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South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August

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South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August Empty South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August

Post by RDW Sun 01 Aug 2021, 11:26 pm

South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August A_10                  South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August Lions_10                
SOUTH AFRICA BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
Saturday 7th August
KO: 18:00 SAST / 17:00 UK / 02:00 Australia  Crying or Very sad
Cape Town Stadium
Sky Sports Main Event

TEAMS:

SOUTH AFRICA
A very large bunch of blokes.

WAZZER'S WIZARDS

15. Liam Williams (Scarlets, Wales) #833
14. Josh Adams (Cardiff Rugby, Wales) #836
13. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
12. Bundee Aki (Connacht Rugby, Ireland) #837
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
09. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843

01. Wyn Jones (Scarlets, Wales) #842
02. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
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. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
17. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Adam Beard (Ospreys, Wales) #852
20. Sam Simmonds (Exeter Chiefs, England) #849
21. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
22. Finn Russell (Racing 92, Scotland) #835
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822


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Post by RDW Sun 01 Aug 2021, 11:46 pm

So there's definitely some major decisions to be made for the Lions. Luckily Gatland has a decent track record in 3rd tests, with 2 big wins and a draw (albeit as assistant in 2009). He has shown time and again that he's not afraid to make big decisions.

What decisions does he need to make?

I guess the most fundamental one is the must fundamental of all - how are going to set up to play? Are we going to play the same way as the first two tests and hope we can just execute better? Or do we open up a little to attack the Boks and move their big boys around?

I don't see wholesale changes - I think he'll still have us playing a territory, kick chase based game but feck me we also need to add a bit of variety. I Read that Biggar made 3 passes all game!

The other major decision is what changes to make - I don't think we should make wholesale cahnges but changes definitely need to be made. For me it is too high risk to just chuck Finn straight in and not overly fair on him - he's hardly played all tour to get used to everyone. For me you start Biggar or Farrell with Finn on the bench. Smith is a fetus in test match rugby - his time will come.  

I also think we need to freshen up the pack a bit - they have generally held their own against the Boks but it's been two brutal tests.

The backs just haven't worked in either game, in part due to the tactics we're playing. There's no point playing VDM if you're not going to give him the ball. He also had a shocker so will likely lose his place. Watson was so-so but I'd love to see fresh energy on the flanks. I don't think Hogg was as bad as some have made him out to be (albeit wasn't great) but ultimately I don't think too much disruption is a good thing.

So here's the team I'd go for

1 Jones (if fit)
2 Owens
3 FUrlong
4 Itoje
5 AWJ
6 Beirne
7 Curry (although I'd love to see Watson given his chance as a atarter, but don't mind either way)
8 Faletau

9 Price
10 Biggar (but he's allowed to pass)
11 Williams
12 Henshaw
13 Harris
14 Adams
15 Hogg

Subs - Vunipola, LCD, Fagerson, Lawes, Simmons (something different off the bench), Murray, Russell, Daly

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Post by aucklandlaurie Mon 02 Aug 2021, 12:19 am

This Saturday night I want see an International test match of quality rugby, played with pace, skill and accurate defense systems.

So I'm off to Eden Park to watch the All Blacks play the Convicts (and Quade Cooper).

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 02 Aug 2021, 12:52 am

Well, Lions have to dance with the people they brought, so options are limited.  Perhaps Gatland indeed got his selections wrong.  
The wings:
(1) need the ball, VDM had one touch, Watson had three.  Get the ball to them or go looking for work.  
(2) need to defend their positions get the kick-chase right - do we have the right guys?
(3) catch kicks in their direction
It is certainly time to give Adams a run, but Liam Williams might be the right call too.  

For the rest, not a lot of options so just hit the breakdowns and play the game.  

As I said earlier, this could be the career defining game of Gatland's career and might be the last game of his career.  Will he take risks with selection and game plan?  Or stay with what he is comfortable with?

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Post by RDW Mon 02 Aug 2021, 1:26 am

As an aside, it's remarkable how few injuries we've had. Has there been any tour in the modern era that hasn't needed to send someone home come the 3rd test? I know Wyn Jones and Finn have been injured but they were kept on with a view that they would be fit at some point.

It helped that the warmup games were pretty low intensity but I'm staggered how few injuries we've had!

