Sean O'Brien on the Lions

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Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 20 Sep 2017, 11:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

Although there might now be some headlines saying "O'Brien Blasts Lions Coaches", I don't think there's anything bitter or malicious about what he's saying. Off the Ball has audio here:

http://www.offtheball.com/Sean-OBrien-The-Lions-should-have-beaten-the-All-Blacks-comfortably-enough-new-zealand

He clearly has mixed feeling about how the tour turned out, and is trying identify where things might have gone better. His comments about over training before the first Test echo the criticism made about Graham Henry's tour in 2001.

“The first week, we definitely over-trained on the Thursday and maybe the coaches were panicking a little bit about getting the information into us. On the first week [of the first Test], we had a triple [session] day, [the] lads’ legs were heavy on the Thursday and we were playing the All Blacks on Saturday.

“We did nearly a similar thing in the last week. So maybe it’s more [from] a coaching point of view, in terms of taking lessons. Less is more sometimes on a tour like that, rather than trying to pick things up at the end of the week.

“There was probably no need for that but it’s just the way it was managed. We had said it, at the time, and they pulled back a bit. But it’s just about getting that fine balance between players and coaches and making sure the group is ready to rock.”

O'Brien says Rob Howley was unable to impose himself on the squad, and he thinks the backs were guided instead by Sexton and Farrell. If so, then that may be one factor behind Gatland's eventual decision to play both men together.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2017/09/20/lions-coaching-staff-blame-new-zealand-series-defeat-says-sean/

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by ebop on Mon 25 Sep 2017, 9:35 pm

eirebilly wrote:
ebop wrote:So in summary.....


- eirebilly is very serious and is easily agitated


I guess you guys get a thrill out of getting one over an Irishman using dishonest, nasty and pathetic little digs.

You do seem to have a lot in common with a certain team then.

Surprised I wasn't cited for something thumbsup

To be fair you've said you were disappointed with SOB's comments and you agree that Poite got it wrong. But then you make comments like that.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Taylorman on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 1:05 am

eirebilly wrote:
Taylorman wrote:

Billy I dont care what reply you posted let alone want to go and read it.
It is you that for some reason decided to pick up my post and make some accusation that i had nothing to do with, so i added something random your way way.

I didnt ask for a response because I dont really care what it was.I know all i need to know about the decsion.

So carry on flying off the handle if you want. In not fussed either way.
But perhaps jump on soneone elses thread next time as youre a bit to wound up over nothing for my liking.

Nga Mihi

If you bothered to read the posts as I suggested, you would see where all this came from. It was you also that questioned me about that incident and stated that I knew nothing if I did not see it the way you did.

Stay in denial all you will and continue to be diversionary when it is clear in the last two pages of this thread how you have acted.

Try and take the high road all you like but you know that you are wrong in this. Its a liar that you are and a liar that you will remain. I will no longer engage in anything you write as to be honest, its a waste of time and I am sure that others are fed up with this. So for my part in getting wound in by a master like yourself, I apologise to all the decent and honest posters on here.

Oh I'll look at it soon enough but all this swinging away is a bit over the top. Perhaps when everythings calmed down again we can be besties again, like the good ol days Hug

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Gwlad on Tue 26 Sep 2017, 3:27 pm

eirebilly don't bother with this bunch, they aren't worth it. Rolling Eyes

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Wed 27 Sep 2017, 9:31 pm

Shaggy is having his say now.

http://rugbylad.com/watch-shane-horgans-assessment-of-sean-obriens-comments-is-absolutely-spot-on/

Again, I think it is very poor form to be making these comments after what I would honestly consider a successful tour of NZ.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:49 am

Oh FFS.

I can't believe I clicked a Rugby Lad article anyway. I'd put that slightly better than clicking a WOL one though.

