Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

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Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by toml on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 10:28 am

Watching the last 15 minutes of the Hurricanes game.

The Lions up 31-17, Henderson gets a harsh yellow card when he probably should have been kept fresh for the weekend.

If ever a team needed fresh legs its the Lions now.

Joe Marler is absolutely buggered. Best and Dan Cole have put in a mega shift...

Time to put on Launchbury/Jonny Gray, Dylan Hartley, WP Nel etc...

NO!!!!!!!!

Because Gatland has called up sub standard players that he doesn't want to use.

What is he playing at?

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Exiledinborders on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 12:17 pm

toml wrote:What is he playing at?
Ensuring a payout from Lions to his employers the WRU for each Welsh player in the squad?

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by David-Douglas on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 12:35 pm

It was typical Gatland.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by TightHEAD on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 12:54 pm

More money for the WRU when he renegotiates his contract after a successful tour of NZ with the Lions.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Kingshu on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 12:57 pm

I wonder on future tours will players be willing to be called up like the geographic 6?

Personally if this is the way its going to go in future, it may be best to call up 6 promising under 21 players, they would be happy for the experience and you wouldn't feel bad bringing them on in games like this, they would also know they are very unlikely to make the test team.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Rugby Fan on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:00 pm

David-Douglas wrote:It was typical Gatland.
He's usually more stubborn. After the match, he said he didn't put the bench on because he was responding to criticism about devaluing the jersey. If he'd had the courage to stand by his selection, then he'd have brought them on.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Kingshu on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:04 pm

I wonder on future tours will players be willing to be called up like the geographic 6?

Personally if this is the way its going to go in future, it may be best to call up 6 promising under 21 players, they would be happy for the experience and you wouldn't feel bad bringing them on in games like this, they would also know they are very unlikely to make the test team.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:08 pm


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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by BamBam on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:11 pm

Kingshu wrote:I wonder on future tours will players be willing to be called up like the geographic 6?

Personally if this is the way its going to go in future, it may be best to call up 6 promising under 21 players, they would be happy for the experience and you wouldn't feel bad bringing them on in games like this, they would also know they are very unlikely to make the test team.

That's an interesting one - although you'd think they'd get a shot on each individual country's summer tour (see the Currys for England, Stockdale for Ireland etc)

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by No 7&1/2 on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:13 pm

Hmm protecting his test players....but leaving on players like henderson who could have had an impact. He was left choosing between him and Lawes when by the sounds of it they both could have come off and left a nice choice. I'm not fussed about win rates in warm ups and mid week games myself.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by screamingaddabs on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:13 pm

His call was always wrong for a great many reasons discussed a few times on here. I could half forgive him if he had said that this was a last minute decision to bolster the squad and so he wasn't going to consider Ireland or England players because of jetlag issues, but...

1. This was pre-planned
2. There were far better Scots available than some of the Welsh selections (there is minimal jetlag flying from Australia!)
3. He didn't call the players up with any hope for them of making the test team or even earning a starting spot in the midweek team

Why not take more players to begin with? Easily justified with the mad schedule.

I guess I am mainly peeved because we all know the difficulties the Lions face in general - very little time together playing loads of games in a short period of time at the end of a long season. Personally I think that if the lions are to tour then the tour needs to be run in the same romantic/anachronistic tradition of the lions in general - a team of players picked solely on form, with anyone and everyone in with a shout of a first team spot. I felt the 09 lions was done much better than 13 or 17 despite the series loss. I know that people will fundamentally disagree but I think the result is far from everything on a lions tour.

IF they win the next two tests then some people will call the tour a success. I don't think they will win those tests but even if they do I will still feel that this tour has been underwhelming in the extreme. I liked the 09 tour because it felt special - This year I'd have preferred an England tour to NZ or an Ireland, Scotland, or Wales tour there.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Griff on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:21 pm

I think he didn't call up more from the outset because of the criticism Woodward got. Also, he wanted to give all players a run out in the first few games, again because of the criticism that Woodward got, and that would not have been possible with a much bigger squad.

