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South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August

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Post by RDW Sun 1 Aug - 23:26

First topic message reminder :

South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August - Page 11 A_10                  South Africa vs British and Irish Lions 7th August - Page 11 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 Old Man Sun 8 Aug - 8:01

Galted wrote:'The more things change, the Morne Steyn the same.'
Whoever came up with that line is very sharp

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Post by Old Man Sun 8 Aug - 8:12

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Old Man wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Old Man wrote:and Vermeulen, I am not impressed with Wiese at all.

I thought he did a decent job. Big hits in defence, defused the Lions box kicking game and a willing carrier. He does play on the edge and a lack of experience at international level did mean he gave a couple of pens away. Is this is third or fourth test? Hard to compare that to Vermeulen at more than ten times that. The big man needs an understudy to be his successor, generally Weise kept a lid on his temper which hasn't always been the case.

If you look at Vermeulen, he is solid under the high ball, he is immensely strong, he is a great organiser in defence, never takes a step back, wins the odd lineout, and he makes good decisions.

Wiese is inexperienced yes, but his discipline and decision making is poor. He isn’t as secure as Vermeulen under the high ball, and his tackling technique poor. He also doesn’t have the physical presence Vermeulen has.

Yeah the Weise tackling technique has actually improved but it still owes a lot to his eagerness to make contact more than a defined thought process. He did smash a few Lions who seemed to be about the go through a gap. His cover work was very good and not what we've seen in the Prem. The Tigers coaches have made sure the tackles are actually below head height now.

For all the good write ups he's had in the past season he's been very much a rough diamond. A late bloomer Borthwick has been working on as Weise was a hit first think later type and you still see that in some of his decision making. It's whether Rassie wants to keep working on him with a view to the long term or not. He's not as big as Vermeulen so is unlikely to ever have the natural power but he is quick and if the Boks want to play a little more than Weise could offer a line break option. We'll happily have him back at Leicester early for more game time if Rassie wants to go with Vermeulen Vs Aus/NZ/Arg. Depends if the Boks have a Vermeulen monster sized 8 to work with or not.

Well I doubt Vermeulen has many more seasons in him, he will be 36/7 by the next RWC, so we need a replacement.

There are a few candidates in SA, Phepsi Buthelezi 22, Elrich Louw 22, Sikhumbuze Notshe 28and Evan Roos 21.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 8 Aug - 8:23

Old Man wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Old Man wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Old Man wrote:and Vermeulen, I am not impressed with Wiese at all.

I thought he did a decent job. Big hits in defence, defused the Lions box kicking game and a willing carrier. He does play on the edge and a lack of experience at international level did mean he gave a couple of pens away. Is this is third or fourth test? Hard to compare that to Vermeulen at more than ten times that. The big man needs an understudy to be his successor, generally Weise kept a lid on his temper which hasn't always been the case.

If you look at Vermeulen, he is solid under the high ball, he is immensely strong, he is a great organiser in defence, never takes a step back, wins the odd lineout, and he makes good decisions.

Wiese is inexperienced yes, but his discipline and decision making is poor. He isn’t as secure as Vermeulen under the high ball, and his tackling technique poor. He also doesn’t have the physical presence Vermeulen has.

Yeah the Weise tackling technique has actually improved but it still owes a lot to his eagerness to make contact more than a defined thought process. He did smash a few Lions who seemed to be about the go through a gap. His cover work was very good and not what we've seen in the Prem. The Tigers coaches have made sure the tackles are actually below head height now.

For all the good write ups he's had in the past season he's been very much a rough diamond. A late bloomer Borthwick has been working on as Weise was a hit first think later type and you still see that in some of his decision making. It's whether Rassie wants to keep working on him with a view to the long term or not. He's not as big as Vermeulen so is unlikely to ever have the natural power but he is quick and if the Boks want to play a little more than Weise could offer a line break option. We'll happily have him back at Leicester early for more game time if Rassie wants to go with Vermeulen Vs Aus/NZ/Arg. Depends if the Boks have a Vermeulen monster sized 8 to work with or not.