What did Horgan say, as the article doesn't even say and the video didn't work initially. Be frigged if I giving them another click.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Gwlad on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 2:17 am

Just the usual, NZ are the best and if they ever lose then the ref must be corrupt etc etc.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 4:49 am

I've caught up on most of the regular rugby podcasts now - with fans, pundits and former players - and all of them touched on Sean O'Brien's comments. Here's some of the ground covered:

- Anyone who actually listened to his comments points out that the way he expressed himself is far different in tone from many of the more excitable headlines. He wasn't out to settle scores, or gratuitously bag anybody.

- No-one appears to agree with the idea that, in better circumstances, the Lions could have won that series 3-0. Some think O'Brien is deluded, while others, more charitably, say he's the type of player who believes every match should be won, and that's just his way.

- There are very mixed views on whether O'Brien broke any kind of unwriiten code. Blood and Mud compared him unfavourably with Dawson & Healey in 2001. Then again, both of those players spoke out during the tour, and did so in paid newspaper columns. While it's possible that O'Brien has a book coming out, it seems most likely that he just responded spontaneously when asked about the tour during a podcast with mates. David Flatman thinks the issues would have been better aired behind the scenes, but doesn't see any way in which O'Brien expected any personal gain.

- Whatever people's views on what O'Brien actually said, most feel it's refreshing to hear a player speaking honestly, and so don't want to see him lynched as if he's comitted a hate crime.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by rapidsnowman on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 10:04 am

I don't think he set out to be controversial but it was definitely a bit of a ..................howler!

drumroll

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 10:10 am

It could also have been a 3-0 loss, very easily.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 10:40 am

Anyone remember the Irish crying over what Gavin Henson wrote in his book? It was far less than this incident, and I remember reading it at the time and not seeing a problem with anything that was written.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 10:51 am

The Irish mikey? Many Irish on here are condemning what SOB has said and done here...
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Scottrf on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 10:56 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Anyone remember the Irish crying over what Gavin Henson wrote in his book? It was far less than this incident, and I remember reading it at the time and not seeing a problem with anything that was written.

I honestly think you should leave Wales for a bit, go travelling, broaden your mind. It's not the centre of the universe.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 10:58 am

That's a harsh insinuation Scott, he's been to both Newport and Gwent, what more can you ask?

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:00 pm

BamBam wrote:That's a harsh insinuation Scott, he's been to both Newport and Gwent, what more can you ask?

Well, if that's the case, he doesn't need to do any more. Once you've done that, there's nothing much that can broaden the mind. Beautiful parts of the world heart laughing


Last edited by RiscaGame on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:39 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by BamBam on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:06 pm

Laugh

I haven't had the pleasure but I'll take your word for it!!

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Scottrf on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:12 pm

Newport is genuinely one of the worst places I've ever been to.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by LordDowlais on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:14 pm

Gordon D'Arcy is now having his say on the matter, I will let you lot decide whether he is being controversial or not, or is he just sticking up for a mate ?

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/gordon-d-arcy-evolve-or-die-why-se%C3%A1n-o-brien-had-to-speak-out-1.3234918

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/former-ireland-star-backs-sean-13686043

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:45 pm

Scottrf wrote:Newport is genuinely one of the worst places I've ever been to.

Must've gone on a bad day. The way the sun reflects off the River Usk can be breathtaking.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 12:59 pm

I do like GD's articles, he always gives a well informed opinion and an invocation to debate.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Scottrf on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 1:31 pm

RiscaGame wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Newport is genuinely one of the worst places I've ever been to.

Must've gone on a bad day. The way the sun reflects off the River Usk can be breathtaking.
The river was a mudbath when I went. 02/10/2015 - is that a bad day?

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by RiscaGame on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 1:33 pm

Must have been.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Griff on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 2:28 pm

Scottrf wrote:Newport is genuinely one of the worst places I've ever been to.


That hurts me. Hurts me deep. Sad

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Scottrf on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 2:30 pm

Griff wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Newport is genuinely one of the worst places I've ever been to.


That hurts me.  Hurts me deep.  Sad
I'm sure I was just in a bad mood or something or went to the wrong parts.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Sin é on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 2:40 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Anyone remember the Irish crying over what Gavin Henson wrote in his book? It was far less than this incident, and I remember reading it at the time and not seeing a problem with anything that was written.