To be honest, it sounds like the people spoke and he listened! 606, social media and ex players criticised him for cheapening the jersey (I was one of those too) and it looks like he's reflected on that and decided not to cheapen it by giving those players caps. Poorly managed by him, definitely.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by screamingaddabs on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:28 pm

Griff wrote:I think he didn't call up more from the outset because of the criticism Woodward got. Also, he wanted to give all players a run out in the first few games, again because of the criticism that Woodward got, and that would not have been possible with a much bigger squad.

To be honest, it sounds like the people spoke and he listened! 606, social media and ex players criticised him for cheapening the jersey (I was one of those too) and it looks like he's reflected on that and decided not to cheapen it by giving those players caps. Poorly managed by him, definitely.

He's made himself look a proper plonker really hasn't he? The thing is there wouldn't have been outcry if he had called up decent players and not insisted that they go home as soon as the last midweek game was up. People didn't like the Woodward approach because he split the squad from the offset. All Gatland had to do was pick a (ever so slightly) larger squad but say in the press "everyone has a chance of a test". In theory you can take three squads of 23 and give everyone at least one half, so I am sure he could have given everyone at least 40 mins in the first three games, with most getting at least 60 minutes. Alright not all get a "start" but does that matter?

TO be fair to Gatland, the schedule was ridiculous a doesn't make the job easy.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by bsando on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:33 pm

Griff wrote:I think he didn't call up more from the outset because of the criticism Woodward got. Also, he wanted to give all players a run out in the first few games, again because of the criticism that Woodward got, and that would not have been possible with a much bigger squad.

To be honest, it sounds like the people spoke and he listened! 606, social media and ex players criticised him for cheapening the jersey (I was one of those too) and it looks like he's reflected on that and decided not to cheapen it by giving those players caps. Poorly managed by him, definitely.

Agreed! All those players on the bench today should of come on in the end to get the win, hence vindicating the decision to bring them over. Now he has more problems to deal with from media, pundits and fans. Win the next two tests however and all shall be forgotten, like Australia in many ways.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Kingshu on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 1:44 pm

I think that the squad does need to call up extra players, as if you had them all from the off, it could have created friction by having players that had no chance of making the test team, a la Woodward.
I think that you could call up players and advise them they have a very outside chance and advise them that, and play, them in the midweek games if someone does seriously impress promote them, or call up some under 21 players that will be honored to play for the midweek team, and know they are unlikely to make the test team.

I think Gatland made a double mistake, he shouldn't have called up 6 based on geography, he should have called up the best 6 or under 21's
While he got that wrong he compounded it by not playing them. Meaning that he made a double mistake rather than just one.
He called them up to protect his test players, but by flogging the starters in the mid week games, he didn't protect them.


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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Scottrf on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:07 pm

Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Rory_Gallagher on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:09 pm

Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

All to protect Mr Gatland's ego.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by BamBam on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:09 pm

Alun Wyn Jones has no such insecurities, and aren't we lucky that's the case

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by LondonTiger on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:20 pm

Lawes was replaced early enough that he could be in contention for Saturday. The other 13 starters (injured Henshaw excluded), especially the forwards will feel they had no chance of pressing for a test shirt, and could easily feel abandoned.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Luckless Pedestrian on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:26 pm

Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

And finding out about it in a post-match interview, presumably. Shabby.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Scottrf on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:36 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

And finding out about it in a post-match interview, presumably. Shabby.
I can't believe he said it to be honest. I get that he wants to explain himself but ouch.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by robbo277 on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:51 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Lawes was replaced early enough that he could be in contention for Saturday. The other 13 starters (injured Henshaw excluded), especially the forwards will feel they had no chance of pressing for a test shirt, and could easily feel abandoned.

They could make the third test, but they'll all know it's entirely out of their hands, and I wonder what their motivation will be like over the next 5 days.

