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Lions 2017

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Post by 123456789 Sun 20 Mar 2016, 11:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

I understand and respect all the arguments against this kind of post 18 months before but the proper journalists are all having a so we might as well. It happens after every tournament.

For what it's worth I'd pick:

1. Marler
2. Hartley
3. Nel
4. J. Gray
5. AW Jones
6. Faletau
7. Warburton
8. Vunipola
9. Webb
10. Sexton
11. North
12. Henshaw
13. Joseph
14. Watson
15. Hogg

16. McGrath
17. MacInally
18. Lee
19. Itoje
20. Stander
21. Youngs
22. Biggar
23. Halfpenny

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Fri 25 Mar 2016, 4:02 pm

I genuinely believe Gregor Townsend has a chance of being the head honcho!
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Post by BigGee Fri 25 Mar 2016, 5:10 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:I genuinely believe Gregor Townsend has a chance of being the head honcho!

In the future maybe, but not this time.

It is going to be Gatland by default. To be fair, the Lions have recently gone with a bit of continuity and having won a series, probably deserves another shot if he fancies it. He has been far from the worst Lions coach, I think Clive Woodward wins that honour by a mile, he really did not get it at all!

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 25 Mar 2016, 5:46 pm

BigGee wrote:
RuggerRadge2611 wrote:I genuinely believe Gregor Townsend has a chance of being the head honcho!

In the future maybe, but not this time.

It is going to be Gatland by default. To be fair, the Lions have recently gone with a bit of continuity and having won a series, probably deserves another shot if he fancies it. He has been far from the worst Lions coach, I think Clive Woodward wins that honour by a mile, he really did not get it at all!

Oh jesus, the guy really can't get any credit can he laughing. It does look as if it's going to be Gatland btw, as everyone else keeps ruling themselves out. I think with the players available the Lions will have a very good chance at taking a scalp in NZ.

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Post by Fanster Sat 26 Mar 2016, 8:37 am

bedfordwelsh wrote:
Fanster wrote:Is Guy Noves the only NH coach in the 6N?

Thats a depressing statistic!

the Italian coach was French to, Noves was the only National coach of his Country so to speak.

Brunel of course, replaced with COS...

Still it's not a great shout that all home ntions coaches are SH, I think this highlights a bit of an issues in the NH, without the top level coaches how are our mid and lower level coaches levels, and thus are we constantly wasting talent through poor coaching?

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Post by The Great Aukster Sat 26 Mar 2016, 9:09 am

The Lions 'coach' is simply a selector. He doesn't know most of the players well enough and hasn't the time to learn. His best chance is to pick big chunks of teams who already know each other and let them do what they do for their national side.
Since the vast majority of the players should be from England and Wales, and Eddie Jones doesn't want to do it, then Gatland is the only choice.

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Post by Fanster Sat 26 Mar 2016, 10:24 am

The Great Aukster wrote:The Lions 'coach' is simply a selector. He doesn't know most of the players well enough and hasn't the time to learn. His best chance is to pick big chunks of teams who already know each other and let them do what they do for their national side.
Since the vast majority of the players should be from England and Wales, and Eddie Jones doesn't want to do it, then Gatland is the only choice.

Didn't Gatland take a year off last time round to 'get to know' the players he wanted to pick?

Isn't he prepped for this with another contractual clause that would do the same again?

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Post by The Great Aukster Sat 26 Mar 2016, 10:45 am

Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:The Lions 'coach' is simply a selector. He doesn't know most of the players well enough and hasn't the time to learn. His best chance is to pick big chunks of teams who already know each other and let them do what they do for their national side.
Since the vast majority of the players should be from England and Wales, and Eddie Jones doesn't want to do it, then Gatland is the only choice.

Didn't Gatland take a year off last time round to 'get to know' the players he wanted to pick?

Isn't he prepped for this with another contractual clause that would do the same again?

I have no doubt he knows their names and witnessed their play. What he doesn't know is how they interpret his instructions, or how they communicate with strangers, or react to his captain. The spread of players may play in teams with a wide variation of styles that may be incompatible with each other, so Gatland has no idea how adaptable a player is unless he has 'coached' them before.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Sat 26 Mar 2016, 1:50 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:I genuinely believe Gregor Townsend has a chance of being the head honcho!

