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South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 31 July

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 South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 31 July - Page 4 Empty South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 31 July

Post by George Carlin Sun 25 Jul 2021, 9:23 am

First topic message reminder :

 South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 31 July - Page 4 A_10                   South Africa v British & Irish Lions, 31 July - Page 4 Lions_10                
SOUTH AFRICA BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Saturday 31 July
KO: 18:00 SAST / 17:00 UK / 20:00 Dubai  Very Happy
Cape Town Stadium (Newlands), Cape Town
Sky Sports Main Event

Referee: Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)
Assistant Referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Mathieu Raynal (France)
TMO: Marius Jonker ( Erm )

TEAMS:

SOUTH AFRICA:
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 63 caps, 60 pts (12t)
14 – Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse) – 15 caps, 40 pts (8t)
13 – Lukhanyo Am (Cell C Sharks) – 16 caps, 15 pts (3t)
12 – Damian de Allende (Munster) – 48 caps, 30 pts (6t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 15 caps, 70 pts (14t)
10 – Handré Pollard (vice-captain, Montpellier) – 50 caps, 477pts (6t, 78c, 93p, 4d)
09 – Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks) – 31 caps, 25 pts (5t)

08 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 1 cap, 0 pts
07 – Pieter-Steph du Toit (DHL Stormers) – 57 caps, 25 pts (5t)
06 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 52 caps, 30 pts (6t)
05 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 41 caps, 5pts (1t)
04 – Eben Etzebeth (Toulon) – 87 caps, 15 pts (3t)
03 – Frans Malherbe (DHL Stormers) – 40 caps, 5pts (1t)
02 – Bongi Mbonambi (DHL Stormers) – 38 caps, 40 pts (8t)
01 – Steven Kitshoff (DHL Stormers) – 49 caps, 5pts (1t)

16 – Malcolm Marx (Kubota Spears) – 35 caps, 30 pts (6t)
17 – Trevor Nyakane (Vodacom Bulls) – 44 caps, 5 pts (1t)
18 – Vincent Koch (Saracens) – 21 caps, 0 pts
19 – Lood de Jager (Sale Sharks) – 46 caps, 25 pts (5t)
20 – Marco van Staden (Vodacom Bulls) – 3 caps, 0 pts
21 – Kwagga Smith (Yamaha Júbilo) – 8 caps, 5 pts (1t)
22 – Herschel Jantjies (DHL Stormers) – 12 caps, 25 pts (5t)
23 – Damian Willemse (DHL Stormers) – 8 caps, 5pts (1t)

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS:
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
09. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790

01. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
02. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
03. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
04. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
05. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (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. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822

PREVIEW:


Last edited by George Carlin on Thu 29 Jul 2021, 8:43 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Post by sensisball Tue 27 Jul 2021, 1:45 pm

With two back rowers on the bench this week is maybe recognising that Kolisi isn't yet up to speed. Smith to go on at 8 in the second half when there is more space to attack. Van Staden to replace Kolisi after 60 when his tanks are empty.
Big bonus having Koch to come on at 3, far more mobile and a better carrier than Malherbe.
Unlucky for Nche to miss out with injury. I thought he had a good first half and looked like he had another 20 minutes in him.
If Murray's box kicking is loose then it could be a tough first half for the Lions.

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Post by Old Man Tue 27 Jul 2021, 1:57 pm

The other benefit of having Kwagga Smith on the bench is he can go in the backline as well.

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Post by king_carlos Tue 27 Jul 2021, 2:23 pm

Old Man wrote:I prefer Mrco van Staden, he plays to the ball in a more fetcher type role.

As a Leicester Tigers fan who needed a change of underwear when van Staden signed with us I'm admittedly bias but I think he's an absolutely terrific player. He reminds me a lot of Hamish Watson in fact with the pin ball carrying, aggressive tackling and ruck work.

It's a shame that Watson and van Staden aren't on opposing benches as that would've been a really fun showdown in the second half.

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Post by profitius Tue 27 Jul 2021, 2:54 pm

My first time seeing Kitshoff was in the junior world Cup in 2012 in SA. Kitshoff was up against Furlong and in the Ireland team were Henderson, Beirne and Conan. Ireland won the match, SA won the tournament.
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Post by TJ Tue 27 Jul 2021, 2:56 pm

lostinwales wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:
George Carlin wrote:As an aside, when I put this thread together I was going to change AW Jones' Lions number to #1 just to see if anyone else thought it was funny. Probably too subtle.

I'd have seen it as long overdue respect on his name, recognising him as the greatest Lion ever Wink

To be honest his ability to lean on rucks is unparalleled

What - better than the ruck inspector himself - the great Al Kellock!

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Post by king_carlos Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:00 pm

TJ wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:
George Carlin wrote:As an aside, when I put this thread together I was going to change AW Jones' Lions number to #1 just to see if anyone else thought it was funny. Probably too subtle.

I'd have seen it as long overdue respect on his name, recognising him as the greatest Lion ever Wink

To be honest his ability to lean on rucks is unparalleled

What - better than the ruck inspector himself - the great Al Kellock!

Jim Hamilton in his Sarries twilight years was great for that. I'm pretty sure the better Itoje got, the less Jim tried. I'm just going to have a nice rest as blindside guard and Maro can fill in the rest of the second row duties.

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Post by MichaelT Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:03 pm

George Carlin wrote:OP updated.

50 caps for Steven Kitshoff. Impressive given how young he is.

He is 29? Unless I am missing something?

Tom Curry having 33 caps at 23 is impressive. AWJ probably had more at that age too.

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Post by lostinwales Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:09 pm

MichaelT wrote:
George Carlin wrote:OP updated.

50 caps for Steven Kitshoff. Impressive given how young he is.

