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South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July

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South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 8 Empty South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July

Post by George Carlin Sat 17 Jul 2021, 7:00 pm

First topic message reminder :

South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 8 A_10                  South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 8 Lions_10                
SOUTH AFRICA BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Saturday 24 July
KO: 18:00 SAST / 17:00 UK / 20:00 Dubai  Very Happy
Cape Town Stadium (Newlands), Cape Town
Sky Sports Main Event

Referee: Nic Berry (Australia)
Assistant Referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Mathieu Raynal
TMO: Marius Bloody Jonker of all people

TEAMS:

SOUTH AFRICA:
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 62 caps, 60 pts (12t)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse) – 14 caps, 40 pts (8t)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 15 caps, 15 pts (3t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) – 47 caps, 30 pts (6t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 14 caps, 70 pts (14t)
10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain – Montpellier) – 49 caps, 465pts (6t, 78c, 89p, 4d)
09 – Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks) – 30 caps, 20 pts (4t)

08 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) – 7 caps, 5 pts (1t)
07 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers) – 56 caps, 25 pts (5t)
06 – Siya Kolisi (captain – Cell C Sharks) – 51 caps, 30 pts (6t)
05 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 40 caps, 5pts (1t)
04 – Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) – 86 caps, 15 pts (3t)
03 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 43 caps, 5 pts (1t)
02 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers) – 37 caps, 40 pts (8t)
01 – Ox Nché (Cell C Sharks) – 2 caps, 0 pts

16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 34 caps, 30 pts (6t)
17 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 48 caps, 5pts (1t)
18 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 39 caps, 5pts (1t)
19 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) – 45 caps, 25 pts (5t)
20 – Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse) – 2 caps, 0 pts
21 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) – 11 caps, 25 pts (5t)
22 – Elton Jantjies (Pau) – 38 caps, 283 pts (2t, 63c, 49p)
23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 7 caps, 5pts (1t)

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter, Scotland) #783
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
09. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843

01. Rory Sutherland (Worcester, Scotland) #840
02. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter, England) #851
03. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
04. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
05. Alun Wyn Jones (C) (Ospreys, Wales) #761
06. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
07. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
08. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839

16. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
20. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Rugby, Scotland) #847
21. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833

PREVIEW:


Last edited by George Carlin on Sat 24 Jul 2021, 3:25 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Post by R!skysports Wed 21 Jul 2021, 2:14 pm

Surprising I am overall happy with the selection. Looks like he is going for an attacking mindset, which I much prefer.

Of course a couple of ones I would query, but can not have it 100% correct :-)

Looking forward to the game......

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Post by EST Wed 21 Jul 2021, 2:38 pm

I'm really happy with that squad, plenty of power and pace and enough heft to deal with the bocks:

Front Row - No surprises there, gone for strongest starting props and prioritised Sutherland ability at scrum time over Mako on the bench. Sinkler clearly ahead of Fagerson. George can perhaps feel annoyed, but hooker is so competitive
Second Row - The obvious and clear choice. Lets see if AWJ can last the majority of the game.
Back Row - Toss up for me between Lawes and Bierne, but Lawes has been excellent on tour and is probably more physical. No issues with Curry starting and Conan deserves it on performances so far. Looking forward to Mish coming on and causing some havoc.
Halfbacks - Biggar nailed on, and Price has been the form 9 for me by some distance.
Centre Pairing - Where decisions become a bit harder, i'm happy with this balance though and can see why Daly has been picked - huge boot and brings pace that Harris doesn't possess. Potential question marks about his defence, but lets see.
Back three - Delighted for Hogg and I think he just about deserves it, Williams better bench cover given his flexibility. Watson has been brilliant on tour and his experience edges him ahead. DHVDM, amazing going forward but i'm slightly worried about his D - think I would have gone for Adams, but can see why DHVDM's power could be needed when looking at the backline as a whole.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 21 Jul 2021, 3:24 pm

So 6 English, 3 Welsh, 3 Irish and 3 Scots in the team and 2 each on the bench. Probably the most even spread ever. England a bit fortunate to have 6 in the side given their poor year.

Lawes, Curry and Watson could easily have been replaced by Beirne, Watson and Adams but whatever.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 21 Jul 2021, 3:34 pm

Gatland not happy with the team leak to the press. Nice bit in the interview about all coaches getting their input and none, including him, getting the 23 they wanted. Sounds like a good debate.

“Lions boss Warren Gatland has expressed his anger at having his first Test XV leaked to the media on Tuesday, insisting he will now change how he goes about his announcement for next week’s second Test in South Africa. Gatland had told his squad his first Test matchday 23 prior to afternoon training on Tuesday at a school in Cape Town and it wasn’t long before the Lions team leaked out.

The Times newspaper in London soon unveiled what the expected matchday 23 was and ultimately they were proven right regarding the starting XV, that the likes of Luke Cowan-Dickie, Courtney Lawes, Jack Conan, Ali Price and Elliot Daly would all be starting against the Springboks, and that Conor Murray, who stepped in as tour captain when it was thought for three weeks that Alun Wyn Jones would miss the entire trip, would only be a first Test replacement along with England skipper Owen Farrell.

