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South Africa 'A' v British & Irish Lions, 14 July

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South Africa 'A' v British & Irish Lions, 14 July - Page 8 Empty South Africa 'A' v British & Irish Lions, 14 July

Post by George Carlin Sun 11 Jul 2021, 9:09 am

First topic message reminder :

South Africa 'A' v British & Irish Lions, 14 July - Page 8 File-210                South Africa 'A' v British & Irish Lions, 14 July - Page 8 Lions_10                
SOUTH AFRICA A v BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Wednesday 14 July
KO: 20:00 SAST / 19:00 UK / 22:00 Dubai  Very Happy
Cape Town Stadium (Newlands), Cape Town
Sky Sports Main Event

Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant Referees: Wayne Barnes, AJ Jacobs
TMO: Marius Jonker

TEAMS:

SOUTH AFRICA A:
15 – Willie le Roux
14 – Cheslin Kolbe
13 – Lukhanyo Am (captain)
12 – Damian de Allende
11 – Sbu Nkosi
10 – Morné Steyn
9 – Faf de Klerk

8 – Jasper Wiese
7 – Pieter-Steph du Toit
6 – Marco van Staden
5 – Franco Mostert
4 – Eben Etzebeth
3 – Trevor Nyakane
2 – Joseph Dweba
1 – Steven Kitshoff

Replacements (from):
16 – Malcolm Marx
17 – Coenie Oosthuizen
18 – Vincent Koch
19 – Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg
20 – Rynhardt Elstadt
21 – Herschel Jantjies
22 – Jesse Kriel
23 – Damian Willemse
24 – Kwagga Smith
25 – Elton Jantjies

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:
15. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
14. Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) #846
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) #837
11. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray – captain (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

1. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) #842
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
3. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
5. Iain Henderson (Ulster Rugby, Ireland) #808
6. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #854
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
8. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
18. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #848
19. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852
20. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
21. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849
22. Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822

COMMENTARY:


Last edited by George Carlin on Mon 12 Jul 2021, 2:34 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Post by TightHEAD Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:08 am

Any news from the citing officer for Faf's reckless (not looking) no arms dive into Navidi's head???

Come on World Rugby be consistent. Player Welfare and all that jazz.


Last edited by TightHEAD on Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:15 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:13 am

RDW wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:How impacted has Hogg been by Covid?

It's being pretty well kept under wraps. It's never actually been confirmed, and all they've said is he's recovering from a dead leg.
Eggchasers podcast said Hogg sits next to Townsend on the bus (the tour party keeps the same seat partners to minimize contact), so had to isolate when Townsend tested positive. Can't see anything on whether the player himself tested positive.

Why did Biggar have to pull out? Was he injured, or was Gatland trying to protect him? Since Farrell played, it would be good to know if he was fully fit, since there were indications he was carrying a knock.

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Post by TJ Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:22 am

TightHEAD wrote:Any news from the citing officer for Faf's reckless (not looking)  no arms dive into Navidi's head???

Come on World Rugby be consistent. Player Welfare and all that jazz.

There won't be one because the on field officials got it right. Initial impact was Faffs head to the arm.

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Post by TJ Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:22 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
RDW wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:How impacted has Hogg been by Covid?

It's being pretty well kept under wraps. It's never actually been confirmed, and all they've said is he's recovering from a dead leg.
Eggchasers podcast said Hogg sits next to Townsend on the bus (the tour party keeps the same seat partners to minimize contact), so had to isolate when Townsend tested positive. Can't see anything on whether the player himself tested positive.

Why did Biggar have to pull out? Was he injured, or was Gatland trying to protect him? Since Farrell played, it would be good to know if he was fully fit, since there were indications he was carrying a knock.

Biggar turned an ankle in training I believe

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Post by BigGee Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:22 am

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/warren-gatland-has-set-a-classic-rug-pull-trap-for-the-springboks/


Was this game a rope a dope strategy from the Lions?

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Post by Old Man Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:23 am

TightHEAD wrote:Any news from the citing officer for Faf's reckless (not looking)  no arms dive into Navidi's head???

Come on World Rugby be consistent. Player Welfare and all that jazz.

Not sure you can stretch the redcard to the hammer when you tackle the ball carrier.