He is 29? Unless I am missing something?

Tom Curry having 33 caps at 23 is impressive. AWJ probably had more at that age too.

AWJ first cap at 21 more or less. Curry started very young (18 or 19)

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Post by king_carlos Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:17 pm

George North with 101 Wales caps and 3 Lions tests at 29 is pretty ludicrous. Even more so when you factor in him still being 28 when he hit those numbers.

Kitshoff has hit 50 caps whilst being understudy to Tendai Mtwarira though so he's not been short of competition.

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Post by The Oracle Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:20 pm

I remember George North being the youngest player to reach 50 caps…at age 22! Nuts! But I’m sure he’ll get beaten to it sometime in the near future.
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Post by MichaelT Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:24 pm

lostinwales wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
George Carlin wrote:OP updated.

50 caps for Steven Kitshoff. Impressive given how young he is.

He is 29? Unless I am missing something?

Tom Curry having 33 caps at 23 is impressive. AWJ probably had more at that age too.

AWJ first cap at 21 more or less. Curry started very young (18 or 19)

AWJ had 33 caps at 23.8 years old, Curry has 33 at 23.1 years old. Not that much in it, Curry had 12 months between his 1st and 2nd caps whereas AWJ has played in every series of games (Six Nations, summer, autumn) apart from summer 2018 since his debut in June 2006.

If Curry plays for the Lions v South Africa in 2033 he will still be younger than AWJ is now. I think thats funny.

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Post by alive555 Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:33 pm

TightHEAD wrote:H Watson was shown up by the SA, why did people miss that?

No surprise he is dropped.


Curry gave away 6 points in the first half all by himself plus another penalty , so the only reason hes not replaced by watson is luck because he himslef committed what was probably a yellow

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Post by EST Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:56 pm

I'm thinking back to the 2018 6N, where Wales hammered Scotland in Cardiff. A certain Chris Harris made his first start for Scotland at 13 that day, with Huw Jones playing inside him at 12. If anybody in the aftermath of that game suggested that he would be starting for the Lions three years later, you would have been labelled a dangerous lunatic.

I think it's fully deserved though, he's become such an important player to Scotland and has proved his worth on the tour so far, often in the face of a lot of criticism over the years (including from me) - well done that man.

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Post by Collapse2005 Tue 27 Jul 2021, 3:56 pm

Is it true that Jaco Johan has been appointed as TMO for the match on Saturday?

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Post by Old Man Tue 27 Jul 2021, 4:18 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Is it true that Jaco Johan has been appointed as TMO for the match on Saturday?
Well, that will be one way of disproving that Rassie is Jaco Johan, eh?  Wink

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Post by lostinwales Tue 27 Jul 2021, 4:30 pm

alive555 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:H Watson was shown up by the SA, why did people miss that?

No surprise he is dropped.


Curry gave away 6 points in the first half all by himself plus another penalty , so the only reason hes not replaced by watson is luck because he himslef committed what was probably a yellow

Maybe Curry stays in for the good he was doing. Kick chase, hitting rucks, that sort of thing.

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Post by offload Tue 27 Jul 2021, 5:24 pm

RDW wrote:Daly probably there as a long range kicking option.if there's a 55m penalty to win on the 79th minute Daly's your man - not Adams or Williams.

Hogg has the range but is much more hit and miss than Daly. Daly also covers the back 3 and 13.

I know a lot of people want to see Williams or Adams involved but if they're not starting there's better options for the bench IMO.


Of course there is some logic to having someone on the bench who has a long range kick and can cover 11, 13, 14 & 15. However Daly is very lucky as he has been dropped because he played poorly - arguably the poorest Lions performer from the first test. Versatility to cover 4 positions shouldn't count if he's playing poorly. An early injury to one of four players and Daly could have to play a whole match. Williams has had a strong tour and covers 11, 14 and 15. Rather than rely on a poor performer to come on at 79 minutes and hope he makes a kick, I'd rather have a Williams or an Adams on the field scoring tries.

Hope I'm wrong and they clinch it Saturday.
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Post by Galted Tue 27 Jul 2021, 5:59 pm

Old Man wrote:Boks need to win this test, don’t want to see a dead rubber at the end.

History's not very kind when it comes to that, I'm afraid.  Only twice has a Boks-Lions series been 1-1 after 2 tests, last time was 1955 which was also the last series which went down to the final test.
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Post by Old Man Tue 27 Jul 2021, 6:02 pm

Galted wrote:
Old Man wrote:Boks need to win this test, don’t want to see a dead rubber at the end.

History's not very kind when it comes to that, I'm afraid.  Only twice has a Boks-Lions series been 1-1 after 2 tests, last time was 1955 which was also the last series which went down to the final test.
Apparently the Lions have never lost a test in Capetown either.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Tue 27 Jul 2021, 6:05 pm

offload wrote:
RDW wrote:Daly probably there as a long range kicking option.if there's a 55m penalty to win on the 79th minute Daly's your man - not Adams or Williams.

Hogg has the range but is much more hit and miss than Daly. Daly also covers the back 3 and 13.

I know a lot of people want to see Williams or Adams involved but if they're not starting there's better options for the bench IMO.


Of course there is some logic to having someone on the bench who has a long range kick and can cover 11, 13, 14 & 15. However Daly is very lucky as he has been dropped because he played poorly - arguably the poorest Lions performer from the first test. Versatility to cover 4 positions shouldn't count if he's playing poorly. An early injury to one of four players and Daly could have to play a whole match. Williams has had a strong tour and covers 11, 14 and 15. Rather than rely on a poor performer to come on at 79 minutes and hope he makes a kick, I'd rather have a Williams or an Adams on the field scoring tries.

Hope I'm wrong and they clinch it Saturday.