Maybe not next year but would be a great shout to go as attack coach.
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Post by Fanster Sat 26 Mar 2016, 2:35 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:The Lions 'coach' is simply a selector. He doesn't know most of the players well enough and hasn't the time to learn. His best chance is to pick big chunks of teams who already know each other and let them do what they do for their national side.
Since the vast majority of the players should be from England and Wales, and Eddie Jones doesn't want to do it, then Gatland is the only choice.

Didn't Gatland take a year off last time round to 'get to know' the players he wanted to pick?

Isn't he prepped for this with another contractual clause that would do the same again?

I have no doubt he knows their names and witnessed their play. What he doesn't know is how they interpret his instructions, or how they communicate with strangers, or react to his captain. The spread of players may play in teams with a wide variation of styles that may be incompatible with each other, so Gatland has no idea how adaptable a player is unless he has 'coached' them before.

That could be true of any coach joining a new team though, Eddie Jones just won a 6N trophy, but by your reckoning he knows little more than their names?

Truth is Gatland will have coached a large % of the next Lions tourists, and those he hadn't he will be very familiar with, and will have employed plenty who can answer all those questions.

Although I don't think Gatland is necesarily the best coach, he is primed to be the best option.

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Post by The Great Aukster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 10:35 am

Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:The Lions 'coach' is simply a selector. He doesn't know most of the players well enough and hasn't the time to learn. His best chance is to pick big chunks of teams who already know each other and let them do what they do for their national side.
Since the vast majority of the players should be from England and Wales, and Eddie Jones doesn't want to do it, then Gatland is the only choice.

Didn't Gatland take a year off last time round to 'get to know' the players he wanted to pick?

Isn't he prepped for this with another contractual clause that would do the same again?

I have no doubt he knows their names and witnessed their play. What he doesn't know is how they interpret his instructions, or how they communicate with strangers, or react to his captain. The spread of players may play in teams with a wide variation of styles that may be incompatible with each other, so Gatland has no idea how adaptable a player is unless he has 'coached' them before.

That could be true of any coach joining a new team though, Eddie Jones just won a 6N trophy, but by your reckoning he knows little more than their names?

Truth is Gatland will have coached a large % of the next Lions tourists, and those he hadn't he will be very familiar with, and will have employed plenty who can answer all those questions.

Although I don't think Gatland is necesarily the best coach, he is primed to be the best option.

The point is Jones inherited Lancaster's team who KNOW EACH OTHER. All Jones had to do was to focus their minds and pick a new captain.

The so called 'traditional' Lions selection does not pick players who have played together. Gatland just about scraped over the line against Australia because he had so many Welsh in the side who knew each other's play. He'll pick something like the English tight five, the Welsh middle five, and one or two Irish and Scottish tokens in the back five.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Mon 28 Mar 2016, 10:43 am

Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:The Lions 'coach' is simply a selector. He doesn't know most of the players well enough and hasn't the time to learn. His best chance is to pick big chunks of teams who already know each other and let them do what they do for their national side.
Since the vast majority of the players should be from England and Wales, and Eddie Jones doesn't want to do it, then Gatland is the only choice.

Didn't Gatland take a year off last time round to 'get to know' the players he wanted to pick?

Isn't he prepped for this with another contractual clause that would do the same again?

I have no doubt he knows their names and witnessed their play. What he doesn't know is how they interpret his instructions, or how they communicate with strangers, or react to his captain. The spread of players may play in teams with a wide variation of styles that may be incompatible with each other, so Gatland has no idea how adaptable a player is unless he has 'coached' them before.

That could be true of any coach joining a new team though, Eddie Jones just won a 6N trophy, but by your reckoning he knows little more than their names?

Truth is Gatland will have coached a large % of the next Lions tourists, and those he hadn't he will be very familiar with, and will have employed plenty who can answer all those questions.

Although I don't think Gatland is necesarily the best coach, he is primed to be the best option.

