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LIONS ANNOUNCEMENT

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 13 Apr 2021, 3:02 pm

First topic message reminder :

Forwards: Tadhg Beirne, Jack Conan, Luke Cowan Dickie, Tom Curry, Zander Fagerson, Taulupe Faletau, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie George, Iain Henderson, Jonny Hill, Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones, Wyn Jones, Courtney Lawes, Ken Owens, Andrew Porter, Sam Simmonds, Rory Sutherland, Justin Tipuric, Mako Vunipola, Hamish Watson.

Backs: Josh Adams, Bundee Aki, Dan Biggar, Elliot Daly, Gareth Davies, Owen Farrell, Chris Harris, Robbie Henshaw, Stuart Hogg, Conor Murray, Ali Price, Louis Rees-Zammit, Finn Russell, Duhan van der Merwe, Anthony Watson, Liam Williams.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 21 Apr 2021, 1:31 pm

Or maybe some fans need to accept that other nations besides England are well stocked at 7. Wales especially, but the standout candidate is Watson of Scotland.

England's list looks good too in Curry x 2, Underhill, and Earl; I like the latter 2 as I feel they are similar to Navidi who is one of my top players. Back-row for the Lions will be a difficult selection.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 1:35 pm

There are certainly some great flankers that are all vying for that other place next to Curry.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 21 Apr 2021, 1:40 pm

I feel it could be Beirne or Itoje at 6. AWJ as captain seems to be gathering pace.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 1:42 pm

God I hope Itoje isn't at 6. you take a world class player and reduce his impact so much. Faletau is getting plenty of games there for Bath too.

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Post by flyhalffactory Wed 21 Apr 2021, 2:48 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:There are certainly some great flankers that are all vying for that other place next to Curry.

I don't think you'll get two flankers on the bench for the dirt-trackers Wink
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Post by flyhalffactory Wed 21 Apr 2021, 2:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Gotta start questioning whether you watch any England matches to go along with not watching the prem.

I'd stop that fella "questioning"..... I mean if you start questioning, you'll get nose bleeds and where will your blind bias be then?......Best stay as you are 7.5 OK
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 21 Apr 2021, 3:15 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:God I hope Itoje isn't at 6. you take a world class player and reduce his impact so much. Faletau is getting plenty of games there for Bath too.

Was pretty meh at the weekend there though. Of three 8s on the pitch he was the least noticeable. I can't see him being sacrificed by Gatland to do the grunt work a blindside will probably be asked to do against SA. Beirne would be the logical choice if Gatland wants a PSDT like for like (or as near as we've got). Navidi at 6 would size and mobility though I'm still hoping for Curry and Watson as those pair on the flanks should really slow SA down and force them to commit numbers at the breakdown which is what we'll need to do.

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Post by flyhalffactory Wed 21 Apr 2021, 3:36 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:God I hope Itoje isn't at 6. you take a world class player and reduce his impact so much. Faletau is getting plenty of games there for Bath too.

Was pretty meh at the weekend there though. Of three 8s on the pitch he was the least noticeable. I can't see him being sacrificed by Gatland to do the grunt work a blindside will probably be asked to do against SA. Beirne would be the logical choice if Gatland wants a PSDT like for like (or as near as we've got). Navidi at 6 would size and mobility though I'm still hoping for Curry and Watson as those pair on the flanks should really slow SA down and force them to commit numbers at the breakdown which is what we'll need to do.

You could go crazy trying to select the BR, week by week I change
I think Gats & Co (barring injuries) will go

1. Wyn Jones,  2. Owens,  3. Furlong
4. Itoje 18st 2lb,  5. AWJ 19st 3lb (c)
6. Beirne 17st 11lb,  8. Faletau 17st 7lb,  7. Curry 17st 5lb

Bench
Lock - Ryan
BR - Watson, Stander

That's a hefty pack, good in the set-piece and breakdown but not so much in the loose play. Conversely both Watson and Tipuric are 16st 1lb and IMHO will suit the SA pitches better
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Post by Old Man Wed 21 Apr 2021, 3:59 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:God I hope Itoje isn't at 6. you take a world class player and reduce his impact so much. Faletau is getting plenty of games there for Bath too.

Was pretty meh at the weekend there though. Of three 8s on the pitch he was the least noticeable. I can't see him being sacrificed by Gatland to do the grunt work a blindside will probably be asked to do against SA. Beirne would be the logical choice if Gatland wants a PSDT like for like (or as near as we've got). Navidi at 6 would size and mobility though I'm still hoping for Curry and Watson as those pair on the flanks should really slow SA down and force them to commit numbers at the breakdown which is what we'll need to do.