Daly's long range siege gun doesn't actually get that many outings. If his place in the team is on the off chance of a late long range penalty that sounds like desperation. Lions could have comfortably covered the backline with Williams on the bench instead and given themselves more buffer. If Hogg goes off then expect high balls to challenge Daly, up against competition in the air he's not the best.

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Post by Galted Tue 27 Jul 2021, 6:11 pm

Old Man wrote:
Galted wrote:
Old Man wrote:Boks need to win this test, don’t want to see a dead rubber at the end.

History's not very kind when it comes to that, I'm afraid.  Only twice has a Boks-Lions series been 1-1 after 2 tests, last time was 1955 which was also the last series which went down to the final test.
Apparently the Lions have never lost a test in Capetown either.

Not all gloom then, are you old enough to remember Divan Serfontein's winning try in 1980?
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Post by Galted Tue 27 Jul 2021, 6:12 pm

Galted wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Galted wrote:
Old Man wrote:Boks need to win this test, don’t want to see a dead rubber at the end.

History's not very kind when it comes to that, I'm afraid.  Only twice has a Boks-Lions series been 1-1 after 2 tests, last time was 1955 which was also the last series which went down to the final test.
Apparently the Lions have never lost a test in Capetown either.

Not all gloom then, are you old enough to remember Divan Serfontein's winning try in 1980?

Had me looking through old results and SA have won quite a few at Newlands.
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Post by Old Man Tue 27 Jul 2021, 7:07 pm

Galted wrote:
Galted wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Galted wrote:
Old Man wrote:Boks need to win this test, don’t want to see a dead rubber at the end.

History's not very kind when it comes to that, I'm afraid.  Only twice has a Boks-Lions series been 1-1 after 2 tests, last time was 1955 which was also the last series which went down to the final test.
Apparently the Lions have never lost a test in Capetown either.

Not all gloom then, are you old enough to remember Divan Serfontein's winning try in 1980?

Had me looking through old results and SA have won quite a few at Newlands.
Must have misread then, Yeah loved Divan Serfontein.

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Post by TightHEAD Tue 27 Jul 2021, 8:16 pm

alive555 wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:H Watson was shown up by the SA, why did people miss that?

No surprise he is dropped.


Curry gave away 6 points in the first half all by himself plus another penalty , so the only reason hes not replaced by watson is luck because he himslef committed what was probably a yellow

It's Curry's job to go get the ball, apart from the Faf incident he was doing what any rugby coach would want him to do. He played great.
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Post by RDW Tue 27 Jul 2021, 11:33 pm

Oakdene wrote:
George Carlin wrote:As an aside, when I put this thread together I was going to change AW Jones' Lions number to #1 just to see if anyone else thought it was funny. Probably too subtle.

Why would you do that?

I've always found the jokes that need explaining are the best ones! Laugh

I'm guessing this is a joke about how old AWJ is - i.e. Lion cap #1

Gatland made a similar joke in the press conference and AWJ barely reacted - was quite funny to watch.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 28 Jul 2021, 12:07 am

RDW wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
George Carlin wrote:As an aside, when I put this thread together I was going to change AW Jones' Lions number to #1 just to see if anyone else thought it was funny. Probably too subtle.

Why would you do that?

I've always found the jokes that need explaining are the best ones! Laugh

I'm guessing this is a joke about how old AWJ is - i.e. Lion cap #1

Gatland made a similar joke in the press conference and AWJ barely reacted - was quite funny to watch.
That was a joke.  
OK.  
Yes, everybody funny.  
You funny too.

I am thinking there are times when a denizen of the gloomy British Isles moves to the land of the hole in the Ozone layer, the enhanced UV affects the mind.  We just have to nod our heads and always agree with them.  If you disagree many become disoriented and agitated, and actually start talking about acts of betrayal and, this is for real, things like men - actually being lions - invading Africa.  Can you imagine?  

Fortunately, there are special men in clean white coats who take them to special places to enhance their calm:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fn36l_z3WY
Hug


Last edited by doctor_grey on Wed 28 Jul 2021, 12:11 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by RDW Wed 28 Jul 2021, 12:10 am

doctor_grey wrote:
RDW wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
George Carlin wrote:As an aside, when I put this thread together I was going to change AW Jones' Lions number to #1 just to see if anyone else thought it was funny. Probably too subtle.

Why would you do that?

I've always found the jokes that need explaining are the best ones! Laugh

I'm guessing this is a joke about how old AWJ is - i.e. Lion cap #1

Gatland made a similar joke in the press conference and AWJ barely reacted - was quite funny to watch.
That was a joke.  
OK.  
Yes, funny.  
I am thinking there are times when a denizen of the gloomy British Isles moves to the land of the hole in the Ozone layer, the enhanced UV affects the mind.  It usually drills drills out the sense of humour first.  We shouldn't tell them because many become agitated and actually start talking about acts of betrayal and things like men - actually being lions - invading Africa.  Can you imagine?  

Fortunately, there are special men in clean white coats who take them to special places to enhance their calm:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fn36l_z3WY          

That post escalated quickly! Laugh

Haven't seen that song before - not sure I want to listen to it again...

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 28 Jul 2021, 12:12 am

RDW wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
RDW wrote:
Oakdene wrote:
George Carlin wrote:As an aside, when I put this thread together I was going to change AW Jones' Lions number to #1 just to see if anyone else thought it was funny. Probably too subtle.

Why would you do that?

I've always found the jokes that need explaining are the best ones! Laugh

I'm guessing this is a joke about how old AWJ is - i.e. Lion cap #1

Gatland made a similar joke in the press conference and AWJ barely reacted - was quite funny to watch.
That was a joke.  
OK.  
Yes, funny.  
I am thinking there are times when a denizen of the gloomy British Isles moves to the land of the hole in the Ozone layer, the enhanced UV affects the mind.  It usually drills drills out the sense of humour first.  We shouldn't tell them because many become agitated and actually start talking about acts of betrayal and things like men - actually being lions - invading Africa.  Can you imagine?  