I guess in a normal test week, you know your 23 early and then release the extra players. Do you think Gatland will let the Marlers and Coles of the tour of training for the rest of the week? Or would that be less productive.

Balancing the need to give everyone a proper shot, the need to build combinations and the need to keep everyone fresh and involved is not easy, but Gatland has got it horribly wrong in my opinion.

I don't think it would necessarily be wrong to have a 46 person squad with two full 23s and saying to the guys "you're the test team, you're the midweek team", as long as you engaged both teams in training and you were prepared to be fluid during the tour and the players could see you were actually rewarding form. It's no different to playing a 1st team and a 2nd team at an amateur club, where players aren't that different in ability so you can mix the teams each week.

Maybe the Lions should, for non-test matches, open themselves up to local players on invitation? So if they're playing a midweek game in NZ and they had an injury they could call up a kiwi club player as cover to sit on their bench? It would definitely conjure the amateur spirit of "borrowing" a player and could lead to some great stories in what can at times be a pretty sterile professional game.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 2:52 pm

Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

Even a series win cannot undo the damage his remarks have caused.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Redman on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:10 pm

Kingshu wrote:I think that the squad does need to call up extra players, as if you had them all from the off, it could have created friction by having players that had no chance of making the test team, a la Woodward.
I think that you could call up players and advise them they have a very outside chance and advise them that, and play, them in the midweek games if someone does seriously impress promote them, or call up some under 21 players that will be honored to play for the midweek team, and know they are unlikely to make the test team.

I think Gatland made a double mistake, he shouldn't have called up 6 based on geography, he should have called up the best 6 or under 21's
While he got that wrong he compounded it by not playing them. Meaning that he made a double mistake rather than just one.
He called them up to protect his test players, but by flogging the starters in the mid week games, he didn't protect them.


This.

In the Sopranos they had a saying.  "More is lost through indecision than wrong decision" and it's undoubtedly true in this case.

Calling up the 4 Welsh lads followed up with the 2 Scots boys was a mistake.  If all they were going to do were play 25 mins in 2 midweek games then what does it matter if they're a little jet-lagged from flying from Argentina/Japan/Australia. Call lads up on merit.  

He's then compounded that first mistake by backtracking and deciding not to play them.  This then causes three further problems.  It does nothing for morale of the no-hopers who have come into the squad, it undoubtedly costs the mid-week team a win which they richly deserved by having to graft for 80 mins when the likes of Launchbury/Gray/Watson/Barclay off bench would have monstered the Hurricanes and finally it gives him no options for the 2nd test as no one will be able to play two 80 minute games in 5 days.  

It was a careless mistake to misjudge the reaction to the initial call ups.  Fine, we all make mistakes.  But to then not play them and sell your mid-week team down the river by blaming the reaction is spiteful, utterly spiteful and completely unbecoming of a supposed leader of the British & Irish Lions.  

When he did the call ups last week a friend texted me and said "Gatland does himself no favours".  He really doesn't does he.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Griff on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:13 pm

Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

The crazy thing is that those players would probably have seen game time if it wasn't for the social media/ex player and pundit backlash.

The other crazy thing is that posters on here screamed bl**dy murder about Gatland cheapening the jersey by calling up these players, and when he doesn't play them so doesn't cheapen the jersey because they won't actually get a cap, posters scream bl**dy murder because those players weren't played (which would have cheapened the jersey as they had complained in the first place). Bonkers.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Scottrf on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:14 pm

Agree with much of your post but Liam Williams played 80 minutes against the Chiefs and 72 in the following test. So there is some chance that these players will be called up for the test.

This was @redman btw.


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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Scottrf on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:16 pm

Griff wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

The crazy thing is that those players would probably have seen game time if it wasn't for the social media/ex player and pundit backlash.

