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South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July

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Post by George Carlin Sat 17 Jul 2021, 8:00 pm

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South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 2 A_10                  South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 24 July  - Page 2 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, 4:25 pm; edited 6 times in total
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Post by Cyril Sun 18 Jul 2021, 6:09 pm

I thought his side was ok actually. Not everyone’s cup of tea obviously.

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Post by Cyril Sun 18 Jul 2021, 6:26 pm

As it stands, if Biggar starts (and Farrell doesn’t) then Farrell will bench for 10/12. Unless Hogg is seen as bench cover for 10? Or Smith?

Still think Farrell will start though.

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Post by Cyril Sun 18 Jul 2021, 6:31 pm

For the record I can’t see Gatland not starting a Scot. Even if he thinks it’s the correct call, for squad unity he’ll not take the risk of the backlash. Price will probably get the nod (maybe Hogg, though less likely). Watson off the bench for a bit of energy.

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Post by BigGee Sun 18 Jul 2021, 6:32 pm

Hogg could cover FH, either from FB or the bench. He often plays first receiver for Scotland and Toonie likes to mix that sort of thing up.

Personally i think he should start though. The attacking dimension he brings outweights any perceived defensive frailties (which have not been evident on this tour in any case)

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Post by BigGee Sun 18 Jul 2021, 6:37 pm

Cyril wrote:For the record I can’t see Gatland not starting a Scot. Even if he thinks it’s the correct call, for squad unity he’ll not take the risk of the backlash. Price will probably get the nod (maybe Hogg, though less likely). Watson off the bench for a bit of energy.

I think Gatland should be starting some Scots, not for squad unity, but because some of them deserve to start!

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Post by Cyril Sun 18 Jul 2021, 6:41 pm

I’d be happy with Hogg starting. You do always get the impression that Gatland favours Williams.

I wonder how much this is a coaches consensus or how much Gats will pull rank (especially as it’s his lions swan song).

Re. form vs reputation. We see little of the training and also there’s been poor enough opposition to judge against so far. I’ve got a feeling the test side was inked in a while back.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 18 Jul 2021, 6:47 pm

I'm enjoying the mix of nationalities being talked about for starting actually, it keeps everyone interested (not that I think that this is the reason it's happening). NH rugby is collectively in a pretty good place at the minute.

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Post by westisbest Sun 18 Jul 2021, 7:21 pm

I’d start Hogg.
Williams on the wing. Adams on the other.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 18 Jul 2021, 7:42 pm

I think George and LCD from what I’ve seen have been excellent. Fact of the matter though, is that Owens showed up very well against the best opposition on tour. The midweek matches have been duds, but a good training run nonetheless.

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Post by doctor_grey Sun 18 Jul 2021, 8:32 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:I'm enjoying the mix of nationalities being talked about for starting actually, it keeps everyone interested (not that I think that this is the reason it's happening). NH rugby is collectively in a pretty good place at the minute.  
In truth we really are all family, in a very messed up, dysfunctional, and semi-inbred sort of way.

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Post by TJ Sun 18 Jul 2021, 8:47 pm

westisbest wrote:I’d start Hogg.
Williams on the wing. Adams on the other.

I agree. I like 2 full backs especially against a team you know will kick.

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Post by TJ Sun 18 Jul 2021, 8:49 pm

So who has rreally stood out and nailed a place?  for me:

furlong
LCD
The Mish
Price
Adams


Hogg is almost there as is Biggar

Everything else wide open

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sun 18 Jul 2021, 8:59 pm

I'd say Curry has been more impressive than Watson. If it's a straight shoot out between the 2 (which I hope it isn't tbh), Curry has the superior tour form.

If there is such a thing as nailed on starters, there's not many.

Furlong
itoje
Bigger
Henshaw
Adams

I think only Adams has truly nailed a position down on tour.

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Post by TJ Sun 18 Jul 2021, 9:07 pm

Its certainly pretty wide open

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Post by 123456789. Sun 18 Jul 2021, 9:12 pm

It'll be interesting to see whether Gatland goes on form (from the warm ups) or takes a wider view. The standard of opposition in the warm ups has been pretty poor in my view.

