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Cell C Sharks v British & Irish Lions, 7 July

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Post by George Carlin Sun 04 Jul 2021, 5:28 am

First topic message reminder :

Cell C Sharks v British & Irish Lions, 7 July  - Page 9 Sharks10               Cell C Sharks v British & Irish Lions, 7 July  - Page 9 Lions_10                
CELL C SHARKS v BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Wednesday 7 July
KO: 19:00 SAST / 18:00 UK / 21:00 Dubai  Very Happy
Emirates Airline Park (Ellis Park), Johannesburg
Sky Sports Main Event

Referee: Jaco Peyper (SARU)
Assistant Referee 1: Wayne Barnes (RFU)
Assistant Referee 2: AJ Jacobs (SARU)
TMO: Marius van der Westhuizen (SARU)

TEAMS:

CELL C SHARKS:
1. Khwezi Mona
2. Fez Mbatha
3. Khutha Mchunu
4. Ruben van Heerden
5. Hyron Andrews
6. James Venter
7. Thembelani Bholi
8. Phepsi Buthelezi (c)

9. Jaden Hendrikse
10. Curwin Bosch
11. Thaakir Abrahams
12. Marius Louw
13. Jeremy Ward
14. Werner Kok
15. Manie Libbok

16. Kerron van Vuuren
17. Ntuthuko Mchunu
18. Wiehahn Herbst
19. JJ van der Mescht
20. Reniel Hugo
21. Dylan Richardson
22. Grant Williams
23. Anthony Volmink

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:
15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) #837
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850

1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #848
4. Iain Henderson – Captain (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
5. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales)
6. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby, Wales)
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England)
8. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849

16. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
17. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
18. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
20. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
21. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
22. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
23. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844

COMMENTARY:


Last edited by George Carlin on Mon 05 Jul 2021, 11:58 am; edited 4 times in total
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Post by BigGee Sat 10 Jul 2021, 8:04 pm

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/gatland-delivers-a-depressing-update-about-russells-lions-injury-russell/

It really does not sound to promising for Finn, such a shame in what may be his last realistic shout at a Lions Test cap.

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Post by doctor_grey Sat 10 Jul 2021, 8:17 pm

BigGee wrote:
TJ wrote:
BigGee wrote:Should Connor Murray really be our starting SH?

Price is the best form of the 3 of them but Murray deserves more game time

Murray, you would imagine will start the next game, with Price on the bench.

That may well be the test line up as well, but i would agree that Price has been the best SH so far.
Murray has to start and play well. Having a blocked kick and a yellow card ain't the best audition.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sat 10 Jul 2021, 8:21 pm

Murray played very well v Japan, was part of three of the Lions tries. He then got subbed a has barely played since.

Hasnt played a full game yet.

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Post by flyhalffactory Sat 10 Jul 2021, 8:48 pm

Daly played well but few mistakes, atm Harris has disproved the doubter and has the strength and speed to warrant the 13 jersey. DvdM had a great game both defensively and offensively, he is ahead of Watson in my opinion
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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 10 Jul 2021, 9:11 pm

I get the feeling that Gatland sees his back 3 as Adams, Williams, Watson. I imagine Hogg will start one test at least. I would like to see some rotation in the back 3 because I think VDM and LRZ are good enough to get a test. They’re just a little bit behind the other four in defence and aerial skills.

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Post by George Carlin Sat 10 Jul 2021, 9:38 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I get the feeling that Gatland sees his back 3 as Adams, Williams, Watson. I imagine Hogg will start one test at least. I would like to see some rotation in the back 3 because I think VDM and LRZ are good enough to get a test. They’re just a little bit behind the other four in defence and aerial skills.
He's a premium player and a star of the last tour but I haven't seen anything special from Liam Williams at all on this tour. He was miles out of position for the Sharks second try (the grubber behind) for example. As for Watson, scoring a couple against a Sharks side down to 14 men and playing their second match in 4 days is fine (and you have to play the guys who are there) but he's going to need much more to get a test shirt at the moment.
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Post by Dirtydave Sat 10 Jul 2021, 10:30 pm

George Carlin wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I get the feeling that Gatland sees his back 3 as Adams, Williams, Watson. I imagine Hogg will start one test at least. I would like to see some rotation in the back 3 because I think VDM and LRZ are good enough to get a test. They’re just a little bit behind the other four in defence and aerial skills.
He's a premium player and a star of the last tour but I haven't seen anything special from Liam Williams at all on this tour. He was miles out of position for the Sharks second try (the grubber behind) for example. As for Watson, scoring a couple against a Sharks side down to 14 men and playing their second match in 4 days is fine (and you have to play the guys who are there) but he's going to need much more to get a test shirt at the moment.