Well I doubt Vermeulen has many more seasons in him, he will be 36/7 by the next RWC, so we need a replacement.

There are a few candidates in SA, Phepsi Buthelezi 22, Elrich Louw 22, Sikhumbuze Notshe 28and Evan Roos 21.

Elrich Louw is a bit of a monster isn't he. Could certainly see him fitting into the Vermeulen style gap in the Bok backrow in the fullness of time. He's big enough to offer the third lineout option and give the Boks options at flank as well. Scary prospect.

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Post by Old Man Sun 8 Aug - 8:27

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Old Man wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Old Man wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Old Man wrote:and Vermeulen, I am not impressed with Wiese at all.

I thought he did a decent job. Big hits in defence, defused the Lions box kicking game and a willing carrier. He does play on the edge and a lack of experience at international level did mean he gave a couple of pens away. Is this is third or fourth test? Hard to compare that to Vermeulen at more than ten times that. The big man needs an understudy to be his successor, generally Weise kept a lid on his temper which hasn't always been the case.

If you look at Vermeulen, he is solid under the high ball, he is immensely strong, he is a great organiser in defence, never takes a step back, wins the odd lineout, and he makes good decisions.

Wiese is inexperienced yes, but his discipline and decision making is poor. He isn’t as secure as Vermeulen under the high ball, and his tackling technique poor. He also doesn’t have the physical presence Vermeulen has.

Yeah the Weise tackling technique has actually improved but it still owes a lot to his eagerness to make contact more than a defined thought process. He did smash a few Lions who seemed to be about the go through a gap. His cover work was very good and not what we've seen in the Prem. The Tigers coaches have made sure the tackles are actually below head height now.

For all the good write ups he's had in the past season he's been very much a rough diamond. A late bloomer Borthwick has been working on as Weise was a hit first think later type and you still see that in some of his decision making. It's whether Rassie wants to keep working on him with a view to the long term or not. He's not as big as Vermeulen so is unlikely to ever have the natural power but he is quick and if the Boks want to play a little more than Weise could offer a line break option. We'll happily have him back at Leicester early for more game time if Rassie wants to go with Vermeulen Vs Aus/NZ/Arg. Depends if the Boks have a Vermeulen monster sized 8 to work with or not.

Well I doubt Vermeulen has many more seasons in him, he will be 36/7 by the next RWC, so we need a replacement.

There are a few candidates in SA, Phepsi Buthelezi 22, Elrich Louw 22, Sikhumbuze Notshe 28and Evan Roos 21.

Elrich Louw is a bit of a monster isn't he. Could certainly see him fitting into the Vermeulen style gap in the Bok backrow in the fullness of time. He's big enough to offer the third lineout option and give the Boks options at flank as well. Scary prospect.

Agree, the pundits back home are raving about Roos as well, Notshe reminds me of Ryan Kankowski, lots of pace and skils, he might be a bit lightweight though only around 100kgs

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Post by BigGee Sun 8 Aug - 9:18

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/british-irish-lions-player-ratings-vs-springboks-third-test/


These player ratings are probably pretty fair.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 8 Aug - 9:39

Finn undoubtedly was very good yesterday. But the platform in the first half allowed him an armchair ride (relatively speaking, as it’s never going to be easy vs the Boks). When the platform deteriorated in the 2nd half with the forward replacements I don’t think Finn found it as easy (again, relatively speaking). People are/were commenting what it might have been like if Finn had started all 3 tests. Similarly, I wonder what might have been had we the same starting front row from yesterday in all 3 tests?

The importance of a good forward platform was really shown yesterday.


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Post by BigGee Sun 8 Aug - 9:42

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/aug/07/warren-gatlands-future-unclear-after-turgid-tour-robs-lions-of-their-lustre

Speculation about Gatland's future already.

I seem to remember him saying he was done with the Lions after the last tour and yet he was back again this time around.