You could say the same about Lancaster and he is available without disrupting a national side. With the RIGHT coaches around him it could work, EJ has the same players playing just with direction. Something SL my have learnt over the last few months.
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Post by bedfordwelsh Mon 28 Mar 2016, 10:53 am

With tours being a lot shorter these days all coaches do it.

In 05 Woodward picked 20 English, 11 Irish, 10 Welsh and 3 Scots

In 09 McGeechan picked 16 Irish, 15 Welsh, 10 English and 4 Scots

In 13 Gatland picked 16 Welsh, 14 English, 12 Irish and 4 Scots.

Woodwards was the most dominated by 1 Nation in 09 and 13 there was quite and even split but again in short tours coaches will go with a bigger % of one team.
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Post by TJ Mon 28 Mar 2016, 11:00 am

I really hope its not Gatland - infact I would prefer it not to be any of the home nations managers. Gatland nearly blew the chance last time with poor selections and poor tactics

When looking at selection you have to look at the team played not the total squad. Gatland picked his favourites even if out of form or unfit and left better players languishing in the midweek side.

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 11:30 am

TJ wrote:I really hope its not Gatland - infact I would prefer it not to be any of the home nations managers.  Gatland nearly blew the chance last time with poor selections and poor tactics

When looking at selection you have to look at the team played not the total squad.  Gatland picked his favourites even if out of form or unfit and left better players languishing in the midweek side.

That is a seriously ignorant comment.

Gatland won a series, thats a pretty end of statement with regards to player selection!

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 28 Mar 2016, 11:55 am

Fanster wrote:
TJ wrote:I really hope its not Gatland - infact I would prefer it not to be any of the home nations managers.  Gatland nearly blew the chance last time with poor selections and poor tactics

When looking at selection you have to look at the team played not the total squad.  Gatland picked his favourites even if out of form or unfit and left better players languishing in the midweek side.

That is a seriously ignorant comment.

Gatland won a series, thats a pretty end of statement with regards to player selection!

The 3rd Test victory was about as comprehensive as it gets, despite it being his most "controversial" selection. Gatland won the series, and in some style. Outstanding coach.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Mon 28 Mar 2016, 11:55 am

TJ wrote:I really hope its not Gatland - infact I would prefer it not to be any of the home nations managers.  Gatland nearly blew the chance last time with poor selections and poor tactics

When looking at selection you have to look at the team played not the total squad.  Gatland picked his favourites even if out of form or unfit and left better players languishing in the midweek side.

Unlike SCW who did blow it.
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Post by LondonTiger Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:02 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:
TJ wrote:I really hope its not Gatland - infact I would prefer it not to be any of the home nations managers.  Gatland nearly blew the chance last time with poor selections and poor tactics

When looking at selection you have to look at the team played not the total squad.  Gatland picked his favourites even if out of form or unfit and left better players languishing in the midweek side.

Unlike SCW who did blow it.

Yes SCW made a right royal feck up, but NZ 2005 were light years ahead of Aus 2013.

The tour that was "blown" was 2009.


As to the HC - a left field selection (and one that would not happen) would be Comor O'Shea. He wouldhave had a season's experience with Italy and coached against all the teams that make up the Lion's.


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Post by TJ Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:17 pm

I can't remember when Hogg last dropped a catch - altho I am sure he does. He is both the best and the inform FB of the home nations - hence he was player of the six nations. He and Gray are the two Scots that stand well above their rivals and must be in a lions team.

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:18 pm

Who blew 2009? Ronan o Gara?

I think Woodward is a prime example of how not to select your boys, especially when another nation recently wins a grand slam! Gatland decided to revert to type as soon as he got his boys fit and firing, and as contraversial as the final test selection was it was what Gatland had planned all along, and worked out very well for everyone.

NZ in 2005 were best in the world, SA in 2009 I'd argue were best in the world also, 2009 remains the most brutal rugby i've witnessed!

Hopefully NZ 2017 will be the best in the world, and we'll be competitive!