You not seeing much from Williams on tour might be due to the fact that this was his first outing. The entire backline was a mess in that first half, and the back 3's communication was disastrous. Watson Williams and VDM were all poor, even if VDM jogged a try in.

Harris is a decent player, but he's not going to Usurp either Farrell or Henshaw, as VDM has too many defensive frailties for test rugby if we're being honest.

I see the back 3 being Adam and Williams on the wings with Hogg at 15

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Post by RDW Sat 10 Jul 2021, 11:19 pm

Dirtydave wrote:
George Carlin wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I get the feeling that Gatland sees his back 3 as Adams, Williams, Watson. I imagine Hogg will start one test at least. I would like to see some rotation in the back 3 because I think VDM and LRZ are good enough to get a test. They’re just a little bit behind the other four in defence and aerial skills.
He's a premium player and a star of the last tour but I haven't seen anything special from Liam Williams at all on this tour. He was miles out of position for the Sharks second try (the grubber behind) for example. As for Watson, scoring a couple against a Sharks side down to 14 men and playing their second match in 4 days is fine (and you have to play the guys who are there) but he's going to need much more to get a test shirt at the moment.

You not seeing much from Williams on tour might be due to the fact that this was his first outing. The entire backline was a mess in that first half, and the back 3's communication was disastrous. Watson Williams and VDM were all poor, even if VDM jogged a try in.

Harris is a decent player, but he's not going to Usurp either Farrell or Henshaw, as VDM has too many defensive frailties for test rugby if we're being honest.

I see the back 3 being Adam and Williams on the wings with Hogg at 15

Worth remembering Williams started against Japan too.

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Post by Pot Hale Sat 10 Jul 2021, 11:21 pm

After today's game, my test 23 is circling around. Another game should do it.

1. Sutherland
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Henderson
6. H Watson
7. Navidi
8. Conan/Faletau
9. Murray
10. Farrell
11. van der Merwe/Watson
12. Aki
13.Henshaw
14. Adams
15. Williams
16. Cowan-Dickie
17. Wyn Jones
18. Sinckler
19. Beirne
20. Lawes
21. Price
22. Biggar
23. Daly
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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 10 Jul 2021, 11:30 pm

George Carlin wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I get the feeling that Gatland sees his back 3 as Adams, Williams, Watson. I imagine Hogg will start one test at least. I would like to see some rotation in the back 3 because I think VDM and LRZ are good enough to get a test. They’re just a little bit behind the other four in defence and aerial skills.
He's a premium player and a star of the last tour but I haven't seen anything special from Liam Williams at all on this tour. He was miles out of position for the Sharks second try (the grubber behind) for example. As for Watson, scoring a couple against a Sharks side down to 14 men and playing their second match in 4 days is fine (and you have to play the guys who are there) but he's going to need much more to get a test shirt at the moment.

The entire backline didn’t start well today but they improved, and I thought Liam williams was good. Don’t disagree with much else of what you’ve said. It could just as well be Adams, Watson and Hogg. They’re back 3 players who do everything. So far VDM and LRZ can just kick and score tries (they both happen to be very good at this), I think we’ll need a little bit extra to beat the Boks. I just think that’s the way Gatland sees it, but as the back 3 is such an area of strength, I really don’t mind who is there.

We are also very strong at hooker, so I’d also like to see a bit of rotation for the tests there.

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Post by RDW Sun 11 Jul 2021, 2:11 am

Just watched the game - that first half was certainly the worst of the tour so far. Davies, Biggar and Daley in particular had a shocker.

Sharks were much better this game and really took it to us, but we just looked completely flat for some reason. The game obviously turned on the red - a clear red that was so completely needless. I think the Lions would have pulled away anyway as we had several more gears to go, but there's no doubt it completely knocked the stuffing out of the Sharks. The 9 will be gutted.