I personally think that Gatland should stand down now and let the Lions move on in a new direction. He has an amazing legacy as a coach with them but it is time for some new blood.

The question of course is who?

I don't imagine any of the four home nations will be very keen on releasing their head coach for a year and even if they did, we would get back to the same situation that Gats faced with accusations of favouritism towards his own players in squad and test selection.


Maybe after the end of the next WC cycle either Toonie, Steady Eddy, Pivac or Farrell might be happy to step down from their international roles and take it on. Both Toonie and Farrell have assistant coach experience now and you would imagine that the challenge would appeal to Jones, it could be a last hurrah for him as an international coach.

As for Gatland himself, he needs to re-establish himself as a coach back in NZ after a very poor first season with the Chiefs. The next season or so might decide whether he will ever get the NZ gig, though I personally think that ship has sailed for him. I wonder what his motivation will be for any new challenges after that.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 8 Aug - 9:51

Time to move on. Although, I’m not sure Gatland could be accused of favouring ‘his own players’ this time. And then in 4 years, heaven forbid, who would his own players actually be?! He would have been 6 years away from the Wales squad!


But yes, thanks Gats but time to do one Hug
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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 8 Aug - 9:54

R!skysports wrote:One thing we have learnt is our whole squad is rubbish under the high ball

Maybe Hugo Keenan should have been selected. Disapointed with Williams yesterday, thought he would make a big difference.

Shame about the loss, really poor defending for Kolbes try. It was an entertaining series all the same, Boks defended well, and took their chances.

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Post by BigGee Sun 8 Aug - 9:54

The Oracle wrote:Finn undoubtedly was very good yesterday. But the platform in the first half allowed him an armchair ride (relatively speaking, as it’s never going to be easy vs the Boks). When the platform deteriorated in the 2nd half with the forward replacements I don’t think Finn found in as easy (again, relatively speaking). People are/were commenting what it might have been like if Finn had started all 3 tests. Similarly, I wonder what might have been had we the same starting front row from yesterday in all 3 tests?

The importance of a good forward platform was really shown yesterday.


Muddled selection I think will be the take away from this tour.

2 important players, Jones and Russell got injured at a crucial time, but I am not convinced he would have picked Russell even if he had been fit. Jones would have been picked though and unfortunately we only saw probably our best front row for one half out of 6!

Right across the park though we probably never really got our best potential combinations out

The back row never really gelled as a unit, though it was played all three tests.

Half backs, centres and back three were all chopped and changed and never really matched the others strengths.


The second row was the only steady combo, though lack of bench cover was a problem as well. It was always a big ask to expect AWJ to go 80 mins at his age and with his lack of preperation.


Maro Itojie was probably the standout Lion for me. with Henshaw worth an honourable mention. Finn Russell gets the prize for what might have been!

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Post by BigGee Sun 8 Aug - 9:57

The Oracle wrote:Time to move on. Although, I’m not sure Gatland could be accused of favouring ‘his own players’ this time. And then in 4 years, heaven forbid, who would his own players actually be?! He would have been 6 years away from the Wales squad!


But yes, thanks Gats but time to do one Hug

No I agree with that, not being tied to Wales. at the very least removed any sub conscious bias in his selection.

I think supporters of all four nations can be happy that selection, even if it was wrong at times, was certainly not bias!

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Post by Collapse2005 Sun 8 Aug - 9:58

The Oracle wrote:Time to move on. Although, I’m not sure Gatland could be accused of favouring ‘his own players’ this time. And then in 4 years, heaven forbid, who would his own players actually be?! He would have been 6 years away from the Wales squad!


But yes, thanks Gats but time to do one Hug

He based the initial squad around off form English players. Its a shame they coundnt attract a different coach for a change.

Should have picked Sexton at 10. Big mistake. This series was made for a champion like him.

Still he will be remembered as a great coach.