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:21 pm

TJ wrote:I can't remember when Hogg last dropped a catch - altho I am sure he does.  He is both the best and the inform FB of the home nations - hence he was player of the six nations.  He and Gray are the two Scots that stand well above their rivals and must be in a lions team.

Does flying in out of control, wiping your own winger out and concede a try not count? Or being sold a dummy 5m out by a static hooker? He is electric ball in hand, and will definately travel if his form stays high, but best FB in the NH isn't correct, Brown and Williams are safer options IMO, especially when considering NZ's high kick % game plan, include a returned halfpenny and IMO 3/4 will go, it's an absolute toss up who will miss out.

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Post by TJ Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:24 pm

Fanster wrote:
TJ wrote:I really hope its not Gatland - infact I would prefer it not to be any of the home nations managers.  Gatland nearly blew the chance last time with poor selections and poor tactics

When looking at selection you have to look at the team played not the total squad.  Gatland picked his favourites even if out of form or unfit and left better players languishing in the midweek side.

That is a seriously ignorant comment.

Gatland won a series, thats a pretty end of statement with regards to player selection!

Its not an ignorant comment. Its my judgement. Gatland was playing a poorish Aus side, did not pick form players 'cos they were not welsh. his tactics were naive, his selections all about his favourites and he was very lucky to come away with the series win - wheras with selection on form and the right tactics it would have been a 3 nil thrashing. And this is not sour grapes from me - I am not sure any scots missed out but playing unfit and out of form welshmen when better players were not even on the bench shows his poor selection.

I think My choice might be Lancaster for the next tour

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Post by TJ Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:25 pm

Fanster wrote:
Does flying in out of control, wiping your own winger out and concede a try not count? Or being sold a dummy 5m out by a static hooker?

Not as a dropped catch no Headscratch

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:28 pm

TJ wrote:
Fanster wrote:
Does flying in out of control, wiping your own winger out and concede a try not count? Or being sold a dummy 5m out by a static hooker?

Not as a dropped catch no Headscratch

I see, so it wasn't a high ball he should've gathered? Your one of those 'it doesn't count because Hogg' fans?

Lets be a bit honest, electric going forward vulnerable in D, put the ball in the air and he's average, he buys dummies, and gets carried away.

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:30 pm

TJ wrote:
Fanster wrote:
TJ wrote:I really hope its not Gatland - infact I would prefer it not to be any of the home nations managers.  Gatland nearly blew the chance last time with poor selections and poor tactics

When looking at selection you have to look at the team played not the total squad.  Gatland picked his favourites even if out of form or unfit and left better players languishing in the midweek side.

That is a seriously ignorant comment.

Gatland won a series, thats a pretty end of statement with regards to player selection!

Its not an  ignorant comment.  Its my judgement.  Gatland was playing a poorish Aus side, did not pick form players 'cos they were not welsh. his tactics were naive, his selections all about his favourites and he was very lucky to come away with the series win - wheras with selection on form and the right tactics it would have been a 3 nil thrashing.  And this is not sour grapes from me - I am not sure any scots missed out but playing unfit and out of form welshmen when better players were not even on the bench shows his poor selection.

I think My choice might be Lancaster for the next tour

Apologies for the 'ignorant' claim, it wasn't meant to offend.

My point was, despite Australia not being great that season Gatlands 'favourites' finally got to play in test 3, therefore you would have to argue these better players left on the bench were the ones starting and holding the team back in the first 2 tests, therefore the 'favourites' were just the better players injured and waiting to return to improve the performance, which they did.

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Post by kingelderfield Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:31 pm

The Lions is the biggest anachronism left in the professional game and actually is the biggest NH chip available for negotiation. So if we're going to have to move our season post 2020 why not get rid of the Lions and let the SH suck it up!

Of course its' not going to happen however the 'tour' has to be history and should be reduced to 3 1/2 weeks, 6/7 games max including 3 tests.

Personally I wish England just withdrew from the whole jamboree and left it up to the players to individually choose/negotiate their participation.

All that said if we're looking for an opportunity to trial some premiership coaches in the international arena then the Lions gives you that. Therefore why not Baxter and Diamond with Townsend plus a defense coach of ability. That would do it.