Forwards - front row were good and reinforced their claim to be our Test starters. Workmanlike performance from the 2nd rows and I thought Hill put himself about well. Backrow grew into the game - I thought Bierne had a really strong game. Whether Watson or Curry starts at 7 I don't think will make any difference. 8 still needs filled with no one really putting their hand up.

Backs - Davies had a shocker. Murray wasn't much better off the bench, which is a huge concern. Biggar also didn't put in an overly commanding display. The midfield did well - i actually thought Harris had a good game. He's not a natural 12 but he had an all action display. Daley was great in attack in the 2nd half but I don't think he's a starting test player. We need a more physical midfield IMO. VDM was outstanding as always and Watson reminded everyone he's not out the picture. Williams was quiet by his standard but will be in the mix come test time. I think any of the back 3 players would do us well in the Tests, although I think LRZ should be eyeing up the next tour for his test aspirations.

Gatland will be looking for a big response next game.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 11 Jul 2021, 2:12 am

Russ Petty is keeping a track of how many playing minutes each Lions squad member has seen so far.

https://twitter.com/rpetty80/status/1413918906578870273

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 11 Jul 2021, 3:28 am

I think a lot of discussion and reporting in the papers was generous to the Lions. I thought the Lions were overall poor. And not much different from the last game in which the Sharks were a couple of passes which didn't go to hand away from a few early tries. After the red card, it became garbage time and many of those big runs were against 14 men. Who was really stand-out good? Maybe Jamie George, Furlong, and Beirne, though I didn't see him as that good.

In my opinion no team is going to look terribly good if the scrum half play is poor. Davies was a liability. That did Biggar no favours and he looked mediocre. Harris was also mediocre. After a few huge errors, Daly improved and was pretty good. I hadn't realised van der Merwe was not so good defensively. But the lad can score.

After the red, I don't think we can learn much except there were good individual plays by good individual players. And defensively Lions were out of position quite a few times and that can't happen. Hopefully a better showing in the next game.

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 11 Jul 2021, 7:50 am

Thought Biggar was fine, set up two of the tries quite nicely and still the best option for 10. Not sure what people saw that is attracting such criticism. Wasn’t a great performance all round to be fair.

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Post by TJ Sun 11 Jul 2021, 7:59 am

Pot Hale wrote:After today's game, my test 23 is circling around.  Another game should do it.

1. Sutherland
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Henderson
6. H Watson
7. Navidi
8. Conan/Faletau
9. Murray
10. Farrell
11. van der Merwe/Watson
12. Aki
13.Henshaw
14. Adams
15. Williams
16. Cowan-Dickie
17. Wyn Jones
18. Sinckler
19. Beirne
20. Lawes
21. Price
22. Biggar
23. Daly

OH dear. Mish is a 7 not a 6. NO place for Hogg the best back out there? farrell is the weakest of the tens ( but thats opinion)

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Post by jimbopip Sun 11 Jul 2021, 8:00 am

A couple of interesting quotes from Chairman Warren,

"If anything else happens on the tour that is as chaotic as this week has been, that would probably surprise me," added Gatland.

"There has been chaos. It's then about adapting to that and then changing."


Well, what do you expect when you invite Toonie and his Magic Tombola onto the coaching team.

And....

"Finn's had an injection. It's not a strained Achilles, there's a slight, wee tear in it. That'll keep him out for the next couple of weeks," Gatland added."

Interesting use of language, attempting to minimise the damage. So Dancer is in a boot until just before the first test. Why not send him home and focus on getting Smith up to speed? There are whispers that Farrell's shoulder is held in place on by a Post It note. Biggar has not looked in great form, although playing outside Davies yesterday would have challenged Gareth Edwards in his prime.

So, Dancer stays, boot and all, because we might otherwise be looking at an out of form Biggar, a one armed Farrell (that would really hamper his tackling technique) and a a very raw, and spindly, youngster who would probably be broken after five minutes of the Boks running over him.

As Sunny Jim Callaghan once said, "Crisis? What crisis?"

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Post by TJ Sun 11 Jul 2021, 8:02 am

He (williams)was miles out of position for the Sharks second try (the grubber behind) for example.

NOpe - that was Watsons fault. Williams had a poor start to the game but after that played well.

I want both Williams and Hogg on the pitch so a back 3 of williams, Adams, Hogg with VdM on the bench for me

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Post by TJ Sun 11 Jul 2021, 8:05 am

Collapse2005 wrote:Thought Biggar was fine, set up two of the tries quite nicely and still the best option for 10. Not sure what people saw that is attracting such criticism. Wasn’t a great performance all round to be fair.