Fortunately, there are special men in clean white coats who take them to special places to enhance their calm:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Fn36l_z3WY          

That post escalated quickly! Laugh

Haven't seen that song before - not sure I want to listen to it again...
It has the same effect on most people. From the 60s. Hug

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Post by lostinwales Wed 28 Jul 2021, 12:16 am

Finally watched the first game all the way through. It was a difficult game to assess because it was just one of those games. I do get why Watson (H) missed out. Its not necessarily fair because he really didn't get a chance to show what he can do, but the very limited chances he did get ball in hand he got nowhere, and he didn't do much else. Curry in contrast was very active and involved when he was on the pitch.

What else? I now get why some people are questioning VDM's inclusion. He did get involved a great deal, didn't really get a chance to run except for when he almost scored after the forward pass from Henshaw. He put a lot of pressure on the kick chase and was there or thereabouts, made a couple of cracking tackles but he didn't have a good day catching the high balls.

Henshaw seemed to see a lot of ball and was dangerous, but in general we seldom saw much of the Lions backs.

For all the talking up of Lawes he was only really prominent for a short spell in the 2nd half but in that time he was everywhere.

Personally I didn't think the ref was awful, but the two decisions I am not sure about was the Watson yellow/ not yellow and the Kwagga Smith penalty where he was done for essentially holding onto the ball which he was already in the process of ripping when the referee shouted tackle.

Last comment. I can only imagine how much of a nightmare it must be trying to to anything on the ground facing both Beirne and Itoje. As a 2nd row combo they might be a little lightweight but they would make life very hard for the opposition.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 28 Jul 2021, 1:06 am

I may be late looking at this, but I saw the BBC had Courtney Lawes as their man of the match. I actually don't like these kinds of awards in Rugby because it is such a team game. But I thought their take interesting. Then this:
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2021/07/26/courtney-lawes-proved-ultimate-test-match-animal-lions/
Some people are showing Mr. Lawes a lot of love...

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Post by RDW Wed 28 Jul 2021, 1:20 am

lostinwales wrote:Finally watched the first game all the way through. It was a difficult game to assess because it was just one of those games. I do get why Watson (H) missed out. Its not necessarily fair because he really didn't get a chance to show what he can do, but the very limited chances he did get ball in hand he got nowhere, and he didn't do much else. Curry in contrast was very active and involved when he was on the pitch.

What else? I now get why some people are questioning VDM's inclusion. He did get involved a great deal, didn't really get a chance to run except for when he almost scored after the forward pass from Henshaw. He put a lot of pressure on the kick chase and was there or thereabouts, made a couple of cracking tackles but he didn't have a good day catching the high balls.

Henshaw seemed to see a lot of ball and was dangerous, but in general we seldom saw much of the Lions backs.

For all the talking up of Lawes he was only really prominent for a short spell in the 2nd half but in that time he was everywhere.

Personally I didn't think the ref was awful, but the two decisions I am not sure about was the Watson yellow/ not yellow and the Kwagga Smith penalty where he was done for essentially holding onto the ball which he was already in the process of ripping when the referee shouted tackle.

Last comment. I can only imagine how much of a nightmare it must be trying to to anything on the ground facing both Beirne and Itoje. As a 2nd row combo they might be a little lightweight but they would make life very hard for the opposition.

For me there is a big difference between not catching high balls kicked to you and those that are 50/50s that you are chasing. I don't remember VDM dropping any takes he should have made, but he was definitely involved in 50/50s that he was contesting with the Saffer catcher (and not taking them). I know Wiliams and Biggar are world class at that, but it could point to a difference in tactics. Gatland knows better than anyone that Williams is one of the best in the world at hunting these 50/50s.

For example at Edinburgh the kick and chase tactic is for a dominant hit on the catcher and try and disrupt the ruck instead of the much more risky 50/50 competition. Could it be that the Lions are aiming to do something similar? If that's the cases, Duhan hitting you at full pelt is going to be pretty dominant (and he did a few of these). Duhan also has the significant impact in terms of his attacking play, and it's worth remembering he was 6N top try scorer too.

Again I would have no issues whoever started on the left wing - I'm just trying to think through why Gatland and the coaches have made the choices that they are making. I do find the outrage about Adams' omission (I'm mainly referring to social media here) as a bit OTT. He's a top player, but we're spoilt for choice on the left wing. Also, it harks back to the debate about how much importance should be placed on the warmup games, which were completely different in terms of intensity and gameplan compared to what we're seeing in the tests. From memory Tommy Seymour was the top try scorer in 2017 but he was nowhere near the test team.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 28 Jul 2021, 6:27 am

The tactics haven't really allowed much of a chance to the back 3 to impress to be fair to them. Kick the ball hope it bounces kindly and try to keep it tight.

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Post by Collapse2005 Wed 28 Jul 2021, 8:11 am

lostinwales wrote:Finally watched the first game all the way through. It was a difficult game to assess because it was just one of those games. I do get why Watson (H) missed out. Its not necessarily fair because he really didn't get a chance to show what he can do, but the very limited chances he did get ball in hand he got nowhere, and he didn't do much else. Curry in contrast was very active and involved when he was on the pitch.

What else? I now get why some people are questioning VDM's inclusion. He did get involved a great deal, didn't really get a chance to run except for when he almost scored after the forward pass from Henshaw. He put a lot of pressure on the kick chase and was there or thereabouts, made a couple of cracking tackles but he didn't have a good day catching the high balls.