The only inaccuracy in the leak was that the predicted six/two forwards/backs bench split didn’t materialise as Gatland instead went with a five/three split with Liam Williams, not forward Iain Henderson, making the bench after recovering from the concussion he suffered in last week’s midweek loss to South Africa A.

“I don’t know how that happened,” said a disappointed Gatland when asked how his team has gotten into the public domain earlier than planned. “It wasn’t 100 per cent right but obviously someone has leaked that out.

“Whether that is on purpose or accidentally or someone has betrayed someone’s trust, whether that is player or a staff member – what I will do next week is just name the team to the players and then name the team to the press straight away.”

The Lions boss, who learned on Tuesday that all three Tests would be played at sea level in Cape Town and that the tour wouldn’t be returning to altitude for Tests two and three in Johannesburg, was originally due to name his team on Thursday morning but decided to bring it forward by 24 hours not long about the Times had published its leak.

Gatland’s starting XV consists of six English players with three each coming from Ireland, Scotland and Wales – including fit-again skipper Jones – and he explained how tough it was to reach a consensus on who should play. “It was a robust debate,” he said. “We were an hour-and-a-half in the selection meeting.

“I asked the other coaches to come along with their 23s and we were all different and I can say we all had to compromise in terms of that and debate positions and selections and that is the way it should be.

“A lot of people think it is the team that I select but it has never been that way whether with Wales or the Lions. It’s important that as coaches we all have an input and it’s the way that I have always done things. Not one of the coaches had the 23 they came along to the meeting with.”
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Post by flyhalffactory Wed 21 Jul 2021, 4:13 pm

EST wrote:I'm really happy with that squad, plenty of power and pace and enough heft to deal with the bocks:

Front Row - No surprises there, gone for strongest starting props and prioritised Sutherland ability at scrum time over Mako on the bench.  Sinkler clearly ahead of Fagerson.  George can perhaps feel annoyed, but hooker is so competitive
Second Row - The obvious and clear choice.  Lets see if AWJ can last the majority of the game.
Back Row - Toss up for me between Lawes and Bierne, but Lawes has been excellent on tour and is probably more physical.  No issues with Curry starting and Conan deserves it on performances so far.  Looking forward to Mish coming on and causing some havoc.
Halfbacks - Biggar nailed on, and Price has been the form 9 for me by some distance.
Centre Pairing -  Where decisions become a bit harder, i'm happy with this balance though and can see why Daly has been picked - huge boot and brings pace that Harris doesn't possess.  Potential question marks about his defence, but lets see.
Back three - Delighted for Hogg and I think he just about deserves it, Williams  better bench cover given his flexibility.  Watson has been brilliant on tour and his experience edges him ahead.  DHVDM, amazing going forward but i'm slightly worried about his D - think I would have gone for Adams, but can see why DHVDM's power could be needed when looking at the backline as a whole.  

Good post and I agree with lots of that but couple of things you can take from the last two games, especially SA A game

1. FR - pretty much spot on
2. Locks - That wasn't the obvious and clear choice based on tour performances & form, firstly Beard has been pretty much the best lock, his presence in the lineout is second to none, he has been best around the breakdown and his weight in the pack would have been an obvious advantage, secondly AWj has only played 27 mins albeit he was by far the best lock in the 6Ns it still was a risk, thirdly Itoje hasn't had a great tour (in my opinion), SA A lock unit of Etzebeth/Mostert was clearly better than Itoje/Hendo especially the 1st 40 mins, you can't disguise the fact that he conceded 2 TOs, 2 MTs and 2 Pens, made 11 carries for a measly 7 metres but the main concern he had no presence at the breakdown, now he certainly go better in the 2nd half but as we seem to be forgetting SA with very little game time & who had been isolating for 6 days) were down to 13 men and they clearly run out of steam. If AWJ had a bit more game time I would have gone Beard / AWJ but a Etzebeth/Mostert unit with two more weeks training combos is frankly worrying
3. BR - Crikey, I know Eddie & Gats has picked him, but I'll say this once again, at this level you don't want hybrids starting a game unless they can dominate the breakdown, Lawes hasn't been the best BSF even, he gave 2 pens away which resulted in the Lions losing 2 tries. I can only think it's in case AWJ pops, Lawes goes to lock and Beirne goes to 6. My mind goes back to the WC 2019 final when Itoje/Lawes were literally dismantled by Etzebeth (shoulder injury after 30 mins as well) and firstly Lood de Jager (injured 21 mins) then Mostert. A bit worrying as Lawes was substitued on the 40 minute but to be honest he was the much better lock and Itoje should have been the one making way for Kruis. Regarding starting the game then Watson is the specialist 7 and he has played the best in that position, Curry would normally play BSF for England if Underhill was fit and at this point of the tour, he should be covering BR from the bench. Can't really disagree with Conan
4. Halfbacks - spot on
5. Centres - I love Daly at 13 and no problem him starting but you do realise Harris started as a wing, I'd say Daly is not that much quicker if at all. I know it's youtube offering but to give a flavour https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2rIsGMrGxM
6. Back 3 - A great pick. An impossible task as they have being all excellent. You could just as easily pick, FB Williams LRZ & Adams

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Post by Cyril Wed 21 Jul 2021, 4:15 pm

Who wrote that article? I’m disappointed with the word ‘gotten’ in there. Unless the author is a Yank.

