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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 Fanster Wed 13 Apr 2016, 8:17 pm

The Great Aukster wrote:
beshocked wrote:FES you talk a lot of sense. OK

Combinations indeed is what the Lions should go with.

The Great Aukster don't think anyone would say that any Japanese player would get in the Boks team yet in the RWC they beat SA.

Shows that upsets can happen with a decent coaching set up.

Most rugby teams wouldn't sack a coach after say half a season of bad results (many wouldn't after a whole season). That's because it takes time to build synergy in a team. Japan had been building up to the RWC for years with a strategy that they had practised over and over and they made history even if they didn't get out of their group. The Lions don't have several years or half a season or even half a dozen games where the same players will be jogging out - the standard of coaching is irrelevant.

The chance of an upset won't rely on 'smart' play but rests purely on the players literally putting their bodies on the line beyond what they've ever had to do for their country, and thus risk their future careers. They don't have patterns and plays they can rely on so Telfer was right - a Lions tour is metaphorically their Everest, and everyone knows that Everest takes no prisoners with life-changing and in some cases life-ending consequences.

Toulon have proved this isn't true anymore, you can lump a squad of top quality players together over a short period of time and win things.

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Post by The Great Aukster Wed 13 Apr 2016, 9:04 pm

Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
beshocked wrote:FES you talk a lot of sense. OK

Combinations indeed is what the Lions should go with.

The Great Aukster don't think anyone would say that any Japanese player would get in the Boks team yet in the RWC they beat SA.

Shows that upsets can happen with a decent coaching set up.

Most rugby teams wouldn't sack a coach after say half a season of bad results (many wouldn't after a whole season). That's because it takes time to build synergy in a team. Japan had been building up to the RWC for years with a strategy that they had practised over and over and they made history even if they didn't get out of their group. The Lions don't have several years or half a season or even half a dozen games where the same players will be jogging out - the standard of coaching is irrelevant.

The chance of an upset won't rely on 'smart' play but rests purely on the players literally putting their bodies on the line beyond what they've ever had to do for their country, and thus risk their future careers. They don't have patterns and plays they can rely on so Telfer was right - a Lions tour is metaphorically their Everest, and everyone knows that Everest takes no prisoners with life-changing and in some cases life-ending consequences.

Toulon have proved this isn't true anymore, you can lump a squad of top quality players together over a short period of time and win things.

Au contraire mon ami, Toulon are the perfect case that proves the point. They started recruiting big in 08 and 09, and didn't win anything until 2014. So despite their galacticos it still took them years to succeed as a team, which is about fifty times longer than the Lions coach gets!

BTW I agree that four or five seasons is indeed a relatively short period of time to build a championship winning squad.

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Post by TJ Wed 13 Apr 2016, 10:08 pm

I agree about combinations to some extent - especially at half back - so for me its Webb / Biggar or Murray / Sexton. Half backs you really need that understanding. I think its less important in other positions but a Lions tour is not long to gell. Where its a marginal call then you pick the players that know each other - but a standout player should be in even if they do not know the others they will be working with. Better an excellent player with a decent guy they are not used to working with than two decent guys who know each others game.

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Post by TJ Wed 13 Apr 2016, 10:15 pm

IanBru wrote:I wouldn't pick a current national coach (or a coach with a pre-existing relationship with a particular national team, like Lancaster) for the simple reason that it creates an impression (not necessarily borne out by facts) of bias in favour of that coach's own players. As I say, there isn't necessarily any bias, but an impression is enough to cause friction with fans and media, if not the players.

However, I'm going to break my own rule here and suggest Vern Cotter, and for three reasons:

  1. Cotter's 'source' of players, Scotland, is bound to have the fewest representatives in a Lions squad or test team, so it's highly unlikely that Scots are going to dominate like the English in 2005 or the Welsh in 2013.
  2. Cotter has shown himself to be completely unsentimental about dropping or not picking players that do not cut the mustard. Consider Mark Bennett, a player who owes a lot of his progression in the game to his time as a junior player at Clermont, being coached by Cotter. Bennett under-performed in the first two games of the Six Nations, and Cotter dropped him like a bad habit and picked Taylor instead for the rest of the tournament. I simply can't see players being picked by Cotter on reputation alone, and every player will surely get a fair crack of the whip in the warm up matches. Surely that's what we all want to see from our tour?
  3. Finally, Cotter coaches Scotland to play an exciting style that fills seats and delights fans. Don't get me wrong, I like Gatland, but does anyone here think he's going to suddenly change his tactics? Does anyone honestly think those tactics are capable of beating the All Blacks? Of course not. I think the only way to win the test series is to out-All-Black the All Blacks. Play a dynamic, fast-paced offloading game. I want to go out and try to beat them, rather than simply avoid losing.