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Post by MichaelT Sun 8 Aug - 9:59

Eddie Jones going back to Australia as head coach of the Lions will generate a lot of interest. Probably/ hopefully not as England coach either. I imagine he would love that too.

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Post by Old Man Sun 8 Aug - 10:04

The Lions could easily have won this series, it came down to a penalty here a missed goal kick there, both teams made mistakes and had lost opportunities to score.

The Springboks almost ran out of depth, the retirement of Francois Louw and Beast adding the unavailability of RG Snyman, Duane Vermeulen, then PSDT and Faf during the final test meant they had to go with guys like Ox Nche, Jasper Wiese, Kwagga Smith, Rynhard Elstad et all who aren’t at the level of those they replaced.

Bok depth have been shown up a bit I think.

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Post by The Oracle Sun 8 Aug - 10:05

It’s almost an impossible task picking the next Lions coach: people don’t want an outsider as they do not know B&I rugby, it’s culture, the players, etc. So probably can’t be parachuting in a ‘foreigner’. But it can’t be a current head coach in the B&I nations as that will add bias and will have all sorts of contact implications and problems for the nation that coach comes from. Probably can’t be an assistant as their experience would be questioned. Could be an ex head coach, but are they ‘ex’ for a reason?! Sacked for poor results? Really tricky trying to think who would tick the box of top level head coach experience, not involved with one of the B&I nations, successful…..but looking for work in 3 or 4 years time!
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Post by Old Man Sun 8 Aug - 10:08

Give Sir Clive Woodward a shot, he has been doing his utmost to stay relevant during this series, bet he would be up for it.

Hell, he might even bring Johhny Wilkinson back from retirement. After all Morne Steyn is 37

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Post by BigGee Sun 8 Aug - 10:13

I think Toonie will stand down after the next WC. This is his generation of players and he is a smart enough coach to know that everyone has a sell by date. I also think he will fancy testing himself with a big club, maybe in France.

Jones almost certainly will.

Farrell, it may depend on how Ireland do in the WC, which has been a bit of a graveyard for them and expectations will be higher.

Hard to know with Pivac. again with expectations so high in Wales, it may depend on results.

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Post by MichaelT Sun 8 Aug - 10:14

Old Man wrote:The Lions could easily have won this series, it came down to a penalty here a missed goal kick there, both teams made mistakes and had lost opportunities to score.

I think South Africa could have had the series wrapped up last week with the disallowed tries in the first test. It could easily have been that way with nothing changing on what actually happened.

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Post by Old Man Sun 8 Aug - 10:15

MichaelT wrote:
Old Man wrote:The Lions could easily have won this series, it came down to a penalty here a missed goal kick there, both teams made mistakes and had lost opportunities to score.

I think South Africa could have had the series wrapped up last week with the disallowed tries in the first test. It could easily have been that way with nothing changing on what actually happened.

Perhaps, all I am saying is this series was extremely close, and it would have needed much for results to have been different, except for maybe the second test.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 8 Aug - 10:23

Disappointing result seemed to swing the way of South Africa in those first 20 mins or so in the second half and we never really got the foothold back until too late. Thought Russell was terrific in the first half and those last 15 just seemed to be told to tighten and kick at half time.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sun 8 Aug - 11:05

Pivac is barely coping with being Wales coach, so I can’t see him as the Lions head coach. I’ve never seen a coach come out with as many excuses as this guy, and still feel he needs to go.

If the next Lions coach isn’t Eddie I guess it could be a club coach if they were up for it, somebody like Lam or Baxter?

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Post by BigGee Sun 8 Aug - 11:14

mikey_dragon wrote:Pivac is barely coping with being Wales coach, so I can’t see him as the Lions head coach. I’ve never seen a coach come out with as many excuses as this guy, and still feel he needs to go.

If the next Lions coach isn’t Eddie I guess it could be a club coach if they were up for it, somebody like Lam or Baxter?


Either of those two would be a great choice, but getting them released would be the issue.

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Post by MichaelT Sun 8 Aug - 11:21

Paul O'Connell, Sean Edwards, Ronan O'Gara and Adam Jones.