Price has been the best scrum-half on the tour, by quite some distance in my view. He also has a horrendous tendency to make awful blunders when the pressure comes on. Kicking the ball away against Wales and being charged down against Ireland for example. Murray has performed on the biggest occasions.

Williams and Hogg is another interesting one, Hogg has missed out on game time. He's also missed out on time training. I think he's a better player than Williams. I also think if you're going to start Biggar, Hogg's invention and distribution could be crucial. Personally, I'd start Smith at 10, but I am reliably informed that view makes me an idiot. So I'd have Hogg.

The big take away from the South Africa A game for me was that the Lions need invention to break through the Boks defence. It just so happens that our more inventive players are injured or out of form.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 18 Jul 2021, 9:49 pm

AWJ had a good cameo, albeit against Stormers for about 30 minutes. Murray almost played himself out of the team, it’s not a good position to be in with the first test coming very soon. I think Murray can and will up his game, but when neither is on the pitch who will be captain? I’m settling on Henshaw and Daly as the midfield, but we’ll need strong defensive wingers on the outside.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 18 Jul 2021, 9:52 pm

Very tempting to put VDM on one wing, but if he is then SA will just ensure there’s no broken field play. South Africa ‘A’ had the game plan spot on.

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Post by Old Man Sun 18 Jul 2021, 10:00 pm

I have a feeling the Boks are not going to be ready by the first test.

They are announcing their squad on wednesday for the first test.

And there are a number of players crucial to their success that is only at day 11 of their covid protocols after being tested positive.

Siya Kolisi, Handre Pollard, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Lood de Jager and Frans Steyn have still not been cleared, le Roux is still under question on whether he will be ready after an ankle injury and Mapimpi one of the players testing positive for covid might not be match fit and ready as he hasn’t had any matchtime.

If Mbonambi , Malherbe, De Jager and Kolisi are not ready and fit it will have a huge impact on the matchday 23 forward pack.

With Pollard, le Roux and Mapimpi not ready, our backline will be severely impacted.

This would mean that their replacements will be inexperienced players that will reduce the cohesion and quality of our team significantly.

I suspect the odds for the first test has swung heavily in favour of the Lions.

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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 18 Jul 2021, 10:03 pm

I'd be going Curry at 6 with Watson at 7 with Conan at 8. Seems quite a well rounded back row, physical, dynamic and a breakdown threat.

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Post by R!skysports Sun 18 Jul 2021, 10:06 pm

While there is a lot saying daly but I am a little concerned he was a turnstile yesterday

He missed 3 or 4 simple tackles (not even running fast) that ran at him.


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Post by Pot Hale Sun 18 Jul 2021, 10:40 pm

Aki and Henshaw for midfield? Worked in the first game.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 18 Jul 2021, 10:51 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Aki and Henshaw for midfield?   Worked in the first game.  

Hasn't pretty much everything worked against everyone bar Sputh Africa A?

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Post by Pot Hale Sun 18 Jul 2021, 10:55 pm

Yep. Just hadn’t seen that combo being considered by anyone.

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Post by tigertattie Sun 18 Jul 2021, 11:46 pm

Soul Requiem wrote:I'd be going Curry at 6 with Watson at 7 with Conan at 8. Seems quite a well rounded back row, physical, dynamic and a breakdown threat.

That was my plan but then it means missing out on Beirne who I suppose could be the bench option.

I think some of these calls are so tight that really you couldn’t argue against anyone starting (except Farrell) and some of the calls could come down to how players get on as a unit.

VDM over LRZ for example. I’d go with VDM to start, running at the SA wings to soften them I then bring LRZ on to run at tired legs. But if Adams is on one wing and Williams at 15 then you could easily go LRZ for a familiar unit. Especially against the kicking game of SA.

The you have other aspects to think about. If AWJ is getting the nod to start and is captain then Murray suddenly loses his edge as captain and starter and you can’t see past price to start. Odd that price could be the starting 9 for the lions but that’s just my opinion.

