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Lions player of the Tour...?

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Post by maestegmafia Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:15 am

Whether we win or lose, one player will be praised as the PLayer of the tour. Jamie Roberts was the winner last time in 09.


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Post by maestegmafia Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:17 am

Roberts has been unlucky with injuries this time. Likely candidates are hard to pick. George North or Leigh Halfpenny have been in great shape. Warburton has been superb in the tests. Paul O'Connell would have been a shoe in prior to his broken arm, though Alun Wynn Jones has a good case too.

My choice, despite some poor performances in a few scrums last week is Mako Vunipola.

He has developed massively on tour and it was only really his lack of top international experience that let him down. Otherwise he has been a superb player and tourist.


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Post by Cyril Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:19 am

Not sure any player has performed particularly well. Yet.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:20 am

Can't really see past North or Halfpenny. Vinapola was in the running untill his disaster last weekend.

Halfpenny for me. The shining light of guile, flair and agility in the Gatlandball lions test team.
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Post by Guest Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:23 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Can't really see past North or Halfpenny. Vinapola was in the running untill his disaster last weekend.

Halfpenny for me. The shining light of guile, flair and agility in the Gatlandball lions test team.

I take it this is sarcasm?

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:25 am

Griff wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Can't really see past North or Halfpenny. Vinapola was in the running untill his disaster last weekend.

Halfpenny for me. The shining light of guile, flair and agility in the Gatlandball lions test team.

I take it this is sarcasm?

no. It's not.
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Post by Guest Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:27 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Griff wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Can't really see past North or Halfpenny. Vinapola was in the running untill his disaster last weekend.

Halfpenny for me. The shining light of guile, flair and agility in the Gatlandball lions test team.

I take it this is sarcasm?

no. It's not.


Is THAT sarcasm?!

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Post by Cyril Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:28 am

Who is a famous doctor?

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:35 am

*sigh* No I'm not being sarcastic.

I genuinly believe Halfpenny has been the best Lion on tour. He has kicked really well, defended well and hasn't made many mistakes.

My primary criticism is that he doesn't come into the line enough. That is almost certainly a coaching thing or a gameplan thing because he is great for Cardiff.
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Post by RubyGuby Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:47 am

thumbsup 

North
1/2p
Tom Youngs

Those are the only ones that i would say have been consistently good but a big game from AWJ or JD on the weekend could put them in the frame. North and Youngs tied at the moment for me


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Post by tigertattie Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:49 am

Stevens?
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Post by Biltong Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:49 am

I doubt there will be any other contenders than Halfpenny and North.

My vote will be Halfpenny.
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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:54 am


Dylan Hartley.

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Post by Heuer27 Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:56 am

Rugby is a running game. Surely you can't be player of the tournament purely cause you can kick goals. If that was the case then Farrell is as good a shout as 1/2p. North for me as he does what it says on the winger tin

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Post by R!skysports Fri 05 Jul 2013, 9:57 am

I am not sure i can say anyone yet

The pack has spluttered along, and while there have been sparks, never really ignited

The backs have had very little to do, and in the second test hardly got the ball

North maybe, but again with the way the games have been played not really had much of a chance to shine

Do not think it is halfpenny, not because I think he is a bad player, or playing badly, but the fact the tactics really mean he is just there to tackle and kick - which is not enough for player of the tour (I really wish we got the ball to allow him to do more)

So at this time, no-one

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Post by tomhughesnice Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:04 am

If Halfpenny nailed that kick last weekend and won the series then he would have won it for sure(Not having a dig at Halfpenny, it was out of his comfortable range).

George North has played really well, and that try in the 1st test probably the icing on the cake to put him above others.

TBH it will be decided in the final test, but at the moment its probably Halfpennys to lose. But despite kicking well he hasn't really done anything more than alot of other players on tour.

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Post by Biltong Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:06 am

Who made the biggest impact in the test series?

Granted North had some brilliant individual moments, but without Halfpenny the Lions might have already lost the series.
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Post by thomh Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:08 am

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:Can't really see past North or Halfpenny. Vinapola was in the running untill his disaster last weekend.

Halfpenny for me. The shining light of guile, flair and agility in the Gatlandball lions test team.

What disaster? He was on top in the scrums for longer than he was struggling.

North, Halfpenny or Vunipola for me as well, but it will all hinge on the third test. I don't think anyone yet has made an unanswerable case that couldn't be changed by tomorrow's result. Tom Youngs as an outsider.