Sorted.

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Post by jimbopip Sun 8 Aug - 11:22

Morning amigos. Hug
Sorry for not posting sooner after the match but Mrs Pip has this misguided belief that there is a world beyond rugby Shocked Also, slightly headachey this morning. How has that happened?

Anyhoo...The Boksdesrved to win the series...mainly because they know how to do that awkward thing....win matches whether you deserve to or not. Just do whatever it takes and win. clap clap clap No irony or sarcasm intended. Well done Bokkies.

As for the Lions....we had 70 minutes of what might have been. Finn's main contribution yesterday was not his kicking, or passing or running or tackling. It was the way he acted as a catalyst for his team mates. from the very first pass he made everyone around him seemed to say ,"Oh there's a gap...I can attack it. Oh Maro's just hit a gap, I can get on his shoulder for the off load. Oh I don't need to die with the ball there's Alun charging up on my shoulder. Oh!!! we can play some rugby here!"

I will not get into any arguments about Player A should have started instead of Player B, or there were too many players from Nation C rather than nation D. That's too tedious for a Sunday morning. Instead, what yesterday proved beyond doubt was that the Lions were playing the wrong game from the first minute of the tour until the last 69 minutes. The Squidge Rugby preview of the First Test , and I paraphrase, said that the Boks would have struggled to prepare their defence because the Lions hadn't shown any attacking moves in the tour so far. Mr Squidge suggested that behind the scenes Toonie would have been concocting fiendishly complex attacking plays that would be unveiled over the three Tests. Well, he was wrong. I am a huge admirer of his videos but he was wrong. Wishful thinking got the better of him. Gatland was the head coach and Gatland's was the final say. The philosophy was narrow in it's vision and bereft in it's ambition.

This tour leaves us with lots of questions. Possibly the most pressing is will people continue to pay to watch Warrenball/Bokblitz rugby? Be honest. Mark Kermode once dismissed the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise by asking , "Can you remember one thing that happened in any of the films?". Similarly, there was nothing in the first two tests which will live in the memory. I can't see any of us reminiscing about those matches. Ever. So what's the point of paying to watch a sport which serves up instantly forgettable dross?

Apparently Gatland has not ruled out being head coach in four years time. Shocked Someone needs to disabuse him of that notion.




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Post by funnyExiledScot Sun 8 Aug - 11:24

Huge fan of Gatland but I think it's time to move on. I'd have Toonie as the next coach.

Feels like one that got away, a bit like 2001. The selections and tactics were confused at times, particularly in the 2nd Test, and the balance of the side eluded the coaching team.

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Post by EnglishReign Sun 8 Aug - 11:50

I still can’t understand why Gats didn’t select a winger who has been at the top of his game for years with 4 tries in his last 5 matches v SA. Nope, can’t think of anyone…

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Post by lostinwales Sun 8 Aug - 12:08

EnglishReign wrote:I still can’t understand why Gats didn’t select a winger who has been at the top of his game for years with 4 tries in his last 5 matches v SA. Nope, can’t think of anyone…

Someone good in the air known for their kick chase?

Nope no idea.

(You do know we should not be doing this)

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Post by Rugby Fan Sun 8 Aug - 12:21

There was a lot of talk about people not selected for the touring party, and then players not given sufficient game time. In the end, we could have won that match, so the other discussion is secondary.

Having said that, we made a rod for our own backs by not working out the scrum. The 2009 tour was all about getting destroyed in the scrum in the First Test, working it out for the second Test but losing that advantage as injuries led to uncontested scrums.

England lost the World Cup final by not having scrum parity until it was too late to change the referees picture of Bok dominance.

On this tour, the Lions did well in the scrum when South Africa got the subs wrong for the second half of the first Test. We also did well when Wyn Jones was fit enough to pair up with Furlong. Both periods were the only time in the series the Lions had a clear upper hand.