The other crazy thing is that posters on here screamed bl**dy murder about Gatland cheapening the jersey by calling up these players, and when he doesn't play them so doesn't cheapen the jersey because they won't actually get a cap, posters scream bl**dy murder because those players weren't played (which would have cheapened the jersey as they had complained in the first place). Bonkers.
I think that's fair enough though. Maybe it's the wrong decision, but once you've made the decision use them when they're clearly needed.

People weren't really arguing against call ups, but against who was called up and when.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Griff on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:21 pm

Scottrf wrote:
Griff wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

The crazy thing is that those players would probably have seen game time if it wasn't for the social media/ex player and pundit backlash.

The other crazy thing is that posters on here screamed bl**dy murder about Gatland cheapening the jersey by calling up these players, and when he doesn't play them so doesn't cheapen the jersey because they won't actually get a cap, posters scream bl**dy murder because those players weren't played (which would have cheapened the jersey as they had complained in the first place). Bonkers.
I think that's fair enough though. Maybe it's the wrong decision, but once you've made the decision use them when they're clearly needed.

People weren't really arguing against call ups, but against who was called up and when.

Yes, that's what I meant - it was the personnel called up that was 'cheapening the jersey' because they were based on proximity rather than quality/merit. It was uncharacteristic of Gatland to back track. He's usually too stubborn and goes through with his plans regardless of criticism.

I agree - once he did it and had the backlash he should have gone through with it and not listened to the likes of Geech, Dallaglio, et al. who voiced their disapproval. By that point Gats was damned if he did (play them) and damned if he didn't.


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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:23 pm

Redman wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I think that the squad does need to call up extra players, as if you had them all from the off, it could have created friction by having players that had no chance of making the test team, a la Woodward.
I think that you could call up players and advise them they have a very outside chance and advise them that, and play, them in the midweek games if someone does seriously impress promote them, or call up some under 21 players that will be honored to play for the midweek team, and know they are unlikely to make the test team.

I think Gatland made a double mistake, he shouldn't have called up 6 based on geography, he should have called up the best 6 or under 21's
While he got that wrong he compounded it by not playing them. Meaning that he made a double mistake rather than just one.
He called them up to protect his test players, but by flogging the starters in the mid week games, he didn't protect them.


This.

In the Sopranos they had a saying.  "More is lost through indecision than wrong decision" and it's undoubtedly true in this case.

Calling up the 4 Welsh lads followed up with the 2 Scots boys was a mistake.  If all they were going to do were play 25 mins in 2 midweek games then what does it matter if they're a little jet-lagged from flying from Argentina/Japan/Australia. Call lads up on merit.  

He's then compounded that first mistake by backtracking and deciding not to play them.  This then causes three further problems.  It does nothing for morale of the no-hopers who have come into the squad, it undoubtedly costs the mid-week team a win which they richly deserved by having to graft for 80 mins when the likes of Launchbury/Gray/Watson/Barclay off bench would have monstered the Hurricanes and finally it gives him no options for the 2nd test as no one will be able to play two 80 minute games in 5 days.  

It was a careless mistake to misjudge the reaction to the initial call ups.  Fine, we all make mistakes.  But to then not play them and sell your mid-week team down the river by blaming the reaction is spiteful, utterly spiteful and completely unbecoming of a supposed leader of the British & Irish Lions.  

When he did the call ups last week a friend texted me and said "Gatland does himself no favours".  He really doesn't does he.

Amazing post.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Redman on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:25 pm

Griff wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
Griff wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

The crazy thing is that those players would probably have seen game time if it wasn't for the social media/ex player and pundit backlash.

The other crazy thing is that posters on here screamed bl**dy murder about Gatland cheapening the jersey by calling up these players, and when he doesn't play them so doesn't cheapen the jersey because they won't actually get a cap, posters scream bl**dy murder because those players weren't played (which would have cheapened the jersey as they had complained in the first place). Bonkers.
I think that's fair enough though. Maybe it's the wrong decision, but once you've made the decision use them when they're clearly needed.

People weren't really arguing against call ups, but against who was called up and when.