Henshaw seemed to see a lot of ball and was dangerous, but in general we seldom saw much of the Lions backs.

For all the talking up of Lawes he was only really prominent for a short spell in the 2nd half but in that time he was everywhere.

Personally I didn't think the ref was awful, but the two decisions I am not sure about was the Watson yellow/ not yellow and the Kwagga Smith penalty where he was done for essentially holding onto the ball which he was already in the process of ripping when the referee shouted tackle.

Last comment. I can only imagine how much of a nightmare it must be trying to to anything on the ground facing both Beirne and Itoje. As a 2nd row combo they might be a little lightweight but they would make life very hard for the opposition.

Agree on Lawes, had a good game in particular the 2nd half but was quiet enough in the first half so some of the praise has been a bit OTT. Itoje was man of the match for me.

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Post by R!skysports Wed 28 Jul 2021, 11:20 am

Something has been bugging me a little from the first test and I think I now know what it is.

Initially I was very surprised and happy that Gatland has chosen an attacking team that had play makers and could play a fast game, using our backs to pull SA around and make spaces. We had the right team for that and I thought......yes....this is more like it

What happened next, was boring boot the leather off the ball, no real subtilty 10 man rugby with kick after kick after kick.

Now we have brought Murray on, it is now clear what we are going for and I think it will back fire. Stodgy rugby squeaked through last week, not sure this week it will work again.

Hope I am wrong

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Post by lostinwales Wed 28 Jul 2021, 11:26 am

R!skysports wrote:Something has been bugging me a little from the first test and I think I now know what it is.

Initially I was very surprised and happy that Gatland has chosen an attacking team that had play makers and could play a fast game, using our backs to pull SA around and make spaces. We had the right team for that and I thought......yes....this is more like it

What happened next, was boring boot the leather off the ball, no real subtilty 10 man rugby with kick after kick after kick.

Now we have brought Murray on, it is now clear what we are going for and I think it will back fire. Stodgy rugby squeaked through last week, not sure this week it will work again.

Hope I am wrong

Price on to speed things up late on? I didn't think he did much wrong to get switched to the bench. That SA defense is how you define 'smothering' and it needs more wit than we have shown to date to break it down, unless you go with the battering ram approach (which may explain the choice of replacements).

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Post by Old Man Wed 28 Jul 2021, 11:26 am

I would expect the Springboks to have a huge lift in performance this weekend, firstly they know if they lose this one it is all over, secondly, their reputation as world champs is on the line, they have now had some decent game time and had time to see where they lack.

The RC is not far away, and if they cannot lift their game this test, I fear the rest of the season, considering no home tests in the RC is going to be very cahllenging indeed.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 28 Jul 2021, 11:43 am

R!skysports wrote:Something has been bugging me a little from the first test and I think I now know what it is.

Initially I was very surprised and happy that Gatland has chosen an attacking team that had play makers and could play a fast game, using our backs to pull SA around and make spaces. We had the right team for that and I thought......yes....this is more like it

What happened next, was boring boot the leather off the ball, no real subtilty 10 man rugby with kick after kick after kick.

Now we have brought Murray on, it is now clear what we are going for and I think it will back fire. Stodgy rugby squeaked through last week, not sure this week it will work again.

Hope I am wrong

I think the tone was set early in the match - the ball went to Daly with a clear intent to get it wide fast and outflank the Boks' defence... and he got smashed in possession. To go wide against the Boks, you either have to be lightning fast at distribution, able to manipulate the defence to be out of position (difficult when they tend to ensure their key defensive organisers stay out of the ruck) or have another option to get over their rush at the 13 channel.

Smith showed one way to do it against the Stormers (who played a similar defensive system) - when there was someone coming into the passing lane, he just kick passed to DVDM. It's one of the reasons I was hoping that he or Russell would get at least a bench cameo. My take on the game was that the Lions were caught out by the ferocity in defence in the first half, went into their shells, and to their credit came out and played Plan B very effectively in the second half. But it wasn't the titanic attack versus defence battler we might have hoped for. Instead it descended into an attritional battle of "who's going to make a mistake first". This selection looks to have inverted that a little - weather the storm in the first half and have some option to open up the attack in the second. It might work better, but it could end up being just as turgid.
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Post by EST Wed 28 Jul 2021, 1:28 pm

Poorfour wrote:
R!skysports wrote:Something has been bugging me a little from the first test and I think I now know what it is.

Initially I was very surprised and happy that Gatland has chosen an attacking team that had play makers and could play a fast game, using our backs to pull SA around and make spaces. We had the right team for that and I thought......yes....this is more like it

What happened next, was boring boot the leather off the ball, no real subtilty 10 man rugby with kick after kick after kick.

Now we have brought Murray on, it is now clear what we are going for and I think it will back fire. Stodgy rugby squeaked through last week, not sure this week it will work again.

Hope I am wrong

I think the tone was set early in the match - the ball went to Daly with a clear intent to get it wide fast and outflank the Boks' defence... and he got smashed in possession. To go wide against the Boks, you either have to be lightning fast at distribution, able to manipulate the defence to be out of position (difficult when they tend to ensure their key defensive organisers stay out of the ruck) or have another option to get over their rush at the 13 channel.

Smith showed one way to do it against the Stormers (who played a similar defensive system) - when there was someone coming into the passing lane, he just kick passed to DVDM. It's one of the reasons I was hoping that he or Russell would get at least a bench cameo. My take on the game was that the Lions were caught out by the ferocity in defence in the first half, went into their shells, and to their credit came out and played Plan B very effectively in the second half. But it wasn't the titanic attack versus defence battler we might have hoped for. Instead it descended into an attritional battle of "who's going to make a mistake first". This selection looks to have inverted that a little - weather the storm in the first half and have some option to open up the attack in the second. It might work better, but it could end up being just as turgid.