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:41 pm

kingelderfield wrote:The Lions is the biggest anachronism left in the professional game and actually is the biggest NH chip available for negotiation. So if we're going to have to move our season post 2020 why not get rid of the Lions and let the SH suck it up!

Of course its' not going to happen however the 'tour' has to be history and should be reduced to 3 1/2 weeks, 6/7 games max including 3 tests.

Personally I wish England just withdrew from the whole jamboree and left it up to the players to individually choose/negotiate their participation.

All that said if we're looking for an opportunity to trial some premiership coaches in the international arena then the Lions gives you that. Therefore why not Baxter and Diamond with Townsend plus a defense coach of ability. That would do it.

I'm not sure downgrading the lions to a coach development tool would work.

It is a huge negotiation tool however, a massive pay out every 12 years, maybe the response should be to tour NH nations instead? Maybe tour Wales/Ireland in 2021 and then England Scotland 2025? Plenty of pro quality teams to play, and the 3 tests could look like...

Test 1 - Lowest ranked nation eg Ireland
Test 2 - Highest ranked nation eg Wales
Test 3 - combined team of the 2 nations

They could play a province/premiership select, and it could be kept to 6/7 games all in

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Post by TJ Mon 28 Mar 2016, 12:52 pm

Fanster wrote:
Apologies for the 'ignorant' claim, it wasn't meant to offend.

.

No problem Hug

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 1:05 pm

TJ wrote:
Fanster wrote:
Apologies for the 'ignorant' claim, it wasn't meant to offend.

.

No problem Hug

I'm trying to make 606v2 a more pleasant place... I am failing at first attempt obviously lol

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Post by TJ Mon 28 Mar 2016, 1:13 pm

Not at all- gracious apologies go a long way. I wasn't offended anyway. Its easy to miss nuance in text based conversations but being able to apologise if you might have caused offense inadvertently is good

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 1:33 pm

TJ wrote:Not at all- gracious apologies go a long way.  I wasn't offended anyway.  Its easy to miss nuance in text based conversations but being able to apologise if you might have caused offense inadvertently is good

Dying to make a Marler reference there, but in the new air of making the world a better place I will refrain!

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Post by bedfordwelsh Mon 28 Mar 2016, 2:31 pm

TJ wrote:
Fanster wrote:
TJ wrote:I really hope its not Gatland - infact I would prefer it not to be any of the home nations managers.  Gatland nearly blew the chance last time with poor selections and poor tactics

When looking at selection you have to look at the team played not the total squad.  Gatland picked his favourites even if out of form or unfit and left better players languishing in the midweek side.

That is a seriously ignorant comment.

Gatland won a series, thats a pretty end of statement with regards to player selection!

Its not an  ignorant comment.  Its my judgement.  Gatland was playing a poorish Aus side, did not pick form players 'cos they were not welsh. his tactics were naive, his selections all about his favourites and he was very lucky to come away with the series win - wheras with selection on form and the right tactics it would have been a 3 nil thrashing.  And this is not sour grapes from me - I am not sure any scots missed out but playing unfit and out of form welshmen when better players were not even on the bench shows his poor selection.

I think My choice might be Lancaster for the next tour

So below is the last lions test line up who were not the form players in that 23 that you would have dropped. The only obvious one I can think and would agree with is Phillips in ahead of Murray.

Leigh Halfpenny
Tommy Bowe
Jonathan Davies
Jamie Roberts
George North
Jonathan Sexton
Mike Phillips
Taulupe Faletau
Sean O'Brien
Dan Lydiate
Geoff Parling
Alun Wyn Jones (c)
Adam Jones
Richard Hibbard
Alex Corbisiero

Replacements:
Tom Youngs
Mako Vunipola
Dan Cole
Justin Tipuric
Conor Murray
Owen Farrell
Manu Tuilagi
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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Mon 28 Mar 2016, 2:56 pm

Cuthbert, Phillips & Warburton were in the first test & apart from the game against England in the 6 Ns certainly hadn't shown any form of note.
However, that game seemed to give Gats carte blanche to choose whoever he wanted in the welsh camp with impunity.