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Post by TJ Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:27 am

BigGee wrote:https://www.rugbypass.com/news/warren-gatland-has-set-a-classic-rug-pull-trap-for-the-springboks/


Was this game a rope a dope strategy from the Lions?

I am not buying that at all. Maybe kept the set piece moves under wraps but not the rest of it

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Post by TightHEAD Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:29 am

TJ wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Any news from the citing officer for Faf's reckless (not looking)  no arms dive into Navidi's head???

Come on World Rugby be consistent. Player Welfare and all that jazz.

There won't be one because the on field officials got it right.  Initial impact was Faffs head to the arm.

That's irrelevant. Head to head contact was made. Player Welfare is the most important thing here. Faf or anyone else can not dive in like that, it's reckless. World Rugby need to take action.
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Post by Old Man Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:36 am

BigGee wrote:https://www.rugbypass.com/news/warren-gatland-has-set-a-classic-rug-pull-trap-for-the-springboks/


Was this game a rope a dope strategy from the Lions?

Firstly you need to consider Ben Smith is the writer.

That means his opinion is often born out of intense dislike for South African rugby. Personally I would not pay much attention to his “expert” opinion when his bias doesn’t allow him to be fair in his assessment.

If this was a Lions “Lite” then you could say the same about the Boks, no Malherbe, Mbonambi, no Kolisi, no Snyman, no De Jager, no Pollard, no Mapimpi, no Frans Steyn.

Are Gatland and Rassie playing games?

Most certainly, 45 kicks per team, the Boks continuing to employ a maul that is not working, the Lions repeating the same plays, kicking 45 times etc.

One thing Rassie did menton was they expected to run out of legs in the second half, which is worrying.

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:39 am

Dont think there would be much difference in the Bok test side and the side last night, Lions likewise.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:39 am

Old Man wrote:the Lions repeating the same plays, kicking 45 times etc.

I don't think that was tactics TBH. I think it was inept play by our halfbacks who played as though they did not have a clue what to do.

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Post by Old Man Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:43 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Old Man wrote:the Lions repeating the same plays, kicking 45 times etc.

I don't think that was tactics TBH. I think it was inept play by our halfbacks who played as though they did not have a clue what to do.

Some of it perhaps, but not all of it, if you look at the style the Lions have been playing on tour so far, it was a completely different faster pace.

I doubt either team will kick 40 times in the tests.

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Post by eirebilly Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:55 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Old Man wrote:the Lions repeating the same plays, kicking 45 times etc.

I don't think that was tactics TBH. I think it was inept play by our halfbacks who played as though they did not have a clue what to do.

Farrell was awful, not sure why he is even in the squad to be honest.
As for Murray, decent player in his day but not the best 9 available for me and he is certainly not Lions Captain material.

Sinckler was outstanding for me and is nailed on as a first test starter as is Ken Owens.

Itoje, well for me he has regressed badly. Once a player that i thought was nailed on England and Lions Captain but his is just a penalty machine and his decision making is generally very poor.

Watson was very good at 15 and Hendo and Navidi had solid games.

Not a long way off but a better backrow balance, halfback balance and midfield balance and the Lions should still push South Africa.
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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 9:58 am

Think the Boks did a good job of limiting what the Lions halfbacks could do. The rush defense and shooters were effective at preventing the ball from going wide and keeping the attack narrow where the Boks could make it an arm wrestle or forcing kicks which guys like Kolbe could return.

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:04 am

Think a three test series v SA would have be perfect for Sexton.

Bad decision to leave him out. Picking guys like Marcus Smith (and Simmonds) smacks of pandering to the sky sports brigade and English media but gbest of luck to them anyway.

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Post by BamBam Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:05 am

Jones, George, Furlong
Itoje, Beard
Beirne, Curry, Faletau
Price, Biggar
Henshaw, Harris
Duhan, Hogg, Watson

LCD, Mako, Sinckler, Lawes, Watson, Murray, Russell, Daly

oh yeah

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Post by eirebilly Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:06 am

Agree, re Sexton. He can still do it and is still a very viable option. Not a great choice in not selecting him.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:14 am

Collapse2005 wrote:Think a three test series v SA would have be perfect for Sexton.

Bad decision to leave him out. Picking guys like Marcus Smith (and Simmonds) smacks of pandering to the sky sports brigade and English media but gbest of luck to them anyway.

