the lions pack to a dominant display over the kiwi tight 5 a few weeks ago...

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by LondonTiger on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:56 am

Scottrf wrote:Yeah as good as Clermont are, I think NZ are better.

But are Saracens better than the Lions? Run

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:58 am

Fanster I think everyone gets that Jones has played for wales alot; where do you feel he has excelled so far and what does he bring in terms of playing over Itoje, Lawes and henderson?


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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by marty2086 on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:58 am

Fanster wrote:The idea of starting a tight 5 without AWJ is laughable, Whitelock would have more caps than our entire tight 5, thats ludicrous, and anyone willing to send a tight 5 that inexperienced in front of this kiwi pack has clearly never had to select a team before!

Lets also ignore the fact he captained the lions pack to a dominant display over the kiwi tight 5 a few weeks ago...

While you ignore the fact that picking Itoje would mean the inexperienced hooker is working with his two club colleagues

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 10:58 am

Saracens would smash the Lions.
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by marty2086 on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:00 am

TightHEAD wrote:Saracens would smash the Lions.
Of course they would since half the Lions team would be missing Rolling Eyes

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:02 am

Scottrf wrote:Yeah as good as Clermont are, I think NZ are better.

That's a good question.

In a one off game I think a good club side could beat an international team (even NZ) that has just come together and are under cooked, might be a different story after a few weeks together at say a RWC.
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:03 am

The George, Kruis, Itoje axis I get as an argument. However if Itoje and Kruis were experienced it would make sense, one blip or stumble amongst that axis and none of the 3 have any experience on this stage. Has that axis played any international rugby whatsoever? George has never started a test, Itoje has just got to double figures, and Kruis is 5 minutes ahead of them.

If anyone thinks a kiwi team wouldn't target a tight 5 as inexperienced as ours could be, then I can't help you. The kiwi's solve problems, and test weaknesses, what test have the George Kruis Itoje axis had on the international stage?

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:03 am

Fanster wrote:3 top class locks to choose from, 2 have less than 33 caps between them, neither have ever travelled with a lions tour before, the starting hooker has never started an international game, what possible reason could you give that excludes the 110 world renowned option?!

1) Alun Wyn's form on tour;

2) George, Kruis and Itoje know each other's games inside out having played together at Saracens. They're quite good.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:03 am

Morally the lions will win on Saturday.
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:07 am

Luckless

You'd be willing to bet your lineout on 3 players who have never played together at international rugby, one of whom has never started a test, against the best team in the world in a winner take all 3 test series?

Seriously? no chance, and if anyone here was a selector AWJ woud be selected 100% of the time.

Who would be the idiot making the only change to a pack that hammered the kiwi tight 5 set peice 2 weeks ago, taking the only player with any lions, or real international experience out?

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:08 am

So seriously apart from experience what will jones bring on saturday that Itoje Lawes and henderson wouldn't?

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:09 am

You asked for reasons, I gave you two.

You seem rather angry.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:17 am

Why would I be angry, we're chatting about player selection for a rugby match.

As I said previously, the George, Kruis, Itoje argument makes sense, with Mako added too, but they don't have any international experience, when theyare inevitably targetted howwill they respond? if the lineout makes one mistake who is the guy there with thousands of minutes under his belt, Best isn't, rightfully so, Warburton isn't, rightfully so, who will take the pack by the scruff of the neck and inspire? POM is an inexperienced Irish international, let alone captain!

Had circumstances been different, had Best been playing a blinder, had Warburton been firing and fit, had we had leaders in the pack by all means go with Itoje and Kruis, it would make sense. But we don't have that in the pack, we have had it against the kiwi tight 5 very recently, and the pack was dominant. How can anyone think changing that starting pack makes sense?


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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:18 am

Alun will get emotional if we decide to sing the 'power of four' during the Anthems.
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:18 am

marty2086 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
Cyril wrote:
Fanster wrote:Farrells lack of game time at 10 on the highest stage
He played 10 when England beat NZ.

