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

First topic message reminder :

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 Exiledinborders on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 2:51 pm

beshocked wrote:Griff I think if AWJ was out of the 23 with Itoje starting then most non Welsh fans would be happier.

It's about putting in the best Welsh players, not just filling a Gatland quota.


The experience thing is being exaggerated.  Not as if AWJ is a Richie Mccaw esque figure or even Martin Johnson.

He's not a world class lock - he's a good lock but the Lions have many of them.

He doesn't have a successful record vs most SH sides.

Also I am not convinced he would get an improved performance from the players around him.

Itoje on the other hand I think would lift the team with his enthusiasm and general dynamism.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/40380835

Bbc sport fans have spoken - most would have picked Itoje.
I would have picked Itoje but I am not sure that vote is much of a recommendation. It appears that a good proportion do not know the difference between a loose and tight head.

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

Post by Griff on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 2:53 pm

Maybe populist was the wrong term. Some have accused him of bowing to public pressure and going for a test squad that the masses would want rather than what some perceive he would want (I.e. one with Warburton, Halfpenny, Roberts at 12, North on the wing, etc. to execute Warrenball). I disagree that he's gone with the chosen teat squad and not picked those above players just to appease the masses.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 2:56 pm

I can only see leaving Warburton on the bench as playing to the crowd even then there's better bench options. He's gone with who he thinks can win.

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

Post by Breadvan on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 3:11 pm

AWJ will do a job no doubt, plus having Itoje on the bench will make him a huge impact sub when he comes on. I don't think Gatland has been under any pressure not to select is tried and tested favourites. I was truly shocked at the selection and let out a expletive in the house which I was duly bollocked for Smile He's simply gone with what him and the coaches see as matching and beating the all blacks.
Gatland is effectively on a hiding to nothing. If AWJ stinks the place out, he'll be criticised, the same if SOB, Daly and Williams under perform.
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by beshocked on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 3:27 pm

Griff if Gatland wanted a populist approach he would have picked Itoje instead of AWJ.

He's still got Jonathan Davies who is ideal for Gatlandball.

It's a pretty predictable centre partnership - it's just instead of Desperate Dan it's a crashball Nzer in the centre instead.

Unfortunately not a SBW or C.Smith type of player though.....

I think if you predicted Teo would be starting for the Lions a year ago you'd be laughed at.

Davies has been nailed on for some time.

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

Post by Sin é on Fri 23 Jun 2017, 4:12 pm

This debate reminds me of the SA tour when everyone wanted POC dropped for Shawsey! It got kind of vicious too. Of course no one wanted to admit where the problem actually was!

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

Post by Fanster on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 10:28 am

Well well well...

Tight 5 mugged and bullied from every corner of the park, who would have thunk it as cap count doesn't matter right?

Lineout, maul, scrum all fell to peices, and problem compounded when Vunipola and AWJ came off.

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

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 10:31 am

The Lions lost because AWJ went off.

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

Post by compelling and rich on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 10:34 am

thought awj was one of the poorest today, so not sure why cap count is mattering. itjoe better when he came on

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

Post by TightHEAD on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 10:52 am

AWJ was a waste of a starting jersey, he had run his race by 20mins.
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Re: Lions pack, AWJ criticism, and an alternative view...

Post by aucklandlaurie on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 11:09 am

Rory_Gallagher wrote:The Lions lost because AWJ went off.

 Went off? He was unconscious.

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

Post by BamBam on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 11:48 am

Laugh

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 12:05 pm

Confirms Itoje has to start next week. Lawes must be bumped up as well to the bench.

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

Post by fa0019 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 12:25 pm

I don't see why Jones is getting stick. When he went off the lions were within 5. I thought he played well to be fair and really put himself about defensive wise. He wasn't of the same class as Brodie around the ruck but then again few are.
If anything Kruis was the worst of the pair albeit his lineout management was good (but with POM its always going to be easier).

I'd say that Cole should come in for Furlong (sinckler can't start), Stander in for Faletau and Itoje should play but not sure who should be dropped. Warburton should drop from the 23. I'd bring in either Lawes or Haskell. People may laugh at Haskell but he has the ballast that the lions needs and people forget, being man of the series in a 3-0 win vs. AUS away isn't something you get without being a quality player (when he faced Hooper, Pocock & Fardy).