Think the only real nailed on starters are furlong and Adams.
LCD should be nailed on but Jamie George seems to have the support of the coaches
Every other position really is up for grabs
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Post by alive555 Mon 19 Jul 2021, 1:57 am

if Ali Price doesnt start the first test, and Murray does, then we can say for certain the warm up games had very little to do with selecting the best players on form, and all to do with selecting players exclusively on history, and credit in the bank.

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Post by Pie Mon 19 Jul 2021, 3:38 am

Mako, LCD, Furlong, AWJ Capt, Itoje, Beirn, Curry, Faletau, Murray (should b Price) Biggar Adams, Henshaw, Daly, Watson, Williams.

Bench: Sutherland, George, Sinckler, Lawes, Watson, Price, Farrell, Hogg

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 19 Jul 2021, 8:36 am

I cannot believe people are picking Henderson in the second row, hew has not been on form during this tour, and all other second rows have looked better. Aki looked poor last time out, but was that because Farrell was just aimlessly kicking the ball away all the time ?

For me I would pick the following:-

01. Jones (Wales)
02. Ken Owens (Wales)
03. Furlong (Ireland)
04. Itoje (England)
05. Wyn Jones (Wales)
06. Curry (England)
07. Navidi (Wales)
08. Faletau (Wales)

09. Davies (Wales)
10. Biggar (Wales)
11. Adams (Wales)
12. Henshaw (Ireland)
13. Harris (Scotland)
14. VDM (Scotland)
15. Hogg (Scotland)

16. Sutherland (Scotland)
17. George (England)
18. Sinckler (England)
19. Beard (Wales)
20. Watson (Scotland)
21. Price (Scotland)
22. Russell (Scotland)
23. Daly (England)

I would be happy to see that team for Saturday, although, I would not be upset to see Watson instead of Navidi, and Williams instead of Hogg. Beard has really put himself into contention, he has been playing well for Wales, so it's not a surprise to me.

I'm sorry, but there should be no place for Farrell, Maurray, Henderson or Vunipola. They have not really shown as much as their peers on this tour.

Also, I have put Russell in, if he is fit, if not, that youngster who played Saturday to be in.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 19 Jul 2021, 8:55 am

LordDowlais wrote:I cannot believe people are picking Henderson in the second row, hew has not been on form during this tour, and all other second rows have looked better. Aki looked poor last time out, but was that because Farrell was just aimlessly kicking the ball away all the time ?

For me I would pick the following:-

01. Jones (Wales)
02. Ken Owens (Wales)
03. Furlong (Ireland)
04. Itoje (England)
05. Wyn Jones (Wales)
06. Curry (England)
07. Navidi (Wales)
08. Faletau (Wales)

09. Davies (Wales)
10. Biggar (Wales)
11. Adams (Wales)
12. Henshaw (Ireland)
13. Harris (Scotland)
14. VDM (Scotland)
15. Hogg (Scotland)

16. Sutherland (Scotland)
17. George (England)
18. Sinckler (England)
19. Beard (Wales)
20. Watson (Scotland)
21. Price (Scotland)
22. Russell (Scotland)
23. Daly (England)

I would be happy to see that team for Saturday, although, I would not be upset to see Watson instead of Navidi, and Williams instead of Hogg. Beard has really put himself into contention, he has been playing well for Wales, so it's not a surprise to me.

I'm sorry, but there should be no place for Farrell, Maurray, Henderson or Vunipola. They have not really shown as much as their peers on this tour.

Also, I have put Russell in, if he is fit, if not, that youngster who played Saturday to be in.

Speaking of form, you have left out Beirne and included Faletau. You've also benched Watson and put a LH at second row...

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Post by alive555 Mon 19 Jul 2021, 9:00 am

LordDowlais wrote:I cannot believe people are picking Henderson in the second row, hew has not been on form during this tour, and all other second rows have looked better. Aki looked poor last time out, but was that because Farrell was just aimlessly kicking the ball away all the time ?