Smith has been the best fly half in the prem so it doesn't surprise me he was called up at all.

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:28 am

Who cares if he is the best player in the premiership? He has zero international pedigree and probably very little European rugby experience. I hope he does well but this isnt a development tour.

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Post by TJ Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:33 am

TightHEAD wrote:
TJ wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Any news from the citing officer for Faf's reckless (not looking)  no arms dive into Navidi's head???

Come on World Rugby be consistent. Player Welfare and all that jazz.

There won't be one because the on field officials got it right.  Initial impact was Faffs head to the arm.

That's irrelevant. Head to head contact was made. Player Welfare is the most important thing here. Faf or anyone else can not dive in like that, it's reckless. World Rugby need to take action.

Because thats how the laws work. direct contact red, indirect contact yellow. go read up on it

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Post by Old Man Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:33 am

Have to agree you need experience during such a tour. Especially when it comes to decision making.

Gary Kirsten the SA cricket coach a few years back mentioned experienced players have learnt the process of having done it all before, they focus and believe in the process whereas an inexperienced player tends to focus on the scoreboard and what needs to happen rather than just doing what they have done before and the scoreboard will take care of itself.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:34 am

Because he was better than some very experienced and good international fly halfs?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:36 am

TJ wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
TJ wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Any news from the citing officer for Faf's reckless (not looking)  no arms dive into Navidi's head???

Come on World Rugby be consistent. Player Welfare and all that jazz.

There won't be one because the on field officials got it right.  Initial impact was Faffs head to the arm.

That's irrelevant. Head to head contact was made. Player Welfare is the most important thing here. Faf or anyone else can not dive in like that, it's reckless. World Rugby need to take action.

Because thats how the laws work.  direct contact red, indirect contact yellow.  go read up on it

I've looked up the protocol and it doesn't mention direct or indirect, simply head contact. The officials did say there was no head contact in their eyes hence yellow.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:36 am

You win nothing with kids - Alan Hansen

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Post by eirebilly Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:37 am

I would not be against Smith getting a start, he is a very decent 10. Yes he may lack the pedigree so far but who is to say that given the chance he would not shine?

Could not do any worse than Farrell in fairness.
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Post by Poorfour Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:37 am

Selecting Sexton alongside Biggar and Farrell would give Gatland three fly halves with fairly similar styles. Selecting Russell gave him a contrasting style and the option to change up the game if plan A wasn't working.

With Russell injured, Smith is the player closest to him in style.

And Smith has played two internationals (admittedly against fairly weak opposition) and two knockout club games that were close to international standard in the past month, whereas as far as I can see Sexton last played in April.
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Post by R!skysports Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:42 am

Well just finished watching the game this morning an oh boy, were we c r a p

Against 13 men, tap and go, kick to the winger, tap and go again. What is wrong with these players? Drive, drive, drive and lose the ball....repeat, and for good measure repeat again...

First half was terrible and best forgotten.

Second half, at least it looked like players wanted to play

For me if Farrell and Murry are anywhere near the test side, then I will lose all respect for Gatland in selection. They were absolutely mince, and the slow type of mince that kicks 1 million time to nowhere

On the Second half (as I have forgotten the first :-) ) - Front row played well. Curry put a shift in. Itoji a nuisance and a penalty machine (the usual),

Backs, thought LRZ looked like a rabbit in the headlights, but Watson looked good, Harris look better than average, and Daly had a good game.

But we really did not look like scoring any more tries and we look incapable of unlocking the defence.

Overall C- for me


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Post by eirebilly Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:44 am

Poorfour wrote:Selecting Sexton alongside Biggar and Farrell would give Gatland three fly halves with fairly similar styles. Selecting Russell gave him a contrasting style and the option to change up the game if plan A wasn't working.


Farrell was not remotely in form prior to this selection and is still woefully out of form. Sexton has played harder games and was in better form leading up to the squad selection. For me, it was one or the other and i feel Gatland left the wrong player at home.
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Post by Poorfour Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:46 am

eirebilly wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Selecting Sexton alongside Biggar and Farrell would give Gatland three fly halves with fairly similar styles. Selecting Russell gave him a contrasting style and the option to change up the game if plan A wasn't working.