Biggar is a limited player. He was not at his best in this game but poor service from 9 will not have helped him

But I would still have him as my test start at 10 as he is better than Farrell and his limited game plan is best for the lions> Russell / smith to come on as sub

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Post by flyhalffactory Sun 11 Jul 2021, 8:37 am

Biggar was one of the better players, continually straightening the lines, nice offloads, set up two tries and playing inside of an inexperienced Harris and on the outside an equally poor Davies & Murray would have made any FH look carp. Anthony Watson had a mare of a first half, skinned for one try then awful positioning for the other, had a better 2nd half but that's a major concern, Daly defensive concerns but good going forward. The pack was a massive concern, the front 5 particularly. Curry outside of the try was anonymous
It was a match that was really hard to assess players considering the circumstances
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Post by Old Man Sun 11 Jul 2021, 8:48 am

Well, best is to assess the first half on its own, the second half isn’t going to tell you much.

From my perspective the Lions are vulnerable out wide.

Considering where most of the SA province’s tries came from, it is clear defensive alignment especially on the counter and scramble defence is a concern.

During the first half when the Sharks were physical and direct at the breakdown it showed vulnerability there as well.

The Lions set piece in general looks to be solid. A few individual selection changes will ensure there are little weakness there.

The Lions have shown superior aerial skills during the matches as well.

One thing that irritates me, although it really only happened once yesterday was the blocking runner pods the forwards make.

That needs to be eliminated as an experienced captain and team will make sure the referee looks out for that.

Jayden Hendrickse ( whilst still on) has showed in both matches he can harrass the halfbacks of the Lions.

The Lions scored 7 tries against 14 men yesterday, yes they did up the intensity and pace in the second half, but considering they have a backline of international players who are more physical and better skilled, the second half can’t really provide Gatland with much to assess form.

Hamish Watson, Dvdm and Jamie George has impressed me the most so far.

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Post by flyhalffactory Sun 11 Jul 2021, 8:50 am

George Carlin wrote:He's a premium player and a star of the last tour but I haven't seen anything special from Liam Williams at all on this tour. He was miles out of position for the Sharks second try (the grubber behind) for example

No Williams was in the correct FB area, it was Watson who was completely caught out positioning that resulted in Sharks scoring an easy try
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 11 Jul 2021, 9:01 am

Just up to an hour in the match but pretty depressing stuff. Lots of guys who you would think are in pole position for a starting place looking off the pace when the sharks had 15 on the pitch and bringing physicality. I've seen lots of positive reviews of Watson and given he's the one with the most mins on the pitch I get it but for all his tremendous carrying he's seeming a bit one dimensional. He's rarely threatening the ball at the breakdown and not slowing anything. Thats fine for these warm ups but with more back foot ball that I'm expecting against SA I have a nagging doubt on him.

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Post by George Carlin Sun 11 Jul 2021, 9:10 am

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 11 Jul 2021, 9:49 am

Collapse2005 wrote:Thought Biggar was fine, set up two of the tries quite nicely and still the best option for 10. Not sure what people saw that is attracting such criticism. Wasn’t a great performance all round to be fair.

Same. I see Ali Price has had criticism after previous matches too but I really don’t get that. Gareth Davies certainly didn’t help his test credentials yesterday either.

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Post by BigGee Sun 11 Jul 2021, 9:55 am

The FH tends to be under a bit more scrutiny when a backline is not firing.

Biggar had such a good game sgainst Japan, probably the only way was ever going to be down from there.

He did a couple of loose kicks but his ariel work was as good as ever.

Davies poor passing was more likely the cause of the backline not firing. It noticably improved when Murray came on and was more sccurate, even if a little slower.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 11 Jul 2021, 10:00 am

jimbopip wrote:
Interesting use of language, attempting to minimise the damage. So Dancer is in a boot until just before the first test. Why not send him home and focus on getting Smith up to speed? There are whispers that Farrell's shoulder is held in place on by a Post It note. Biggar has not looked in great form, although playing outside Davies yesterday would have challenged Gareth Edwards in his prime.