Maybe defeat is inevitable (I actually don't think it is), but I'd rather reinvigorate the Lions concept by playing exciting balls-to-the-wall rugby than stodgy Northern Hemisphere porridge rugby. It might not work, but by God it'll be fun.

This is not a bad shout. Its certainly easier to make a decent case for Big Vern on that basis.

True Raven wrote:Don't see the hype over Cotter.  Apart from one league title in 8 attempts with Clermont and 1 challenge cup, he seriously underacheived and his record with Scotland isn't that great either in two years

He didn't really get much chance in the first year taking over just a couple of weeks before the first game and inheriting a demoralised team of very inexperienced players who were confused about how they were supposed to play. Cotter needs a good year next year tho to put his hand up. but he has really added something to this scotland side. In terms of added value he has done well taking them from D minus to a nice solid B

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Post by TJ Wed 13 Apr 2016, 10:50 pm

Oh - and if its all about combinations should the Edinburgh front row be the Lions front row?  The best front row perhaps in the NH club game that consists of Lions qualified players - they know each other very well indeed having played together for club and country Whistle Has any international front row played together more?

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Post by The Great Aukster Wed 13 Apr 2016, 11:16 pm

It's really a front five you'd be looking for there TJ as the locks are crucial to the scrum and the hooker, locks and props are all a team in the lineout. Could Edinburgh stretch to the full front five?

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Post by TJ Wed 13 Apr 2016, 11:23 pm

Ermmm- Edinburgh Locks Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm is the best I can say. We have the perpetually broken Gilcrest and the exotically coiffured Bresler and Toolis. Even I would find it hard to make a case for them as the lions unless having a good mane is a qualification

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Post by The Great Aukster Wed 13 Apr 2016, 11:28 pm

Absolutely! Adam Jones was picked solely because of his hair and Shane Byrne before him - apparently it confuses the colonials.

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Post by TJ Wed 13 Apr 2016, 11:30 pm

Very Happy

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Post by Fanster Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:39 am

The Great Aukster wrote:
Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
beshocked wrote:FES you talk a lot of sense. OK

Combinations indeed is what the Lions should go with.

The Great Aukster don't think anyone would say that any Japanese player would get in the Boks team yet in the RWC they beat SA.

Shows that upsets can happen with a decent coaching set up.

Most rugby teams wouldn't sack a coach after say half a season of bad results (many wouldn't after a whole season). That's because it takes time to build synergy in a team. Japan had been building up to the RWC for years with a strategy that they had practised over and over and they made history even if they didn't get out of their group. The Lions don't have several years or half a season or even half a dozen games where the same players will be jogging out - the standard of coaching is irrelevant.

The chance of an upset won't rely on 'smart' play but rests purely on the players literally putting their bodies on the line beyond what they've ever had to do for their country, and thus risk their future careers. They don't have patterns and plays they can rely on so Telfer was right - a Lions tour is metaphorically their Everest, and everyone knows that Everest takes no prisoners with life-changing and in some cases life-ending consequences.

Toulon have proved this isn't true anymore, you can lump a squad of top quality players together over a short period of time and win things.

Au contraire mon ami, Toulon are the perfect case that proves the point. They started recruiting big in 08 and 09, and didn't win anything until 2014. So despite their galacticos it still took them years to succeed as a team, which is about fifty times longer than the Lions coach gets!

BTW I agree that four or five seasons is indeed a relatively short period of time to build a championship winning squad.

Am I wrong in thinking that Toulon won the Top14 in 2012, and the HC in 2013? In 2009 they signed players of the like of Jamie Robinson from Cardiff? and a few other names, despite those names being 2 years too late, Toulon started spending before they started spending wisely?

Realistically, Toulon started putting world class players in their squad (lets not discuss who was FQ and who wasn't) the year they went and won the HC.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 14 Apr 2016, 1:48 am

Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
beshocked wrote:FES you talk a lot of sense. OK

Combinations indeed is what the Lions should go with.

The Great Aukster don't think anyone would say that any Japanese player would get in the Boks team yet in the RWC they beat SA.