Still, even with a scrum under pressure, we had enough opportunities to win.


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Post by EnglishReign Sun 8 Aug - 12:28

lostinwales wrote:
EnglishReign wrote:I still can’t understand why Gats didn’t select a winger who has been at the top of his game for years with 4 tries in his last 5 matches v SA. Nope, can’t think of anyone…

Someone good in the air known for their kick chase?

Nope no idea.

(You do know we should not be doing this)

I know Smile. I haven’t complained about it yet, thought I’d wait for VDM to prove me wrong. Although it’s not his fault he was selected.

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Post by tigertattie Sun 8 Aug - 14:53

EnglishReign wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
EnglishReign wrote:I still can’t understand why Gats didn’t select a winger who has been at the top of his game for years with 4 tries in his last 5 matches v SA. Nope, can’t think of anyone…

Someone good in the air known for their kick chase?

Nope no idea.

(You do know we should not be doing this)

I know Smile. I haven’t complained about it yet, thought I’d wait for VDM to prove me wrong. Although it’s not his fault he was selected.

Ironically VDM was the most efficient back at Gatland’s kick chase tactic.

Also ironically he was the 6ns top try scorer

When he’s used to the best of his abilities from a tactic point of view he’s a devastating runner yet for some reason many still think he shouldn’t have toured.

Any player on that tour was deserving of their spot and any player could have started any test but the tactics that were utilised were simply wrong
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 8 Aug - 15:48

The tactics were a mess. You either pick players to suit the tactics or change the tactics to suit the players. We picked poorly.

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Post by TightHEAD Sun 8 Aug - 21:13

I have read all the laws of the game today and I cannot find anything that says because you are the smallest player on the pitch you are allowed to tackle using your head or take a player out in the air leaving them to fall on their face????

Any World rugby law experts on here?
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 8 Aug - 21:33

Is this the beginning of the end for the Lions tours? Surely rugby is too global now to have these sorts of tours.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Sun 8 Aug - 21:39

mikey_dragon wrote:Pivac is barely coping with being Wales coach, so I can’t see him as the Lions head coach. I’ve never seen a coach come out with as many excuses as this guy, and still feel he needs to go.

If the next Lions coach isn’t Eddie I guess it could be a club coach if they were up for it, somebody like Lam or Baxter?

I think Pivac is doing a decent job for Wales. Gatland left with much praise but his team was overly reliant on the defence run by Edwards. Pivac's Wales play better rugby (for me as a neutral) and are rebuilding fairly well.

I can't see Baxter leaving Chiefs unless he's pried out of there.

Eddie is probably the safest bet as he's most likely to be handing over to his replacement post world cup more than likely in a phased fashion so he may be more available to step in to the job as he finishes with England. If not then someone with previous coaching experience like Farrell, Townsend or Borthwick. Farrell will probably have been sacked by Ireland before then.

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Post by Old Man Sun 8 Aug - 22:12


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Post by TightHEAD Sun 8 Aug - 22:20

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Is this the beginning of the end for the Lions tours? Surely rugby is too global now to have these sorts of tours.

I don't think we'll tour SA in 12 years time, after that shower they pulled on us and the wider rugby world, maybe a mixture of Argentina and Pacific island teams would be fun.
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Post by Soul Requiem Sun 8 Aug - 22:23

Old Man wrote:

Quite ironic that the still of that video highlights how little arm Am used in that tackle.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Sun 8 Aug - 22:24

TightHEAD wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:Is this the beginning of the end for the Lions tours? Surely rugby is too global now to have these sorts of tours.

I don't think we'll tour SA in 12 years time, after that shower they pulled on us and the wider rugby world, maybe a mixture of Argentina and Pacific island teams would be fun.
I'd rather something that helps spread the game. I can see a Euros tournament forming in the future, which would go down incredibly well with the likes of Spain and Russia who have fully professional domestic sides.

I enjoyed previous tours and the 2nd test vs SA in 09 is one of the best test matches in history (imo of course) but it's time to move on.