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Post by king_carlos Mon 02 Aug 2021, 2:22 am

Below is what I'd pick, not what I think will be picked. Especially in the back row where I just don't see the below happening at all.

1.Wyn Jones
2.LCD
3.Furlong
4.Itoje
5.AWJ
6.Curry
7.Watson
8.Faletau

9.Murray
10.Biggar

11.LZR
12.Aki
13.Henshaw
14.Watson
15.Williams

16.George
17.Vunipola
18.Sinckler
19.Lawes
20.Bierne
21.Price
22.Farrell
23.Hogg

The damage Lood de Jager did when he came on (scarily he looks fully fit again) shows that the Lions need to keep the ball in play, avoid kicking for touch (hence avoid lineouts) and therefore need to compete at the breakdown with everything they've got. As such I've picked Curry and Watson together with Faletau. Do I see that happening at the weekend? No. But we are picking hypothetical 23s here so feck it.

Some will raise an eye brow at LZR over Adams, who is a winger I rate very highly, but I want that pace LZR offers on the wing.

Conan once again had a solid game in his time on the field but I just feel we need to roll the dice on Faletau finding his best form. Conan is a really good player who has had a strong tour but Faletau at his peak is world class. I think it's worth the gamble starting a player such as Faletau who has a very high ceiling.

The second test for me summed up Harris as a player very well in negative and positive. He is defensively excellent, especially in Tandy's systems where Harris is in a key position. He also offers basically nothing going forward though. Against this Boks side with the defensively excellent Am in the their centre I just think we need more of a gain line threat. As such I've gone for Aki. He's a blunt instrument but in rugby that can be extremely effective if well utilised. Tactically I feel that this Lions side is more likely to utilise a crash ball runner at 12 than they are to utilise someone such as Duhan on the wing.

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Post by RDW Mon 02 Aug 2021, 2:27 am

To be fair to Harris he received the ball 3 times all game! We could have had 2001 BoD at 13 and it wouldn't have made any difference to our attacking play.

I also think the view that he's a defensive player only is an unfair stereotype, and us Scotland fans have been as bad as anyone at this. He runs good hard lines and he's actually shown good distribution on this tour.

I can see the need for an Aki-Henshaw partnership but I don't think it will add to our attacking threat!

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 02 Aug 2021, 3:47 am

Gatland selected players in his squad with the ability to play around the Boks, like Russell, Simmons, Daly and Rees-Zammit. Tipuric would have been part of that plan too, if he hadn't picked up an injury. He even called up Marcus Smith to cover Russell, so that option was still one he was considering.

In the end, though, he has never really set up the team in that way, so it would be risky to try that strategy, when the players have had so little experience with it.

Arguably, he half went with the playing option by selecting Daly and Price in the first Test but nothing in what the Lions did, suggested they were going wide with any guile or intelligence, so its no surprise to Gatland reverted to a tighter game in the second half.


Last edited by Rugby Fan on Mon 02 Aug 2021, 7:25 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 6:19 am

I don't think the tactics have looked great in either test. Gatland sounds like he's pinning his hopes to SA coming down from the emotional peak this coming weekend and I'm just not sure its going to happen. Russell would be a big gamble with the little time out playing rugby on this tour we also have Smith who is relatively inexperienced. Farrell at 12 to offer something different to me is the obvious way to change things.

The pack for me needs a different back row. Lawes tackles well and had been strong in the lineout but is generally too slow to any breakdown. I'd swap him out for Watson or Navidi and bring in Beard for Jones to help the set piece.

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Post by R!skysports Mon 02 Aug 2021, 7:17 am

In all honesty if we don’t try to play at least some rugby we will lose this badly

Which means some pace on the ball (Price over Murray ) some pace in the back row (Navidi or Watson also in) and a game plan that actually wants to try and find space. (Russel on bench)

Would keep Henshaw and Harris (who I feel has Been one of the best centres this tour)

Back 3

If they get the ball?

Hogg William and Watson

If not get the ball

Lawes, itogi and a tall post as that is really all they are there for

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Post by sensisball Mon 02 Aug 2021, 8:18 am

The biggest call Gatland has is, will be drop his captain? AWJ has made a Lazarus like recovery but he fell away in the second half last week. More heft is needed in the row so either he drops Itojie or Jones for Beard.
Itojie is almost undroppable because of his breakdown and lineout work. Jones is the more likely candidate to get the Shepard's crook, but will Gats do that to his Wales talisman in what will be their final Lions game for both men?