Shows that upsets can happen with a decent coaching set up.

Most rugby teams wouldn't sack a coach after say half a season of bad results (many wouldn't after a whole season). That's because it takes time to build synergy in a team. Japan had been building up to the RWC for years with a strategy that they had practised over and over and they made history even if they didn't get out of their group. The Lions don't have several years or half a season or even half a dozen games where the same players will be jogging out - the standard of coaching is irrelevant.

The chance of an upset won't rely on 'smart' play but rests purely on the players literally putting their bodies on the line beyond what they've ever had to do for their country, and thus risk their future careers. They don't have patterns and plays they can rely on so Telfer was right - a Lions tour is metaphorically their Everest, and everyone knows that Everest takes no prisoners with life-changing and in some cases life-ending consequences.

Toulon have proved this isn't true anymore, you can lump a squad of top quality players together over a short period of time and win things.

Au contraire mon ami, Toulon are the perfect case that proves the point. They started recruiting big in 08 and 09, and didn't win anything until 2014. So despite their galacticos it still took them years to succeed as a team, which is about fifty times longer than the Lions coach gets!

BTW I agree that four or five seasons is indeed a relatively short period of time to build a championship winning squad.

Am I wrong in thinking that Toulon won the Top14 in 2012, and the HC in 2013? In 2009 they signed players of the like of Jamie Robinson from Cardiff? and a few other names, despite those names being 2 years too late, Toulon started spending before they started spending wisely?

Realistically, Toulon started putting world class players in their squad (lets not discuss who was FQ and who wasn't) the year they went and won the HC.
Toulon did indeed start spending before learning how to spend.  But, and credit to them, they did learn how to spend.  Many big name clubs in many sports spend a lot of money but never learn the lessons.  Toulon did.  

I think they won the Top 14 in one of the same years in which they won the Euro Rugby.  They won the Euro Rugby in 13, 14, and 15.  So I think they won the Top 14 in either 13 or 14.  I don't think they won it beforehand (except maybe in the distant past), but someone might know better.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 14 Apr 2016, 8:15 am

doctor_grey wrote:
Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
beshocked wrote:FES you talk a lot of sense. OK

Combinations indeed is what the Lions should go with.

The Great Aukster don't think anyone would say that any Japanese player would get in the Boks team yet in the RWC they beat SA.

Shows that upsets can happen with a decent coaching set up.

Most rugby teams wouldn't sack a coach after say half a season of bad results (many wouldn't after a whole season). That's because it takes time to build synergy in a team. Japan had been building up to the RWC for years with a strategy that they had practised over and over and they made history even if they didn't get out of their group. The Lions don't have several years or half a season or even half a dozen games where the same players will be jogging out - the standard of coaching is irrelevant.

The chance of an upset won't rely on 'smart' play but rests purely on the players literally putting their bodies on the line beyond what they've ever had to do for their country, and thus risk their future careers. They don't have patterns and plays they can rely on so Telfer was right - a Lions tour is metaphorically their Everest, and everyone knows that Everest takes no prisoners with life-changing and in some cases life-ending consequences.

Toulon have proved this isn't true anymore, you can lump a squad of top quality players together over a short period of time and win things.

Au contraire mon ami, Toulon are the perfect case that proves the point. They started recruiting big in 08 and 09, and didn't win anything until 2014. So despite their galacticos it still took them years to succeed as a team, which is about fifty times longer than the Lions coach gets!

BTW I agree that four or five seasons is indeed a relatively short period of time to build a championship winning squad.

Am I wrong in thinking that Toulon won the Top14 in 2012, and the HC in 2013? In 2009 they signed players of the like of Jamie Robinson from Cardiff? and a few other names, despite those names being 2 years too late, Toulon started spending before they started spending wisely?

Realistically, Toulon started putting world class players in their squad (lets not discuss who was FQ and who wasn't) the year they went and won the HC.
Toulon did indeed start spending before learning how to spend.  But, and credit to them, they did learn how to spend.  Many big name clubs in many sports spend a lot of money but never learn the lessons.  Toulon did.  

I think they won the Top 14 in one of the same years in which they won the Euro Rugby.  They won the Euro Rugby in 13, 14, and 15.  So I think they won the Top 14 in either 13 or 14.  I don't think they won it beforehand (except maybe in the distant past), but someone might know better.  

Bath?