Farrell was not remotely in form prior to this selection and is still woefully out of form. Sexton has played harder games and was in better form leading up to the squad selection. For me, it was one or the other and i feel Gatland left the wrong player at home.

That argument has more teeth than Sexton over Smith - and I agree that Farrell's form is well below his best, but I suspect he got the nod because of his ability to cover 12 in a relatively small squad and an expected 6-2 bench split.
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Post by lostinwales Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:49 am

George Carlin wrote:
BamBam wrote:The players from my national side were great, the rest were terrible and should be replaced by more players from my national side

That should cover most responses

Laugh clap I laughed for about 3 minutes at this and then had to open a window to let some of the Truth out. This is henceforth officially known as BamBam's Cyclops Law.

In all seriousness, the temptation is always to apply the classic Substitutes Law where players who aren't selected (and therefore could never have proven that they would have done a better job) get better and better in the eyes of punters as the match goes on as they aren't directly associated with the whiff of a loss. We shouldn't jump to conclusions though and Gatland won't, particularly as a lot of his selections were forced by injury/COVID protocols.

Starting with the outputs in mind:

1. South Africa will kick the leather off the ball and employ the kick chase constantly.
2. The Boks have a wonderful defensive sequence and we will need to vary the play a lot to unlock it.
3. The breakdown will be a real mess.
4. A simple Lions power game will not work. But we knew this already.

Players whom I believe didn't help their cause were Murray and Farrell unfortunately. If Murray's big thing is his wonderful kicking game, then it didn't yield much fruit and he did look very slow against De Klerk - I don't recall one Murray line break and that's a big part of what his role should be, whether anyone likes it or not. I am also now constantly worried that he'll get charged down which I know is unfair as it's only happened a couple of times. Farrell does not do well on back foot ball ('who does?' - yes, I get it) and seemed to spend the whole game punting average garryowens to some of the best broken field runners in the world and flinging lateral passes from side to side.

Easier also perhaps to say who had very good games - for me, Itoje, Curry, Watson, Harris and Wyn Jones. Daly and Cowan Dickie had some very good moments. I thought that Henderson, Navidi, Faletau and Simmonds were kept very quiet by their standards and it's obvious that the power of the Bokke pack shocked them. I was also hoping that Aki could get us consistently on the front foot but it didn't seem to happen - Henshaw is a big, big gap in the side at the moment. A big plus was that our scrum looked solid and despite some annoying mistakes, Fagerson played a big part in that. Vunipola cut out the mistakes from his previous game and did just fine.

What we need?

1. We lacked control at 10 and controlled variation in our play most of all. I don't want to be accused of making BamBam's point any more than is necessary but Finn Russell seems to be made for these test games in the last half an hour. If you have a very solid defensive set and a fast blitz, you need a varied attacking game desperately and there's nobody better in the NH. Even those with the most 'traditional' views of how a 10 should play have to realise that you need that club in your bag or the Lions have no plan B.

2. Jacklers. There's no way around this. And it's not lost on me that the person who won more turnovers than anyone in the past 6N was Tadhg Beirne, who also got to rucks faster than any other player in that tournament (Opta Stats). If we're playing Curry then we need a Watson on the bench because the thought of Curry getting crocked in a test and having to leave the field is fairly frightening.

3. Cheslin Kolbe to admit he has a Welsh dad and a Scottish grandmother and that he's just had a huge argument with his colleagues.

Absence certainly makes the heart grow fonder - just see the demands now for AWJ to come back into the test squad, one arm dangling uselessly at his side or no.

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Post by eirebilly Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:49 am

I would still have selected Smith, think he has been one of the standout 10's so was worthy. For me, ye had Sexton or Farrell as the truly experienced 10's and one was in form and one was/is still not.

I don't really even rate Farrell as a 12 myself, he does a job there but he is by no means a stand out 12.

Sexton's calmness and game management from 10 was greatly missed yesterday.
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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:53 am

Lets get some perspective

SA, six weeks stuck in an hotel, were ill-disciplined and ran out of puff in the second half, but South Africa 'A' still had enough skill, gall, aggression and passion to batter us during that first 40 mins. The boks as a team were short on game-time (Covid-19) yesterday was used as an opportunity for those fit and well enough to play to get some high-intensity match minutes under their belts

The Lions only came back into it when SA were down to 13 and their lack of match fitness began to tell.