Davies and Gareth Edwards are both scrum halves so they wouldn’t have been on the pitch together! Maybe Barry John would have been a better one to use Wink
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Post by jimbopip Sun 11 Jul 2021, 10:34 am

Oracle, thank you for pointing 👉out my jarring discordant stupidity. It's kind hearted folk like you who keep me humble.
I'm slightly too young to have enjoyed watching Barry John; so let's ammend it to my favourite ever 10...the peerless Phil Bennett.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 11 Jul 2021, 10:39 am

I ummed and ahhed about pointing that out, Jimbo, I really did! Apologies for being a such a pedant! Sorry
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Post by flyhalffactory Sun 11 Jul 2021, 10:42 am

jimbopip wrote:Oracle, thank you for pointing 👉out my jarring discordant stupidity.  It's kind hearted folk like you who keep me humble.
I'm slightly too young to have enjoyed watching Barry John; so let's ammend it to my favourite ever 10...the peerless Phil Bennett.
He was my fav as well, a side-step to drool over
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Post by R!skysports Sun 11 Jul 2021, 12:05 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just up to an hour in the match but pretty depressing stuff. Lots of guys who you would think are in pole position for a starting place looking off the pace when the sharks had 15 on the pitch and bringing physicality.  I've seen lots of positive reviews of Watson and given he's the one with the most mins on the pitch I get it but for all his tremendous carrying he's seeming a bit one dimensional. He's rarely threatening the ball at the breakdown and not slowing anything. Thats fine for these warm ups but with more back foot ball that I'm expecting against SA I have a  nagging doubt on him.

I think he had quite a quiet game for him, but still was involved in a lot of the gritty stuff. He is really is a keen ruck operator, and was a nusance in this game and was one of IMO the better players yesterday?

And after playing for Scotland, he is very used to playing on the back foot :-)

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 11 Jul 2021, 12:08 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:
jimbopip wrote:Oracle, thank you for pointing 👉out my jarring discordant stupidity.  It's kind hearted folk like you who keep me humble.
I'm slightly too young to have enjoyed watching Barry John; so let's ammend it to my favourite ever 10...the peerless Phil Bennett.
He was my fav as well, a side-step to drool over
I suspect the drool might make the side-step slippery.

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Post by flyhalffactory Sun 11 Jul 2021, 12:12 pm

doctor_grey wrote:
flyhalffactory wrote:
jimbopip wrote:Oracle, thank you for pointing 👉out my jarring discordant stupidity.  It's kind hearted folk like you who keep me humble.
I'm slightly too young to have enjoyed watching Barry John; so let's ammend it to my favourite ever 10...the peerless Phil Bennett.
He was my fav as well, a side-step to drool over
I suspect the drool might make the side-step slippery.
Made my pillow ucky in the morning 🌅 Very Happy
flyhalffactory
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 11 Jul 2021, 4:31 pm

R!skysports wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Just up to an hour in the match but pretty depressing stuff. Lots of guys who you would think are in pole position for a starting place looking off the pace when the sharks had 15 on the pitch and bringing physicality.  I've seen lots of positive reviews of Watson and given he's the one with the most mins on the pitch I get it but for all his tremendous carrying he's seeming a bit one dimensional. He's rarely threatening the ball at the breakdown and not slowing anything. Thats fine for these warm ups but with more back foot ball that I'm expecting against SA I have a  nagging doubt on him.

I think he had quite a quiet game for him, but still was involved in a lot of the gritty stuff. He is really is a keen ruck operator, and was a nusance in this game and was one of IMO the better players yesterday?

And after playing for Scotland, he is very used to playing on the back foot :-)

I was underwhelmed tbh. First half especially id be expecting the openside to be more heavily involved. Love his carrying and he's a likely starter as no one else has had the mins but he's really going to have to up his game against SA. I think its important to get off to a flier given the high velt beckons.

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Post by TJ Sun 11 Jul 2021, 4:53 pm

7 1/2 - I agree he had a quiet game. Looked knackered to me. Still very good but not the heights we have seen. IIRC he played the two games in 4 days did he not? maybe just emptied the tank in the first one and ran out of steam?

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Post by Old Man Sun 11 Jul 2021, 5:21 pm

It is likely all three tests will be played at sealevel.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 11 Jul 2021, 8:27 pm

Old Man wrote:It is likely all three tests will be played at sealevel.

Heard it being mooted but not heard much beyond the suggestion.

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