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Post by George Carlin Mon 02 Aug 2021, 8:24 am

Nice thread RDW zen
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Post by TJ Mon 02 Aug 2021, 8:27 am

I agree with rugby fan - Gatland has to let rip for the third test. If Russells is fit he has to start with Price. If he isn't then Smith starts. Biggar or farrell on the bench

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Post by jimbopip Mon 02 Aug 2021, 9:37 am

RDW wrote:

I guess the most fundamental one is the must fundamental of all - how are going to set up to play? Are we going to play the same way as the first two tests and hope we can just execute better? Or do we open up a little to attack the Boks and move their big boys around? Unless the Lions set up to play differently they will lose. I said after the first Test that the result could easily have gone either way, and in retrospect I think Gatland was seduced by the win into believing that "If the Boks are going to keep the same tactics and personnel then so should we." If both teams line up for the third as they did for the first two then the outcome will be as inevitable and messy as Tigertattie in a cake shop. The Boks will win, comfortably.

I don't see wholesale changes - I think he'll still have us playing a territory, kick chase based game but feck me we also need to add a bit of variety. I Read that Biggar made 3 passes all game!
The whole squad was picked with a view to playing wide and getting outside the Boks' Blitz defence. The back row choices were loaded with players who really do most of their damage in the wide channels; Faletau, Beirne, Coman and Simmonds. What is the point of taking them and then constantly kicking possession away? Similarly, the biggest improvement I have noticed in DVDM's game since he started playing for Scotland is when he pops up on the 9's shoulder and gets over the gain line: this tends to concertina the defensive line and if the back row generate quick ball there's space for the centres to attack. Neither winger came looking for the ball on Saturday, or the week before. Similarly, Hogg often takes the ball as first receiver for Execeterr and Scotland, he hasn't done that so far in the Tests. It doesn't matter who you drop or who you promote, if the tactics are the same the outcome will be the same.



So here's the team I'd go for

1 Jones (if fit) This is harsh on Sutherland. I would argue that when Mako came on in the first Test the Boks front five were cream crackered and Mako made hay. In the second Test when Sutherland came on the Lions' front five were Donald Ducked and he looked poorer than he is.
2 Owens
3 FUrlongThe outstanding front row of the tour.
4 Itoje
5 AWJ Whisper it, but the Boks had the better of the tight exchanges. Beard.
6 Beirne
7 Curry (although I'd love to see Watson given his chance as a atarter, but don't mind either way)
8 Faletau Beirne and Faletau are there to attack wide, Curry is not as good a jackaller as Hamish. The Boks bossed the breakdownlike Maggie Thatcher ran her Cabinet meetings. Nasty, brutish and short. Either select a backrow trio to compete meaningfully at the breakdown or move the ball through the hands more often. A lot more often: three feccin passes from an international 10? Oh to be sitting beside Barry John
or Phil Bennett and watching that! I'd go, Navidi-Simmonds-Watson. Just to upset some of our more sensible posters.


9 Price ( with Davies on the bench)
10 Biggar (but he's allowed to pass) I'd have Dancer and NoArms at 10-12 they could interchange and hopefully keep the Boks guessing.
11 Williams
12 Henshaw Spent the last two Tests running hard and straight. We need something different or we'll lose again.
13 Harris Possibly our best defensive 13 in the squad and he knows how to play off Dancer.
14 Adams
15 Hogg Unless the tactics change then it doesn't matter who plays in the back three.

Subs - Vunipola, Sutherland LCD, Fagerson, Lawes, Simmons (something different off the bench), MurrayDavies, Russell,Biggar Daly

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 9:46 am

sensisball wrote:The biggest call Gatland has is, will be drop his captain? AWJ has made a Lazarus like recovery but he fell away in the second half last week. More heft is needed in the row so either he drops Itojie or Jones for Beard.
Itojie is almost undroppable because of his breakdown and lineout work. Jones is the more likely candidate to get the Shepard's crook, but will Gats do that to his Wales talisman in what will be their final Lions game for both men?

I think Itoje is great too but not "undroppable because of his breakdown work". He didnt have one single turnover on Saturday but did concede one. Our lineout wasnt great either. I personally would retain him and bring in Beirne in place of Lawes to get more turnovers. Harsh on Lawes maybe as he has not done much wrong but its a change of tack which we probably need for the finale.