That was about the same time AWJ was last in form.

Plus his won two European cups at No10,  could argue that is a higher level than a Lions game.

You could argue it but you'd look stupid trying to

He could do that regardless, although anyone arguing that Farrell lacks experience at 10 is going to look every bit as stupid.


All that aside there is some merit in the experience argument. The Lions are lacking in those long established top class superstars theyve had on previous tours, and leadership and pedigree do count for something. Other players in the squad with similar pedigree havent justified a place in the side anymore than he has.
OK the elephant in the room on that argument is Lawes whos in the 50 cap cavalry brigade but cant even make the 23. Hes never capatined his country or been on a lions tour before though.

AWJ has been there and done it. He was playing well enough to take the welsh capatincy not that long ago. You could trust Gatslands judgement on this. Then again you could wonder why the heck he selected Warburton as his tour captain and bought AWJ along in the first place.

Ive got some sympathy for the argument, but its still not enough to sell me on the selection.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:18 am

Fanster wrote:Why would I be angry, we're chatting about player selection for a rugby match.


Erm

...welcome to 606v2!

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:19 am

Fanster, apart from experience what does jones bring?

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Cyril on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:20 am

Fanster wrote:Luckless

You'd be willing to bet your lineout on 3 players who have never played together at international rugby, one of whom has never started a test, against the best team in the world in a winner take all 3 test series?

Seriously? no chance, and if anyone here was a selector AWJ woud be selected 100% of the time.

Who would be the idiot making the only change to a pack that hammered the kiwi tight 5 set peice 2 weeks ago, taking the only player with any lions, or real international experience out?
With all that experience I think that, rather than play, AWJ would be more valuable doing the following:

  • pre-match team talk involving tales from days of yore, 'That's before you were born, young Maro'
  • stand on the touchline, getting all misty-eyed, mouthing line-out calls to himself
  • hand out Werthers Originals at half-time
  • have a nap after the game and dream of 2013, when everything was much simpler


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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:25 am

Fanster wrote:Luckless

You'd be willing to bet your lineout on 3 players who have never played together at international rugby, one of whom has never started a test, against the best team in the world in a winner take all 3 test series?

Seriously? no chance, and if anyone here was a selector AWJ woud be selected 100% of the time.

Who would be the idiot making the only change to a pack that hammered the kiwi tight 5 set peice 2 weeks ago, taking the only player with any lions, or real international experience out?

What exactly is 'real' international experience? What international experience are you discounting? England's Grand Slam? Their 3 - 0 series win against Australia?

Jamie George has never started for England, that's true. But a Test cap is a Test cap whether you start a match or finish it.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by BamBam on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:26 am

You forgot he's also really good at looking really passionate and experienced while the Haka is going on

The experience argument is great and all, but if Wales had locks of this calibre over the last 10 years, would he have got to 30 caps on PLAYING ability

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by TightHEAD on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:29 am

Gats is taking a gamble, how many times has AWJ played NZ and lost?

His lucks got to change at some point, right!!!!
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:31 am

I've just thought there's a real risk by gatland here not having jones experience on the bench. We all know that nz come on strongly in the last 20 or so min. Well potentially have our pack crying wishing jones 3xperience was on the pitch.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:33 am

Im pretty sure the Lions didnt play the All Blacks tight 5 2 weeks ago unless Ive just overslept a lot.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Scottrf on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:34 am

Itoje has more experience beating NZ Than AWJ. Why is experience in losing a good thing?

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:34 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:I've just thought there's a real risk by gatland here not having jones experience on the bench. We all know that nz come on strongly in the last 20 or so min. Well potentially have our pack crying wishing jones 3xperience was on the pitch.

Its OK , we can bring on Warburton whos well experienced in getting red cards at a world cup.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Gooseberry on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:34 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Fanster wrote:Luckless

You'd be willing to bet your lineout on 3 players who have never played together at international rugby, one of whom has never started a test, against the best team in the world in a winner take all 3 test series?