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Post by Heuer27 Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:14 am

Biltong I agree with the above but surely the player of the series needs to be more than a good goal kicker. We should all just watch football if that was the case. Unfortunately Halfpenny has been unwilling / instructed to stay in the pocket and not contribute to the attack. Well what attack there has been. He's been a steady Eddie nothing more. Which in itself is a sad indictment on the series as a whole that he has been lauded as the best player.

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Post by RubyGuby Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:28 am

Cyril wrote:Who is a famous doctor?



Me thumbsup 

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Post by Cyril Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:29 am

RubyGuby wrote:
Cyril wrote:Who is a famous doctor?



Me thumbsup 
Infamous more like! Wink

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Post by Biltong Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:29 am

Heuer27 wrote:Biltong I agree with the above but surely the player of the series needs to be more than a good goal kicker. We should all just watch football if that was the case. Unfortunately Halfpenny has been unwilling / instructed to stay in the pocket and not contribute to the attack. Well what attack there has been. He's been a steady Eddie nothing more. Which in itself is a sad indictment on the series as a whole that he has been lauded as the best player.
I agree, but surely you are not going to contend that all Halfpenny did was kick goals?

What about his defensive play, taking kicks under pressure, joining the line on the odd occasion?
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Post by RubyGuby Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:30 am

Yahoo Nice one Cyril

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Post by Ozzy3213 Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:31 am

I think it can only really come down to test match performances, and nobody stood out in the second test really, save perhaps Warburton who I thought was very good.

Therefore for me it comes down to players playing tomorrow who shone in the first test.  

Corbisiero
A Jones
AW Jones
North
Halfpenny

Any one of those five can take it with MOTM performance in Sydney.
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Post by R!skysports Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:31 am

Grant - not taken a backwards step, dropped a ball or made a mistake in the tests - commanded his position and not allowed even a sniff of a chance of someone passing him on the outside, or inside

A true model of a test squad member

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Post by Biltong Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:36 am

North vs Halfpenny

North made 9 tackles thus far and missed three
Halpenny made 7 tackles and missed 2

North had 8 runs for 89 meters (remember his electric try which was about 50 meters)
Halfpenny made 6 for 47 meters

North had 2 turnovers against him, Halfpenny none.

North had one line break Halfpenny none

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Post by Ozzy3213 Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:46 am

Biltong wrote:North vs Halfpenny

North made 9 tackles thus far and missed three
Halpenny made 7 tackles and missed 2

North had 8 runs for 89 meters (remember his electric try which was about 50 meters)
Halfpenny made 6 for 47 meters

North had 2 turnovers against him, Halfpenny none.

North had one line break Halfpenny none


 And there is one of the damning statistics of this tour. In two test matches each, two of our back three have made 1 line break between them.  Sad
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Post by Heuer27 Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:47 am

He has done his defensive job to the expected level of an international. Apart from his kicking though he has done nothing out of the ordinary. I think he is a much better player than he has been allowed to show.
None of the teams I coach are allowed to play such a negative brand of rugby so maybe I've got tinted specs on. I like my players to run, take chances , express and enjoy themselves.
I hate ten man rugby it's like anti rugby.
Professional rugby has forgotten that they are there to entertain not just win.
This is symptomatic in this series and hence my reticence in endorsing Halfpenny

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Post by rodders Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:49 am

I don't think anyone has played particularly well, lots on nice rugby against part timers and Super rugby B sides but the tests have been the Will Genia show.
 
O'Connell bust his cahones in the first test to hold a shambolic lineout together and do the backrows work for them.
 
North has produced some standout moments but been taken to the cleaners by his opposite number in the tests.
 
Halfpenny has kicked superlatively but done little else.
 
O'Brien has stood out every time hes played, as has Faletau but haven't featured in the test yet, bar a cameo for SOB.
 
Tom Youngs has done well but was dropped for this weeks test.
 
Lions best player has been Kurtley Beal...if he hadn't fell over we'd be looking at a well deserved whitewash this weekend.
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Post by Notch Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:50 am

Heuer27 wrote:Rugby is a running game. Surely you can't be player of the tournament purely cause you can kick goals. If that was the case then Farrell is as good a shout as 1/2p. North for me as he does what it says on the winger tin

The only thing the Lions have done really well on this tour consistently is kick goals to be fair. I thought O'Connell was player of the tour up until he got injured but you can't give it to a guy who's missed 2 of the tests.

My vote would be for Adam Jones.
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Post by valtrepkos Fri 05 Jul 2013, 10:50 am

North has probably got it I'd say - Tom Youngs as had a great tour as well

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Post by maestegmafia Fri 05 Jul 2013, 11:36 am

valtrepkos wrote:North has probably got it I'd say - Tom Youngs as had a great tour as well

He has been one of the most thrilling talents... That try will be shown many times. He hasn't made many mistakes either.