Yes, that's what I meant - it was the personnel called up that was 'cheapening the jersey' because they were based on proximity rather than quality/merit. It was uncharacteristic of Gatland to back Tesco. He's usually too stubborn and goes through with his plans regardless of criticism.

I agree - once he did it and had the backlash he should have gone through with and not listened to the likes of Geech, Dallaglio, et al. who voiced their disapproval. By that point Gats was damned if he did (play them) and damned if he didn't.

Agreed. That's a nice way to put it. If he's already damned, which he was, he should have done what was right by the players he's called up and the mid-week team who desperately needed replacements off the bench.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:25 pm

Griff wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

The crazy thing is that those players would probably have seen game time if it wasn't for the social media/ex player and pundit backlash.

The other crazy thing is that posters on here screamed bl**dy murder about Gatland cheapening the jersey by calling up these players, and when he doesn't play them so doesn't cheapen the jersey because they won't actually get a cap, posters scream bl**dy murder because those players weren't played (which would have cheapened the jersey as they had complained in the first place). Bonkers.

He has cheapened the jersey even worse by selling out the midweekers. He didn't call up the right players (the geographical 6) but make no mistake about it, those fresh legs would have made a difference. I'm watching the game now, and my word we looked shattered in that last quarter.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Scottrf on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:26 pm

Have to say, he does have an impossible job though.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by BamBam on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:30 pm

He'd already cheapened the jersey by calling up dross, might as well have the opportunity to save face in the tests by giving potential test players a rest

Now he's achieved
a) Peeing everyone off by calling up Welsh dross
b) Peeing everyone off by flogging the midweekers
c) Peeing the dross off by saying they would devalue the jersey
d) Peeing the midweekers off by flogging them so they have little/no chance of being effective in the tests

clap  clap  clap

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by TightHEAD on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:40 pm

BamBam wrote:He'd already cheapened the jersey by calling up dross, might as well have the opportunity to save face in the tests by giving potential test players a rest

Now he's achieved
a) Peeing everyone off by calling up Welsh dross
b) Peeing everyone off by flogging the midweekers
c) Peeing the dross off by saying they would devalue the jersey
d) Peeing the midweekers off by flogging them so they have little/no chance of being effective in the tests

clap  clap  clap


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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by robbo277 on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:47 pm

Griff wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Imagine not getting on the pitch because fans, pundits and your coach think you would be cheapening the jersey  Shocked

The crazy thing is that those players would probably have seen game time if it wasn't for the social media/ex player and pundit backlash.

The other crazy thing is that posters on here screamed bl**dy murder about Gatland cheapening the jersey by calling up these players, and when he doesn't play them so doesn't cheapen the jersey because they won't actually get a cap, posters scream bl**dy murder because those players weren't played (which would have cheapened the jersey as they had complained in the first place). Bonkers.

He shouldn't have picked them full stop. That would have solved the issue. He wasn't damned by the situation, he was damned by his own mistake in calling up the wrong guys.

His next move was surprising for Gatland. Normally he wouldn't give a stuff and just stick to his plan and play them anyway. And I don't think that would have been a bad call, given they were the players he had available. Yes, he would have got some stick (which he was already getting and is still getting now!), and the odd idiot would have given the players some stick, but most people would have accepted that the players were within their rights to accept the call-up, and if they are going to pull on the Lions jersey and play for our team, then they get our support.

But as Redman explained quite eloquently, he's ditched the call-ups that all gave up an International cap to meet up with his squad and shafted the "mid-weekers" who have had to put in 80 minutes 5 days before a test. And as I said above, he's still getting stick for this decision.

He made an error calling these guys up. But once he had made that error, he made another error in not playing them. And if the Finn Russell thing above is true, it sounds like he didn't explain it to the players properly, which shows a complete lack of class.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Griff on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:51 pm

I agree Robbo. I said myself he should have gone though with it once he'd called them up.