Seriously? no chance, and if anyone here was a selector AWJ woud be selected 100% of the time.

Who would be the idiot making the only change to a pack that hammered the kiwi tight 5 set peice 2 weeks ago, taking the only player with any lions, or real international experience out?

What exactly is 'real' international experience? What international experience are you discounting? England's Grand Slam? Their 3 - 0 series win against Australia?

Jamie George has never started for England, that's true. But a Test cap is a Test cap whether you start a match or finish it.

AWJ at hooker would be a pretty controversial selection too.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:40 am

The inexperience of Kruis and Itoje;

2 times European cup winners
1 Aviva title
1 grand slam and another 6 nations win
1 3-0 whitewash over Australia
Unbeaten as an international pairing

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:43 am

Bur until recently jones was rated as the best lock in the world and he's still world class.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:43 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Fanster wrote:Luckless

You'd be willing to bet your lineout on 3 players who have never played together at international rugby, one of whom has never started a test, against the best team in the world in a winner take all 3 test series?

Seriously? no chance, and if anyone here was a selector AWJ woud be selected 100% of the time.

Who would be the idiot making the only change to a pack that hammered the kiwi tight 5 set peice 2 weeks ago, taking the only player with any lions, or real international experience out?

What exactly is 'real' international experience? What international experience are you discounting? England's Grand Slam? Their 3 - 0 series win against Australia?

Jamie George has never started for England, that's true. But a Test cap is a Test cap whether you start a match or finish it.

How many minutes have these 3 guys played together on the international stage? Hartley was the hooker, Itoje played 6 all 6N, so I ask again, how much experience do these 3 guys have on the international stage as a unit? 0 would be my answer, and people want to see them for the first time against NZ in the biggest game of their collective 45 caps?

George has never run out of the tunnell to take the field in an international arena, he's never been involved straight after an anthem, haka, or had to deal with the pressure of the media in the build up like he is having to now! They might seem like little things, but he needs cool heads around him, he's deserved this test start, but also he knows the kiwis will test him early on, when you select a team you have to gel new players with experience.

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:43 am

Gooseberry wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Fanster wrote:Luckless

You'd be willing to bet your lineout on 3 players who have never played together at international rugby, one of whom has never started a test, against the best team in the world in a winner take all 3 test series?

Seriously? no chance, and if anyone here was a selector AWJ woud be selected 100% of the time.

Who would be the idiot making the only change to a pack that hammered the kiwi tight 5 set peice 2 weeks ago, taking the only player with any lions, or real international experience out?

What exactly is 'real' international experience? What international experience are you discounting? England's Grand Slam? Their 3 - 0 series win against Australia?

Jamie George has never started for England, that's true. But a Test cap is a Test cap whether you start a match or finish it.

AWJ at hooker would be a pretty controversial selection too.

I knew I should have used brackets!

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Sin é on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:44 am

Itoje lacks experience - he has hardly ever lost a game at either international or club level so has no experience of what its like when the chips are down (and they will be down next Saturday). Thats when you need an old warrior like AWJ to pull a few heads together - someone who has been there and done that. Itoje showed his lack of experience in the Ireland v England game when POM stole a lineout that he should have won and which would have won the game for England as they were in the Ireland 22. (Incidentally, that big play from POM is what probably what got him on the plane to NZ). I also thought Itoje didn't keep his head too well that day and looked to be got at.

Itoje is young, is a great athlete and will be a great player, though I'm not too sure whether he is much of a warrior though (like Martin Johnson).
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by Fanster on Thu 22 Jun 2017, 11:45 am

Hammersmith harrier wrote:The inexperience of Kruis and Itoje;

2 times European cup winners
1 Aviva title
1 grand slam and another 6 nations win
1 3-0 whitewash over Australia
Unbeaten as an international pairing

How many times have they paired internationally? Go search it out, i'll wait...

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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

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