I don't think it was just the Irish who were crying .... he had a go at everyone.

Aside from [Henson] lambasting Woodward and his media adviser Alastair Campbell, the 23-year-old also suggested several of the Lions squad "were in love with the sound of their own voices" and gave irrelevant team-talks. "There were too many players who spoke up just for the sake of it," claimed Henson. "I lost count of the number of times players went on and on just because they thought it would sound impressive if they talked for a long time."


In October of that year, Henson published My Grand Slam Year. In it he criticised some of his Lions and Wales team mates. He accused Brian O’Driscoll of eye gouging and wrote that Wales captain, Colin Charvis, was on a ‘power trip’ after he tried to advise Henson on how to conduct himself in public.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Scottrf on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 2:41 pm

I'm surprised anyone has read Gavin Henson's book.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Griff on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 2:51 pm

Scottrf wrote:
Griff wrote:
Scottrf wrote:Newport is genuinely one of the worst places I've ever been to.


That hurts me.  Hurts me deep.  Sad
I'm sure I was just in a bad mood or something or went to the wrong parts.

No, there are a lot of sh*t parts to be fair! But Newport is a county borough, so there's more to it than just the town centre with the river. Some nice parts too. Honest!

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 2:55 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Gordon D'Arcy is now having his say on the matter, I will let you lot decide whether he is being controversial or not, or is he just sticking up for a mate ?

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/gordon-d-arcy-evolve-or-die-why-se%C3%A1n-o-brien-had-to-speak-out-1.3234918
D'Arcy has just said the same as Ian McGeechan.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 4:06 pm

Scottrf wrote:I'm surprised anyone has read Gavin Henson's book.

Gavin Henson wrote a book?
Can Gavin Henson even read a book?

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 4:56 pm

Scottrf wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Anyone remember the Irish crying over what Gavin Henson wrote in his book? It was far less than this incident, and I remember reading it at the time and not seeing a problem with anything that was written.

I honestly think you should leave Wales for a bit, go travelling, broaden your mind. It's not the centre of the universe.

I’ve been to many countries on different continents, but you can’t truly sample their culture unless you lay with a woman indigenous to that country, which is why my next world tour begins October 7th. You spoke too soon there junior. I bet you don’t go on many ‘world tours’ Wink.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 4:57 pm

eirebilly wrote:The Irish mikey? Many Irish on here are condemning what SOB has said and done here...

Why were the Irish crowd booing big Gav?

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Gwlad on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 6:04 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Scottrf wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Anyone remember the Irish crying over what Gavin Henson wrote in his book? It was far less than this incident, and I remember reading it at the time and not seeing a problem with anything that was written.

I honestly think you should leave Wales for a bit, go travelling, broaden your mind. It's not the centre of the universe.

I’ve been to many countries on different continents, but you can’t truly sample their culture unless you lay with a woman indigenous to that country, which is why my next world tour begins October 7th. You spoke too soon there junior. I bet you don’t go on many ‘world tours’ Wink.

I expect you missed out 'pay' in this sentence

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 6:06 pm

If I could afford that I would have visited Pattaya by now...

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Gwlad on Thu 28 Sep 2017, 7:43 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:If I could afford that I would have visited Pattaya by now...

ask ebop, he's a fan

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by ebop on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 12:18 am

Gwlad wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:If I could afford that I would have visited Pattaya by now...

ask ebop, he's a fan
Living rent free in gwlad's head, lol
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by cascough on Fri 29 Sep 2017, 9:06 am

Sin é wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Anyone remember the Irish crying over what Gavin Henson wrote in his book? It was far less than this incident, and I remember reading it at the time and not seeing a problem with anything that was written.

I don't think it was just the Irish who were crying .... he had a go at everyone.

