Greatest Lions XV of Pro Era - Half Backs

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Total Votes : 43

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 23 May 2019, 7:36 am

Currently the pack looks like:

Tom Smith, Keith Wood, Tadgh Furlong; Martin Johnson, Paul O'Connell; Hill, Warburton, Dallaglio

Previous Threads
http://www.606v2.com/t68776-greatest-lions-xv-of-pro-era-front-row
http://www.606v2.com/t68778-greatest-lions-xv-of-pro-era-second-row
http://www.606v2.com/t68781-greatest-lions-xv-of-pro-era-back-row


Shortlist Criteria
3 test starts in the relevant position.

Contenders

Matt Dawson - 7 caps (4 starts) 97, 01 & 05. obviosly past his best by 2005. Only played in 1997 due to injury to Howley, yet his try to win the first test has gone down in Lions folk lore
Dwayne Peel - 3 tests, 05. Unlucky that his tour coincided with SCW and a strong ABs
Mike Phillips - 5 tests, 09 & 13. Probably the best flanker/scrum half hybrid. Easy to pick at what he did not do, but above all that he had the drive of a winner.
Connor Murray - 3 tests, 17. has been a shadow of himself this season, but for the Lions in 2017 he was supreme.

Jonny Wilkinson - 5 tests, 01 & 05. Played a 6th test at 12, but in all honesty never as good for the Lions as he was for England.
Stephen Jones - 6 tests (5 starts), 05 & 09. I have nothing enlightening to say. good player though.
Jonny Sexton - 5 tests, 13 & 17. The Mr Angry of 10s, especially compared to the placid pair above.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 23 May 2019, 7:39 am

I was going to go with the Dawson/Townsend pairing until I found out Townsend had missed the 3rd test in SA and therefore failed to meet the criteria to make the shortlist.


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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 23 May 2019, 8:29 am

I've gone Murray, but initially went Phillips. Even when he was being criticised, he still played a part in 2013 and played very well in 09. For the fact he even played centre when we picked up injuries, I found it hard to ignore him. In the end, Murray's try in the second test was pretty key, so I went for him. As for ten, I found it pretty hard to choose, but my favourite memories of a ten (under this criteria) is Jones in the second test v SA for his assist to Kearney and his kicking performance.

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Post by RiscaGame on Thu 23 May 2019, 8:36 am

In fact, I guess I can't choose a player for scoring a key test try and not pick Dawson Very Happy

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 23 May 2019, 9:21 am

Gone for the only options my heart would allow, Dawson, Wilko.
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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 23 May 2019, 9:48 am

TightHEAD wrote:Gone for the only options my heart would allow, Dawson, Wilko.

My problem with Sir Jonny is that while he was good in Australia, he was poor in NZ. That he never featured on a successful tour also, for me, counts against him. A great player but for various reasons I cannot view him as a great lion.

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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 23 May 2019, 9:56 am

Peel and Sexton for me...! Howler unlucky through injury in SA was in superb form back then.

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Post by rodders on Thu 23 May 2019, 10:04 am

Dawson and Sexton.

Dawson was incredible on 97, not just the try in the first test - defensively he was incredible and meant Howley wasn't missed at all.  

Sexton has been key on 2 successful tours so is head and shoulders clear at 10 for me.

Wilkinson has been unlucky that his best rugby came between tours, he had a good 2001 tour but a horrid 2005 where he should never have went - started the first test at 12 if I remember correctly, a move that backfired spectacularly.
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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 23 May 2019, 4:37 pm

Murray and Sexton.
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Post by Collapse2005 on Thu 23 May 2019, 4:45 pm

RiscaGame wrote:I've gone Murray, but initially went Phillips. Even when he was being criticised, he still played a part in 2013 and played very well in 09. For the fact he even played centre when we picked up injuries, I found it hard to ignore him. In the end, Murray's try in the second test was pretty key, so I went for him. As for ten, I found it pretty hard to choose, but my favourite memories of a ten (under this criteria) is Jones in the second test v SA for his assist to Kearney and his kicking performance.

Personally I don't think Philips lived up to his promise. He has some good moments and some really poor ones. Murray or Dawson.

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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 23 May 2019, 5:36 pm

I went with Murray and Sexton. Dawson has a certain cult status on account of the 1997 try but he blotted his copybook with his newspaper column in 2001. Wilkinson was doing all right in 2001, but it was his pass which was intercepted by Roff in the Second Test, and the momentum shifted.

I enjoyed Stephen Jones in 2009 but it's hard to look past players in pivotal positions who helped add a series win and a draw to the record.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 23 May 2019, 9:09 pm

Phillips very good in SA and Aus, one of the standout performers. He was maybe a little on the wane by the Aus tour but I still feel his contributions puts him ahead of others on this list. I've gone for Sexton for performance in Aus and NZ. Wilkinson was close but I feel that his persistent injuries prevented us from seeing how good he would have been - also opposite Carter in 05 and made to look a chump like the rest of the team. Stephen Jones third choice.

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