Greatest Lions XV of Pro Era - Back 3

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 29 May 2019, 9:36 am

So we move onto the last poll.

Team so far: Smith, Wood, Furlong; Johnson, O'Connell; Hill, Warburton, Dallaglio; Dawson, Sexton; TBC, Gibbs, O'Driscoll, TBC; TBC


Last Thread:
http://www.606v2.com/t68790-greatest-lions-xv-of-pro-era-centres



Contenders

Again must have made 3 starts in the Pro era (97 onwards)


1997 Neil Jenkins: 3 starts on the 97 tour at FB. While not his usual position this selection allowed them to play Townsend at 10. 41 points across the series.
2001-05 Jason Robinson: With 4 starts on the wing and 1 at FB across two tours the ex RL ace has the most starts of any contender. 2 tries in the 01 series.
2001 Dafydd James: Played on the opposite wing to Billy Whizz in all 3 tests in Aus. 1 try.
2001 Matt Perry: The third member of the back 3 in 2001, the Bath FB played in all 3 tests. At only 24 they were his last tests.
2005-09 Shane Williams: Three tests against three different countries with 3 different results (D v Arg, L v NZ, W v SA). Scored two tries in the final match of the 09 tour.
2005 Josh Lewsey: Played all three tests against NZ both on the wing and at FB.
2009-13 Tommy Bowe: Four tests on the wing spread equally across both tours. 
2013-17 Leigh Halfpenny: Uncapped on 09 tour, 1/2p played all 3 matches in Australia scoring 49 points. Came off the bench in the first test in NZ. 
2013 George North: One of the stars of the tour in Aus, scaring the Australians with pace and power and scoring in both victories.
2017 Liam Williams: All three tests in NZ at FB
2017 Elliot Daly: All three tests in NZ on the wing
2017 Anthony Watson: All three tests in NZ on the wing


Not the most inspiring list, with many of those players showing up much better for country than Lions.

Guys missing out include: Alan Tait, John Bentley, Geordan Murphy, Rob Kearney and Ugo Monye

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 29 May 2019, 9:39 am

I found that a struggle as to be honest did not feel that many of those had performed particularly well as Lions. If based on performances for their countries I may have viewed things differently but as it is went with Robinson, North and Halfpenny. All three were standout figures on a tour to Australia (which may say something)

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Post by BamBam on Wed 29 May 2019, 9:52 am

At the start of the votes, I had a quick run through of what I thought the team would look like, was more or less there with what has been voted for so far, but literally had no idea about who to vote for in the back 3

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 29 May 2019, 10:13 am

Billy Whizz, North, Halfpenny.

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Post by Rinsure on Wed 29 May 2019, 10:15 am

Some tough choices to be made in this one. Jason Robinson and George North were my first picks, but I ummed and ahhed about the final one. Liam Williams for starting the move that led to O'Brien's try? Daly for his part in that and that mammoth penalty in T3? Fresher in the mind than some of the others.

As an Englishman I ended up deciding to celebrate one of the few occasions where I could genuinely cheer on Shane Williams.



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Post by rodders on Wed 29 May 2019, 10:52 am

Tough choice with so many changes from tour to tour, I do think Kearney and Tait should be there.

I'm going to go for Robinson for the tries in 2001, Halfpenny just ahead of Liam Williams and Neil Jenkins.

At 14 I'm going for Bowe ahead of North. The reason being he was top try scorer in SA and starting test wing over two tours, something no one else has managed in the pro era. He would probably have started 6 tests but for injury in 2013. Plus he's Irish.
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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 29 May 2019, 10:55 am

I wonder how many of the votes for ickle Shane are nostalgia votes, rather than a reflection of his actual Lions career? I did want to include him, but he teh coaches never really gave him the games to make an impact.

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Post by BamBam on Wed 29 May 2019, 11:03 am

I've gone for Robinson, Bowe and Liam Williams, they just sneak in ahead of Halfpenny and Lewsey for me.