Aside from [Henson] lambasting Woodward and his media adviser Alastair Campbell, the 23-year-old also suggested several of the Lions squad "were in love with the sound of their own voices" and gave irrelevant team-talks. "There were too many players who spoke up just for the sake of it," claimed Henson. "I lost count of the number of times players went on and on just because they thought it would sound impressive if they talked for a long time."

I haven't read Henson's book and I'll admit its been a while since I've watched the 05 dvd (understandable, right?) but I suspect he probably has a point here.

I suspect this sort of thing happens in most workplaces, it certainly happens in mine. People who are coming up and want to make an impression decide "if I want to get noticed I need to contribute here" and often they don't add value. Then as people mature into their environment and/or get better at their jobs, they realise that it's more important only to speak when it's to add value.

If you take a step back and think of the players as a whole across time, you could look at the maturing professionalism of RU in the same way. The first pro Lions tour was 97. Watch the DVD and it's clear that it was far from pro. Even 2001 hadn't moved on too much. It shouldn't be a surprise really that by the time professionalism was starting to find it's feet in 03-05, you have a bunch of people  going "okay, this is what professionalism is about, I need to speak up!". As it matures over time this settles down a bit as people become more aware and secure in what it means to be a professional.

I can't say I'm going to rush out and but Henson's book now, but that bit is certainly interesting.

To bring it back to SOB, should Henson, or SOB speak out whilst they are still playing? Or at all?

I think it could be argued that in any work environment, it's important that people do question the status quo or bad practices, otherwise it would be very difficult for a business to evolve. Without that, it's very easy to be in an environment where things are done a certain way for no other reason that "We've always done it that way". And I'm sure we've all experienced that.[/quote]

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 9:05 am

O'Brien's comments show yet again what an anachronism the Lions concept is.

The 'coaches' can't afford to take players overseas who aren't under their normal charge, or are too strong minded, because they would have no authority over them. The threat of leaving them out of a team soon wears thin when there is a limited number to pick from and the injuries are piling up.

It is obvious to all but the most die hard Lions fan that the 'coach' doesn't actually do any coaching. The idea that a few days with players can somehow instill any invention that would take weeks to practice is contra to all evidence otherwise - it takes any other coach months at best to make improvements. Maybe Howley was picked precisely because he would have no affect on the team and the intention was to hand over the drills to Sexton/Farrell from the outset?

The figurehead in charge of the tour has the role to select the squad and select the team - in conjunction with the captain. For those banging on about tradition that was the way the classic tours were managed and the coaching was sorted out through the players.

Would the players have opted for a pointless third training session that would take the edge off their match game - unlikely. O'Brien is perfectly entitled to flag up the massive disadvantages that the tourists have to face. Whether the series result would have been any different is pure conjecture, but what O'Brien has done is raise his concerns to help those in the future. That can only be construed as constructive.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 9:23 am

The Great Aukster wrote:

It is obvious to all but the most die hard Lions fan that the 'coach' doesn't actually do any coaching. The idea that a few days with players can somehow instill any invention that would take weeks to practice is contra to all evidence otherwise - it takes any other coach months at best to make improvements. Maybe Howley was picked precisely because he would have no affect on the team and the intention was to hand over the drills to Sexton/Farrell from the outset?

You will have to help me out here with this statement Aukster. The Coach doesn't do any coaching and actually intended backs (who do not play at all together) coach the teams drilling sessions?

I think that the coach of the Lions has the hardest coaching job in rugby for the period of a Lions tour as he has to assimilate all playing styles and known game plans and work them into a functioning unit. This to me is something that Gatland has done very well on 2 tours.

This is why I find comments made to the media, after the fact, very distasteful as it shows a lack of respect for the achievement, the coaching setup, the opposition and fellow representatives. Sure SOB wants to win (like all other players) but reality should also be seen. The Lions could have easily lost the series 3-0 but they did not. Maybe those extra training sessions and approach from Gatland and his coaching team actually worked in helping the Lions to a series draw. SOB may not understand them but he is not the coach and at the end of the day he should accept that a coach has a lot more responsibility on a Lions tour than an individual.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 11:19 am

Even new coaches who inherit settled teams can take months or even years to turn them into champions. The Lions are a scratch selection and their time together is measured in days. To suggest that a coach could have any material impact in a few days is disrespectful to all those other coaches who need entire seasons getting their players to adopt styles and methods. Hard work and practice take time and effort, things that cannot be short-circuited.