This was a chance for Itoje, Navidi and Curry to prove they could plug the breakdown issues that have been evident, they failed dismally. One of Itojes key strengths (2016-20) was his jackalling, during the 6Ns it was non existent, he has been exceptional on tour in the line-out and was last night, but he has been and was slow almost ponderous to the breakdown, Etzebeth/Mostert as a unit were better than Itoje/Henderson. Navidi whilst he had perfect stats, he was disappointing in his intensity and ability to make any impression in the rucks/mauls. Curry whilst he had a brilliant second half was very poor in the first 30 mins, he only came into it after SA went down to 13 and they starting running out of puff.
Gats & Co strategy of pick and go and not employing phase play, revealed his lack of confidence in the engine room to win the breakdown area.
Itoje with missed tackles, turned over x 2, handling errors x 2, pens x 2 and Curry turned over x 2, handling errors x 2, pes x 1, their 6Ns form hasn't gone away. Beard has been a better lock when he has come on
SA with match fitness will be a totally different animal come a week Saturday and under pressure those stats will only get worse.

For the Stormers game, I would go
4 Itoje 5 Beard hopefully with AWJ sub. Itoje has to find a way to get his mojo back without making these basic errors and in my opinion Watson is a country mile ahead of Curry on the openside, the issue is Beirne has been far our best player regarding the key area of the breakdown. Faletau hasn't been pulling up trees, so I'd be inclined to look at
6 Beirne 7 Watson 8 Curry with Faletau on the bench

Farrell / Murray both got turned over twice and the leadership just so poor. Farrell shouldn't be anywhere near the test 23 and we have to wrap Biggar and Smith in cotton wool and the same for Price
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Post by lostinwales Thu 15 Jul 2021, 10:56 am

Smith is a very very good player. I do think its worth pointing out that at Harlequins he plays outside of Care - who has been around for ever.

He could do very well for the Lions but a lot will depend, as ever, on how well he meshes with the scrum hald.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:01 am

lostinwales wrote:Smith is a very very good player. I do think its worth pointing out that at Harlequins he plays outside of Care - who has been around for ever.

He could do very well for the Lions but a lot will depend, as ever, on how well he meshes with the scrum hald.

Spot on thumbsup
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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:05 am

Poorfour wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Selecting Sexton alongside Biggar and Farrell would give Gatland three fly halves with fairly similar styles. Selecting Russell gave him a contrasting style and the option to change up the game if plan A wasn't working.


Farrell was not remotely in form prior to this selection and is still woefully out of form. Sexton has played harder games and was in better form leading up to the squad selection. For me, it was one or the other and i feel Gatland left the wrong player at home.

That argument has more teeth than Sexton over Smith - and I agree that Farrell's form is well below his best, but I suspect he got the nod because of his ability to cover 12 in a relatively small squad and an expected 6-2 bench split.

Definitely compadre and he an exceptional kicker
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Post by BamBam Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:07 am

FHF I can't really agree with your assessment of Itoje. He's never been massively effective as a jackal at the ruck in terms of actually winning turnovers, because he's just too tall and long limbed to be an strong clamp like the best breakdown artists

He's always been very good at being the first to a lot of rucks, in defence and in support of the carrier, needing to be cleared out or being the first to clear out. His line speed sets the tone, and those long limbs are very effective at scragging a ball carrier behind the line, but he's not a heavy hitter like Lawes / Underhill / Curry would be for England. His line out work is usually very good too

I think many are expecting him to do the most eye catching stuff like winning turnovers at the ruck, smashing opposition forwards backwards etc, but that isn't his game. He doesn't miss many tackles, he'll make tackles behind the gainline, he hits rucks all day and he'll make a mess of the opposition mauls, but that doesn't seem like its enough for some!