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 12:29 pm

Jones was meh. Kruis was poor bar the lineout. Haskell should nt be anywhere near the team!

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

Post by compelling and rich on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 12:48 pm

haskell would be chasing shadows, the all blacks play at far too fast a pace for haskell to keep up. he's looks very sluggish these days. it was one of my worries of putting awj in over itoje and why i thought we needed the more mobile sob in at 7

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

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 12:55 pm

compelling and rich wrote:haskell would be chasing shadows, the all blacks play at far too fast a pace for haskell to keep up. he's looks very sluggish these days. it was one of my worries of putting awj in over itoje and why i thought we needed the more mobile sob in at 7

Haskell looks sluggish when he's asked to do anything outside of the ordinary; he'll clear out rucks all game and tackle anything, we heard it before with Pocock and Hooper but his sheer power was a great equalizer.

We're not going to compete at the breakdown with mobility, I can't really ever remember a NH team doing it effectively against a good SH, power is what we have.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 12:59 pm

Breakdown will be better when the team with the ball isn't as protected. That does work both ways tho...

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

Post by compelling and rich on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 1:02 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
compelling and rich wrote:haskell would be chasing shadows, the all blacks play at far too fast a pace for haskell to keep up. he's looks very sluggish these days. it was one of my worries of putting awj in over itoje and why i thought we needed the more mobile sob in at 7

Haskell looks sluggish when he's asked to do anything outside of the ordinary; he'll clear out rucks all game and tackle anything, we heard it before with Pocock and Hooper but his sheer power was a great equalizer.

We're not going to compete at the breakdown with mobility, I can't really ever remember a NH team doing it effectively against a good SH, power is what we have.

cj stander is the better power option for me

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

Post by geoff999rugby on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 1:23 pm

Haskell would not live with the AB - terrible idea.

If we are to bring in new backrowers then one of the Welsh boys at 7, or CJ for his power or maybe Henderson - basically anyone but Haskell

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

Post by fa0019 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 2:21 pm

Haskell is a limited player... but what he does he does very well.

When he went to NZ he ended up playing openside for the highlanders, starting and was one of the better flanks in country.
He was man of the series in 2016 vs. Hooper, Pocock and Fardy.

He's a meathead I get it... but sometimes you need out and out maniacs and I would agree he's a valuable player to have in the 23.

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

Post by Hood83 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 2:41 pm

fa0019 wrote:Haskell is a limited player... but what he does he does very well.

When he went to NZ he ended up playing openside for the highlanders, starting and was one of the better flanks in country.
He was man of the series in 2016 vs. Hooper, Pocock and Fardy.

He's a meathead I get it... but sometimes you need out and out maniacs and I would agree he's a valuable player to have in the 23.

I thought he was bang average for the Highlanders, and I think they did too. A level below even Thompson, who despite being much lighter always seemed to carry better, offer a better link, better rucking and so on.

I really rate Haskell, and I think as a defensive wall and tackling/rucking machine he's great. But I think the Oz series if anything just shows how far ahead the ABs are. I don't think he'd last against them. That said, I don't think we have anyone who is great at the breakdown so I could see the logic in starting a back row that can at least get close to stopping them on the gain line and reorganising quickly. He'd be good at that for 40 mins.

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

Post by fa0019 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 3:02 pm

Hood83 wrote:
fa0019 wrote:Haskell is a limited player... but what he does he does very well.

When he went to NZ he ended up playing openside for the highlanders, starting and was one of the better flanks in country.
He was man of the series in 2016 vs. Hooper, Pocock and Fardy.

He's a meathead I get it... but sometimes you need out and out maniacs and I would agree he's a valuable player to have in the 23.

I thought he was bang average for the Highlanders, and I think they did too. A level below even Thompson, who despite being much lighter always seemed to carry better, offer a better link, better rucking and so on.

I really rate Haskell, and I think as a defensive wall and tackling/rucking machine he's great. But I think the Oz series if anything just shows how far ahead the ABs are. I don't think he'd last against them. That said, I don't think we have anyone who is great at the breakdown so I could see the logic in starting a back row that can at least get close to stopping them on the gain line and reorganising quickly. He'd be good at that for 40 mins.