Think Lewsey will struggle to get any votes, but he was arguably the best Lions back in 2005

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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 29 May 2019, 11:14 am

This series has been an exercise in how badly I remembered individual performances on tour. It's relatively easy to judge a player's whole career but it has taken me a bit of reflection to acknowledge that a number of top names conspicuously failed to deliver their best in a Lions shirt.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT on Wed 29 May 2019, 12:29 pm

I have gone for Billy Whiz and Shane Williams on the wings, but went off field for the full back and picked Lewsey, he was probably the only back that stood out in 2005 and I cannot remember him having a bad game although it would make it awkward for the other two as he played some games on the wing.

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Post by maestegmafia on Thu 30 May 2019, 11:55 pm

Amazing Halfpenny is in the running when most welsh fans would say Jenkins was the better goal kicker and Williams the better fullback.

Shane Williams and Robinson for me


Last edited by maestegmafia on Fri 31 May 2019, 6:29 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by king_carlos on Fri 31 May 2019, 12:19 am

Wings for me are Robinson and Bowe from Lions performances.

Full back I struggled with. Halfpenny was very good in '13. Williams was a standout in '17. Lewsey was a rare bright point in '05.

I've gone with Jenkins in the end. Part of that is nostalgia looking back on a '97 tour that opitomised that strange era where rugby teetered between being Professional whilst still being very amateur in so many ways. Jenkins was fantastic on that tour though. Geech gave him a role and he performed it exactly as the side needed.

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Post by RiscaGame on Fri 31 May 2019, 1:04 am

maestegmafia wrote:Amazing Halfpenny is in the running when most welsh fans would say jerks was the better goal kicker and Williams the better fullback.

Shane Williams and Robinson for me

He was man of the series, whereas the other two weren’t. It isn't amazing. “Jerks” did well in SA for kicking, but Halfpenny was incredible in 2013. Both jerks and Williams had defensive issues on their tours. Halfpenny didn’t. Certainly not shown on highlights, compared to the other two on the dvds. For all his kicks in the last test and two assists, maybe not that amazing? His position to anticipate the ball before running and setting up North was noteworthy alone.

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Post by maestegmafia on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 7:10 am

RiscaGame wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:Amazing Halfpenny is in the running when most welsh fans would say jerks was the better goal kicker and Williams the better fullback.

Shane Williams and Robinson for me

He was man of the series, whereas the other two weren’t. It isn't amazing. “Jerks” did well in SA for kicking, but Halfpenny was incredible in 2013. Both jerks and Williams had defensive issues on their tours. Halfpenny didn’t. Certainly not shown on highlights, compared to the other two on the dvds. For all his kicks in the last test and two assists, maybe not that amazing? His position to anticipate the ball before running and setting up North was noteworthy alone.

I’m not doubting what he did Halfpenny deserves the Plaudits, though I am surprised he is rated so highly when he is so easily derided as just a defender and kicker when discussed in Wales/Scarlets selection debates.

Also I think Jenkins was player of the tour in 1997? We certainly wouldn’t have won without him

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Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 6:18 pm

Yeah Halfpenny being this rated does surprise me given how derided he is. Fact is he was deservedly man of the series in 2013. Not sure what role he has with Wales going forward; Adams, North and Williams is a very strong back 3.

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Post by Pie on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 10:02 pm

Half should become the perfect bench option for back 3 with kicking spurs to boot. But with Biggar playing understudy to Anscombe both of whom are proving to be superbly accurate Half's shelf life is potentially well, halved.

2013 was a superb tour and Half was as deserving MOS as Jenkins was in 1997.

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Post by LondonTiger on Sat 01 Jun 2019, 10:10 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Yeah Halfpenny being this rated does surprise me given how derided he is. Fact is he was deservedly man of the series in 2013. Not sure what role he has with Wales going forward; Adams, North and Williams is a very strong back 3.

I am someone who felt his form did not warrant going in 2017 nor making the bench for T1.

I am also someone who believes he was outstanding in 2013 and his performances in that series were better than any other FB managed in the Lions jersey in the pro era.