I'd agree, think there was intent to play expansively at the start but they were getting hammered well behind the gainline. Russell is probably the only 10 on the tour with the ability to get the ball into the outside channels quickly enough to play that way, although that also comes with it it's own set of risks of course.

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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Wed 28 Jul 2021, 2:22 pm

EST wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
R!skysports wrote:Something has been bugging me a little from the first test and I think I now know what it is.

Initially I was very surprised and happy that Gatland has chosen an attacking team that had play makers and could play a fast game, using our backs to pull SA around and make spaces. We had the right team for that and I thought......yes....this is more like it

What happened next, was boring boot the leather off the ball, no real subtilty 10 man rugby with kick after kick after kick.

Now we have brought Murray on, it is now clear what we are going for and I think it will back fire. Stodgy rugby squeaked through last week, not sure this week it will work again.

Hope I am wrong

I think the tone was set early in the match - the ball went to Daly with a clear intent to get it wide fast and outflank the Boks' defence... and he got smashed in possession. To go wide against the Boks, you either have to be lightning fast at distribution, able to manipulate the defence to be out of position (difficult when they tend to ensure their key defensive organisers stay out of the ruck) or have another option to get over their rush at the 13 channel.

Smith showed one way to do it against the Stormers (who played a similar defensive system) - when there was someone coming into the passing lane, he just kick passed to DVDM. It's one of the reasons I was hoping that he or Russell would get at least a bench cameo. My take on the game was that the Lions were caught out by the ferocity in defence in the first half, went into their shells, and to their credit came out and played Plan B very effectively in the second half. But it wasn't the titanic attack versus defence battler we might have hoped for. Instead it descended into an attritional battle of "who's going to make a mistake first". This selection looks to have inverted that a little - weather the storm in the first half and have some option to open up the attack in the second. It might work better, but it could end up being just as turgid.

I'd agree, think there was intent to play expansively at the start but they were getting hammered well behind the gainline.  Russell is probably the only 10 in the original party on the tour with the ability to get the ball into the outside channels quickly enough to play that way, although that also comes with it it's own set of risks of course.  

Just made a slight alteration there EST.

I am not sure that even that is true, when Biggar is playing for Saints they get the ball away and out wide very quickly, but they tend to have a second or even third playmaker available in the 12 channel or a winger making an extra man that stops the defense coming up for that second or so and allows distribution.
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Post by R!skysports Wed 28 Jul 2021, 2:57 pm

I always wonder why they describe Farrell as a second play maker at 12, when he is anything but

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Post by EST Wed 28 Jul 2021, 3:00 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:
EST wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
R!skysports wrote:Something has been bugging me a little from the first test and I think I now know what it is.

Initially I was very surprised and happy that Gatland has chosen an attacking team that had play makers and could play a fast game, using our backs to pull SA around and make spaces. We had the right team for that and I thought......yes....this is more like it

What happened next, was boring boot the leather off the ball, no real subtilty 10 man rugby with kick after kick after kick.

Now we have brought Murray on, it is now clear what we are going for and I think it will back fire. Stodgy rugby squeaked through last week, not sure this week it will work again.

Hope I am wrong

I think the tone was set early in the match - the ball went to Daly with a clear intent to get it wide fast and outflank the Boks' defence... and he got smashed in possession. To go wide against the Boks, you either have to be lightning fast at distribution, able to manipulate the defence to be out of position (difficult when they tend to ensure their key defensive organisers stay out of the ruck) or have another option to get over their rush at the 13 channel.

Smith showed one way to do it against the Stormers (who played a similar defensive system) - when there was someone coming into the passing lane, he just kick passed to DVDM. It's one of the reasons I was hoping that he or Russell would get at least a bench cameo. My take on the game was that the Lions were caught out by the ferocity in defence in the first half, went into their shells, and to their credit came out and played Plan B very effectively in the second half. But it wasn't the titanic attack versus defence battler we might have hoped for. Instead it descended into an attritional battle of "who's going to make a mistake first". This selection looks to have inverted that a little - weather the storm in the first half and have some option to open up the attack in the second. It might work better, but it could end up being just as turgid.

I'd agree, think there was intent to play expansively at the start but they were getting hammered well behind the gainline.  Russell is probably the only 10 in the original party on the tour with the ability to get the ball into the outside channels quickly enough to play that way, although that also comes with it it's own set of risks of course.  

Just made a slight alteration there EST.

I am not sure that even that is true, when Biggar is playing for Saints they get the ball away and out wide very quickly, but they tend to have a second or even third playmaker available in the 12 channel or a winger making an extra man that stops the defense coming up for that second or so and allows distribution.

Certainly true that you don't get onto a Lions tour without being a good passer of the ball, but I don't think any of the other options have the range and speed of pass that he does, he also has a different approach to risk than the other options, so I think he would be more willing to force the issue - risk and reward and all that.

For what it's worth, I think Biggar is the clear no.1 just now - it's evident this is a test series that will be won by percentage rugby and having a low error count and I think his skills are the best fit for that role.


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Post by Poorfour Wed 28 Jul 2021, 3:01 pm

EST wrote:
I'd agree, think there was intent to play expansively at the start but they were getting hammered well behind the gainline.  Russell is probably the only 10 on the tour with the ability to get the ball into the outside channels quickly enough to play that way, although that also comes with it it's own set of risks of course.  

There are two different ways to do it. One is just to try to fizz the ball along the line really quickly. Biggar tried to do that and it didn't reach Daly fast enough. The other is to be able to respond to the defence in play and have an extra option available to counter whatever they do. They rush, you kick pass, or chip over the defence, or kick into space, or pop it back inside to someone on a hard reverse line.