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Post by The Great Aukster Thu 14 Apr 2016, 9:37 am

Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
Fanster wrote:
The Great Aukster wrote:
beshocked wrote:FES you talk a lot of sense. OK

Combinations indeed is what the Lions should go with.

The Great Aukster don't think anyone would say that any Japanese player would get in the Boks team yet in the RWC they beat SA.

Shows that upsets can happen with a decent coaching set up.

Most rugby teams wouldn't sack a coach after say half a season of bad results (many wouldn't after a whole season). That's because it takes time to build synergy in a team. Japan had been building up to the RWC for years with a strategy that they had practised over and over and they made history even if they didn't get out of their group. The Lions don't have several years or half a season or even half a dozen games where the same players will be jogging out - the standard of coaching is irrelevant.

The chance of an upset won't rely on 'smart' play but rests purely on the players literally putting their bodies on the line beyond what they've ever had to do for their country, and thus risk their future careers. They don't have patterns and plays they can rely on so Telfer was right - a Lions tour is metaphorically their Everest, and everyone knows that Everest takes no prisoners with life-changing and in some cases life-ending consequences.

Toulon have proved this isn't true anymore, you can lump a squad of top quality players together over a short period of time and win things.

Au contraire mon ami, Toulon are the perfect case that proves the point. They started recruiting big in 08 and 09, and didn't win anything until 2014. So despite their galacticos it still took them years to succeed as a team, which is about fifty times longer than the Lions coach gets!

BTW I agree that four or five seasons is indeed a relatively short period of time to build a championship winning squad.

Am I wrong in thinking that Toulon won the Top14 in 2012, and the HC in 2013? In 2009 they signed players of the like of Jamie Robinson from Cardiff? and a few other names, despite those names being 2 years too late, Toulon started spending before they started spending wisely?

Realistically, Toulon started putting world class players in their squad (lets not discuss who was FQ and who wasn't) the year they went and won the HC.

Toulon won the T14 in 2014, and the 'HC' in 13,14,15.

Supposedly Wilko was the main catalyst in the step up and he joined in 2009, but Giteau (2011) is credited in that regard as well. Armitage joined in 2011 and has been a standout for them too. They had a significant roll call of guys like Gregan, Sonny Bill, Umaga, Matfield, Sheridan, Van Niekerk, Contepomi etc. who were all signed long before any silver appeared. From the mid 00s it looks like Toulon kept buying players in and turning them over for greener grass until they realised that they would never win anything that way. Once the penny dropped at the start of the current decade, they built a side around key players that eventually started improving over several seasons before finally winning things.

Toulon are the perfect example showing that simply having better individuals than their opposition didn't win anything - they actually had to form a team over time to be successful, and their opposition wasn't the World Champions!

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Post by beshocked Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:14 am

Interesting you mention Toulon, only after they employed a top class coach, Bernard Laporte have they started winning silverware.

Sound familiar? Bernard Laporte - the last half decent French coach.

It's a no brainer - employing coaches who have been successful.


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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:27 am

beshocked wrote:Interesting you mention Toulon, only after they employed a top class coach, Bernard Laporte have they started winning silverware.

Sound familiar? Bernard Laporte - the last half decent French coach.

It's a no brainer - employing coaches who have been successful.


I think even Stuart Lancaster could resurrect his career with Toulon's options. It's the closest a rugby coach can get to playing championship manager for real.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:44 am

Interesting to read that Toulon didn't win anything by having better individuals than the opposition. So what the hell were Bakkies Botha, Ali Williams, Carl Hayman, Fernandez-Lobbe, Juan Smith, Jonny Wilkinson, Mat Giteau, Drew Mitchell and Bryan Habana doing all that time?

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Post by beshocked Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:48 am

Phillipe Saint Andre couldn't win with the championship manager team albeit taking over at a tougher period than Laporte.

Lancaster might win some silverware with Toulon but would be difficult to get 3 ERCC titles in a row.

Laporte will go down as one of the most successful coaches of the professional era in my opinion.

Gooseberry mentioned Bath, with their spending they should be doing better.

I remember when Sarries were struggling despite spending significant amounts in the past.

Having significant cash doesn't guarantee success, also in the ERCC you have other big spenders too.


Racing Metro have a successful coaching team too - two coaches who won a top 14 title with Castres.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:49 am

Toulon have had the best squad in Europe for the last 3/4 years, I imagine even you could coach them to some kind of success BS.

You do spout some bizzare rubbish sometimes(all the time).