It was admittedly 5 years ago but he was very decent in SR for what was a real set up change. Had he had 1-2 more seasons he would have adapted to the SH game and become a very good player in his own right one who if a kiwi would have challenged for national honours. The highlanders wanted to keep him and Thompson, well nothing wrong with being 2nd to him.

Last year everyone was saying that the Hooper, Pocock & Fardy trio were the best in the business rolling off the world cup. He tore them a new one in the first 2 games.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 3:16 pm

He had a good run of games and has now recaptured his previous form which ensured tom wood was the go to 6 for England.

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

Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 3:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:He had a good run of games and has now recaptured his previous form which ensured tom wood was the go to 6 for England.

Even though Haskell plays 7 for England?

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 4:04 pm

Yes his previous form when he was in competition with wood at 6. I've never bought he's been plating different from his previous appearances before jones just not making the normal errors which plagued him. He's not recaptured those errors and demonstrating he's just not got that top 2 inches for me.

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

Post by glamorganalun on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 6:32 pm

Not sure why AWJ is getting so much stick Knuis was a worse performance both were poor as was Farrell.

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

Post by RiscaGame on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 6:49 pm

It's just par for the course nowadays. AWJ could've had a world class game and made one mistake, but those with a particular agenda would've just mentioned the mistake. People see what they want to see, or maybe even see what they deliberately go out of their way to look for.

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

Post by lostinwales on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 6:51 pm

RiscaGame wrote:It's just par for the course nowadays. AWJ could've had a world class game and made one mistake, but those with a particular agenda would've just mentioned the mistake. People see what they want to see, or maybe even see what they deliberately go out of their way to look for.

Not seen the game but it does seem that one set of fans see Kruis at fault for having a bad game and another see the same about AWJ.

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

Post by RiscaGame on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 6:55 pm

I can't say anybody has particularly criticised Kruis for his mistakes, in comparison to Jones. Personally, I would say Jones was the better starting Lions lock today, but that's not an achievement at all. I'm not sure any changes would make a difference for next week, but Itoje will start and maybe Lawes might make the bench now. As for what happens with Kruis or Jones, I couldn't say.

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

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 7:36 pm

Kruis ran the line out well which is more than Jones did, both looked physically inferior but one offered something.

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

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 7:38 pm

I wonder if the pack are running out of steam after an attritional season and tour. They were supposed to be an area of strength.

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

Post by Griff on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 7:49 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Kruis ran the line out well which is more than Jones did, both looked physically inferior but one offered something.

One offered something? AWJ must have been that one then, according to the stats. I wouldn't have even played AWJ, but credit where it's due. After all, it was the stats that people used to discredit him in the games so far:

Turnovers conceded: Jones 1; Kruis 3
Tackles made: Jones 11; Kruis 16
Missed tackles: Jones 0; Kruis 3
Penalties conceded: Jones 0; Kruis 2
Offloads: Jones 1; Kruis 0.
Metres run: Jones 2; Kruis 5 - those extra 3 metres must be the 'thing' he offered.

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

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 7:53 pm

Stats are a bit lop sided when one played the whole game and completely ignores non stastical impact.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 7:59 pm

Kruis and jones weren't great were they. Retallick in particular owned them. Itoje was just a class above when he came on. Not a huge Lawes fan but surely gatland will be thinking of printing him. Shame he didn't call up Launchbury last week to sit on the bench.

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

Post by Griff on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:03 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Stats are a bit lop sided when one played the whole game and completely ignores non stastical impact.

How convenient. Stats seemed to be very important in the warm up games...

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:15 pm

We're you happy with the pairing Griff?

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

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:16 pm

Griff wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:Stats are a bit lop sided when one played the whole game and completely ignores non stastical impact.

How convenient. Stats seemed to be very important in the warm up games...

They matter in context but carry on with your persecution complex.

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

Post by Griff on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:26 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Griff wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:Stats are a bit lop sided when one played the whole game and completely ignores non stastical impact.

How convenient. Stats seemed to be very important in the warm up games...

They matter in context but carry on with your persecution complex.

Who's being persecuted? Just fed up of lopsided reporting. People love to jump on a bandwagon. AWJ is flavour of the month and the mob is foaming at the mouth at every move he makes. Just pointing out that facts.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:34 pm

You happy?