I would agree with you that Russell can do it, and that he often does it successfully but sometimes makes horrendous mistakes. But again, Smith has done this all year for Quins, and was able to do it for England and the Lions in the chances he's had. There is a different risk, which is that we have never seen him do it against a top tier international side. But he's done it in knockout matches against club sides with 13-14 internationals (including quite a few Lions) on the pitch.
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Post by The Oracle Wed 28 Jul 2021, 3:54 pm

I think some fans just want champagne rugby at any cost. Chuck it about and we’ll score tries aplenty, etc. Just doesn’t work like that at international level. Maybe why Fiji and others struggle to win much. As a Welsh fan I was the same. Grew up with the stories of the 70s Welsh team chucking it about; the no.10 shirt being the most revered; Welsh wingers being household names, etc. Wanted us to put on a show and Chuck it about. However, we didn’t start winning anything consistently in my rugby watching lifetime until we jacked in the champagne rugby and focused on the forwards and percentage play. A bit boring but it’s needed at international level I feel. A nice balance for the Lions would be good. That old adage ‘earn the right to go wide’. Can’t just chuck it about loosely and spoil the good work of the forwards.

I think we need to acknowledge that the Boks defensively were very good at shutting off our outside channels and getting up and smashing us back. Particularly in the first half. I don’t think ‘fizzing’ it out will necessarily just work automatically to unlock them and create a deluge of tries.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed 28 Jul 2021, 3:54 pm

R!skysports wrote:I always wonder why they describe Farrell as a second play maker at 12, when he is anything but

He's been very successful there with Ford.

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Post by Poorfour Wed 28 Jul 2021, 4:18 pm

The Oracle wrote:I think some fans just want champagne rugby at any cost. Chuck it about and we’ll score tries aplenty, etc. Just doesn’t work like that at international level. Maybe why Fiji and others struggle to win much. As a Welsh fan I was the same. Grew up with the stories of the 70s Welsh team chucking it about; the no.10 shirt being the most revered; Welsh wingers being household names, etc. Wanted us to put on a show and Chuck it about. However, we didn’t start winning anything consistently in my rugby watching lifetime until we jacked in the champagne rugby and focused on the forwards and percentage play. A bit boring but it’s needed at international level I feel. A nice balance for the Lions would be good. That old adage ‘earn the right to go wide’. Can’t just chuck it about loosely and spoil the good work of the forwards.

I think we need to acknowledge that the Boks defensively were very good at shutting off our outside channels and getting up and smashing us back. Particularly in the first half. I don’t think ‘fizzing’ it out will necessarily just work automatically to unlock them and create a deluge of tries.

As an ex-forward, I definitely don't like to see the backs chucking it around for the sake of chucking it around, or taking the risky option when there's a safer but more certain one available. I was never a big fan of Cipriani, or of wingers who can score outrageous tries but for whom defence is optional. I've wanted to see backs who can play when it's on, but also know when to play the percentages.

But I think what's changing is that we have the emergence of a new generation of flyhalves who have a new level of game awareness and the skill set to make plays that would have been outrageous risks a few years ago but are solid percentage plays for players of their calibre. Russell was arguably the first but is a bit like version 1.5 - all the main features are there and working but there are definitely times when it falls over. The full v2.0 players are the likes of Mo'unga, Ntamack, possibly Garbisi (it would help if he were in a better side), Lolesio. For England it's Smith and possibly Umaga. I don't know who the equivalents for Ireland and Wales would be - I don't think I've seen enough of Byrne or Sheedy to judge.

As these kids get more international experience and prove to themselves, their coaches and the world that they can execute those skills under the pressure of a test, I think we'll see one of rugby's periodic shifts in style away from a defensive, play-without-the-ball mindset to one where there's much more of a balance of attacking play.

At least, we can hope.
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Post by formerly known as Sam Wed 28 Jul 2021, 9:56 pm

Poorfour wrote:
The Oracle wrote:I think some fans just want champagne rugby at any cost. Chuck it about and we’ll score tries aplenty, etc. Just doesn’t work like that at international level. Maybe why Fiji and others struggle to win much. As a Welsh fan I was the same. Grew up with the stories of the 70s Welsh team chucking it about; the no.10 shirt being the most revered; Welsh wingers being household names, etc. Wanted us to put on a show and Chuck it about. However, we didn’t start winning anything consistently in my rugby watching lifetime until we jacked in the champagne rugby and focused on the forwards and percentage play. A bit boring but it’s needed at international level I feel. A nice balance for the Lions would be good. That old adage ‘earn the right to go wide’. Can’t just chuck it about loosely and spoil the good work of the forwards.

I think we need to acknowledge that the Boks defensively were very good at shutting off our outside channels and getting up and smashing us back. Particularly in the first half. I don’t think ‘fizzing’ it out will necessarily just work automatically to unlock them and create a deluge of tries.

As an ex-forward, I definitely don't like to see the backs chucking it around for the sake of chucking it around, or taking the risky option when there's a safer but more certain one available. I was never a big fan of Cipriani, or of wingers who can score outrageous tries but for whom defence is optional. I've wanted to see backs who can play when it's on, but also know when to play the percentages.

But I think what's changing is that we have the emergence of a new generation of flyhalves who have a new level of game awareness and the skill set to make plays that would have been outrageous risks a few years ago but are solid percentage plays for players of their calibre. Russell was arguably the first but is a bit like version 1.5 - all the main features are there and working but there are definitely times when it falls over. The full v2.0 players are the likes of Mo'unga, Ntamack, possibly Garbisi (it would help if he were in a better side), Lolesio. For England it's Smith and possibly Umaga. I don't know who the equivalents for Ireland and Wales would be - I don't think I've seen enough of Byrne or Sheedy to judge.