I completely disagree though that the called up players would have got our support once they pulled on the jersey. Disagree completely. They would have been absolute slammed as they already are just for sitting on the bench. 'Dross' I think is the word doing the rounds!

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by TJ on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 3:56 pm

Its not the players fault Gatland is a numpty!

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by robbo277 on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 4:12 pm

Griff wrote:I agree Robbo. I said myself he should have gone though with it once he'd called them up.

I completely disagree though that the called up players would have got our support once they pulled on the jersey. Disagree completely. They would have been absolute slammed as they already are just for sitting on the bench. 'Dross' I think is the word doing the rounds!

If people think they are dross, playing them is either going to prove the doubters right or prove them wrong. Either way, they're already being called dross and now it not playing them looks like Gatland is giving credibility to that view! At least if he plays them it gives the players a chance to show what they can do.

I also don't think the ire can be aimed at the players. It should only go towards the coaches for picking them. I know I'm not good enough for the Lions, but if Gatland had called me up and asked me to sit on the bench for the midweek team with a 17% chance of getting on the pitch, I'd have had my boots packed in a matter of minutes and jogged to Heathrow if necessary.

Yes, if they'd put in poor performances, people would say that they shouldn't be there. But they're saying that anyway and these guys didn't get a chance.

Although I was very vocal in my criticism of the decision on here, all my criticism goes towards Gatland and any of the other coaches involved in that decision. If he'd have put any of these guys on, they would have gone on with the support of me and all decent Lions fans.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Griff on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 4:18 pm

I'm glad you've mentioned the other coaches, Robbo. I was thinking earlier I don't think I've so much as even heard/read Borthwick or Andy Farrell's names at all on these boards, in the press, anywhere really. Are they still on tour? You'd think they'd get a mention in the match analysis. Especially the forwards coach after the first test performance.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by TightHEAD on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 4:18 pm

If I were one of those players called up I'd be getting all my stash signed by the real squad and begging SBW for his smelly game used socks so that I could sell it on eBay when I get back to Blighty Land of my Fathers.

Might as well make some cash out of it.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 4:28 pm

Griff wrote:I'm glad you've mentioned the other coaches, Robbo. I was thinking earlier I don't think I've so much as even heard/read Borthwick or Andy Farrell's names at all on these boards, in the press, anywhere really. Are they still on tour? You'd think they'd get a mention in the match analysis. Especially the forwards coach after the first test performance.

True. The lineout worked quite well for the Lions, the scrum had the odd issue. So Borthwick's probably happier than Rowntree (sp?)

Defense wise the rush defense largely kept NZ mostly quiet out wide - partly as NZ's tactics meant they didn't bother testing it. The team going to sleep for the first try is a proper coach killer too - but part of that is down to the pace NZ played at leaving the Lions gasping*. The tactic of fanning out rather than committing to rucks didn't work as the ABs dominated the collisions & secured fast, front foot ball, and there wasn't a plan B - so Farrell has to face some criticism.



*Who's fault is it that yet again the ABs are the fittest team around? Wink More seriously, for all that Super Rugby gets derided, the pace it's played at feeds into the ABs' ability to play at pace for 80 minutes. Too much time in NH rugby is spent building gym monkeys
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Scottrf on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 4:30 pm

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:*Who's fault is it that yet again the ABs are the fittest team around? Wink More seriously, for all that Super Rugby gets derided, the pace it's played at feeds into the ABs' ability to play at pace for 80 minutes. Too much time in NH rugby is spent building gym monkeys
Probably because it takes more strength to tackle and make yards while being tackled than glorified 7s.

Crusaders average SR points: 37. Points vs Lions: 3.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Griff on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 4:38 pm

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:
Griff wrote:I'm glad you've mentioned the other coaches, Robbo. I was thinking earlier I don't think I've so much as even heard/read Borthwick or Andy Farrell's names at all on these boards, in the press, anywhere really. Are they still on tour? You'd think they'd get a mention in the match analysis. Especially the forwards coach after the first test performance.