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Post by GunsGerms Fri 05 Jul 2013, 11:48 am

Halfpenny probably but he may also the reason why the Lions have not won the series already though through no fault of his own I must add.

It seems the Lions have become over reliant on his kicking which has lead to a lack of endevour out wide. In the last series the Lions scored 7 tries in three tests. This time so far they have 2. This is also symptomatic of Gatland's disasterous tactics so far too.

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Post by GunsGerms Fri 05 Jul 2013, 11:50 am

rodders wrote:I don't think anyone has played particularly well, lots on nice rugby against part timers and Super rugby B sides but the tests have been the Will Genia show.
 
O'Connell bust his cahones in the first test to hold a shambolic lineout together and do the backrows work for them.
 
North has produced some standout moments but been taken to the cleaners by his opposite number in the tests.
 
Halfpenny has kicked superlatively but done little else.
 
O'Brien has stood out every time hes played, as has Faletau but haven't featured in the test yet, bar a cameo for SOB.
 
Tom Youngs has done well but was dropped for this weeks test.
 
Lions best player has been Kurtley Beal...if he hadn't fell over we'd be looking at a well deserved whitewash this weekend.

I wouldnt say well deserved. The Aussies themselves have not been great. I have always said they are there for the taking, they really are.

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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Fri 05 Jul 2013, 11:57 am

GunsGerms wrote:
rodders wrote:I don't think anyone has played particularly well, lots on nice rugby against part timers and Super rugby B sides but the tests have been the Will Genia show.
 
O'Connell bust his cahones in the first test to hold a shambolic lineout together and do the backrows work for them.
 
North has produced some standout moments but been taken to the cleaners by his opposite number in the tests.
 
Halfpenny has kicked superlatively but done little else.
 
O'Brien has stood out every time hes played, as has Faletau but haven't featured in the test yet, bar a cameo for SOB.
 
Tom Youngs has done well but was dropped for this weeks test.
 
Lions best player has been Kurtley Beal...if he hadn't fell over we'd be looking at a well deserved whitewash this weekend.

I wouldnt say well deserved. The Aussies themselves have not been great. I have always said they are there for the taking, they really are.

 
True, the Aussies dropped a lot of ball in the 1st half last week - and normally an Aussie team that had the amount of territory and possession they did would put 30+ points on the opposition. That said, it wasn't so much Beale's slip that cost them the 1st test as LLF's injury, had he been fit and kicking like he did in the 2nd they'd have won by a score. So that would make whoever tackled him in the 1st test player of the series (JD2?)
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Post by The Great Aukster Fri 05 Jul 2013, 11:57 am

Halfpenny is the only candidate. He has largely done what was expected of him whereas no one else has (bar Matt Stephens!). Players who have been dropped despite good performances can't be included as that would just further highlight the incompetence of the coaches. POC was unlucky to have got injured but one good game is a MOTM rather than a POTT.

Gatland has reduced the Lions to a team that restricts opposition scores rather than create anything themselves, so the key player in that is the place kicker. Halfpenny will never be a Beale or a Dagg but he is the only hope for this Lion's team from the tee and therefore has to be the player of the tour.

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Post by SecretFly Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:15 pm

I genuinely would have said Halfpenny (for the Lions at least) - he's very efficient at the kicks. But a lot of team work is needed to get him those shots so it can be unfair to place all the praise on his doorstep.  He kicks most of what he gets but the number of 'gets' he has in a game is determined by a lot of work happening in scrums etc.

North?  One excellent try (so far)  It was all his own doing too so he gets extra points for that...but............ by virtue of limited gameplans.... not much else since.

No stand out performer really and how could there be in such a close run series and less-than-robust oppostion in many of the lesser games.

Don't get me wrong, some tasty stuff in the lesser games and some great play and interplay for some tries.

But I reckon the player who caught my eye is a player who I've been very critical of in the past.  He hasn't done anything special, he hasn't had a high profile but I've been quite impressed with him - his smooth mind just doing his job and being not flashy but quite silky (so far anyway)

Conor Murray.

Halfpenny is the 'star' turn so far but it's Murray I'm saying sorry to for my lack of faith.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:20 pm

As Spain's representative I feel it is my duty to point out that cojones is the word for balls. H is never pronounced in Spanish and cajones means drawers. More commonly huevos or eggs are used to describe the male wrinkly double-set.