As these kids get more international experience and prove to themselves, their coaches and the world that they can execute those skills under the pressure of a test, I think we'll see one of rugby's periodic shifts in style away from a defensive, play-without-the-ball mindset to one where there's much more of a balance of attacking play.

At least, we can hope.

Despite being a back (when my knees still worked) I agree. If you've got an attacking structure that works play within that structure. A good attacking system will provide the flyhalf with opportunities to use his ability. The flybalfs that go off the playbook on high risk plays I'm not a fan of. Sure if the system isn't working and you're getting desperate then yeah go for it. Crossfield kick in your own 22 inside the first quarter just cause, well you're a liability. Which is where I start to disagree with you because that's Umaga for me. A younger Cipriani, as capable of winning you a game as losing you one.

Richie Mo'unga is also 27 so not really a youngster. He kind of reminds me of George Ford in the way he plays as well. Ford if Ford had a team going forwards.

I'm certainly looking forward to these new generation of flybalfs pushing forward. Smith, the three French guys, I'm sure the ABs will turn up another gem as well and Wales have Costelow and Lloyd a couple of years younger than the rest (if they ever get to start regularly at 10). Australia and Italy have their own exciting talents. Has the potential to make international rugby very interesting in the next few years.

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Post by The Oracle Wed 28 Jul 2021, 11:09 pm

I know my comment was straight after Poorfour’s comment but it wasn’t a response to him (I would have used the quote function!). I guess it was more a response to R!sky who was worried/annoyed that the Lions seemed to change game plan when we were not getting any joy on the wings. Apologies if I’ve misunderstood the post. But if that was the theme then I think the Lions need to be praised for changing tactics mid game. In my opinion it would been madness to see us getting smashed back when the ball went wide and continue to ship the ball out there. SA had our number there, for whatever reason, so it was great to see us change and go down a different path which then saw the game change in our favour. Completely agree that if the personnel are all there to do it then go for it. But we’ve not got settled combinations yet, such is the nature of the Lions tours. I like watching Finn Russell, for example, but chucking him in with new players who have never played with him (training aside) and hoping it all clicks like it sometimes does for Scotland is a big ask. Scotland fans talk about being on Finn’s ‘wavelength’, and that’s sometimes a struggle for his Scotland teams mates who he plays with lots! Would love it to work more than I’d like to see a Lions team grind out a win, but………I dunno. Is it risky (or R!sky?! Haha sorry Shocked Smile )?
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Post by profitius Wed 28 Jul 2021, 11:55 pm

Poorfour wrote:
The Oracle wrote:I think some fans just want champagne rugby at any cost. Chuck it about and we’ll score tries aplenty, etc. Just doesn’t work like that at international level. Maybe why Fiji and others struggle to win much. As a Welsh fan I was the same. Grew up with the stories of the 70s Welsh team chucking it about; the no.10 shirt being the most revered; Welsh wingers being household names, etc. Wanted us to put on a show and Chuck it about. However, we didn’t start winning anything consistently in my rugby watching lifetime until we jacked in the champagne rugby and focused on the forwards and percentage play. A bit boring but it’s needed at international level I feel. A nice balance for the Lions would be good. That old adage ‘earn the right to go wide’. Can’t just chuck it about loosely and spoil the good work of the forwards.

I think we need to acknowledge that the Boks defensively were very good at shutting off our outside channels and getting up and smashing us back. Particularly in the first half. I don’t think ‘fizzing’ it out will necessarily just work automatically to unlock them and create a deluge of tries.

As an ex-forward, I definitely don't like to see the backs chucking it around for the sake of chucking it around, or taking the risky option when there's a safer but more certain one available. I was never a big fan of Cipriani, or of wingers who can score outrageous tries but for whom defence is optional. I've wanted to see backs who can play when it's on, but also know when to play the percentages.

But I think what's changing is that we have the emergence of a new generation of flyhalves who have a new level of game awareness and the skill set to make plays that would have been outrageous risks a few years ago but are solid percentage plays for players of their calibre. Russell was arguably the first but is a bit like version 1.5 - all the main features are there and working but there are definitely times when it falls over. The full v2.0 players are the likes of Mo'unga, Ntamack, possibly Garbisi (it would help if he were in a better side), Lolesio. For England it's Smith and possibly Umaga. I don't know who the equivalents for Ireland and Wales would be - I don't think I've seen enough of Byrne or Sheedy to judge.

As these kids get more international experience and prove to themselves, their coaches and the world that they can execute those skills under the pressure of a test, I think we'll see one of rugby's periodic shifts in style away from a defensive, play-without-the-ball mindset to one where there's much more of a balance of attacking play.

At least, we can hope.


Harry Byrne or Jack Crowley for Ireland. HB is like a faster version of his brother but is constantly injured. Crowley has barely played for munster but looks a big talent. Carbery is there also and a class player who can get a backline moving. Like HB, he needs to stay fit.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Thu 29 Jul 2021, 8:30 am

Would have been interesting to see whether Gatland would have gone with the safety first approach had South Africa got some luck last week. Clearly the pressure is more on them than us this week; Gatland said earlier in the week that this played into the Lions' hands in Aus where they felt the Aussies were drained come the 3rd test. Can't see SA going quite as AWOL in the 3rd, though as then we may have a white knight loosehead coming from the East in time.


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Post by Poorfour Thu 29 Jul 2021, 8:44 am

Ruck is reporting that Russell is still struggling, so if Biggar doesn't come through the return to play protocol today, Farrell moves to 10 and Smith to the bench.

https://www.ruck.co.uk/warren-gatland-confirms-changes-hell-make-if-dan-biggar-ruled-out/
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