Honesty has to be one of the prime traits sought after in a player, and Sean O'Brien should not be castigated for being honest. He has stated facts rather than opinions regarding the coaching history of the tour, although I agree his (and everyone else's) opinion on potential outcome is pure conjecture. At the very least SOB has shown that he didn't agree with the training regime, and he has been honest and strong enough to voice that. If he and other players were not listened to, or felt they had no voice on tour, that was a distinct failing on the 'coaches' part, irrespective of results. Woodward supposedly had a 'his way or the highway' approach that had the effect of dividing rather than bringing players together.

The figurehead who is euphemistically called the "Head Coach" has a very difficult job - to get players playing for each other, but whether that can be defined as being "coaching" is a moot point. Selecting a lot of his normal Test team into the Lions has to be a big step forward as they are familiar with each other's game and daren't say anything to their (usual) coach if they value their future Test careers. Gatland has done well facing down his detractors when heavily favouring his own tried and trusted at selection. OTOH hand he has made a pig's ear of handling other nations' players, and his tour call-ups for both Australia and NZ were risible.

O'Brien along with his team mates delivered the results despite the ineptitude of those supposedly directing them, so he has earned the right to be honest and tell the truth from the player's side. His honesty is refreshing and far from being disrespectful it is honourable that credit is apportioned where it's due and the fans are not deluded.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 11:28 am

Yup players should be allowed to say what they want. It's a privilege and an honour to play but it doesn't mean you can't voice your opinions which sob always seems to do.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by RiscaGame on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 11:31 am

Haven't the Lions posted training stats that appear to contradict what O'Brien said? I'm sure I read that. Maybe he needs to be more honest with himself and look at his own fitness Wink

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 11:50 am

The Great Aukster wrote:Even new coaches who inherit settled teams can take months or even years to turn them into champions. The Lions are a scratch selection and their time together is measured in days. Point 1... To suggest that a coach could have any material impact in a few days is disrespectful to all those other coaches who need entire seasons getting their players to adopt styles and methods. Hard work and practice take time and effort, things that cannot be short-circuited.



Point 2... O'Brien along with his team mates delivered the results despite the ineptitude of those supposedly directing them, so he has earned the right to be honest and tell the truth from the player's side. His honesty is refreshing and far from being disrespectful it is honourable that credit is apportioned where it's due and the fans are not deluded.

Point 1 I never said that the Lions coach had to re-coach players, I said that the Lions head coach had to assimilate players styles and known game plans to create a functioning unit. That is absolutely not disrespecting other coaches at all. I find that a rather poor response from you to be honest.

Point 2 Despite the ineptitude of those supposedly directing them? This is a totally ridiculous statement in fairness. Gatland is one of the worlds most successful coaches let alone one of the best Lions coaches in history yet he is inept? I fear that it is you that is deluded.

I understand your dislike for the Lions concept but you really need to take a long hard look at you're own bitterness and resentment towards the Lions prior to making such ridiculous statements.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 12:26 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yup players should be allowed to say what they want. It's a privilege and an honour to play but it doesn't mean you can't voice your opinions which sob always seems to do.

Isn't this debate about SOB and the Lions - therefore your assertion is a complete non sequitur? O'Brien obviously felt free enough to call a spade a spade, because he isn't going to tour again and maybe he doesn't want to? The privilege and honour is somewhat debatable given Gatland's call-up policy or at least that's what a lot of respected rugby folk were saying.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 12:29 pm

RiscaGame wrote:Haven't the Lions posted training stats that appear to contradict what O'Brien said? I'm sure I read that. Maybe he needs to be more honest with himself and look at his own fitness Wink

That would be interesting - have you a link?
How does it compare to what players normally do?

