McGeechan & Greenwood on First 1997 Lions Test

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McGeechan & Greenwood on First 1997 Lions Test

Post by Rugby Fan on Sat Jul 22, 2017 12:00 am

Telegraph premium section had a podcast a few weeks ago where McGeechan and Greenwood talk while watching the first 1997 Lions Test. Only just got around to listening to it after finding a subscriber in the family. Thought I knew a lot of the stories but some new things (for me) popped up.

1. McGeechan couldn't speak highly enough of Martin Johnson's leadership. It's taken as given that Johnson was a hard man, but Geech lauded his rugby brain. Throughout the game, he was pointing out how Johnson was making quick, incisive decisions on the field, showing how good his match awareness was. He sometimes seemed to call a lineout as soon as the ball went in touch, so players were already getting set up to play. He wasn't calling it to himself either, mostly using Davidson, who won it consistently. Greenwood said that Jeremy Davidson isn't widely seen as a Lions legend but he was crucial in that series.

2. Tim Rodber had a great match but wasn't originally selected to play. Eric Miller's dad had given him some Lemsip Max which meant he would fail a drugs test, so Rodber was drafted in to play instead. Greenwood likened it to Peter O'Mahony's late inclusion against England in Dublin in the Six Nations.  He also pointed out that Scott Quinell, Rob Howley and Doddie Weir had already gone home, so the team was used to digging into its reserves, and having confidence in each other.

2. Greenwood says this loss meant the South Africa decided never to hold the first Test in a series at sea level again.

3. McGeechan believes the Springboks had stopped competing in the front five early in the second half, even when they had come back to lead. He thinks the decision to rest them from provincial games was a mistake, and meant they were undercooked. Bok captain Mark Andrew had expected to dominate that area, and Geech thinks he got put off his natural game when it didn't go to plan. Andrew spent most of the second half looking for someone to hurt, and gave away one key penalty for foul play.

5. Greenwood mentions casually how Austin Healey came on as a substitute late in the Third (dead rubber) Test. He was supposed to go to full back but there were no professional protocols for informing the officials. Since Healey didn't want to play at full back, he told the referee that he was replacing Dawson at scrum half instead. McGeechan and Telfer were not best pleased.

6. After the match, the tour part ended up at a Mexican restaurant. Keith Wood initiated a round of tequila shots but McGeechan says everyone got back to the hotel by 12:30 - 1:00am at the latest, and all were on hand for training the next day. Although the Test team weren't training, they were there holding tackle bags for the midweek side. The only people who didn't make the next morning were the documentary crew, so there's no footage of that session.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/0/telegraphs-lions-rugby-reunionjohnnos-men-ambush-world-champions/

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Re: McGeechan & Greenwood on First 1997 Lions Test

Post by yappysnap on Sat Jul 22, 2017 4:00 pm

Austin Healy, legend Laugh clap

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