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Post by lostinwales Wed 21 Jul 2021, 4:21 pm

TJ wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
TJ wrote:My issue with <inset England player here> is / was he gives away too many penalties ...

Just clearing that up for you to save time later

Bore off troll.  

You can do better than that. The Scots, especially on here, are known for their sense of humour but somehow you lost yours moving North of the border.

No hiding high penalty counts for England in recent matches, so its not surprising that people are looking out for what happens with English tourists.

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Post by cb Wed 21 Jul 2021, 4:34 pm

Not a bad side and many positions as expected and really have to take the 23 as a whole.

Quibbles would be Lawes over Beirne as Beirne was one of the best performing players in the 6N's.  Both of the lock replacements (Lawes or Beirne) generally play more at BSF, and for that reason I would have preferred the additional weight and height of Beard who seems the in-form lock given that AWJ may not last close to the 80 minutes.

Finally I see the Lions having to comeback and overhaul the Boks who may tire towards the end, and for that reason Murray and Farrell are conservative choices.

Also a little with Williams as Watson can cover FB and Adams or Harris could have been on the bench (Henshaw having not played a lot of rugby).

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Post by Cyril Wed 21 Jul 2021, 4:42 pm

The Lions seem to be reflecting rugby in general that forwards-heavy benches mean you’re unlikely to see specialist wings or 10s as ‘finishers’. Players seen as utility squad members often missed out as they struggled to fit in based on being behind specialists. At least in the backs now they are proving invaluable.

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Post by flyhalffactory Wed 21 Jul 2021, 4:45 pm

TJ wrote:Ok - awa' and boil yer heid.  that better?


Ale I owe you a pint my man
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Post by cb Wed 21 Jul 2021, 4:52 pm

Not a bad side and many positions as expected and really have to take the 23 as a whole.

Quibbles would be Lawes over Beirne as Beirne was one of the best performing players in the 6N's.  Both of the lock replacements (Lawes or Beirne) generally play more at BSF, and for that reason I would have preferred the additional weight and height of Beard who seems the in-form lock given that AWJ may not last close to the 80 minutes.

Finally I see the Lions having to comeback and overhaul the Boks who may tire towards the end, and for that reason Murray and Farrell are conservative choices.

Also a little with Williams as Watson can cover FB and Adams or Harris could have been on the bench (Henshaw having not played a lot of rugby).

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Post by theslosty Wed 21 Jul 2021, 5:38 pm

Beirne has played more for Munster and Ireland in the 2nd row than he has at 6 so I wouldn't be worried about his ability to cover either off the bench. I do feel he is very unlucky not to be starting, Lawes is perhaps a more physical tackler but there is an awful lot that Beirne can do that Lawes can't. Whilst I've got my green glasses on I also think Henderson is hard done by missing out completely after the season he's had.
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Post by 123456789. Wed 21 Jul 2021, 6:27 pm

Happy enough with the team, there's a lot of bloody good players missing out. Of the England contingent, it's hard to think of anyone who hasn't earned it in some way. One thing that was apparent to me against South Africa 'A' was that we either have to toe to toe and play them at their own game or we have to try to open them up.

If we were going to go for the former then I could see a place for Murray, Harris and Williams (not that he can't attack but I think Hogg brings other players in better). Off the back of this selection I half expect to see Russell in the squad for next week. I feel for Adams, it's hard to see that he could have done more. Henderson also. I'd like to see Beirne, Watson and Curry on the field together at the end as I think they could really dominate the break down.

I'm very happy for Hogg and Sutherland, the two Hawick boys. Hogg is on his third tour and has been unfortunate. 2013 probably came too early for him but he got very little chance at full-back and he was desperately unlucky in 2017. Sutherland has come back from a debilitating illness and depression.

All in all, each and every one of them knows a player just as good can come in if they're not up to speed. Lions by eight I reckon.

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Post by TightHEAD Wed 21 Jul 2021, 6:40 pm

It's coming home.....
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Post by BigGee Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:04 pm

Ok, last warning to everyone and to TJ and Cyril in particular. Please stop the bickering and posting stuff that can be construed as xenophobic. For the record, this is a thread about the B&I lions and everyone who is picked is eligible to play for the team. Lets just talk about the team and the rugby

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Post by Cyril Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:07 pm

Fair play, BigGee but something has to be said. I’ll leave it there.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:13 pm

theslosty wrote:Beirne has played more for Munster and Ireland in the 2nd row than he has at 6 so I wouldn't be worried about his ability to cover either off the bench. I do feel he is very unlucky not to be starting, Lawes is perhaps a more physical tackler but there is an awful lot that Beirne can do that Lawes can't. Whilst I've got my green glasses on I also think Henderson is hard done by missing out completely after the season he's had.