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Post by beshocked Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:54 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Toulon have had the best squad in Europe for the last 3/4 years, I imagine even you could coach them to some kind of success BS.

You do spout some bizzare rubbish sometimes(all the time).

What exactly did I say that was bizarre rubbish?

3 ERCC titles in a row is still a significant achievement.

Instead of jumping down my throat like the lunatic you are, why don't you explain yourself?

Yes I think I could but 3 ERCC titles in a row? I don't think so. It's not easy, don't just hand the trophy on a platter.

The Toulon job is a nice one but still have got to win the silverware.

Having a cushy job does not guarantee silverware - e.g. Phillipe Saint Andre

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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:56 am

beshocked wrote:Phillipe Saint Andre couldn't win with the championship manager team albeit taking over at a tougher period than Laporte.

Lancaster might win some silverware with Toulon but would be difficult to get 3 ERCC titles in a row.

Laporte will go down as one of the most successful coaches of the professional era in my opinion.

Gooseberry mentioned Bath, with their spending they should be doing better.

I remember when Sarries were struggling despite spending significant amounts in the past.

Having significant cash doesn't guarantee success, also in the ERCC you have other big spenders too.


Racing Metro have a successful coaching team too - two coaches who won a top 14 title with Castres.

Well there is spending lots of money and spending lots of money if you know what I mean.

Bad example of spending lots of money - Leeds giving Seth Johnson a £40,000 a week contract when he only had wanted £12,000.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:58 am

Lunatic? Another BS attack Rolling Eyes

You stated Toulon were successful due to them having a good coach, this is not the reason.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:03 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Lunatic? Another BS attack Rolling Eyes

You stated Toulon were successful due to them having a good coach, this is not the reason.

Probably 80% of the reason to be fair.

A good coach can get teams to pretty remarkable heights but without top top class players you won't get close to winning the European Cup... let alone 3 times on the trot.

Take a good coach with a team fighting within its budget vs. one with buckets of cash.

Scenario 1 - you have a tighthead prop issue.

no budget coach has to somehow work around it. Big budget coach literally goes shopping.  Bit of a difference.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:08 pm

A good coach can do wonders with an average squad, Toulon have the best squad in Europe by a distance. Laporte did what most average coaches would have been able to do.

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Post by beshocked Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:10 pm

fa0019 Leeds are one of the worst managed Premier league clubs, I do feel sorry for them, having an owner who seems to be one of the worst in football.

Whatever people say about Mourad, at least he's got Toulon in pretty good shape, he's put them on the map.

Nigel Wray is another unloved figure but he's very passionate about Saracens and he's helped build Saracens to where they are now.

Interesting comparing Wray and Mourad - both unloved, both controversial, one has a more financially stable club but the other has a much better academy and has been much more instrumental in helping the national side.

The South African investors has been good for Saracens - not in the limelight but pouring the money in.


Of course the overall infrastructure of a club/organisation/country is important.


Sgt Pooly you attack me and you wonder why I attack you?


Compare Phillipe Saint Andre's tenure at Toulon to Bernard Laporte's. You don't think Laporte has made a difference?

Of course having a good structure in place is important but a coach is important too.

Look at Bath - should be performing better.


Rob Baxter has shown to be an excellent coach because he's turned a Championship club into an AP contender and ERCC quarter finalist! From a relatively low base he's come far.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:11 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:A good coach can do wonders with an average squad, Toulon have the best squad in Europe by a distance. Laporte did what most average coaches would have been able to do.

when did he have an average squad? Or is it that you're saying dealing with a bunch of 25 world class players and keeping them happy when there is only 15 starting places is tougher? Some are better suited to it then others I agree... keeping everyone happy etc, but I'd rather have that then the often impossible task of trying to beat a side like Toulon.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:12 pm

beshocked wrote:fa0019 Leeds are one of the worst managed Premier league clubs, I do feel sorry for them, having an owner who seems to be one of the worst in football.

Whatever people say about Mourad, at least he's got Toulon in pretty good shape, he's put them on the map.

Nigel Wray is another unloved figure but he's very passionate about Saracens and he's helped build Saracens to where they are now.

Interesting comparing Wray and Mourad - both unloved, both controversial, one has a more financially stable club but the other has a much better academy and has been much more instrumental in helping the national side.

The South African investors has been good for Saracens - not in the limelight but pouring the money in.