South Africa doesn’t like to commit too many to the breakdown, especially with the role PSDT plays

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 4:03 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Gotta start questioning whether you watch any England matches to go along with not watching the prem.

I'd stop that fella "questioning"..... I mean if you start questioning, you'll get nose bleeds and where will your blind bias be then?......Best stay as you are 7.5 OK

You don't watch the players enough that much is obvious by your statements at how Smith and Curry play. Just stating the obvious.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 5:17 pm

Its easy to tell by your assessments on those 2 players.

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Post by flyhalffactory Wed 21 Apr 2021, 5:20 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Its easy to tell by your assessments on those 2 players.

Thank you, I try to be transparent and lucid with my opinions

But I'm all ears.......produce a counter or do you agree with me?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 5:26 pm

I don't need to counter you. I don't mind people having a different opinion. But just don't make out you watch the prem etc to try and make your opinions seem more weighty when you obviously don't.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 21 Apr 2021, 5:33 pm

Ok boys, that'll do.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed 21 Apr 2021, 6:50 pm

Stop the digs at each other and get back on topic....or just put each other on ignore if it's so bad.

I'd hate to give out a mid-week ban OK

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 21 Apr 2021, 6:55 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Stop the digs at each other and get back on topic....or just put each other on ignore if it's so bad.

I'd hate to give out a mid-week ban OK

Woah woah woah. I walked away.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 22 Apr 2021, 5:28 am

Sam Warburton considered Alun Wyn Jones and Maro Itoje as Lions captain, before finally plumping for Itoje.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2021/04/21/sam-warburton-backs-maro-itoje-succeed-lions-captain/

"I’ve gone back and forth, but I’ll go with who I thought at the very beginning and that’s Maro Itoje," Warburton explained. "Anybody who looked at the first game (against Scotland) where he conceded four or five penalties would say 'oh you can’t do that' – that’s a bit of rustiness. Warren will want him primed and ready to go as he’s one of the players who will be guaranteed Test starter.

"I was extremely impressed with him in 2017, and Warren would have seen all that. With his age the other captaincy candidates are a little bit older. You question whether it would be a bit too much pressure for them to go through a tour like this at the end of the season.

"I’ve gone back and forth with him and Alun Wyn Jones. Alun Wyn will be up there and I’m sure will captain games on tour, but I would probably go with Maro Itoje."

Warburton also called for Lions players based in England to be released early by their clubs in order to link up with the Lions for the warm-up fixture against Japan on June 26, which falls outside World Rugby's Regulation 9 release window for Test matches.

Missing out on the Japan game and training sessions surrounding that fixture could impact players' selection chances for the Lions, with a number of Wales and Scotland internationals including Taulupe Faletau and Stuart Hogg set to remain with their clubs even if they are not involved in the Gallagher Premiership play-offs.

"If somebody was in charge of PRL who had been on a Lions tour, had been a player and knew what it meant to the players I don’t think it would be too much of an issue. Players don’t want to speak out, it’s hard for them to," Warburton said, before citing a game in 2013 for Cardiff Blues ahead of the Lions tour to Australia where he opted to withdraw from the squad, having been prompted to do so by a senior player at the time.

"If you’ve got a club final of course you’re going to prioritise that, but if you’re playing in a game that isn’t going to have any bearing (or none at all in this case) then I think player release should happen."

Warburton backed Saracens players Jamie George, Owen Farrell and Itoje to be up to speed by the Test series, citing Warren Gatland's training methods to get players match fit, but admitted that Elliot Daly and Billy Vunipola could be left out of the 36-man squad.

"I do worry whether somebody like Elliot Daly or Billy might miss out because whether he thinks Elliot has fallen out of form and it might take Billy too much time to get back up to speed from a fitness perspective."

And despite overlooking Alun Wyn Jones for the captaincy, Warburton backed the 36-year-old to continue playing through to the next Rugby World Cup for Wales, after signing a new one-year contract with the Welsh Rugby Union and Ospreys this week.

“I think he wants to go to the next World Cup," Warburton said. "When I was involved with the coaching staff with Wales they were talking about succession planning and Alun Wyn said he had ambitions to go to the next World Cup.

"Going off how he is playing and there is nobody coming through to knock him off his pedestal, you can't argue with that."