Yeah Henderson and Beirne are very talented players, I’m sure they will get their moment.

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Post by BigTrevsbigmac Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:13 pm

Pretty much the starting 15 I would have chosen!
Although I had Beard for AWJs & Williams for Hogg but happy to be proved wrong.
I am pleasantly surprised by the selection but agree with Gats comments re. So many close calls being healthy for the squad.
I think the gamble is how long the captain can last in the game but its a team to go out and attack.

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Post by BigGee Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:16 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
theslosty wrote:Beirne has played more for Munster and Ireland in the 2nd row than he has at 6 so I wouldn't be worried about his ability to cover either off the bench. I do feel he is very unlucky not to be starting, Lawes is perhaps a more physical tackler but there is an awful lot that Beirne can do that Lawes can't. Whilst I've got my green glasses on I also think Henderson is hard done by missing out completely after the season he's had.

Yeah Henderson and Beirne are very talented players, I’m sure they will get their moment.


There are three very physical tests coming up in three weeks and there are going to be some casualties and probably some tactical variations in the team as well. I do hope a lot of the other players deserving of a test spot and there are quite a lot of them, get their chance as well.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:22 pm

Definitely BigGee, remember OMahoney captained the first test v NZ and I think Teo started at centre. 2nd test they were both dropped. Anything can happen.

Anything except Marcus Smith starting at 10 I’d say


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Post by BigGee Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:27 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Definitely BigGee, remember OMahoney captained the first test v NZ and I think Teo started at centre. 2nd test they were both dropped. Anything can happen.

Anything except Marcus Smith starting at 10 I’d say


I am still quite hopeful that Finn gets his chance as well, I think he deserves it. Smith will get plenty more chances in the future, though I imagine he would probably step up now as well if required!

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Post by Cyril Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:44 pm

I would love to see Smith at 10 later in the tour. I think he’s got the magic if Biggar and/or Farrell are unavailable.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 21 Jul 2021, 7:50 pm

theslosty wrote:Beirne has played more for Munster and Ireland in the 2nd row than he has at 6 so I wouldn't be worried about his ability to cover either off the bench. I do feel he is very unlucky not to be starting, Lawes is perhaps a more physical tackler but there is an awful lot that Beirne can do that Lawes can't. Whilst I've got my green glasses on I also think Henderson is hard done by missing out completely after the season he's had.

I think Henderson was very meh against South Africa 'a', although not sure what his actual stats were before he got subbed. I really believe Beirne is a superstar though, and I'm not concerned about where he plays so long as he is on the pitch. I think he would have been very useful starting at 6. That's the position I've been crying out for him to play ever since he went to Munster. Another one mikey called before everyone else.

I'm a bit concerned that Wales don't have many players in, and we've had good representation for a while. It is fair though, as we aren't putting out good midfielders or TH's right now. Impressed with how Beard has risen up though.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 21 Jul 2021, 8:01 pm

Is he a superstar because he played in Wales Mikey?

Good to see another Clongowes Super star, James Joyce, Nick Hewer (countdown), Gordon Darcy, Rob Kearney and now Tadgh Beirne. Legends.

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed 21 Jul 2021, 8:19 pm

Well that is where Beirne learnt his trade... He is a forward that is genuinely good at everything he does. He's powerful, fast, he reads the game well, tackles, carries, good at the breakdown, a line-out option, a lifter; not so many of those around in Britain and Ireland right now. The only person I can think of who is similar is Itoje.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 21 Jul 2021, 8:41 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
theslosty wrote:Beirne has played more for Munster and Ireland in the 2nd row than he has at 6 so I wouldn't be worried about his ability to cover either off the bench. I do feel he is very unlucky not to be starting, Lawes is perhaps a more physical tackler but there is an awful lot that Beirne can do that Lawes can't. Whilst I've got my green glasses on I also think Henderson is hard done by missing out completely after the season he's had.

I think Henderson was very meh against South Africa 'a', although not sure what his actual stats were before he got subbed. I really believe Beirne is a superstar though, and I'm not concerned about where he plays so long as he is on the pitch. I think he would have been very useful starting at 6. That's the position I've been crying out for him to play ever since he went to Munster. Another one mikey called before everyone else.

I'm a bit concerned that Wales don't have many players in, and we've had good representation for a while. It is fair though, as we aren't putting out good midfielders or TH's right now. Impressed with how Beard has risen up though.
I think, to be fair to all, there is really only one really good inside centre is the squad, and he is starting.  