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

Post by Griff on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:38 pm

Not with a loss, no 7.5. I don't think the Lions played badly though, which is an odd in that usually you lose by playing badly. Ok, there were a lot of unforced/forced errors that could be cut out but in general I think we were OK. It's just that the ABs were much better in most facets of the game. Their speed to passing, offloading, support, etc. were noticeably better than ours. I was seriously impressed with the All Blacks today.

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

Post by RiscaGame on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:43 pm

Hammersmith harrier wrote:Kruis ran the line out well which is more than Jones did, both looked physically inferior but one offered something.

Oh sorry, didn't realise that. Even the much maligned Cory Hill has ran a lineout for Wales. Didn't know it carried that much kudos. Maybe Gats was right to call him up.

Like I said, agendas are a wonderful thing.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:47 pm

Previous question Griff. ..With the locks. I though they both needed to be better. Gatland is unlikely to make wholesale changes but that pairing must be something the coaches are looking at.

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

Post by Hoonercat on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:53 pm

Griff wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Griff wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:Stats are a bit lop sided when one played the whole game and completely ignores non stastical impact.

How convenient. Stats seemed to be very important in the warm up games...

They matter in context but carry on with your persecution complex.

Who's being persecuted? Just fed up of lopsided reporting. People love to jump on a bandwagon. AWJ is flavour of the month and the mob is foaming at the mouth at every move he makes. Just pointing out that facts.

I didn't have an issue with AWJ being picked and felt he had a big game in him. Unfortunately he proved me wrong mad He's getting stick because he was picked despite previous poor form, and while Kruis wasn't much better his inclusion can be justified on previous form. For me Lawes is currently the in-form lock and pairs best with Launchbury. Oh well...
You do have a point though, others failed to play as well as we know they can, I thought Farell had a bad game by his standards especially in defence. I was gobsmacked when Teo went off and Farell went to centre Shocked
Look on the bright side, we only lost by 15 to an awesome AB side, they were technically superb and a pleasure to watch.

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

Post by Griff on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Previous question Griff. ..With the locks. I though they both needed to be better. Gatland is unlikely to make wholesale changes but that pairing must be something the coaches are looking at.

Neither was great. Happy to see more of Itoje. But the thread is about AWJ criticism, which I was responding to.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:54 pm

Proved right in the end then.

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

Post by glamorganalun on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:55 pm

Yes both second rows looked out powered but the scrum was the biggest pŕoblem, AB s were solid on their put in the Lions were under pressure throughout and there is a lack of pace in the back row, maybe we need props that do the basics and a 7 to compete for turn ovèrs. The best 7 for the Lions is Tipuric but Gatlànd won t pick him.

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

Post by Griff on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:58 pm

Hoonercat wrote:
Griff wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:
Griff wrote:
Hammersmith harrier wrote:Stats are a bit lop sided when one played the whole game and completely ignores non stastical impact.

How convenient. Stats seemed to be very important in the warm up games...

They matter in context but carry on with your persecution complex.

Who's being persecuted? Just fed up of lopsided reporting. People love to jump on a bandwagon. AWJ is flavour of the month and the mob is foaming at the mouth at every move he makes. Just pointing out that facts.

I didn't have an issue with AWJ being picked and felt he had a big game in him. Unfortunately he proved me wrong mad He's getting stick because he was picked despite previous poor form, and while Kruis wasn't much better his inclusion can be justified on previous form. For me Lawes is currently the in-form lock and pairs best with Launchbury. Oh well...
You do have a point though, others failed to play as well as we know they can, I thought Farell had a bad game by his standards especially in defence. I was gobsmacked when Teo went off and Farell went to centre Shocked
Look on the bright side, we only lost by 15 to an awesome AB side, they were technically superb and a pleasure to watch.

Oh definitely Hoonercat, and I've said as much in the match thread. I'm just making the statistical comparisons that seem to be important to a lot of people on this tour when picking/debating the test selections.

Griff

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

Post by Griff on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 8:58 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Proved right in the end then.

What was?

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 24 Jun 2017, 9:01 pm

The criticism. Pretty much universally acknowledged jones wasn't great. Solid ish. Real waste as we have some tremendous locks and now looks ab area of weakness.

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

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