Of course the overall infrastructure of a club/organisation/country is important.


Sgt Pooly you attack me and you wonder why I attack you?


Compare Phillipe Saint Andre's tenure at Toulon to Bernard Laporte's. You don't think Laporte has made a difference?

Of course having a good structure in place is important but a coach is important too.

Look at Bath - should be performing better.


Rob Baxter has shown to be an excellent coach because he's turned a Championship club into an AP contender and ERCC quarter finalist! From a relatively low base he's come far.

Wray is just a front man though right... the secret unknown mafia of SA investors are the true owners no?

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Post by beshocked Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:15 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:A good coach can do wonders with an average squad, Toulon have the best squad in Europe by a distance. Laporte did what most average coaches would have been able to do.

Sgt Pooly an average coach would win 3 ERCC titles in a row?

I believe Laporte has won 3 French titles with France (2 being GSs) - anyone could do that I guess...

Flimsy argument - if someone is successful, your response is - anyone could do that.

If anyone could do it then why couldn't Phillipe Saint Andre?

fa0019 Wray is the spokesperson though, he's the one who generally takes the criticism thrown at Saracens whilst the SA investors hide in the shadows.


Last edited by beshocked on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:18 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:18 pm

That French team he had was superb in terms of talent though. Overall I'd say it was probably a little shy off its potential. They should have done a lot better in 2007. They should have got to the final, should have won the competition.

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Post by beshocked Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:25 pm

fa0019 his side did beat the ABs in a RWC. Not even England can say they've done that.

Semi finals is decent. As an England fan I miss the days when England could reach the semi final of a RWC and see that as failure!

Really you think they should have beaten the Boks?

Of course - the Toulon job is a nice one but you've still got to win.

Similar with the ABs.

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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:30 pm

beshocked wrote:fa0019 his side did beat the ABs in a RWC. Not even England can say they've done that.

Semi finals is decent. As an England fan I miss the days when England could reach the semi final of a RWC and see that as failure!

Really you think they should have beaten the Boks?

Of course - the Toulon job is a nice one but you've still got to win.

Similar with the ABs.

IN Paris. Absolutely. The Boks at the time were probably equal to France who were the 2nd ranked side in the world at beginning of competition but with France at home I fancied the French to win. The bok side was decent but to be fair they weren't iconic world beaters. Only 2 years later did they prove that.

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Post by beshocked Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:44 pm

Personally I didn't think at the time France were favourites to win the tournament. French could well have seen it as a missed opportunity but a semi final appearance even as hosts isn't embarrassing.

We know what is embarrassing.... Wink

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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 1:11 pm

beshocked wrote:Personally I didn't think at the time France were favourites to win the tournament. French could well have seen it as a missed opportunity but a semi final appearance even as hosts isn't embarrassing.

We know what is embarrassing.... Wink

Thje England team they faced had Peter Richards, Dan Hipkiss, Mark Regan in it. Mike Catt was so old if he ever took contact you thought his bones would disintegrate on impact. It was not vintage. On their part it was one of their finest hours. On France's it was well well below par.

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Post by Gooseberry Thu 14 Apr 2016, 1:28 pm

beshocked wrote:

We know what is embarrassing.... Wink

Saying that Brown is out of position as a fullback? Run

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Post by fa0019 Thu 14 Apr 2016, 1:31 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
beshocked wrote:

We know what is embarrassing.... Wink

Saying that Brown is out of position as a fullback? Run

He's top quality... although I'd put even money on Mako beating him in a footrace.
.
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(with a mega bucket as a reward for the winner perhaps)

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Post by beshocked Thu 14 Apr 2016, 2:03 pm

fa0019 wrote:
beshocked wrote:Personally I didn't think at the time France were favourites to win the tournament. French could well have seen it as a missed opportunity but a semi final appearance even as hosts isn't embarrassing.

We know what is embarrassing.... Wink

Thje England team they faced had Peter Richards, Dan Hipkiss, Mark Regan in it. Mike Catt was so old if he ever took contact you thought his bones would disintegrate on impact. It was not vintage. On their part it was one of their finest hours. On France's it was well well below par.

Of course it wasn't a highly fancied England side but it had still knocked out the Aussies in the 1/4 finals. Not a bad looking Aussie side in my opinion.

Also it still had at least 7 RWC winners from the 2003 class. Not peak admittedly but that experience must have helped.

Let's be honest France should have been stopped by NZ in the 1/4 finals.

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