The sub front rows did not do well so I would replace the one the bench too.

Liam Williams in for Duhan or Watson. Leave Hogg at full back.

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Post by eirebilly Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:14 am

Not a question in my mind regarding dropping Itoje. Simply not an option as he has been excellent all series. Lawes has also been excellent in the line out, breakdown and open play so no dropping him either.

AWJ, as great as he has been could be the man to make way but i doubt that as he is a natural leader and even if not fully fit/on form is required for that alone.

Do not see the need to swap out Conan for Faletau either as he has been exceptional for me.

As stated on another thread, i do not feel the forwards require too much tinkering with, if any at all but the backs do. I do not believe that it was not a tactic/game plan that kept them out of the game but more overwhelmed by the Boks.

For me, the back line would look like this:

09 : Price
10 : Smith (or Russell)
11 : LRZ
12 : Aki or Farrell (maybe lean to Farrell to help Smith as an extra play maker)
13 : Henshaw
14 : Adams
15 : Williams

That back line, with the forwards the Lions have, is a back line that would stretch the Boks and provide more balance in the midfield.

As a small edit, what i would not give to see Johnny May on the wing for the final test...
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Post by lostinwales Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:24 am

If you want to change the back 3 to play differently that is of course fine. If part of the game plan was that they come looking for more work and they didn't, then changing them is also fine.

But it does seem that the guys who didn't get any ball are the ones being blamed for it.

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Post by R!skysports Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:32 am

lostinwales wrote:If you want to change the back 3 to play differently that is of course fine. If part of the game plan was that they come looking for more work and they didn't, then changing them is also fine.

But it does seem that the guys who didn't get any ball are the ones being blamed for it.

This

There is only one person to blame and that is the person who put the tactic of not playing any rugby and booting the ball every time

Unless that changes then it does not matter who we pick in the back line

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Post by Soul Requiem Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:32 am

lostinwales wrote:If you want to change the back 3 to play differently that is of course fine. If part of the game plan was that they come looking for more work and they didn't, then changing them is also fine.

But it does seem that the guys who didn't get any ball are the ones being blamed for it.

I think they're getting blamed for losing the aerial battle, all three of them were terrible in that regard on saturday. With those tactics you definitely need Liam Williams and I would argue that poor form last season or not that Jonny May is also a better option. Van Der Merwe is sure to be dropped for Adams whilst one of Watson or Hogg has to make way for Williams, the tactics and the selection don't match up.

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Post by eirebilly Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:37 am

R!skysports wrote:
lostinwales wrote:If you want to change the back 3 to play differently that is of course fine. If part of the game plan was that they come looking for more work and they didn't, then changing them is also fine.

But it does seem that the guys who didn't get any ball are the ones being blamed for it.

This

There is only one person to blame and that is the person who put the tactic of not playing any rugby and booting the ball every time

Unless that changes then it does not matter who we pick in the back line

There was plenty of opportunity to get the ball and counter, the back three simply dropped everything and i honestly do not remember too much coming into play to look for the ball. I do not think that was a tactic but more a confidence thing. Once the catches started dropping, the backs went into the shell somewhat.

Not a finger pointing thing but it was very noticeable, for me anyways.
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Post by BamBam Mon 02 Aug 2021, 10:40 am

From front to back I'd make changes. Mako was found wanting at the scrum despite his good performance off the bench last week, he's returned back to his normal level there, get Wyn Jones in and I'd probably get Owens or George in to start for some additional bulk at hooker.

How anyone has watched that test and thought of the two locks, Itoje is the one that needs dropping is beyond me.

He stole a couple of first half lineouts, was leading the defensive line and was doing a lot of clearing work. He nicked one ball at the ruck but it wasn't as prominent to his game as last week, and anyone who watches Itoje regularly knows that it's never been an outstanding area of his game because he simply isn't built for poaching. He can disrupt rucks, win them by making a mess of them but he's never been an out and out poacher, but somehow it appears unless he's approaching David Pocock levels of poaching he's not having a good game at the ruck for some

Other than that, I like KC's back row - Curry, Watson and Faletau are the 3 highest ceiling players we have in the back row. If all 3 of those are on form they'll dominate any team in world rugby. I reckon Beirne will start though, and wouldn't have many complaints if he does

The half backs need changing too imo. Price was very good at getting to the ruck and getting the ball away quickly in the first test, and there was a noticeable change in pace with Murray. I don't know if Biggar is the best man for the job but I think Murray needs replacing more than Biggar does, and I can't see two changes there.