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by No 7&1/2 on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 12:36 pm

I was just going by sob s own words. And by him speaking out against a small part of he believes is an honour I don't think he's disrespecting it at all.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 12:59 pm

eirebilly wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:Even new coaches who inherit settled teams can take months or even years to turn them into champions. The Lions are a scratch selection and their time together is measured in days. Point 1... To suggest that a coach could have any material impact in a few days is disrespectful to all those other coaches who need entire seasons getting their players to adopt styles and methods. Hard work and practice take time and effort, things that cannot be short-circuited.



Point 2... O'Brien along with his team mates delivered the results despite the ineptitude of those supposedly directing them, so he has earned the right to be honest and tell the truth from the player's side. His honesty is refreshing and far from being disrespectful it is honourable that credit is apportioned where it's due and the fans are not deluded.

Point 1 I never said that the Lions coach had to re-coach players, I said that the Lions head coach had to assimilate players styles and known game plans to create a functioning unit. That is absolutely not disrespecting other coaches at all. I find that a rather poor response from you to be honest.

Point 2 Despite the ineptitude of those supposedly directing them? This is a totally ridiculous statement in fairness. Gatland is one of the worlds most successful coaches let alone one of the best Lions coaches in history yet he is inept? I fear that it is you that is deluded.

I understand your dislike for the Lions concept but you really need to take a long hard look at you're own bitterness and resentment towards the Lions prior to making such ridiculous statements.

Point 1. If the Coach doesn't coach players then logically he is not a coach. For the Lions Gatland was a selector and motivator, and while O'Brien was selected by Gatland, he doesn't come across as being mightily impressed by him or the other 'coaches'.

Point 2. The facts are that Gatland was criticised for his ineptitude regarding the ham-fisted dropping of O'Driscoll. He was criticised for calling up the retired Shane Williams and Tom Court from a beach. He was criticised for selecting Tommy Bowe to play with a broken arm and he was criticised for taking so many injured players in the first place. He was criticised for his non selection of Scottish players and for stacking the squad with Welsh ones. He was criticised for playing guys in a full midweek game and then flogging them again in the Saturday Test, but most of all he was criticised for the debacle around picking players who hadn't earned the 'honour' of selection on merit.

For someone who is there as a selector and motivator it is reasonable to consider Gatland inept based on his Lions history - as a Coach of club and country he indeed has a world class record.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 1:16 pm

Aukster,

Gatland was picked as head coach not simply selector and motivator but as head coach. The Lions simply do not coach themselves, the head coach puts in a training and coaching plan and his assistants (and himself) get the squad to follow this. It is not the players that coach the team. As for SOB not being happy... He was not in Gatland's position so has no real understand as to how or why Gatland did the things he did. At the end of the day Gatland is a very successful Lions coach and currently SOB is a player that was a part of that setup. To get the Lions results he has, Gatland obviously knows more about coaching a Lions tour than SOB.

The fact that Gatland was criticised for dropping BOD is ridiculous as it was the correct decision at the time with the benefit of the team and the series put above 1 player. I have no issue with that and think it was correct, even at the time and it has proven to be so.
I am an armchair critic, like yourself, and did not agree with everything he did in both tours but neither of us (or anyone) can deny that he did the job well considering the results on both Lions tours he has led.
Name me one coach who everyone, everywhere, has agreed with? They are on a hiding to nothing.

Gatland, it seems to me, for people like you are responsible for losses but are never responsible for wins as that is down to the team playing and not the coaching.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by The Great Aukster on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 2:00 pm

Arguing the semantics of the term 'coach' is fatuous. Whether the title "Head Coach" means anything or not doesn't distract from the fact that the Lions are unique as a team. No other team is formed from scratch every four years for a six week circus, with no thought to the future or past. Anyone in charge of that can have very little to take from their own past or what they are building at their normal side for the future. There is no time to hone practice drills or develop weaknesses in players. Neither is there time to practice or develop team moves other than the most rudimentary. Player management is irrelevant in this alien bubble that the Lions find themselves inhabiting.