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 8:13 am

Few more quotes on the BBC too. Talks on how itoje is the certainty at lock and then 1 of Jones or Ryan. He did say he wouldn't be surprised should Jones be chosen but questions the pressure on a 35 year old to make the spot his own. I know I bang on about it but we need our strongest scrummaging locks there and Jones isn't one of them.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 22 Apr 2021, 8:37 am

I would certainly plump with Itoje to captain and AWJ/Ryan to partner him. Itoje was just incredible against NZ, he rises to these occasions...as world class players do.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 22 Apr 2021, 8:50 am

The way the Boks play, and their physical, niggly play, if we put Itoje as captain, we might as well right the tour off.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 22 Apr 2021, 8:57 am

LordDowlais wrote:The way the Boks play, and their physical, niggly play, if we put Itoje as captain, we might as well right the tour off.

Why? Itoje does not lack strength, and he doesn't get drawn into 'handbags' although he does a great deal to provoke

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:00 am

lostinwales wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:The way the Boks play, and their physical, niggly play, if we put Itoje as captain, we might as well right the tour off.

Why? Itoje does not lack strength, and he doesn't get drawn into 'handbags' although he does a great deal to provoke

Hi strength isnt the issue, he is one of the best locks around, but he is not a captain, he gets on the wrong side of the officials all the time.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:03 am

LordDowlais wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:The way the Boks play, and their physical, niggly play, if we put Itoje as captain, we might as well right the tour off.

Why? Itoje does not lack strength, and he doesn't get drawn into 'handbags' although he does a great deal to provoke

Hi strength isnt the issue, he is one of the best locks around, but he is not a captain, he gets on the wrong side of the officials all the time.

He did in the 6N, he doesn't always. Remember the Saracens Prem and European final victories? Itoje was huge in those games. He was huge at the World Cup for England as well and stayed on the right side of the ref. If anything the captaincy might temper how he plays in that he won't play quite as close to the line as he normally does knowing he has that additional leadership responsibility.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:08 am

If he starts as captain over AWJ I will eat my hat. Very Happy

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:18 am

LordDowlais wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:The way the Boks play, and their physical, niggly play, if we put Itoje as captain, we might as well right the tour off.

Why? Itoje does not lack strength, and he doesn't get drawn into 'handbags' although he does a great deal to provoke

Hi strength isnt the issue, he is one of the best locks around, but he is not a captain, he gets on the wrong side of the officials all the time.

What is with the constant over reaction to a small sample of matches?

Itoje doesn't always get on the wrong side of the officials, if he did he wouldn't be an England mainstay.
Curry is neither slow or lacking in breakdown ability, the stats that some cling to show he had more positive breakdown impacts than any other player.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:19 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:The way the Boks play, and their physical, niggly play, if we put Itoje as captain, we might as well right the tour off.

Why? Itoje does not lack strength, and he doesn't get drawn into 'handbags' although he does a great deal to provoke

Hi strength isnt the issue, he is one of the best locks around, but he is not a captain, he gets on the wrong side of the officials all the time.

What is with the constant over reaction to a small sample of matches?

Itoje doesn't always get on the wrong side of the officials, if he did he wouldn't be an England mainstay.
Curry is neither slow or lacking in breakdown ability, the stats that some cling to show he had more positive breakdown impacts than any other player.

Who said anything about Curry ?

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Post by The Oracle Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:20 am

Soul Requiem wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:The way the Boks play, and their physical, niggly play, if we put Itoje as captain, we might as well right the tour off.

Why? Itoje does not lack strength, and he doesn't get drawn into 'handbags' although he does a great deal to provoke

Hi strength isnt the issue, he is one of the best locks around, but he is not a captain, he gets on the wrong side of the officials all the time.

What is with the constant over reaction to a small sample of matches?

Itoje doesn't always get on the wrong side of the officials, if he did he wouldn't be an England mainstay.
Curry is neither slow or lacking in breakdown ability, the stats that some cling to show he had more positive breakdown impacts than any other player.


The 606 mantra!
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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:20 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Few more quotes on the BBC too. Talks on how itoje is the certainty at lock and then 1 of Jones or Ryan. He did say he wouldn't be surprised should Jones be chosen but questions the pressure on a 35 year old to make the spot his own. I know I bang on about it but we need our strongest scrummaging locks there and Jones isn't one of them.