The rest of the backline were passengers, and its difficult to criticise them for much more than dropping all the high balls. For that reason alone I'd bring in Williams for either winger, and the other can consider themselves to be very lucky

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Post by George Carlin Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:16 am

Matt Dawson just wrote 750 words for BBC.com with the subject heading that the Lions desperately need creative players. He then proceeds to not mention Finn Russell once.
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Post by BamBam Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:25 am

Duane Vermeulen returning to the Springbok squad is just what we need Sad

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:27 am

If Wyn Jones is fit then I'd put him in and hope for the best, with Mako on the bench. I'm not sure I would start Owens. He did well the first two tests (SA 'a' included) but he didn't do well coming off the bench in the recent test. Jamie George could come into the 23. The calls for Adam Beard make sense at this point, although I wouldn't drop Itoje for him.

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Post by cb Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:33 am

If AWJ stays and I thought he looked OK.

A slightly left-field option in the pack would be to move Itoje to blindside and bring in Beard who looked the best lock at defending the maul and would give more height.

Probably Faletau over Conan and keep Curry (Although Curry, Watson & Itoje might be possible).


Wyn Jones at LH if fit and Mako back to the bench.  LCD & Furlong as part of the starting front-row.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:44 am

I get the calls for change, and I would change quite a few. But the AWJ stats just don’t scream ‘drop me’. He was the top tackler, one of only two players to win a turnover (Lawes the other), etc. I’m not saying to drop Itoje either! No way. But if he’s stealing lineouts and being a menace and AWJ is putting in the top tackles and getting a turnover, then isn’t that a good partnership? Don’t think he was so bad that you drop him based on how he actually did.

Disagree on bringing Owens in to ‘add bulk’ (BamBam I think). I would think he is the least bulky of the 3.

I like the idea of a Curry, Watson, Faletau back row as others have proposed.

Agree on adding zip to the back line. Gotta roll the dice so I’d like something like:

Price
Finn/Smith
Liam Williams
Henshaw
??? Not sure
Adams
Hogg

Could also see Williams at 15 (his best position in my opinion) with maybe Adams and VDM on the wings.


Last edited by The Oracle on Mon 02 Aug 2021, 12:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by BamBam Mon 02 Aug 2021, 11:54 am

Owens has always appeared a bigger hooker to me as he's looked very effective as a carrier, but clearly wrong on the weight part, there's apparently only 2kg between all 3 of them

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Post by EST Mon 02 Aug 2021, 12:08 pm

Lions need to rip up the playbook from the first two tests, and go again with something that doesn't inlcude an up and under as our main attacking weapon:

Wyn Jones
George
Furlong
Beard
Itoje
Bierne
Watson
Conan

Price
Russell
Adams
Aki
Henshaw
Williams
Hogg

Mako
LCD
Fagerson
AWJ
Curry
Davies
Farrell
Watson

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Post by The Oracle Mon 02 Aug 2021, 12:16 pm

BamBam wrote:Owens has always appeared a bigger hooker to me as he's looked very effective as a carrier, but clearly wrong on the weight part, there's apparently only 2kg between all 3 of them

Oh, OK. I aways had Owens down as a lightweight hooker by modern standards.
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Post by R!skysports Mon 02 Aug 2021, 12:23 pm

eirebilly wrote:
R!skysports wrote:
lostinwales wrote:If you want to change the back 3 to play differently that is of course fine. If part of the game plan was that they come looking for more work and they didn't, then changing them is also fine.

But it does seem that the guys who didn't get any ball are the ones being blamed for it.

This

There is only one person to blame and that is the person who put the tactic of not playing any rugby and booting the ball every time

Unless that changes then it does not matter who we pick in the back line

There was plenty of opportunity to get the ball and counter, the back three simply dropped everything and i honestly do not remember too much coming into play to look for the ball. I do not think that was a tactic but more a confidence thing. Once the catches started dropping, the backs went into the shell somewhat.

Not a finger pointing thing but it was very noticeable, for me anyways.

I expect that was a tactic thing as Hogg and VDM come looking all the time normally.