For all these reasons Lions results are no indicator of coaching credentials in the normal sense of the words. A Lions team can only be compared to those other Lions teams and that includes the backroom staff. Gatland can be compared favourably to Woodward certainly, but is probably on a par with Henry and not on the same plane as McGeechan.

Gatland got his selections mostly right and most of the players were motivated enough to deliver the results achieved, so for that he is to be applauded. However the Lions more than any other team is about the players delivering without a settled team structure around them and that is entirely dependent on them as individuals. SOB's try is the perfect example of a team playing with their heads up rather than some fictitious training ground pattern.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 2:11 pm

A coach coaches a team, is that such a difficult concept for you to understand Aukster? Gatland did not develop these players, nor did the respective International or club coaches of these players. What Gatland did, is get these players playing together as a unit by utilising their individual skills and known game plans from their clubs and countries. It worked...

A lot of the plays that are used are incorporated from other plays from clubs and countries and just drilled into them by the Lions coaches.

As for SOB's try for being heads up rugby and nothing to do with the coaching, correct but that sort of thing happens in just about every game. Its why these players are selected because they are the best individually and can play like this. I am not sure how much rugby you have seen through the years but I have seen a large number of try's scored like that. You cant coach that so no coach can claim credit for such try's.

Funny how you can state that Woodward was less of a coach than Gatland but that Geech and Henry were better Lions coaches when you simply do not consider the coaching role for the Lions important. You really have some extremely weird way of looking at things.

Again I suggest that you take you hatred of the Lions and your bitterness towards them and actually appreciate what rugby is.


Just as an edit, the SOB try actually came from a brilliant piece of individual counter attacking from Liam Williams. What a coach can claim credit for is getting the players into shape and drilling them to back up other players who make a break. All SOB did was support the play all the way to the end and cross the line, all credit should go to Williams for that try.
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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by Gwlad on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 6:35 pm

eirebilly wrote:A coach coaches a team, is that such a difficult concept for you to understand Aukster? Gatland did not develop these players, nor did the respective International or club coaches of these players. What Gatland did, is get these players playing together as a unit by utilising their individual skills and known game plans from their clubs and countries. It worked...

A lot of the plays that are used are incorporated from other plays from clubs and countries and just drilled into them by the Lions coaches.

As for SOB's try for being heads up rugby and nothing to do with the coaching, correct but that sort of thing happens in just about every game. Its why these players are selected because they are the best individually and can play like this. I am not sure how much rugby you have seen through the years but I have seen a large number of try's scored like that. You cant coach that so no coach can claim credit for such try's.

Funny how you can state that Woodward was less of a coach than Gatland but that Geech and Henry were better Lions coaches when you simply do not consider the coaching role for the Lions important. You really have some extremely weird way of looking at things.

Again I suggest that you take you hatred of the Lions and your bitterness towards them and actually appreciate what rugby is.


Just as an edit, the SOB try actually came from a brilliant piece of individual counter attacking from Liam Williams. What a coach can claim credit for is getting the players into shape and drilling them to back up other players who make a break. All SOB did was support the play all the way to the end and cross the line, all credit should go to Williams for that try.

I disagree Billy

Williams was genius yes but Daly and JD2 support play and in out angle of running fixed NZ defense and SOB ran superb support lines a la Josh Kronfled....those were the days when I could respect NZ rugby.

It was a team try that true had nowt to do with coaching and everything to do with instinct and class.

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Re: Sean O'Brien on the Lions

Post by eirebilly on Sat 30 Sep 2017, 6:49 pm

To me the other lads ran excellent support lines without a doubt but you would expect that from top quality players in those situations. The ability to take on the AB's from deep and set up the try was just sublime from Williams so for me he gets the credit. Team try absolutely but the individual that set up the team try was, for me, the man that took the line and broke the field up.
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