Now looking through my parochial green, gold, and black glasses a bit, there is something Lawes brings which both Gatland and Eddie Jones appear to agree on.  Their man-crush on Courtney Lawes tells me how highly valued he is amongst very different coaches.  I have a feeling they don't agree on very much.  Remember Gatland added him only after the squad was picked when he showed he had fully recovered and was in game shape after his injury woes (managed superbly by Saints extraordinary and very handsome med staff and their support consulting teams).

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Post by offload Wed 21 Jul 2021, 10:40 pm

doctor_grey wrote:

Now looking through my parochial green, gold, and black glasses a bit, there is something Lawes brings which both Gatland and Eddie Jones appear to agree on.

Lawes and Beirne have not put a foot wrong all tour, but I think it's the additional defensive capability Lawes brings that possibly swung it. That both can play lock and 6 is useful, as flexibility always matters on a Lions tours. Lawes was also Englands best forward by some margin during the last 6N's.
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Post by Cyril Thu 22 Jul 2021, 4:55 am

Offload, Lawes only featured in the Scotland and Italy games last 6 Nations (about 80 mins across the two games in total).

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Jul 2021, 6:25 am

Curry and itoje were the only forwards to show up for England.

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 22 Jul 2021, 6:48 am

Thought Curry was the only forward to show up for England in the six nations. Itoje looked very off form. Felt sorry for Curry, he looked like he was putting in a huge shift every time and it wasnt matched by team mates.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Jul 2021, 6:55 am

Itoje wasn't at his best granted but still played well. Let's face the 6 nations was a disaster for England for all the reasons mentioned in the post tournament thread.

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Post by Soul Requiem Thu 22 Jul 2021, 7:02 am

The forward pack is a collective made up of individuals, so if you have 4/5 of the eight not performing it puts a lot of pressure on those that are which is why the penalty count was so high. Wilson was a good player for a time but during the six nations he and Billy were performing at a sub par level so Curry ended up having to do the work of two players so he made more mistakes. The same was also true of Itoje paired with Jonny Hill who was largely anonymous. Englands best player during the six nations was probably Cowan-Dickie.

Look at Hamish Watson now he's paired with Jamie Ritchie, his performances have gone from strength to strength.

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

True. Forgot to mention LCD, really has been excellent since the world cup.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Jul 2021, 7:31 am

Realise that fights in training aren't that unusual (punching of AW Jones etc) but apparently a unnamed player stamped on someone this week in a brutal Lions session. Seems a touch OTT.

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Post by Old Man Thu 22 Jul 2021, 7:59 am

I am getting nervous, the starting bok front row might give away a lot of scrum penalties.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 22 Jul 2021, 8:22 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
theslosty wrote:Beirne has played more for Munster and Ireland in the 2nd row than he has at 6 so I wouldn't be worried about his ability to cover either off the bench. I do feel he is very unlucky not to be starting, Lawes is perhaps a more physical tackler but there is an awful lot that Beirne can do that Lawes can't. Whilst I've got my green glasses on I also think Henderson is hard done by missing out completely after the season he's had.

I think Henderson was very meh against South Africa 'a', although not sure what his actual stats were before he got subbed. I really believe Beirne is a superstar though, and I'm not concerned about where he plays so long as he is on the pitch. I think he would have been very useful starting at 6. That's the position I've been crying out for him to play ever since he went to Munster. Another one mikey called before everyone else.

I'm a bit concerned that Wales don't have many players in, and we've had good representation for a while. It is fair though, as we aren't putting out good midfielders or TH's right now. Impressed with how Beard has risen up though.

Beard has really taken on board what Pivac asked him to work on & even as a Scarlets fan I think he is playing the best rugby of his career so far. He seems to be more involved in games now & his maul defence is really good.

Everyone at the Scarlets had their doubts when Beirne rocked up, he played down at Llandovery with fellow Lion Wyn Jones & seriously just impressed in every game. I was genuinely gutted when he left but knew he would go on to be a super star on the international stage.

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Post by miltonkeynesengland Thu 22 Jul 2021, 8:55 am

Old Man wrote:I am getting nervous, the starting bok front row might give away a lot of scrum penalties.

I'd be really fascinated to get your take on who from the Lions worries you and where you think we're weak.

I think it's a really good side that he's picked to try and win rather than to try to nullify your guys.

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Post by George Carlin Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:07 am

Let me offer something else on this thread.

I was listening to a video from the Off The Ball team in Ireland which I normally enjoy. One of the pundits (I don't know who it was) said something which I cannot get out of my head because of the reaction to it. When asked to choose the no.8 for the Lions first test, they said that it should be "CJ Stander, who is still available". The previous week another commentator said that the bench fly half for the Lions should be "Jonathan Sexton and nobody else". Rather than anyone else on the pod quietly suggesting that the squad had already been chosen and that these players were deemed surplus to requirements this time round, there was lots of earnest nodding.

It stuck with me because of the flashbacks to previous tours, the posts on these boards surrounding previous tours and mainstream rugby media responses to previous tours, most particularly on squad selection and test selection.