For me I would pick the following:-

01. Jones (Wales)
02. Ken Owens (Wales)
03. Furlong (Ireland)
04. Itoje (England)
05. Wyn Jones (Wales)
06. Curry (England)
07. Navidi (Wales)
08. Faletau (Wales)

09. Davies (Wales)
10. Biggar (Wales)
11. Adams (Wales)
12. Henshaw (Ireland)
13. Harris (Scotland)
14. VDM (Scotland)
15. Hogg (Scotland)

16. Sutherland (Scotland)
17. George (England)
18. Sinckler (England)
19. Beard (Wales)
20. Watson (Scotland)
21. Price (Scotland)
22. Russell (Scotland)
23. Daly (England)

I would be happy to see that team for Saturday, although, I would not be upset to see Watson instead of Navidi, and Williams instead of Hogg. Beard has really put himself into contention, he has been playing well for Wales, so it's not a surprise to me.

I'm sorry, but there should be no place for Farrell, Maurray, Henderson or Vunipola. They have not really shown as much as their peers on this tour.

Also, I have put Russell in, if he is fit, if not, that youngster who played Saturday to be in.

As you suggested above , you could easily put williams in and beard in, and you would be up to 10

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 19 Jul 2021, 9:11 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I cannot believe people are picking Henderson in the second row, hew has not been on form during this tour, and all other second rows have looked better. Aki looked poor last time out, but was that because Farrell was just aimlessly kicking the ball away all the time ?

For me I would pick the following:-

01. Jones (Wales)
02. Ken Owens (Wales)
03. Furlong (Ireland)
04. Itoje (England)
05. Wyn Jones (Wales)
06. Curry (England)
07. Navidi (Wales)
08. Faletau (Wales)

09. Davies (Wales)
10. Biggar (Wales)
11. Adams (Wales)
12. Henshaw (Ireland)
13. Harris (Scotland)
14. VDM (Scotland)
15. Hogg (Scotland)

16. Sutherland (Scotland)
17. George (England)
18. Sinckler (England)
19. Beard (Wales)
20. Watson (Scotland)
21. Price (Scotland)
22. Russell (Scotland)
23. Daly (England)

I would be happy to see that team for Saturday, although, I would not be upset to see Watson instead of Navidi, and Williams instead of Hogg. Beard has really put himself into contention, he has been playing well for Wales, so it's not a surprise to me.

I'm sorry, but there should be no place for Farrell, Maurray, Henderson or Vunipola. They have not really shown as much as their peers on this tour.

Also, I have put Russell in, if he is fit, if not, that youngster who played Saturday to be in.

Speaking of form, you have left out Beirne and included Faletau. You've also benched Watson and put a LH at second row...

Laugh

Sorry I meant Alyn Wyn Jones.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Jul 2021, 9:12 am

I don't think Gatland is going to pick a 'form' side. He knows the majority of the one he wants and knew it before they went out to SA. He's offered a few bones to a couple of players with some quotes on the BBC but I'd be surprised as to whether there's any real arguments going on about who to pick. He will pick Jones, he will pick Murray, he will pick Farrell (at 12) I reckon. Can't remember who said it possibly O'Gara but they said they would pick the side today and let everyone know so you've got the full week to focus on your role. Will be interesting to see should anything start to leak out.



'"There are going to be some tight calls with regards to the back three and the loose forwards, and how that mix is going to look," he added.

Stormers v British and Irish Lions - as it happened
"They are probably going to be the tightest calls, but we will make sure we look at the starting XV and also the impact off the bench as well.

"We will sit down and have a look at the game and sit down with the medics. Then we will start thinking about those right combinations."

'I know how hard he has worked'

The Welshman came through unscathed off the bench in the second half on Saturday, but Gatland says a decision still needs to be made over the lock's involvement in the Test series.

"I thought he put a few shots on and defended well," said Gatland.

"The big thing was his lungs and getting through the period. I haven't spoken to him after the game but I will.

"I know how hard he was worked to be on this Lions tour. It was a shame he got that injury but we are delighted to have him back.

"We will have a conversation to see if he is involved as a starter or on the bench, or not at all.

"He is a competitor and he was desperate to get back. It shows how much it means to the players to go on a tour and hopefully be successful. The boys are pretty happy in the changing room."