When you play as the Lions largely have it's only natural that Halfpenny gets singled out for his kicking display. POC's impact hasn't been replicated and North has had glimpses of attacking brilliance but as it stands there's not much to separate him from Cuthbert.

If you were to take it the other way, LLF being player of the series for Australia would be a sad indictment on this series. If he repeats his second test kicking display, that could sadly be a distinct possibility.

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Post by Thomond Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:26 pm

Biltong wrote:North vs Halfpenny

North made 9 tackles thus far and missed three
Halpenny made 7 tackles and missed 2

North had 8 runs for 89 meters (remember his electric try which was about 50 meters)
Halfpenny made 6 for 47 meters

North had 2 turnovers against him, Halfpenny none.

North had one line break Halfpenny none


Halpenny having no line breaks isn't a surprised, half the time he doesn't even bothering trying to counter attack. There are other examples but I will post a pic below of one I found annoying. Halfpenny receives a kick down the line from Folau. He has a good 10m cushion ahead of the nearest Oz player and there is room to run. The Oz defensive line is very fractured, so there are plenty of gaps. A good 20m away is Bowe, it's a dodgy but makeable pass and should he choose to pass Bowe has a lot of pass to make considerable ground. What annoys me most and it is something we saw under Kidney with Rob Kearney. He doesn't even look up just boots it down the field. We've seen Beale and Folau go for it in situations like this and it pay off. The negative tactics are definitely having an impact.

pic.twitter.com/PTZFu66x1Z

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Post by gavstar Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:29 pm

done what he's been asked to do, made sure he has put in more hours than anyone gives a kicker credit for, we would have lost already without him, halfpenny.

some of you who want more from a player, ask your player choices to kick goals too!!!!!!

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Post by GunsGerms Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:30 pm

Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
rodders wrote:I don't think anyone has played particularly well, lots on nice rugby against part timers and Super rugby B sides but the tests have been the Will Genia show.
 
O'Connell bust his cahones in the first test to hold a shambolic lineout together and do the backrows work for them.
 
North has produced some standout moments but been taken to the cleaners by his opposite number in the tests.
 
Halfpenny has kicked superlatively but done little else.
 
O'Brien has stood out every time hes played, as has Faletau but haven't featured in the test yet, bar a cameo for SOB.
 
Tom Youngs has done well but was dropped for this weeks test.
 
Lions best player has been Kurtley Beal...if he hadn't fell over we'd be looking at a well deserved whitewash this weekend.

I wouldnt say well deserved. The Aussies themselves have not been great. I have always said they are there for the taking, they really are.

 
True, the Aussies dropped a lot of ball in the 1st half last week - and normally an Aussie team that had the amount of territory and possession they did would put 30+ points on the opposition. That said, it wasn't so much Beale's slip that cost them the 1st test as LLF's injury, had he been fit and kicking like he did in the 2nd they'd have won by a score. So that would make whoever tackled him in the 1st test player of the series (JD2?)

Not sure thats true Pete. Are you certain that LLF was second choice kicker? I think Beale would have been given the nod anyway. His kicking is usually very good. Remember the long kick he got in a recent tri nations match v SA in SA to win the match?

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Post by SecretFly Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:35 pm

gavstar wrote:done what he's been asked to do, made sure he has put in more hours than anyone gives a kicker credit for, we would have lost already without him, halfpenny.

some of you who want more from a player, ask your player choices to kick goals too!!!!!!

Huh? Explain. Please.

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Post by RubyGuby Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:37 pm

I think he meant choc-ices in there somewhere Fly

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:37 pm

No really stand out performances though North had a stand out try.

Tom Youngs would be up there but Incredibly misses out for this test.

1/2p slotted his kicks but really hasnt done much more & that really sums up 2 low key performances so far IMO.

Whole side has lacked penetration from back row through to back line.

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:41 pm

I think what he's saying is that if you replaced Halfpenny with someone like Hogg who'd be more inclined to run the ball back who would kick the goals and would they be as accurate as Halfpenny has.

I guess it depends on what you ask of a player. Gatland asks of Halfpenny to be solid positionally and kick the balls over. Others might ask a fullback to enter the line or return the ball from a kick and add some attacking threat. Halfpenny is playing to orders and has done pretty much what he's been asked to do. So if you have a criticism of him, then ultimately that is a criticism of Gatland and his gameplan.

Personally though, the disappointing thing for me has been the forwards' performance. Without POC, the Lions have been disappointing in this area given their capabilities. The attack in the backs stems as much from that as Gatland team orders.