I am 44 and have been watching and playing rugby since I was 5. I can remember all Lions tours since Australia in 1989 and I remember watching those tests vividly. For those of you who may not be so old and crusty or have come to this sport recently, have a look at these two graphics which the Times produced showing the breakdown of home nation nationalities in the Lions test sides:
South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 8 Drough10
South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 8 Drough11

For those of you who remain disappointed that your favourite player is not in this particular Lions squad or should be in the test 23, just think about what it's like being a Scotland fan over the past 20 years. When squads were selected and test teams chosen, every news publication and every third post on these boards resonated with the same message - anyone disappointed with the lack of Scots representation have to accept that international coaches are best placed to make these decisions, any players not selected are simply not good enough compared to the alternatives and that anyone who doesn't just get over it and get behind the players who were chosen is just being uncharitable/a sore loser and not buying into the ethos of what the Lions should be.

All fine. Both I and all of my mates who are rugby fans from Nicola's Republic of Jockistan swallowed our disappointment along with 10 pints or so and supported the team anyway. But it does eventually make a difference to how you feel about individual Lions tours. How can it not? You don't support the team any less or wish them any ill, but you just aren't as interested in the matches themselves. The difference between caring about a current girfriend and caring about an ex.

Fast forward to the wrangling on these boards about squad selection and test team selection. There has been some seriously nasty, jingoistic stuff posted here recently of a kind that I don't recall seeing in the past while. We're all sports fans and that's well understood. However, whatever your own personal allegiances to country or club are, why don't you temper your disappointment by understanding that there's a reciprocity to all of this.

For all you may be urined off about who has been chosen, it means someone else on these boards is quietly pleased and feels a slightly closer affiliation to this whole jamboree of a tour than they otherwise would have. And some of us have been waiting a hell of a long time. Empathy is both commendable and free if you'd like to try some and I think a number of people posting on these boards should. Well done to everyone who was selected for this first test side, and I mean that.
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Post by George Carlin Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:07 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Realise that fights in training aren't that unusual (punching of AW Jones etc) but apparently a unnamed player stamped on someone this week in a brutal Lions session. Seems a touch OTT.
I presume that Danny Grewcock or Big Jim Hamilton did it and then ran away.
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Post by Old Man Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:11 am

miltonkeynesengland wrote:
Old Man wrote:I am getting nervous, the starting bok front row might give away a lot of scrum penalties.

I'd be really fascinated to get your take on who from the Lions worries you and where you think we're weak.

I think it's a really good side that he's picked to try and win rather than to try to nullify your guys.

I don’t have enough knowledge of every player in the Lions team, so on some of them I really only have my personal perceptions on what I have seen during the tour.

Let me first look at the Springbok weaknesses.

Trevor Nyakane and Ox Nche worries me based on what I have seen in the SA A match. I thought technically they didn’t handle the scrums well.

Then Herschel Jantjies and Elton Jantjies both concern me, Herschel because he has gotten a bit of a chip on his shoulder since the RWC, I hope Rassie has refocused him to the team environment. Ekton Jantjies has moments of Brilliance but equally as many blunders. He has never convinced me he is an international quality flyhalf.

Most concerning is the fitness levels of players such as Lood de Jager, Handre Pollard, Mapimpi and perhaps one or two others.

Areas that the Boks might find weaknesses is perhaps the breakdown, Faf dominating Ali Price, our 10,12,13 midfield combo which could exploit the defensive organisation between Biggar, Daly and Henshaw. SA would probably try to kick behind Van der Merwe as he isn’t the most agile back three player.

I think once Marx, Kitshoff and Malherbe comes on we might have a slight edge in the set piece.

From the Lions perspective I think they will dominate the scrums in the first half, line outs they will have parity. their maul defence is strong if SA continues to attack mauls it will play into the Lions benefit.

One thing I have noticed throughout the tour thus far is that on counter attack the Lions scramble defence is vulnerable.

What Gatlands attack formula is, I don’t know, but would guess his biggest advantage is fitness, thus it would make sense to go at pace and see if the Boks are fit enough to last 80 minutes, if I was Gatland that would be my aim.

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Post by Oakdene Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:13 am

miltonkeynesengland wrote:
Old Man wrote:I am getting nervous, the starting bok front row might give away a lot of scrum penalties.

I'd be really fascinated to get your take on who from the Lions worries you and where you think we're weak.

I think it's a really good side that he's picked to try and win rather than to try to nullify your guys.

I think we've picked our strongest possible front row so it will be interesting to see how we get on when we bring on our replacement front row as I think the Bok's front row replacements are stronger than their starters.

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Post by miltonkeynesengland Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:22 am

Old Man wrote:
miltonkeynesengland wrote:
Old Man wrote:I am getting nervous, the starting bok front row might give away a lot of scrum penalties.

I'd be really fascinated to get your take on who from the Lions worries you and where you think we're weak.

I think it's a really good side that he's picked to try and win rather than to try to nullify your guys.