The only player(s) left out from the welsh squad was Biggar & Evans(?)

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Post by bedfordwelsh Mon 28 Mar 2016, 3:07 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Cuthbert, Phillips & Warburton were in the first test & apart from the game against England in the 6 Ns certainly hadn't shown any form of note.
However, that game seemed to give Gats carte blanche to choose whoever he wanted in the welsh camp with impunity.

The only player(s) left out from the welsh squad was Biggar & Evans(?)

Bowe was out injured plus Cuthbert scored so sort of justified his inclusion.

Already said that Murray should have been in over Phillips.

Warburton had a good tour himself until injury.

So who on that last test were the form players not picked? Other than Murray over Phillips.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 28 Mar 2016, 3:22 pm

bedfordwelsh wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Cuthbert, Phillips & Warburton were in the first test & apart from the game against England in the 6 Ns certainly hadn't shown any form of note.
However, that game seemed to give Gats carte blanche to choose whoever he wanted in the welsh camp with impunity.

The only player(s) left out from the welsh squad was Biggar & Evans(?)

Bowe was out injured plus Cuthbert scored so sort of justified his inclusion.

Already said that Murray should have been in over Phillips.

Warburton had a good tour himself until injury.

So who on that last test were the form players not picked?  Other than Murray over Phillips.

It's a small point to add, but the Lions did win the 1st Test.

I do think that Gatland's critics have seriously overlooked how difficult it is for the Lions to win a Test series. Henry didn't manage it in 2001 and he had a high quality squad against an Australian side on the wane. It really is difficult to gel a squad together in such a short period of time and whilst team selection is an inherently subjective business (I didn't agree with a few of Gatland's calls at the time either) his decisions really were vindicated by the outcome. To win that 3rd Test 41-16 was a remarkable achievement.

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Post by Sin é Mon 28 Mar 2016, 3:47 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
bedfordwelsh wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Cuthbert, Phillips & Warburton were in the first test & apart from the game against England in the 6 Ns certainly hadn't shown any form of note.
However, that game seemed to give Gats carte blanche to choose whoever he wanted in the welsh camp with impunity.

The only player(s) left out from the welsh squad was Biggar & Evans(?)

Bowe was out injured plus Cuthbert scored so sort of justified his inclusion.

Already said that Murray should have been in over Phillips.

Warburton had a good tour himself until injury.

So who on that last test were the form players not picked?  Other than Murray over Phillips.

It's a small point to add, but the Lions did win the 1st Test.

I do think that Gatland's critics have seriously overlooked how difficult it is for the Lions to win a Test series. Henry didn't manage it in 2001 and he had a high quality squad against an Australian side on the wane. It really is difficult to gel a squad together in such a short period of time and whilst team selection is an inherently subjective business (I didn't agree with a few of Gatland's calls at the time either) his decisions really were vindicated by the outcome. To win that 3rd Test 41-16 was a remarkable achievement.

We are well aware of how difficult it is to win a Lions Test Series. That is why the 1997 Tour and its Coach is so highly regarded.

Henry had huge man management problems with some difficult characters. And lets not forget the Welsh players never forgave him for not picking them. Gatland probably learned that from Henry.

The way Gatland ran the tour was completely against the ethos of the Lions. He took the easy way out and didn't even try and develop partnerships (and the one he should have left intact for some reason he didn't use (Sexton & Murray). He used players like Paul O'Connell to mind Warburton, and his handling of the dropping of Brian O'Driscoll was a disgrace (dragging him into a Press Conference the week of the final test which led everyone to believe he was captaining the 3rd Test).

Gatland will destroy the Lions, because it will get to the stage that everyone outside of Wales will have no time for them.
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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Mon 28 Mar 2016, 3:57 pm

Apart from the payers mentioned above JD2 was very average in the first 2 tests and in the 2nd test Bod was outstanding at 13.
Welsh & non welsh fans will never agree on this selection in the 3rd test and of course the fall back is the result. However, many including myself will say that isn't the point.