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Post by Submachine Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:51 pm

Jamie Heaslip. Has been a model of consistency. Had numerous turnovers in the tests. Won a lot of ball in the lineouts. Somhow managed to get the ball out of the scrums last week and prevented numerous penalties. Together with Warburton last week secured ball at the breakdown.
Played his heart out in both tests. Falatau is just as good a player in a slightly different way an is deserving of a start but Heaslip for me has been a rock.

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Post by SecretFly Fri 05 Jul 2013, 12:55 pm

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:I think what he's saying is that if you replaced Halfpenny with someone like Hogg who'd be more inclined to run the ball back who would kick the goals and would they be as accurate as Halfpenny has.

Interesting point kia and I wouldn't begin to criticise either player for not being perfect at everything for 80 minutes, as time and tactics never allows you to be.  One of the guys above seems to think a few tiny qualifications when choosing top players is...well, being overly critical.  Not so, just being pragmatic with the word 'top' and 'best'

I'd say this about your point.  The more a 15 runs back, and is involved in a run back game, the less he'll probably be required to kick anyway as if he's attacking and being effective, then he's probably assisting more in tries than in points scoring.  The 15 who hold back and minds the shop but who also kicks, well I think he might have more opportunities to kick as it's a less run more atritional/penalty taking game.

Halfpenny can do both games obviously so his orders to stay back is in no way reflective of his ability.

I also hear that flyhalves have been known to kick too in rugby games Wink

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Post by kiakahaaotearoa Fri 05 Jul 2013, 1:06 pm

We'll never know what Sexton or Farrell could have done with the boot but Sexton has been asked to use his boot in another way. We haven't seen what he can do with the ball in hand.

Just watching the Crusaders game vs the Chiefs. Dagg during the French series did something akin to Halfpenny. He never got his running game going but he did what was asked of him under the high ball and his kicking game was immaculate. He can actually goal kick as well but that wasn't asked of him. He's been in poor form for the Crusaders this season but you could see his confidence grow during the French series.

The game tonight saw him live up in the line. It leaves a gap at the back but it creates gaps in the defensive line as well. Personally, I always prefer to see a rugby team do all it can to attack. Both in the forwards and the backs. It's not just Gatland and Wales playing percentage rugby. Look at what's happened to France in recent years. For all the talk of the Australian backline when have we seen them unleash with any consistency? When has SA looked like its attacking Super teams? Even NZ for much of the RC was turgid on attack. Is it the laws that encourage this percentage rugby or is it the increasing conservative mindset of the coaching staff?

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Post by rodders Fri 05 Jul 2013, 1:21 pm

kiakahaaotearoa wrote:As Spain's representative I feel it is my duty to point out that cojones is the word for balls. H is never pronounced in Spanish and cajones means drawers. More commonly huevos or eggs are used to describe the male wrinkly double-set.

Thanks Kia but I was actually speaking Ulster-Scots .... mo2
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Post by Pete C (Kiwireddevil) Fri 05 Jul 2013, 1:32 pm

GunsGerms wrote:
Pete C (Kiwireddevil) wrote:
GunsGerms wrote:
rodders wrote:I don't think anyone has played particularly well, lots on nice rugby against part timers and Super rugby B sides but the tests have been the Will Genia show.
 
O'Connell bust his cahones in the first test to hold a shambolic lineout together and do the backrows work for them.
 
North has produced some standout moments but been taken to the cleaners by his opposite number in the tests.
 
Halfpenny has kicked superlatively but done little else.
 
O'Brien has stood out every time hes played, as has Faletau but haven't featured in the test yet, bar a cameo for SOB.
 
Tom Youngs has done well but was dropped for this weeks test.
 
Lions best player has been Kurtley Beal...if he hadn't fell over we'd be looking at a well deserved whitewash this weekend.

I wouldnt say well deserved. The Aussies themselves have not been great. I have always said they are there for the taking, they really are.

 
True, the Aussies dropped a lot of ball in the 1st half last week - and normally an Aussie team that had the amount of territory and possession they did would put 30+ points on the opposition. That said, it wasn't so much Beale's slip that cost them the 1st test as LLF's injury, had he been fit and kicking like he did in the 2nd they'd have won by a score. So that would make whoever tackled him in the 1st test player of the series (JD2?)

Not sure thats true Pete. Are you certain that LLF was second choice kicker? I think Beale would have been given the nod anyway. His kicking is usually very good. Remember the long kick he got in a recent tri nations match v SA in SA to win the match?

LLF was the 1st choice kicker Guns. JOC stepped up and failed when LLF went off then Beale was 4th choice (as Barnes was off too)
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