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:23 am

lostinwales wrote:Smith...could do very well for the Lions but a lot will depend, as ever, on how well he meshes with the scrum half.
Smith has never played with anyone in the Lions squad aside from some overlap with Kyle Sinckler. He is starting entirely from scratch. It's a big ask to drop a decision maker in the team when he has no familarity with anyone.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:23 am

BamBam wrote:FHF I can't really agree with your assessment of Itoje. He's never been massively effective as a jackal at the ruck in terms of actually winning turnovers, because he's just too tall and long limbed to be an strong clamp like the best breakdown artists

He's always been very good at being the first to a lot of rucks, in defence and in support of the carrier, needing to be cleared out or being the first to clear out. His line speed sets the tone, and those long limbs are very effective at scragging a ball carrier behind the line, but he's not a heavy hitter like Lawes / Underhill / Curry would be for England. His line out work is usually very good too

I think many are expecting him to do the most eye catching stuff like winning turnovers at the ruck, smashing opposition forwards backwards etc, but that isn't his game. He doesn't miss many tackles, he'll make tackles behind the gainline, he hits rucks all day and he'll make a mess of the opposition mauls, but that doesn't seem like its enough for some!

Good post mate. good reply.OK
Always two sides to the coin but in my experience of watching Itoje over the years and of course reading pundits/posters/friends views, is that one of his key strengths is turnovers, harrying the 9, being first at the rucks/mauls..... "jackalling". He was so good at it that Toonie & Pivac pre-6N 2021 suggested (to the refs) that his "edge" was actually "over the edge" i.e. operating from offside hence gaining the competitive advantage, hence his impressive jackalling stats previously were replaced with 12 pens during the 6Ns. IMHO that was Eddie Jones fault because he is employed differently for Sarries

I might be wrong but looking at his performance on the tour to-date, he's improved but under pressure he coughs up pens and unfortunately gets turned over because he can't play "over the edge" so has been on the back foot in the breakdown
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Post by Poorfour Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:30 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
lostinwales wrote:Smith...could do very well for the Lions but a lot will depend, as ever, on how well he meshes with the scrum half.
Smith has never played with anyone in the Lions squad aside from some overlap with Kyle Sinckler. He is starting entirely from scratch. It's a big ask to drop a decision maker in the team when he has no familarity with anyone.

It is, but the same was true of his England debut a couple of weeks ago, which was then further disrupted by two early injuries. While he didn't show everything he could do he ran the game well and delivered two solid wins given the inexperience of the side. It was also true of his Quins debut several years back, where a horrific injury to Demitri Catrakilis saw him called up from a bench he hadn't even expected to be on - and put into the role of running the senior side as an academy player. He's not fazed by much.
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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:42 am

Looks like Smith will start in the next game which makes sense. No point in selecting him if he wont play.

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Post by flyhalffactory Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:47 am

DHL STORMERS v THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS

Stuart Hogg – captain (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783

Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836

Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824

Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841

Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England)

Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843

Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818

Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852

Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) #845

Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847

Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839

Replacements:

Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787

Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #848

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) #761

Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849

Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850

Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844

Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) #846

Saturday 17 July 2021

Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Kick-off: 5pm (BST)

Now thats more like it Yahoo


Last edited by flyhalffactory on Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by R!skysports Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:50 am


https://www.msn.com/en-gb/entertainment/tv/british-and-irish-lions-v-south-africa-a-player-ratings-anthony-watson-impresses-as-owen-farrell-falters/ar-AAMa2Wi?ocid=msedgntp

From the Telegraph - all seem to be 1 too high IMO

15. Liam Williams (Elliot Daly, 13) N/A
Drafted in for Josh Adams but forced off before the end of the first quarter after absorbing a mighty tackle from Eben Etzebeth.

14. Louis Rees-Zammit - 7
Sliced a kick under pressure from Cheslin Kolbe but got his own back, chasing Daly’s kick and lassoing the slippery wing. His speed is so hard to contain

13. Chris Harris - 8
There is no shame in being skinned by Cheslin Kolbe, as Harris was for Am’s try. He responded by sparking the Lions’ attack himself, bumping Kolbe away.

12. Bundee Aki - 7
Stripped the ball in a tackle on Wiese but perhaps the most significant aspect of Aki’s performance was his passing, which helped the Lions navigate a crowded midfield.

11. Anthony Watson - 8
Scrambled to force Nkosi into touch early and slalomed through green jerseys when given the opportunity. Sound positionally and brave to defy a twisted ankle. Excellent again.

10. Owen Farrell - 5
Costly errors included a charge-down, an overcooked punt to touch and a misdirected cross-kick. Improved later but Test prospects will have been seriously damaged.