I expect they were told to stay on their wings as once Murray finally arrives at a ruck, points for 5 mins, the ball is going up in the air. If they came looking then the kick would go to no-one

Agree though they were poor in the air last week :-(

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Post by bsando Mon 02 Aug 2021, 12:52 pm

George Carlin wrote:Matt Dawson just wrote 750 words for BBC.com with the subject heading that the Lions desperately need creative players. He then proceeds to not mention Finn Russell once.

He’s had a shocker during this tour. So much so even the arm chair critics of the BBC comments section were calling him out for his contradictory pieces.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 02 Aug 2021, 2:33 pm

George Carlin wrote:Matt Dawson just wrote 750 words for BBC.com with the subject heading that the Lions desperately need creative players. He then proceeds to not mention Finn Russell once.
It was a tough decision. He thought he had a 752 word limit but the editor told him he had to cut something.

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Post by Pete330v2 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 2:42 pm

EST wrote:Lions need to rip up the playbook from the first two tests, and go again with something that doesn't inlcude an up and under as our main attacking weapon:

Wyn Jones
George
Furlong
Beard
Itoje
Bierne
Watson
Conan

Price
Russell
Adams
Aki
Henshaw
Williams
Hogg

Mako
LCD
Fagerson
AWJ
Curry
Davies
Farrell
Watson

I do like that selection, I'd be tempted to start Farrell giving us play makers all over the park and let them have a lash. There's a time for conservatism and this is not it. Go for it Mr Gats.
Aki and Henshaw are certainly the most developed centre partnership so if it's safety first then why not that particular centre unit?

EST, perhaps if you could get Gats' email and send that squad as a little brain tickler that'd be good Smile

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Post by EST Mon 02 Aug 2021, 4:07 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:
EST wrote:Lions need to rip up the playbook from the first two tests, and go again with something that doesn't inlcude an up and under as our main attacking weapon:

Wyn Jones
George
Furlong
Beard
Itoje
Bierne
Watson
Conan

Price
Russell
Adams
Aki
Henshaw
Williams
Hogg

Mako
LCD
Fagerson
AWJ
Curry
Davies
Farrell
Watson

I do like that selection, I'd be tempted to start Farrell giving us play makers all over the park and let them have a lash. There's a time for conservatism and this is not it. Go for it Mr Gats.
Aki and Henshaw are certainly the most developed centre partnership so if it's safety first then why not that particular centre unit?

EST, perhaps if you could get Gats' email and send that squad as a little brain tickler that'd be good Smile

Agreement on 606v2 - Cheer Pete South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August 1f604 I'll give Gats a bell and see if I can twist his arm.

On the midfield combo, Russell works best when he can hit a powerful runner in midfield (Huw Jones/Vakatawa/Dunbar back in the Glasgow days), so that was the thinking behind Aki. I don't think Harris had a bad game, but we need to throw caution to the wind on Sat.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 02 Aug 2021, 4:08 pm

There have been some calls for a 6:2 bench split for the next Test. Alex Goode argues there's little point in doing that. if you intend to start AWJ and Itoje, and keep both on for 80 minutes.

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Post by 123456789. Mon 02 Aug 2021, 4:46 pm

It's about time the Lions played a bit of rugby, I'd go for:

15. Williams
14. Adams
13. Henshaw
12. Farrell
11. Watson
10. Russell
9. Price
8. Faletau
7. Watson
6. Beirne
5. Itoje
4. Jones
3. Sinckler (gnashers allowing)
2. Cowan-Dickie
1. Vunipola

16. Sutherland
17. George
18. Furlong
19. Henderson
20. Curry
21. Murray
22. Hogg
23. Daly


I'm not sure that the Saffers will have the emotional energy to get back up for a similar performance. This third test is the second biggest game in rugby's four year cycle. It would be nice if Erasmus kept his mouth shut and stopped tarnishing our sport, if the players from both sides can keep something of a lid on it and if a wee bit of rugby could be played.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 4:49 pm

Never thought that Jones would be used over 80 mins each game. Almighty waste for the locks that could be actually making an impact. That said the way we're set up tactically maybe we should be using the 7 1 bench more as we're not passing outside 10.