True. The lineout worked quite well for the Lions, the scrum had the odd issue. So Borthwick's probably happier than Rowntree (sp?)

Defense wise the rush defense largely kept NZ mostly quiet out wide - partly as NZ's tactics meant they didn't bother testing it. The team going to sleep for the first try is a proper coach killer too - but part of that is down to the pace NZ played at leaving the Lions gasping*. The tactic of fanning out rather than committing to rucks didn't work as the ABs dominated the collisions & secured fast, front foot ball, and there wasn't a plan B - so Farrell has to face some criticism.



*Who's fault is it that yet again the ABs are the fittest team around? Wink More seriously, for all that Super Rugby gets derided, the pace it's played at feeds into the ABs' ability to play at pace for 80 minutes. Too much time in NH rugby is spent building gym monkeys

The ruck/tackle area was the biggest area where we struggled against the All Blacks. As others pointed out after the game the Lions had the chance to score 5 tries but only took 2 chances, so creating and attacking we were ok (always room for improvement though). But the rucking was poor. Not committing enough men to the ruck, etc. Who coaches that? Forwards or defence coach?

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 5:07 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Redman wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I think that the squad does need to call up extra players, as if you had them all from the off, it could have created friction by having players that had no chance of making the test team, a la Woodward.
I think that you could call up players and advise them they have a very outside chance and advise them that, and play, them in the midweek games if someone does seriously impress promote them, or call up some under 21 players that will be honored to play for the midweek team, and know they are unlikely to make the test team.

I think Gatland made a double mistake, he shouldn't have called up 6 based on geography, he should have called up the best 6 or under 21's
While he got that wrong he compounded it by not playing them. Meaning that he made a double mistake rather than just one.
He called them up to protect his test players, but by flogging the starters in the mid week games, he didn't protect them.


This.

In the Sopranos they had a saying.  "More is lost through indecision than wrong decision" and it's undoubtedly true in this case.

Calling up the 4 Welsh lads followed up with the 2 Scots boys was a mistake.  If all they were going to do were play 25 mins in 2 midweek games then what does it matter if they're a little jet-lagged from flying from Argentina/Japan/Australia. Call lads up on merit.  

He's then compounded that first mistake by backtracking and deciding not to play them.  This then causes three further problems.  It does nothing for morale of the no-hopers who have come into the squad, it undoubtedly costs the mid-week team a win which they richly deserved by having to graft for 80 mins when the likes of Launchbury/Gray/Watson/Barclay off bench would have monstered the Hurricanes and finally it gives him no options for the 2nd test as no one will be able to play two 80 minute games in 5 days.  

It was a careless mistake to misjudge the reaction to the initial call ups.  Fine, we all make mistakes.  But to then not play them and sell your mid-week team down the river by blaming the reaction is spiteful, utterly spiteful and completely unbecoming of a supposed leader of the British & Irish Lions.  

When he did the call ups last week a friend texted me and said "Gatland does himself no favours".  He really doesn't does he.

Amazing post.

You're just saying that because he name checked your hero! Very Happy

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by rodders on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 5:15 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Redman wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I think that the squad does need to call up extra players, as if you had them all from the off, it could have created friction by having players that had no chance of making the test team, a la Woodward.
I think that you could call up players and advise them they have a very outside chance and advise them that, and play, them in the midweek games if someone does seriously impress promote them, or call up some under 21 players that will be honored to play for the midweek team, and know they are unlikely to make the test team.

I think Gatland made a double mistake, he shouldn't have called up 6 based on geography, he should have called up the best 6 or under 21's
While he got that wrong he compounded it by not playing them. Meaning that he made a double mistake rather than just one.
He called them up to protect his test players, but by flogging the starters in the mid week games, he didn't protect them.


This.

In the Sopranos they had a saying.  "More is lost through indecision than wrong decision" and it's undoubtedly true in this case.