I don’t have enough knowledge of every player in the Lions team, so on some of them I really only have my personal perceptions on what I have seen during the tour.

Let me first look at the Springbok weaknesses.

Trevor Nyakane and Ox Nche worries me based on what I have seen in the SA A match. I thought technically they didn’t handle the scrums well.

Then Herschel Jantjies and Elton Jantjies both concern me, Herschel because he has gotten a bit of a chip on his shoulder since the RWC, I hope Rassie has refocused him to the team environment. Ekton Jantjies has moments of Brilliance but equally as many blunders. He has never convinced me he is an international quality flyhalf.

Most concerning is the fitness levels of players such as Lood de Jager, Handre Pollard, Mapimpi and perhaps one or two others.

Areas that the Boks might find weaknesses is perhaps the breakdown, Faf dominating Ali Price, our 10,12,13 midfield combo which could exploit the defensive organisation between Biggar, Daly and Henshaw. SA would probably try to kick behind Van der Merwe as he isn’t the most agile back three player.

I think once Marx, Kitshoff and Malherbe comes on we might have a slight edge in the set piece.

From the Lions perspective I think they will dominate the scrums in the first half, line outs they will have parity. their maul defence is strong if SA continues to attack mauls it will play into the Lions benefit.

One thing I have noticed throughout the tour thus far is that on counter attack the Lions scramble defence is vulnerable.

What Gatlands attack formula is, I don’t know, but would guess his biggest advantage is fitness, thus it would make sense to go at pace and see if the Boks are fit enough to last 80 minutes, if I was Gatland that would be my aim.

Cheers for that...always interesting to get an opinion from an opposing fan!

For my tuppence I think your guys will bring fire and thunder for the 1st quarter and the Lions need to not buckle cos if your guys get a decent lead I think your bench will slow down the game and strangle us.

I think we need early scores on the board and to milk penalties from your front row..I agree your bench front row is better than your starters.

For me I think AWJ is in to deal with the opening onslaught..I like the way he makes tackles so that the resulting ruck isn't quick and his leadership and will are going to be crucial.

Hearts on fire..heads ice cold.

Hope it's a good series Old Man..May the best team win

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Post by Old Man Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:24 am

miltonkeynesengland wrote:
Old Man wrote:
miltonkeynesengland wrote:
Old Man wrote:I am getting nervous, the starting bok front row might give away a lot of scrum penalties.

I'd be really fascinated to get your take on who from the Lions worries you and where you think we're weak.

I think it's a really good side that he's picked to try and win rather than to try to nullify your guys.

I don’t have enough knowledge of every player in the Lions team, so on some of them I really only have my personal perceptions on what I have seen during the tour.

Let me first look at the Springbok weaknesses.

Trevor Nyakane and Ox Nche worries me based on what I have seen in the SA A match. I thought technically they didn’t handle the scrums well.

Then Herschel Jantjies and Elton Jantjies both concern me, Herschel because he has gotten a bit of a chip on his shoulder since the RWC, I hope Rassie has refocused him to the team environment. Ekton Jantjies has moments of Brilliance but equally as many blunders. He has never convinced me he is an international quality flyhalf.

Most concerning is the fitness levels of players such as Lood de Jager, Handre Pollard, Mapimpi and perhaps one or two others.

Areas that the Boks might find weaknesses is perhaps the breakdown, Faf dominating Ali Price, our 10,12,13 midfield combo which could exploit the defensive organisation between Biggar, Daly and Henshaw. SA would probably try to kick behind Van der Merwe as he isn’t the most agile back three player.

I think once Marx, Kitshoff and Malherbe comes on we might have a slight edge in the set piece.

From the Lions perspective I think they will dominate the scrums in the first half, line outs they will have parity. their maul defence is strong if SA continues to attack mauls it will play into the Lions benefit.

One thing I have noticed throughout the tour thus far is that on counter attack the Lions scramble defence is vulnerable.

What Gatlands attack formula is, I don’t know, but would guess his biggest advantage is fitness, thus it would make sense to go at pace and see if the Boks are fit enough to last 80 minutes, if I was Gatland that would be my aim.

Cheers for that...always interesting to get an opinion from an opposing fan!

For my tuppence I think your guys will bring fire and thunder for the 1st quarter and the Lions need to not buckle cos if your guys get a decent lead I think your bench will slow down the game and strangle us.

I think we need early scores on the board and to milk penalties from your front row..I agree your bench front row is better than your starters.

For me I think AWJ is in to deal with the opening onslaught..I like the way he makes tackles so that the resulting ruck isn't quick and his leadership and will are going to be crucial.

Hearts on fire..heads ice cold.

Hope it's a good series Old Man..May the best team win

Cheers mate, although I do hope the Boks are the best team Wink

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Post by miltonkeynesengland Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:27 am

Fair play Old Man..I'll drink with you..but not Klippies and Coke!!! Think ill stick with a good Cornish Corev or Adnams Kobold!!