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Post by Seagultaf Mon 28 Mar 2016, 4:56 pm

BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Apart from the payers mentioned above JD2 was very average in the first 2 tests and in the 2nd test Bod was outstanding at 13.
Welsh & non welsh fans will never agree on this selection in the 3rd test and of course the fall back is the result. However, many including myself will say that isn't the point.

JD2 was one of the great successes of the tour and played out of position in the first 2 tests as both Roberts and Tuilagi were injured.

BOD is one of the best players I have ever seen, an all time great but by the time of the last Lions tour was well past his best. He had experienced a poor 6N and looked off the pace (certainly not outstanding) in the Lions tests, consequently was dropped on form as Roberts and Tuilagi were available. I thought he had stayed on a season or so too long but to be fair to him he came back strongly in the next season for Ireland and went out on a high.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 28 Mar 2016, 4:57 pm

Sin é wrote:
funnyExiledScot wrote:
bedfordwelsh wrote:
BigTrevsbigmac wrote:Cuthbert, Phillips & Warburton were in the first test & apart from the game against England in the 6 Ns certainly hadn't shown any form of note.
However, that game seemed to give Gats carte blanche to choose whoever he wanted in the welsh camp with impunity.

The only player(s) left out from the welsh squad was Biggar & Evans(?)

Bowe was out injured plus Cuthbert scored so sort of justified his inclusion.

Already said that Murray should have been in over Phillips.

Warburton had a good tour himself until injury.

So who on that last test were the form players not picked?  Other than Murray over Phillips.

It's a small point to add, but the Lions did win the 1st Test.

I do think that Gatland's critics have seriously overlooked how difficult it is for the Lions to win a Test series. Henry didn't manage it in 2001 and he had a high quality squad against an Australian side on the wane. It really is difficult to gel a squad together in such a short period of time and whilst team selection is an inherently subjective business (I didn't agree with a few of Gatland's calls at the time either) his decisions really were vindicated by the outcome. To win that 3rd Test 41-16 was a remarkable achievement.

We are well aware of how difficult it is to win a Lions Test Series. That is why the 1997 Tour and its Coach is so highly regarded.

Henry had huge man management problems with some difficult characters. And lets not forget the Welsh players never forgave him for not picking them. Gatland probably learned that from Henry.

The way Gatland ran the tour was completely against the ethos of the Lions. He took the easy way out and didn't even try and develop partnerships (and the one he should have left intact for some reason he didn't use (Sexton & Murray). He used players like Paul O'Connell to mind Warburton, and his handling of the dropping of Brian O'Driscoll was a disgrace (dragging him into a Press Conference the week of the final test which led everyone to believe he was captaining the 3rd Test).

Gatland will destroy the Lions, because it will get to the stage that everyone outside of Wales will have no time for them.

OK, we get it. The World Class Irish contingent were hard done by. He didn't do us Scots any favours either, but the Lions must be bigger than its component parts and once those jerseys are on it shouldn't matter who occupies them. I can't help but feel that there were a few "Lions fans" out there wanting Gatland (and JD2) to fail.

Gatland reinvigorated the Lions with that sweeping 3rd Test victory and series win. Had the Lions lost I think the concept would have come under threat. The Lions badly needed a series win, and Gatland delivered it. The ends justified the means (not that I believe the means to be as brutal and unfair as the Irish seem to think). I believe Gatland is a no brainer to lead the next tour. I think the Irish need to move on - I'm sure there have been plenty favourable Irish selections for the Lions over its history (there have certainly been a few token Scots involved!).

Where I would agree is with respect to the high regard for the 1997 Lions tour. I do believe that was a greater achievement, to beat the World Champions (albeit on the decline) with a squad that precious few rated at the outset. Hindsight tells us that McGeechan/Telfer had some great players to call upon, but at the time there were only a few household names.