It's a shame Kruis has trimmed down playing in Japan, he'd have been the perfect partner for Itoje against South Africa. He was the best scrummaging lock outside of the Boks and is a top class line out operator too.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:23 am

Can anyone tell me honestly how they are measuring 'scrummaging lock' please? Is there an objective measure of this? I've heard now that Kruis is the best one outside the boks. I've heard that AWJ is not a good scrummaging lock and that Itoje and Ryan are better in this area. Someone break it down for me. How do you know? What stats are you using to determine this? Genuinely interested.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:23 am

LordDowlais wrote:If he starts as captain over AWJ I will eat my hat. Very Happy

I wasn't so fussed about who was captain until now. Come on Maro, I'll want to see video evidence of his hat eating LD. Very Happy

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:25 am

Yeah read that Kruis has been enjoying life and getting some good reviews in Japan. I have absolutely no clue about the quality of the league and scrummaging there but saw as you say he's shed a few pounds.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:27 am

The Oracle wrote:Can anyone tell me honestly how they are measuring 'scrummaging lock' please?  Is there an objective measure of this?  I've heard now that Kruis is the best one outside the boks.  I've heard that AWJ is not a good scrummaging lock and that Itoje and Ryan are better in this area.  Someone break it down for me.  How do you know?  What stats are you using to determine this?  Genuinely interested.

Generally how quickly you go back and how much pressure your tight head is. Stats, nothing easy to see. It's down to watching the games and deciding, as well as hearing some feedback from coaches which is generally sparse as lets face it they don't want to talk on weaknesses. You even hear some say Vunipola is a top class scrummager.

The tight 5 are all important. As ever you can balance it out with a strength in 1 place to cover a weakness elsewhere.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:28 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Can anyone tell me honestly how they are measuring 'scrummaging lock' please?  Is there an objective measure of this?  I've heard now that Kruis is the best one outside the boks.  I've heard that AWJ is not a good scrummaging lock and that Itoje and Ryan are better in this area.  Someone break it down for me.  How do you know?  What stats are you using to determine this?  Genuinely interested.

Generally how quickly you go back and how much pressure your tight head is. Stats, nothing easy to see. It's down to watching the games and deciding, as well as hearing some feedback from coaches which is generally sparse as lets face it they don't want to talk on weaknesses. You even hear some say Vunipola is a top class scrummager.


So it's just gut feeling then.  You can't know for sure unless you measure it in force or if you are a prop with all of these players taking turns to scrummage behind you.  It's nonsense!
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:32 am

The Oracle wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Can anyone tell me honestly how they are measuring 'scrummaging lock' please?  Is there an objective measure of this?  I've heard now that Kruis is the best one outside the boks.  I've heard that AWJ is not a good scrummaging lock and that Itoje and Ryan are better in this area.  Someone break it down for me.  How do you know?  What stats are you using to determine this?  Genuinely interested.

Generally how quickly you go back and how much pressure your tight head is. Stats, nothing easy to see. It's down to watching the games and deciding, as well as hearing some feedback from coaches which is generally sparse as lets face it they don't want to talk on weaknesses. You even hear some say Vunipola is a top class scrummager.


So it's just gut feeling then.  You can't know for sure unless you measure it in force or if you are a prop with all of these players taking turns to scrummage behind you.  It's nonsense!

A gut feeling? No, it's by watching.

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Post by lostinwales Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:38 am

I'd bet there will be stats from, for instance, scrum machines but we'll not see those. From matches you might be able to see a difference when different locks play but, unfortunately, that is of course both highly subjective and dependent on a whole host of factors.

What is on record with Itoje is that when he was playing at 6 with Lawes at lock then they would swap over at scum time because in Lawes' own words Itoje was significantly stronger.

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Post by BamBam Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:41 am

Cole was getting toasted by his opposite number in the RWC final until Kruis came on. Lawes is a very good lock but against that SA team he was found wanting in that area

Probably the most blatant example I can think of. Well there’s another but I’m not allowed to upset anyone anymore so I won’t point out who Simon Shaw once replaced in a side Very Happy

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:51 am

Lee Mears and Phil Vickery were replaced by Matthew Rees and Adam Jones for that game. Someone who could hurt the Boks and someone who could scrummage. The 1st test starters didn't make the bench for the 2nd test.

Never understood the scrummaging lock thing, what are people seeing? I always assumed if a lock was too light we would struggle in the scrum. Can't see which lock is too lightweight - James Ryan according to the stats but he's very powerful.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 9:54 am

And the 3rd test mikey?

If people aren't bothered by the makeup of the front 5 scrummaging wise I expect we're all sticking Mako in our starting lineups?