Calling up the 4 Welsh lads followed up with the 2 Scots boys was a mistake.  If all they were going to do were play 25 mins in 2 midweek games then what does it matter if they're a little jet-lagged from flying from Argentina/Japan/Australia. Call lads up on merit.  

He's then compounded that first mistake by backtracking and deciding not to play them.  This then causes three further problems.  It does nothing for morale of the no-hopers who have come into the squad, it undoubtedly costs the mid-week team a win which they richly deserved by having to graft for 80 mins when the likes of Launchbury/Gray/Watson/Barclay off bench would have monstered the Hurricanes and finally it gives him no options for the 2nd test as no one will be able to play two 80 minute games in 5 days.  

It was a careless mistake to misjudge the reaction to the initial call ups.  Fine, we all make mistakes.  But to then not play them and sell your mid-week team down the river by blaming the reaction is spiteful, utterly spiteful and completely unbecoming of a supposed leader of the British & Irish Lions.  

When he did the call ups last week a friend texted me and said "Gatland does himself no favours".  He really doesn't does he.

Amazing post.

Agreed.
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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Cyril on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 5:22 pm

I've not seen the game yet. How many subs (sorry, finishers) actually came on?

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 5:24 pm

Cyril wrote:I've not seen the game yet. How many subs (sorry, finishers) actually came on?


1/2P for the injured Henshaw, Kruis for lawes on 50 minutes and Russell came on for Biggar's HIA but went straight back off.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Cyril on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 5:29 pm

Thanks RDW. Not exactly emptying the bench!

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by Redman on Tue 27 Jun 2017, 5:36 pm

Scottrf wrote:Agree with much of your post but Liam Williams played 80 minutes against the Chiefs and 72 in the following test. So there is some chance that these players will be called up for the test.

This was @redman btw.

Point taken.  He could possibly look at Seymour and North.  Realistically I'm not sure any of the forwards are likely other than Lawes.  Marler, Best and Cole for example will probably not have played 80 minutes in years as every team, club or country, will sub off their front row at 55-65 minutes.  To ask them to bench and risk them seeing significant gametime in the 2nd test isn't going to happen.  

If I was a gambling man I'd say it'll be Kruis as the fall guy with Lawes coming onto the bench.  Wyn Jones to start with Itoje.  A long shot for North over Daly, with Daly either dropping out or to the bench for Halfpenny.

Win or lose on Saturday we may see significant changes for the 3rd test.

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Re: Warren Gatland calling up sub-standard players for the Lions - The Backfire

Post by robbo277 on Wed 28 Jun 2017, 9:02 am

Redman wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Agree with much of your post but Liam Williams played 80 minutes against the Chiefs and 72 in the following test. So there is some chance that these players will be called up for the test.

This was @redman btw.

Point taken.  He could possibly look at Seymour and North.  Realistically I'm not sure any of the forwards are likely other than Lawes.  Marler, Best and Cole for example will probably not have played 80 minutes in years as every team, club or country, will sub off their front row at 55-65 minutes.  To ask them to bench and risk them seeing significant gametime in the 2nd test isn't going to happen.  

If I was a gambling man I'd say it'll be Kruis as the fall guy with Lawes coming onto the bench.  Wyn Jones to start with Itoje.  A long shot for North over Daly, with Daly either dropping out or to the bench for Halfpenny.

Win or lose on Saturday we may see significant changes for the 3rd test.  

Cole has played 80 minutes for England on a few occasions, and I think Best has done similarly for Ireland - mainly due to the perceived drop off to second choice. Marler, on the other hand, doesn't often play 80 for England because he's in competition with Mako.

Cole actually played 80 minutes in the Six Nations against France, 77 minutes against Ireland, 71 minutes against Italy and 70 minutes against Wales. The only time he came off before the 70 minute mark was against Scotland with the game well and truly won.

But that's two 80 minute runs for the pair of them in consecutive weeks, and only 5 days to back up for the test. It would be a struggle for them to make a meaningful impact.

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