'He will be in the conversation'
One player who impressed on debut was fly-half Marcus Smith, who had a hand in two tries and produced a perfect kicking display off the tee.

The Harlequins player, 22, joined the squad as injury cover for Finn Russell on Wednesday after making his England debut earlier this month, and Gatland says the Premiership winner "looked good".

"He had some lovely touches, he kicked well for goal and I thought he defended well," said 57-year-old Gatland.

"He will be part of the discussions and he is like everyone else.

"A lot of people put their hand up tonight and there were some pleasing performances."'



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Post by hugehandoff Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:08 am

I think the Lions tactics will be crucial. I think everyone knows that taking on SA in a macho close quarter contest is suicide. We need, like in 97, to be smart and move the ball quickly and play with pace and tempo. Accordingly this brings in Price and players like Daly who can exploit this. SA will kick non-stop and play the territory game so our back three will need to be adept at fielding that hence DVM could be unlucky. Personally I like Beard and Itoje with AWJs on the bench, but also have no issue if AWJ starts and Beard comes on quite early in the 2nd half. Beard and Itoje appear to be the best at wrecking the SA rolling maul.

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Post by Poorfour Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:09 am

A crucial difference between this tour and the previous ones that Gatland has led is the fitness factor. We saw on Wednesday that South Africa are short of game time and tired late in the game.

The boot is normally on the other foot for touring sides in South Africa, struggling to adapt to altitude in particular. But it's pretty clear that the Lions are in better cardiovascular shape than the Boks right now, and the coaching team would be remiss not to exploit that, in the first test in particular.

Historically, Gatland has tended to gamble when trusted players are coming back from injury on them being able to play their way into form and fitness during the test series itself. He's got away with it, but I think it's the wrong strategy here. The selection needs to take into account injuries and it can't be carrying anyone who won't be able to give a full 80 minutes if required. By the same token, though, the bench should be picked to bring fresh power on up front and ideally the kind of players who can exploit open play in the backs. I'd be very happy to see Mako, LCD, Sinckler, Beard and Watson as the bench forwards for exactly that reason, for instance (though I think it's more likely that AWJ will be benched this week).

The big problem with all that is that in a couple of critical positions most of the players are reported to be carrying injuries - at 10, Russell is out for at least another week, Biggar is nursing a problem (but will probably be fit to play) and Farrell is rumoured to have a shoulder issue. At 12, there's Farrell again, and Henshaw is returning from injury and seemingly not quite at his best.

So what I hope for is an honest selection where no-one is being given a chance to play into form and the bench has been selected to inject some real pace and invention against tired legs.
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Post by Old Man Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:25 am

hugehandoff wrote:I think the Lions tactics will be crucial. I think everyone knows that taking on SA in a macho close quarter contest is suicide. We need, like in 97, to be smart and move the ball quickly and play with pace and tempo. Accordingly this brings in Price and players like Daly who can exploit this. SA will kick non-stop and play the territory game so our back three will need to be adept at fielding that hence DVM could be unlucky. Personally I like Beard and Itoje with AWJs on the bench, but also have no issue if AWJ starts and Beard comes on quite early in the 2nd half. Beard and Itoje appear to be the best at wrecking the SA rolling maul.  

Or just kick your penalties, that is how the Lions won in 1997, SA scored 9 tries to 3 in that series but their goal kicking was atrocious. They lost the second test by scoring three tries to nil and didn’t make one kick.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:26 am

There's a lot of talk about LRZ or DVDM but I wouldn't be surprised to see both miss out entirely. With the likelihood of a lot of kicking I think that brings Watson and Williams into the equation, both are very adept in the backfield aerially and are better broken field runners. The duel full back is not normally something i'd advocate but against South Africa it's not a terrible idea.

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Post by Old Man Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:27 am

I think Dvdm is a pretty potent open field runner.

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Post by George Carlin Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:37 am

The concept of legacy and historic memory of players is very pervasive - the only difference is the extent to which anyone offering an opinion is willing to admit that it exists. You can compare a number of players this way and ask what the most relevant criteria are.