Gesondheid

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Post by George Carlin Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:29 am

Good luck, Old Man.

I note all the comments about what you're worried about but I can't help but liken you to my mate who used to spend all of his time fretting that he wasn't studying hard enough and then get an 'A' in the test anyway. Rolling Eyes
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Post by alive555 Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:30 am

TightHEAD wrote:It's coming home.....

indian?

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Post by Old Man Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:38 am

George Carlin wrote:Good luck, Old Man.

I note all the comments about what you're worried about but I can't help but liken you to my mate who used to spend all of his time fretting that he wasn't studying hard enough and then get an 'A' in the test anyway. Rolling Eyes

George, during the RWC 2019, I had zero expectations of the Springboks making the Semi finals. Both Ireland and Wales had our number in the previous years, and our route to the final would have been Ireland and Wales.

Japan did us a huge favour.

Our record during Allister Coetzee damaged the “Aura” of the Boks severely, listening to players and what they said during the making of Chasing the Sun, many of them considered retiring from international rugby.

Rassie came in and achieved miracles, but even then, our first choice backline was severly inexperienced. Am, Nkosi, Kolbe and Mapimpi had less than a dozen test matches going into the RWC.

This tour for all its challenges is the litmus test of whether as so many pundits have suggested, are the Boks ligitimately the number one team, or were they just lucky.

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Post by Collapse2005 Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:45 am

Old Man wrote:I am getting nervous, the starting bok front row might give away a lot of scrum penalties.

Not with a SH ref

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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 22 Jul 2021, 9:56 am

George Carlin wrote:Let me offer something else on this thread.

I was listening to a video from the Off The Ball team in Ireland which I normally enjoy. One of the pundits (I don't know who it was) said something which I cannot get out of my head because of the reaction to it. When asked to choose the no.8 for the Lions first test, they said that it should be "CJ Stander, who is still available". The previous week another commentator said that the bench fly half for the Lions should be "Jonathan Sexton and nobody else". Rather than anyone else on the pod quietly suggesting that the squad had already been chosen and that these players were deemed surplus to requirements this time round, there was lots of earnest nodding.

It stuck with me because of the flashbacks to previous tours, the posts on these boards surrounding previous tours and mainstream rugby media responses to previous tours, most particularly on squad selection and test selection.

I am 44 and have been watching and playing rugby since I was 5. I can remember all Lions tours since Australia in 1989 and I remember watching those tests vividly. For those of you who may not be so old and crusty or have come to this sport recently, have a look at these two graphics which the Times produced showing the breakdown of home nation nationalities in the Lions test sides:
South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 8 Drough10
South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 8 Drough11

For those of you who remain disappointed that your favourite player is not in this particular Lions squad or should be in the test 23, just think about what it's like being a Scotland fan over the past 20 years. When squads were selected and test teams chosen, every news publication and every third post on these boards resonated with the same message - anyone disappointed with the lack of Scots representation have to accept that international coaches are best placed to make these decisions, any players not selected are simply not good enough compared to the alternatives and that anyone who doesn't just get over it and get behind the players who were chosen is just being uncharitable/a sore loser and not buying into the ethos of what the Lions should be.

All fine. Both I and all of my mates who are rugby fans from Nicola's Republic of Jockistan swallowed our disappointment along with 10 pints or so and supported the team anyway. But it does eventually make a difference to how you feel about individual Lions tours. How can it not? You don't support the team any less or wish them any ill, but you just aren't as interested in the matches themselves. The difference between caring about a current girfriend and caring about an ex.

Fast forward to the wrangling on these boards about squad selection and test team selection. There has been some seriously nasty, jingoistic stuff posted here recently of a kind that I don't recall seeing in the past while. We're all sports fans and that's well understood. However, whatever your own personal allegiances to country or club are, why don't you temper your disappointment by understanding that there's a reciprocity to all of this.

For all you may be urined off about who has been chosen, it means someone else on these boards is quietly pleased and feels a slightly closer affiliation to this whole jamboree of a tour than they otherwise would have. And some of us have been waiting a hell of a long time. Empathy is both commendable and free if you'd like to try some and I think a number of people posting on these boards should. Well done to everyone who was selected for this first test side, and I mean that.

I think representation is important. On previous tours I've said there should have been someone from each country, not so much a quota as there's always at least 1 person pretty level with someone else, even Scotland in those previous tours. Telling to me that Gatland mentioned having coaches willing to argue for players has a big impact on selection and that no coach has got their preferred 15 and squad including him.

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Post by George Carlin Thu 22 Jul 2021, 10:02 am

Agree. The other interesting thing is how one selection moves other selections around.

Owen Slot in the Times has the great factoid (if correct, of course) that once the coaching side all agreed that Ali Price should start then AW Jones had to start too because they needed at least one of their tour captains on the pitch at all times and if it wasn't Murray, then it had to be Jones. Not sure if that's 100% true as it seems a bit simplistic but I can see how one stand-out player can affect other selections. You need to build a team around a handful of key players.
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