9. Conor Murray (G Davies, 75) - 6
The decision to tap a penalty with South Africa A reduced to 13 stung the Lions. One effective chip and chase but frantic moments as well.

1. Wyn Jones (M Vunipola, 46) - 8
Earned two scrum penalties, one on South Africa A’s put-in five metres from the Lions try-line. Deserved his try, too. A fine outing.

2. Ken Owens (L Cowan-Dickie, 50) - 7
Fought hard to stall the hosts at defensive breakdowns and was a willing figure in the trenches, pounding away when the Lions possession.

3. Kyle Sinckler (Z Fagerson, 63) - 7
The scrum was a positive for the Lions, which will have helped Sinckler’s Test hopes. Attempted to inject energy in the loose but was well marshalled.

4. Maro Itoje - 8
Threw a deft tip-on pass to Curry. However, his best work came with characteristically disruptive defence. He stalled South Africa A’s driving game and was a nuisance around the ruck.

5. Iain Henderson (A Beard, 62) - 6
Part of a pack that was overwhelmed by South Africa’s opening blast. Did not fade completely, though, winning a maul turnover in the 47th minute.

6. Josh Navidi (T Beirne, 69) - 7
Hard to believe the tough back-rower was not in Warren Gatland’s initial squad. Rolled up his sleeves and stood up to the intense physicality.

7. Tom Curry - 8
The performance he needed to challenge Hamish Watson. Tied together eye-catching attacks with athleticism and offloads. Charging down clubmate Faf De Klerk will have felt good.

8. Taulupe Faletau (S Simmonds 48) - 6
After a fraught start spent fire-fighting in defence, Faletau hung wide and caused problems with his pace prior to an early exit. Also an important lineout option.

Replacements
16. Luke Cowan Dickie (on for Owens, 50) - 7
Added verve, and his aggression could well become a factor later on this tour if the breakdown continues to be such a mess.

17. Mako Vunipola (on for Jones, 46) - 7
Had been in danger of slipping to the periphery on this tour and still may find himself out of the Test squad, but a thumping tackle on De Klerk and some lively touches in attack were heartening.

18. Zander Fagerson (on for Sinckler, 62) - 6
A brief appearance for Fagerson, whose spill ended the game. Looks robust in the set-piece exchanges, though.

19. Adam Beard (on for Henderson, 62) - 7
Even with the return of Alun Wyn Jones, do not count Beard out of the Test shake-up. He spoils opposition mauls for fun and is a skilful handler.

20. Tadhg Beirne (on for Navidi, 69) - N/A
Conceded a penalty in the final minutes and may now rest until the Tests.

21. Sam Simmonds (on for Faletau, 47) - 6
It was always going to take something remarkable for Simmonds to usurp Faletau or Jack Conan. Quiet, though committed, here. Should get a start against the Stormers.

22. Gareth Davies (on for Murray, 75) - N/A
Had just five minutes but almost picked the pocket of De Klerk at the final scrum.

23. Elliot Daly (on for Williams, 13) - 7
Spilled the first high ball after his arrival but snaked through a clever grubber soon afterwards. Indeed, he offered an vital outlet for the Lions’ attack and defended wholeheartedly.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 15 Jul 2021, 11:55 am

Jeez i need to catch up...i havent seen a minute of the entire tour yet.

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Post by TJ Thu 15 Jul 2021, 12:14 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Selecting Sexton alongside Biggar and Farrell would give Gatland three fly halves with fairly similar styles. Selecting Russell gave him a contrasting style and the option to change up the game if plan A wasn't working.


Farrell was not remotely in form prior to this selection and is still woefully out of form. Sexton has played harder games and was in better form leading up to the squad selection. For me, it was one or the other and i feel Gatland left the wrong player at home.

That argument has more teeth than Sexton over Smith - and I agree that Farrell's form is well below his best, but I suspect he got the nod because of his ability to cover 12 in a relatively small squad and an expected 6-2 bench split.

Definitely compadre and he an exceptional kicker

He really is not. Biggar is his equal - I looked up the stats and Russell is not far behind.