Anthony Watson is potentially the best out and out athlete in the squad, he started all 3 Lions tests against the All Blacks in 2017 and played very well in England's run in to the 2019 RWC final. He played a blinder against France in the last 6N and was man of the match.

Does all of the above eclipse the fact that Duhan VdM has scored more tries on this tour, was the top try scorer in the 6 Nations, has better try scoring form for his club and (in my own humble opinion) has been a more influential player on this tour than Watson?

Answer: it depends how important you think recent historical form over immediate and current form is. I just picked these two players to make a point but what this also shows is how close these guys are in terms of ability and strike rate. I'd be happy if either started and by any normal standards, both deserve to start.

As has been said above, it comes down entirely to what sort of game Gatland wants.
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Post by R!skysports Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:38 am

Old Man wrote:I think Dvdm is a pretty potent open field runner.

I think he creates open field by generally smashing the first tackler away lol

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:47 am

Old Man wrote:I think Dvdm is a pretty potent open field runner.
I agree, he is. And he comes off the wing looking to make an impact. Watson does too, as does Adams. My preference, however, is to start Hogg at 15 because he can function as a second receiver. If that puts Liam Williams in one of the wing spots that works for me too. Ultimately, I think the back three are positions of strength and I am not overly concerned who gets selected.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:50 am

For what its worth

LRZ won't make it this time around
Adams will start. He has earned the right. I am not sure if he'll still be there at the end of the series. I know there is more to his game than being the perfect poacher, but there won't be the same number of opportunities to finish off vs the Boks as there have been in the run up games.
For related reasons DVDM may well not start in the first test but may well come in to the squad in the later tests.

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:50 am

GC

The Lions have such a large group of players to select from that you can tailor the side to the opposition to a degree that the individual nations can't. For instance against New Zealand you're picking Curry and Watson every single time where their nous at the breakdown is vital, Lawes also becomes a real starting option in the row whereas he isn't against South Africa, Mako's poor scrummaging is also less of a concern. The recent form of some players is a consideration but how individuals fit into the overall gameplan is more important which is why i'd be going for Watson or Williams, the defensive positioning of both is very good.

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Post by Mr Bounce Mon 19 Jul 2021, 10:56 am

Adams for me is so potent a finisher and in such a rich vein of form he should start.

I would like to see Price start as well.

I think the loss to SA A has helped massively.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 19 Jul 2021, 11:00 am

Soul Requiem wrote:There's a lot of talk about LRZ or DVDM but I wouldn't be surprised to see both miss out entirely. With the likelihood of a lot of kicking I think that brings Watson and Williams into the equation, both are very adept in the backfield aerially and are better broken field runners. The duel full back is not normally something i'd advocate but against South Africa it's not a terrible idea.

I'm of the same thinking. I imagine Williams or Watson with their sounder defence and aerial abilities will be key.

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Post by BamBam Mon 19 Jul 2021, 11:02 am

Has Adams finished anything on this tour that any of the other wingers wouldn't have had they caught the ball in the same position? Most of the other back 3 options have much better all around games that seem to be getting overlooked because of a few "tap ins" against poor opposition

I'd go with Watson, Williams and Hogg as the back 3, but see the argument for Duhan

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 19 Jul 2021, 11:08 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:There's a lot of talk about LRZ or DVDM but I wouldn't be surprised to see both miss out entirely. With the likelihood of a lot of kicking I think that brings Watson and Williams into the equation, both are very adept in the backfield aerially and are better broken field runners. The duel full back is not normally something i'd advocate but against South Africa it's not a terrible idea.

I'm of the same thinking. I imagine Williams or Watson with their sounder defence and aerial abilities will be key.

I would say Adams strongest aspect is his defence, he also scored a hattrick whilst playing at full back in one of the games. He must start, surely ? The debate is, who are the other two in the back three ?