The two views are not mutually exclusive. 

With no-one making the shortlist criteria from 2005 and 2009, 1/2p was competing against:

Jenkins, great goal kicker but outside of that as a FB, meh.
Perry, solid but no more.
Williams solid but did not show his best in NZ.

Until his career injury in 2015 he was an excellent player. Been well below that since. Is that deriding?

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Post by RiscaGame on Sun 02 Jun 2019, 2:00 am

maestegmafia wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:Amazing Halfpenny is in the running when most welsh fans would say jerks was the better goal kicker and Williams the better fullback.

Shane Williams and Robinson for me

He was man of the series, whereas the other two weren’t. It isn't amazing. “Jerks” did well in SA for kicking, but Halfpenny was incredible in 2013. Both jerks and Williams had defensive issues on their tours. Halfpenny didn’t. Certainly not shown on highlights, compared to the other two on the dvds. For all his kicks in the last test and two assists, maybe not that amazing? His position to anticipate the ball before running and setting up North was noteworthy alone.

I’m not doubting what he did Halfpenny deserves the Plaudits, though I am surprised he is rated so highly when he is so easily derided as just a defender and kicker when discussed in Wales/Scarlets selection debates.

Also I think Jenkins was player of the tour in 1997? We certainly wouldn’t have won without him

Also I think the man of the series was Gibbs mate. We certainly wouldn’t have won without lots of players, but it doesn’t make them players of the series. Just as well give it Guscott otherwise.

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Post by eirebilly on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 8:57 am

I actually feel that Neil Jenkins (one of my all time favourites) was very lucky to get the start at 15 for the lions in 1997. I feel that Tim Stimpson was the man for that and was very unlucky to miss out. Many of you may not remember or even know who Tim is but he was some player and I feel that he was greatly under-rated at the time.
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Post by The Oracle on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 9:10 am

eirebilly wrote:I actually feel that Neil Jenkins (one of my all time favourites) was very lucky to get the start at 15 for the lions in 1997. I feel that Tim Stimpson was the man for that and was very unlucky to miss out. Many of you may not remember or even know who Tim is but he was some player and I feel that he was greatly under-rated at the time.


Jenkins was there purely for his kicking. As a full back he was terrible on that tour. His defence was beyond shocking. I remember one SA try where he literally steps out of the way so as not to make the tackle!
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Post by maestegmafia on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 9:54 am

The Oracle wrote:
eirebilly wrote:I actually feel that Neil Jenkins (one of my all time favourites) was very lucky to get the start at 15 for the lions in 1997. I feel that Tim Stimpson was the man for that and was very unlucky to miss out. Many of you may not remember or even know who Tim is but he was some player and I feel that he was greatly under-rated at the time.


Jenkins was there purely for his kicking.  As a full back he was terrible on that tour.  His defence was beyond shocking.  I remember one SA try where he literally steps out of the way so as not to make the tackle!

Jenk’s didn’t shirk tackles, his positioning wasn’t great and he was no JPR Williams on the counter but he was the perfect back up fly half and the greatest goal kicker the game has ever seen


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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:00 am

He was a perfectly serviceable fly half and a truly outstanding goal kicker. Not a terribly good FB however. His selection allowed Townsend to play, but then Gregor did not really do a great deal either.

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Post by BamBam on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 10:55 am

Am I being dim (entirely possible) or has the thread with the final team we voted on disappeared?

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 11:08 am

With three Lions caps at fullback should Kearney not be on the list? He was excellent on the SA tour playing in all three tests and scoring a good try in test 2. He was excellent on that tour.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 11:24 am

Collapse2005 wrote:With three Lions caps at fullback should Kearney not be on the list? He was excellent on the SA tour playing in all three tests and scoring a good try in test 2. He was excellent on that tour.

Only two were starts. All along the criteria was minimum 3 starts.

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Post by Collapse2005 on Tue 04 Jun 2019, 11:29 am

Fair enough.

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