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Post by TJ Thu 15 Jul 2021, 12:15 pm

flyhalffactory wrote:DHL STORMERS v THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS

Stuart Hogg – captain (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783

Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836

Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822

Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824

Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841

Marcus Smith (Harlequins, England)

Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843

Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840

Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851

Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818

Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852

Jonny Hill (Exeter Chiefs, England) #845

Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838

Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847

Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839

Replacements:

Jamie George (Saracens, England) #819

Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787

Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #848

Alun Wyn Jones (Ospreys, Wales) #761

Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849

Gareth Davies (Scarlets, Wales) #850

Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844

Louis Rees-Zammit (Gloucester Rugby, Wales) #846

Saturday 17 July 2021

Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town

Kick-off: 5pm (BST)

Now thats more like it Yahoo

that looks to me pretty much the test side

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Post by GeordieFalcon Thu 15 Jul 2021, 12:21 pm

How has Johnny Hill played at lock this tour?

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Post by formerly known as Sam Thu 15 Jul 2021, 12:26 pm

TJ wrote:
flyhalffactory wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
eirebilly wrote:
Poorfour wrote:Selecting Sexton alongside Biggar and Farrell would give Gatland three fly halves with fairly similar styles. Selecting Russell gave him a contrasting style and the option to change up the game if plan A wasn't working.


Farrell was not remotely in form prior to this selection and is still woefully out of form. Sexton has played harder games and was in better form leading up to the squad selection. For me, it was one or the other and i feel Gatland left the wrong player at home.

That argument has more teeth than Sexton over Smith - and I agree that Farrell's form is well below his best, but I suspect he got the nod because of his ability to cover 12 in a relatively small squad and an expected 6-2 bench split.

Definitely compadre and he an exceptional kicker

He really is not.  Biggar is his equal - I looked up the stats and Russell is not far behind.

Agreed. Farrell's kicking percentage hasn't been exceptional for years now he's living off the reputation he developed early on in his career. George Ford has a better kicking percentage in the Prem in recent years but for some reason Farrell is persisted with and given kicking duties at international level.

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Post by TJ Thu 15 Jul 2021, 12:33 pm



Agreed. Farrell's kicking percentage hasn't been exceptional for years now he's living off the reputation he developed early on in his career. George Ford has a better kicking percentage in the Prem in recent years but for some reason Farrell is persisted with and given kicking duties at international leve

IMO what Farrell does really well kicking is consistency. Kick to win the game - he is your man. Scoreboard / match situation does not seem to get to him at all - no nerves apparent.

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Post by TJ Thu 15 Jul 2021, 12:38 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:How has Johnny Hill played at lock this tour?

IMO just sort of Meh! Neither obviously poor nor obviously good

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Post by RDW Thu 15 Jul 2021, 12:49 pm

Just watched the game - feck me that was a drab affair lacking in quality and any kind of excitement. It's hugely lacking as a spectacle having no fans there. It's a shame the wider squads aren't allowed to travel as even 50 rowdy players in the stands would give some kind of noise and crowd reaction to show.

As for the Lions, it's all been said in length in here but we were very much lacking any kind of direction or invention from the halfbacks. It was a very limited gameplan and maybe deliberately so. Hopefully we have more on the locker to come!

Front row was good and whichever 6 we pick we'll do well. I'm still concerned we're not settled on a 2nd row pair yet. Back row - who the hell knows! Curry put in an all action display but so does Watson. Would be great to see them on the flanks together but IMO we'd need a dominant 8 who is also a lineout option, and neither Faletau or Conan are exactly demanding selection. I don't think Curry at 8 is the answer either. Navidi put in a shift but I think we have better starters - he'll not let anyone down if he is involved in the test series though.

In the backs, if Murray and Farrell start the tests we're in trouble. If they don't, who does? Price has a great chance to stake a claim on Saturday and Smith should go into it with no pressure. Centres wise Aki was disappointing but he's also likely completely knackered. Fingers crossed for a big game from Henshaw. I thought Harris had another strong game and is firmly in test contention. His distribution in particular was great. Yes he was skinned by Kolbe but he's not the first and won't be the last. He was also put in a difficult position by a crap kick. Back 3 showed up well individually and worked hard but we were lacking in game breakers. Again though we're spoilt for choice.

As for SA - they'll be pleased with the win and having a blow out but if anything they were even more limited than the Lions. Is Morne Steyn really still a test option?? Hopefully both teams were holding something back.

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