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Post by eirebilly Mon 02 Aug 2021, 5:23 pm

Can i ask why a lot of ye want Faletau in for Conan? I think that Conan has been one of the most solid performers during the 2 tests.
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Post by BamBam Mon 02 Aug 2021, 5:33 pm

eirebilly wrote:Can i ask why a lot of ye want Faletau in for Conan? I think that Conan has been one of the most solid performers during the 2 tests.

You’ve pretty much nailed it for me. Conan hasn’t been bad, he’s been solid.. just think we need more and Faletau “could” produce that

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Post by eirebilly Mon 02 Aug 2021, 5:41 pm

Coming off the bench, Faletau has not really set the world alight. It would be a bad move bringing him in to start ahead of Conan on a hope of something better for me.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 5:46 pm

I've been underwhelmed by the subs bar vunipola, Murray and to a lesser extent farrell in the first test. Faletau for me is a decent 3rd jumper and we have really only used 2 so far. Should he drop Lawes as he wants to beef up the breakdown its a balancing option perhaps.

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Post by BamBam Mon 02 Aug 2021, 5:48 pm

Faletau had about 20 mins on Saturday when the pack was pretty much only going backwards. On their respective best days he’s a better performer than Conan, with no disrespect intended

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 5:50 pm

I know it's easier now to say but Id love to have Billy out there.

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Post by doctor_grey Mon 02 Aug 2021, 5:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I know it's easier now to say but Id love to have Billy out there.
Which hand would hold the ball and which would hold the bag of cheeseburgers?

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Post by BamBam Mon 02 Aug 2021, 6:01 pm

He’s so multi talented it wouldn’t matter

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 6:03 pm

The one that doesn't break as much?

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Post by sensisball Mon 02 Aug 2021, 6:38 pm

Faletau is still a quality player but I think he is maybe 18 months past his best. His turn of pace and sharpness on the ball is slightly diminished. His footwork made up for lack of bulk ball in hand but again he has slightly lost that aspect to his game. Starting him ahead of Conan only would be beneficial if the Lions played a game where Faletau could appear in the wide channels. If he isn't able to play wide then he would be less effective carrying closer to ruck and maul than Conan has proven to be on this tour. If Murray and Farrell start then there is little chance of playing wide so better to stick with Conan.
The starting 9 and 10 will determine if we have a chance of outsmarting the Boks in the backs.
If it's Price and Russell then Faletau starting would be the best shout. Otherwise stick with Conan the Leinsterman.

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Post by chris_501 Mon 02 Aug 2021, 7:20 pm

It looks to me like the SOS might be going out to the dragons, when in trouble, you go to who you know you can rely on.

If fit, Wyn Jones comes into the 23, and I'd agree that Beard might come onto the bench to match up with de Jager there. I can see Beirne being the back row cover on the bench, with Conan dropping out entirely for Faletau to start at 8.

As for the backs, Adams and Williams will surely come in for VDM and either Watson or Hogg, but then I can see Aki coming in at 12 to provide some heavy hitting in the backline as a consequence of no VDM.

What you can bet on, is that the game plan will not alter hugely from the previous two weeks. Gatland has never shown himself to be someone to react massively from losses, his argument will be that there were quite a few sub par performances out there on Saturday, and if those levels improve, then the win is on. I'm yet to be convinced by that.

I've always said that the loss in the WC final to SA has spooked Eddie Jones into believing that physical dominance is the only way, I get the feeling the same is happening to Gats.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 02 Aug 2021, 7:34 pm

Gatland is also one to give players another chance to redeem themselves. His theory being (I think) that those players who lost or put in a sub-par performance will be busting a gut to prove the critics wrong and will put in a 110% performance. So we might see few changes.
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Post by Sgt_Pooly Mon 02 Aug 2021, 7:46 pm

Well the dust has settled somewhat, time for a slight shake up.

Main issues....the back 3 can't catch and the front row couldn't scrum.

I'm a bit confused at this stage if I'm honest. Gatland knew we'd play a kicking game...and SA would target us. Why select 2 running wingers??? Why not select May (who is fantastic in the air and an outstanding kick chase) with Adams/Williams making up the others? It just seems odd.

One positive I'd like to raise is that Itoje/AWJ were superb in the first half imo, I really thought they fronted up. We just seemed to lose every battle and decision in the 2nd half.

Yes, Kolbe should have got red, but we were very much 2nd best in the physical stakes in the 2nd half.

I'd like us to go to go full beef cake in the pack and pick a back 3 that can catch....easy peasy.

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