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:00 am

The 3rd test? I thought it was a dead rubber against SA 2nds.... Smile

If Mako was available and in better form I'd probably select him. Whilst he might not be the best scrummaging LH for England, he's the best player in other aspects. I don't recall seeing him get battered either. If Wyn Jones is starting at LH then we must be lacking in that area, I don't feel he has been consistent enough for Wales. Still remember him getting destroyed by Dan Cole, but he has improved since then.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:04 am

Well consistent at least mikey. So too am I as I always wince when when he starts ahead of Marler or Genge. Some of the time as mentioned you can cope and get by, even get on top when he's there. Has helped when he's had Kruis and Itoje behind him. Against South Africa, they will go after him.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:06 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Lee Mears and Phil Vickery were replaced by Matthew Rees and Adam Jones for that game. Someone who could hurt the Boks and someone who could scrummage. The 1st test starters didn't make the bench for the 2nd test.

Never understood the scrummaging lock thing, what are people seeing? I always assumed if a lock was too light we would struggle in the scrum. Can't see which lock is too lightweight - James Ryan according to the stats but he's very powerful.

So you're saying that your second row has no real impact come scrum time?

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:21 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Can anyone tell me honestly how they are measuring 'scrummaging lock' please?  Is there an objective measure of this?  I've heard now that Kruis is the best one outside the boks.  I've heard that AWJ is not a good scrummaging lock and that Itoje and Ryan are better in this area.  Someone break it down for me.  How do you know?  What stats are you using to determine this?  Genuinely interested.

Generally how quickly you go back and how much pressure your tight head is. Stats, nothing easy to see. It's down to watching the games and deciding, as well as hearing some feedback from coaches which is generally sparse as lets face it they don't want to talk on weaknesses. You even hear some say Vunipola is a top class scrummager.


So it's just gut feeling then.  You can't know for sure unless you measure it in force or if you are a prop with all of these players taking turns to scrummage behind you.  It's nonsense!

A gut feeling? No, it's by watching.

Yeah, by watching a few games he plays in.

You cannot have it both ways. OK


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Post by The Oracle Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:25 am

'Stronger scrummaging lock' it's just a completely subjective thing.  You'd need a lab to work it out.  You can't just go on seeing one lock come on and the scrum improve and then say that a) it was all down to that one lock and not any of the other variables in a scrum, and b) that it means a lock from another team who was not even on the pitch is therefore a poorer scrumagging lock.  It's madness!

Adam Beard - best scrummaging lock in the B&I nations.  Fact.  Prove that I'm wrong!
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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:27 am

mikey_dragon wrote:The 3rd test? I thought it was a dead rubber against SA 2nds.... Smile

If Mako was available and in better form I'd probably select him. Whilst he might not be the best scrummaging LH for England, he's the best player in other aspects. I don't recall seeing him get battered either. If Wyn Jones is starting at LH then we must be lacking in that area, I don't feel he has been consistent enough for Wales. Still remember him getting destroyed by Dan Cole, but he has improved since then.

To be fair there's not many looseheads in the NH playing over the last decade that don't have at least one Dan Cole lesson in the back catalogue. He turned Marler inside out not that long ago. In fact in the season before Sinckler left Quins the Sinckler and Marler combo took such a tough time off Cole and Genge that they were on a warning for a yellow that ended up going to Sinckler's replacement and the scrum was the only reason Tigers got anything out of that game.

Mako has been sin binned when trying to scrum against Cole as well. Think it was inside 30 minutes though I may be misremembering.

Wyn Jones looked solid in the 6N. I think he's got his tour place booked and then he'll just have to show in training and the warm up games he's the best option. If he shows his 6N form he'll probably be the go to option.

Normally you need the props to indicate who the pushing machines are in the second row. Not just a weight thing though that helps I guess. Leg drive and body positioning also factors.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:29 am

I always remember the Beast smashing our front row in the 1st Lions test a few years back, then on comes Adam Jones, and guess what ? No more struggling at the scrum.

It's what I watched, so can somebody please explain how it was the second row player who improved the scrum ? After all, I am only going by the remit on here.

Although that remit only works for Itoje and getting on the wrong side of the officials, it does not work for anything else.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:32 am

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Can anyone tell me honestly how they are measuring 'scrummaging lock' please?  Is there an objective measure of this?  I've heard now that Kruis is the best one outside the boks.  I've heard that AWJ is not a good scrummaging lock and that Itoje and Ryan are better in this area.  Someone break it down for me.  How do you know?  What stats are you using to determine this?  Genuinely interested.