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Post by lostinwales Mon 19 Jul 2021, 11:11 am

BamBam wrote:Has Adams finished anything on this tour that any of the other wingers wouldn't have had they caught the ball in the same position? Most of the other back 3 options have much better all around games that seem to be getting overlooked because of a few "tap ins" against poor opposition

I'd go with Watson, Williams and Hogg as the back 3, but see the argument for Duhan

Adams. We had the same arguments about Chris Ashton back in the day. Actually scoring tries is the point of the exercise and a small number of players are very good at being in the right place at the right time. However at this level I'd prefer it if the Lions chose someone who will cause problems as well as finish. Adams could not have done anymore to put himself forward though.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 19 Jul 2021, 11:11 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:There's a lot of talk about LRZ or DVDM but I wouldn't be surprised to see both miss out entirely. With the likelihood of a lot of kicking I think that brings Watson and Williams into the equation, both are very adept in the backfield aerially and are better broken field runners. The duel full back is not normally something i'd advocate but against South Africa it's not a terrible idea.

I'm of the same thinking. I imagine Williams or Watson with their sounder defence and aerial abilities will be key.

I would say Adams strongest aspect is his defence, he also scored a hattrick whilst playing at full back in one of the games. He must start, surely ? The debate is, who are the other two in the back three ?

I was suggesting to partner Adams.

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Post by Poorfour Mon 19 Jul 2021, 11:13 am

George Carlin wrote:The concept of legacy and historic memory of players is very pervasive - the only difference is the extent to which anyone offering an opinion is willing to admit that it exists. You can compare a number of players this way and ask what the most relevant criteria are.

Anthony Watson is potentially the best out and out athlete in the squad, he started all 3 Lions tests against the All Blacks in 2017 and played very well in England's run in to the 2019 RWC final. He played a blinder against France in the last 6N and was man of the match.

Does all of the above eclipse the fact that Duhan VdM has scored more tries on this tour, was the top try scorer in the 6 Nations, has better try scoring form for his club and (in my own humble opinion) has been a more influential player on this tour than Watson?

Answer: it depends how important you think recent historical form over immediate and current form is. I just picked these two players to make a point but what this also shows is how close these guys are in terms of ability and strike rate. I'd be happy if either started and by any normal standards, both deserve to start.

As has been said above, it comes down entirely to what sort of game Gatland wants.

But it doesn't just depend on recent form over current form. It also depends on skill sets. VDM will break tackles going forward and create space - which is valuable if you expect to have a lot of possession but need the wings to create space for themselves. However, he's weaker than Watson defensively, less good in the air and I think less good on the kick chase. If you anticipate a lot of kicking (which seems to be the expectation of most pundits) then Watson has the current form in the areas the coaches might be looking at.

I mean, if you're going on current form, over the past 5 weeks, Marcus Smith has played more rugby, arguably against better quality opposition, and created more tries than any of the other contenders at 10. But even I would think it bold to the point of insanity to put him in the 10 jersey for Saturday on the basis of that. (I'd love to see him on the bench, though).
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 19 Jul 2021, 11:13 am

lostinwales wrote:
BamBam wrote:Has Adams finished anything on this tour that any of the other wingers wouldn't have had they caught the ball in the same position? Most of the other back 3 options have much better all around games that seem to be getting overlooked because of a few "tap ins" against poor opposition

I'd go with Watson, Williams and Hogg as the back 3, but see the argument for Duhan

Adams. We had the same arguments about Chris Ashton back in the day. Actually scoring tries is the point of the exercise and a small number of players are very good at being in the right place at the right time. However at this level I'd prefer it if the Lions chose someone who will cause problems as well as finish. Adams could not have done anymore to put himself forward though.

He was underwhelming on Saturday. Probably distracted by the new kid.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 19 Jul 2021, 11:16 am

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Soul Requiem wrote:There's a lot of talk about LRZ or DVDM but I wouldn't be surprised to see both miss out entirely. With the likelihood of a lot of kicking I think that brings Watson and Williams into the equation, both are very adept in the backfield aerially and are better broken field runners. The duel full back is not normally something i'd advocate but against South Africa it's not a terrible idea.

I'm of the same thinking. I imagine Williams or Watson with their sounder defence and aerial abilities will be key.

I would say Adams strongest aspect is his defence, he also scored a hattrick whilst playing at full back in one of the games. He must start, surely ? The debate is, who are the other two in the back three ?

I was suggesting to partner Adams.

Ah OK. thumbsup

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