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Post by TJ Mon 28 Mar 2016, 5:01 pm

The series win was despite Gatland not because of him IMO - with a decent selection and tactics it would have been 3 nil. The players were there for 3 nil. Gatland chose to play wales+ rather than the best of the home nations. He just squeeked home

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 28 Mar 2016, 5:06 pm

TJ wrote:The series win was despite Gatland not because of him IMO - with a decent selection and tactics it would have been 3 nil.  The players were there for 3 nil.  Gatland chose to play wales+ rather than the best of the home nations.  He just squeeked home

That's just conjecture. How often have the Lions managed a 3-0 series whitewash (in their favour)??

Yes, the Lions had a good pool of players to choose from, but the trick is getting them to gel together into a cohesive XV. They won the decider 41-16. I wish Scotland "squeeked home" like that a bit more often!!

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Post by Sin é Mon 28 Mar 2016, 5:23 pm

The series win was not done in the right spirit though (apart from Australia being at its lowest point). When you have the Lions outhalf joking he has 3 Welsh caps, you know its not right.

Gatland didn't manage the trick of getting them to gel - thats why he gets criticism.
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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 28 Mar 2016, 5:29 pm

Sin é wrote:The series win was not done in the right spirit though (apart from Australia being at its lowest point). When you have the Lions outhalf joking he has 3 Welsh caps, you know its not right.

Gatland didn't manage the trick of getting them to gel - thats why he gets criticism.

The Lions won the decider 41-16.

5 of the XV and 11 of the XXIII weren't Welsh.

The facts rather get in the way of your analysis.

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Post by Sin é Mon 28 Mar 2016, 6:08 pm

In other words 75% of the starters were Welsh in final test.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 28 Mar 2016, 6:25 pm

A Lions win is a great thing but that was a terrible Aus side.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Mon 28 Mar 2016, 7:05 pm

If ever a coach tried to ruin the whole Lions ethos it was SCW.

Unless Geech was to take up the reigns I don't think any National coach will please everyone.
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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 8:41 pm

I am a little shocked by some attitudes here, Gatland wins a series which culminated in a demolishing in test 3 and it was won despite him?

Thats awfull, I didn't notice many people in Australia complaining about selection before the tour, or even during, come to think of it the only time player selection was a huge issue was when BOD was dropped and the lions finally performed how they had threatened to for the month previous.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon 28 Mar 2016, 8:48 pm

Sin é wrote:In other words 75% of the starters were Welsh in final test.


Nope. Try the calculator again.

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 9:00 pm

funnyExiledScot wrote:
Sin é wrote:In other words 75% of the starters were Welsh in final test.


Nope. Try the calculator again.

Laugh I want to say 66% but maths was never my strong suit...

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Post by TJ Mon 28 Mar 2016, 9:08 pm

Fanster wrote:I am a little shocked by some attitudes here, Gatland wins a series which culminated in a demolishing in test 3 and it was won despite him?

Thats awfull, I didn't notice many people in Australia complaining about selection before the tour, or even during, come to think of it the only time player selection was a huge issue was when BOD was dropped and the lions finally performed how they had threatened to for the month previous.

Many of us protested at the time. I bet some of the threads are still on here somewhere. The selection for the squad was poor - but the test team selection was clearly wrong in many eyes.

Gatland was poor and nearly cost us the series with his poor selections.

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Post by Fanster Mon 28 Mar 2016, 9:14 pm

TJ wrote:
Fanster wrote:I am a little shocked by some attitudes here, Gatland wins a series which culminated in a demolishing in test 3 and it was won despite him?

Thats awfull, I didn't notice many people in Australia complaining about selection before the tour, or even during, come to think of it the only time player selection was a huge issue was when BOD was dropped and the lions finally performed how they had threatened to for the month previous.

Many of us protested at the time.  I bet some of the threads are still on here somewhere.  The selection for the squad was poor - but the test team selection was clearly wrong in many eyes.

Gatland was poor and nearly cost us the series with his poor selections.

There will always be disagreements on squad selection for such a tour, thats natural, however the test team selection was key, until test 3 Gatland was poor as in he trusted a few players who clearly weren't up to it, test 3 highlighted what might have happened if the unfit injured welsh players were available earlier.

For such a statement I need examples, who deserved to play test 1 that didn't? and who deserved to play test 3 that didn't?

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