Generally how quickly you go back and how much pressure your tight head is. Stats, nothing easy to see. It's down to watching the games and deciding, as well as hearing some feedback from coaches which is generally sparse as lets face it they don't want to talk on weaknesses. You even hear some say Vunipola is a top class scrummager.


So it's just gut feeling then.  You can't know for sure unless you measure it in force or if you are a prop with all of these players taking turns to scrummage behind you.  It's nonsense!

A gut feeling? No, it's by watching.

Yeah, by watching a few games he plays in.

You cannot have it both ways. OK


I don't understand your point?

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:32 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:The way the Boks play, and their physical, niggly play, if we put Itoje as captain, we might as well right the tour off.

Why? Itoje does not lack strength, and he doesn't get drawn into 'handbags' although he does a great deal to provoke

Hi strength isnt the issue, he is one of the best locks around, but he is not a captain, he gets on the wrong side of the officials all the time.

He did in the 6N, he doesn't always. Remember the Saracens Prem and European final victories? Itoje was huge in those games. He was huge at the World Cup for England as well and stayed on the right side of the ref. If anything the captaincy might temper how he plays in that he won't play quite as close to the line as he normally does knowing he has that additional leadership responsibility.

A full strength England 23 saw Itoje being superb v NZ WC2019 in a convincing pack, forward driven power play. With (I believe) the same 23 against SA in the final although he tackled his heart out and disrupted a few mauls, he (like Farrell) was completely flummoxed by the SA playing style and strategy. What we have to remember that as early as the 20-30 mins both SA locks sustained pretty bad shoulder traumas leading to Etzebeth receiving extensive treatment and the even better performing Lood de Jager going off around the 20 min to be replaced by the heavy laden and slower Mostert, SA who were looking rapid in the engine room had to readjust their strategy. Speaks volumes when Lawes was most responsive to the variation of the Boks play whilst Itoje looked like a rabbit in the headlights ending with a brave but invariably average 5-6/10.

Contrast a week earlier, you saw a Welsh captain shorn of 5 possibly 6 first choice players (sent home injured) Anscombe/Liam Williams//Hill/Navidi, carrying injuries coming into the game Jon Davies/AWJ  or during the game Francis/North taken off, Biggar (shoulder) had to stay on due to reserve Patchell already taking a knock, sussing out not just the SA Plan A but also their Plan B, IMHO he was the MOTM and around the world columnists gave him a 9-9.5/10, not only a brilliant individual perform but one that highlighted his leadership qualities

Fast forward to 2021 with the refs now not allowing Itoje greatest strength i.e. to unfairly jackal , he has lost that competitive edge or as the officials led us to believe during the 6Ns 2021 "over the edge"

If we are to assess MI v AWJ captaincy credentials then lets look at the key campaigns and recent form - WC 2019 and 6Ns 2021

IMHO Warburton (media darling) has had an issue with AWJ ever since his captaincy and legacy was stripped away from him and given to Jones in 2017, he's very much the same with Tipuric who took over his OSF role

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/wales-explain-alun-wyn-jones-12466089
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/sam-warburton-confused-colossus-alun-13302166

I think Itoje is a great player, not as potent as he was in 2019 and he won't be allowed to be the 2019 jackal with the refs in SA, adding his 12 pens (should have been at least 1 yellow as well) in the 6Ns, there can  only be one captain
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:33 am

The Oracle wrote:'Stronger scrummaging lock' it's just a completely subjective thing.  You'd need a lab to work it out.  You can't just go on seeing one lock come on and the scrum improve and then say that a) it was all down to that one lock and not any of the other variables in a scrum, and b) that it means a lock from another team who was not even on the pitch is therefore a poorer scrumagging lock.  It's madness!

Adam Beard - best scrummaging lock in the B&I nations.  Fact.  Prove that I'm wrong!

It's fine if you want to discount it, some people wouldn't and the scrum will remain a focal point in SA I'd imagine.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:35 am

LordDowlais wrote:I always remember the Beast smashing our front row in the 1st Lions test a few years back, then on comes Adam Jones, and guess what ? No more struggling at the scrum.

It's what I watched, so can somebody please explain how it was the second row player who improved the scrum ? After all, I am only going by the remit on here.

Although that remit only works for Itoje and getting on the wrong side of the officials, it does not work for anything else.

Bams point. Who came on for who at the same time? And in the 3rd test who was at 3 and 5 against Mtawarira?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Thu 22 Apr 2021, 10:57 am

AWJ has always had this reputation of being a poor scrummaging lock, forever as I can remember. It's not something that's talked about as much these days I find, but I can certainly recall him being picked up on it by coaches etc.

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