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Post by MichaelT Sun 8 Aug - 22:53

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:Is this the beginning of the end for the Lions tours? Surely rugby is too global now to have these sorts of tours.

I don't think we'll tour SA in 12 years time, after that shower they pulled on us and the wider rugby world, maybe a mixture of Argentina and Pacific island teams would be fun.
I'd rather something that helps spread the game. I can see a Euros tournament forming in the future, which would go down incredibly well with the likes of Spain and Russia who have fully professional domestic sides.

I enjoyed previous tours and the 2nd test vs SA in 09 is one of the best test matches in history (imo of course) but it's time to move on.

Some things have to exist for the fans that are here now and enjoy it, and have for decades. The Lions is a huge event, the economic benefits for the hosts is also not going to be ignored. Possible other tours and home games as discussed by Ian McGeehan on the Lions breakfast would be a good start, because some changes will invariably happen.

A European event happens, its called the Six Nations and its annual. Bringing in teams like Spain and Russia who would lose by more than Italy do would be a very poor idea and would not grow anything. Remember the Churchill Cup? If countries like USA and Canada with an annual tournament can't sustain it who have connections to the Home Nations I can't imagine Spain being much of a market.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 9 Aug - 0:06

TightHEAD wrote:I have read all the laws of the game today and I cannot find anything that says because you are the smallest player on the pitch you are allowed to tackle using your head or take a player out in the air leaving them to fall on their face????

Any World rugby law experts on here?

A former colleague of mine was glassed by another colleague. Broken glasses and a cut from a wine glass. Employer did the right thing and sacked other colleague (a university lecturer). There was an associated court case. The bumhole was not convicted, but then he was normal sized and the guy he attacked was around 6'3'' 20+ stone and one of the strongest people I have ever met.

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Post by EST Mon 9 Aug - 8:38

Congratulations to the Boks, but I won't be sorry to see the back of this tour, that feeling only heightened by the glimpses we saw on the weekend of the rugby this team could have played if only given the chance.

I'm happy Russell managed to get on and play so well, yet it's telling that Gatland focused on the one negative in his performance and the likes of Dawson and others can't help but give out backhanded compliments when reporting on the game - if this tour is anything to go by, we need way more players with Russell's skill and ambition instead of the rugby by numbers grindfest we've been subjected to for the last few weeks.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 9 Aug - 10:16

This Lions Test matches were physical, kick-chase affairs where the side in the lead becomes even more conservative as the match progressed.
It was never going to be about flowing, running rugby (Kolbe did excellent with the scraps he was left with from his teammates).

But this tour wasn't for the fans, they couldn't tour.
It was for the money, the tv revenue, the jersey sales for both Lions and SA.

The Unions are in dire straits with their finances due to covid.

So, Rugby Union, was the money worth it? Are the Unions happy? Because the rugby was tripe, the fans were dismissed out of hand, the officiating descended into farce both surrounding the game and in game, with all players continuously chirping at the officials during play and at every break in play. RU officiating has lost the respect of the players. The game has taken literally decades to build up that respect, and I'll be surprised if a rugby referee commands that kind of respect in the foreseeable future. Referees are earning their paycheck, they don't bother earning respect anymore.

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Post by BigGee Mon 9 Aug - 10:47

Stuart Barnes thoughts on Gatland going again.

I don't often agree with SB, but I think he is on the money with this one.




Time for Lions to politely close the door on negative Warren Gatland
Stuart Barnes
Monday August 09 2021, 12.01am, The Times

Almost inevitable and utterly ridiculous. Within hours of the Britsh & Irish Lions losing a series against a Springbok team that had only played Georgia since the 2019 World Cup final, Warren Gatland was being touted as a potential Lions head coach for the 2025 tour of Australia.

Enough madness. Enough of all this “nearly the first Lions head coach to go unbeaten in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa”. His supporters say the results speak for themselves. Do they? Here’s an alternative take. The only series win of Gatland’s Lions career was against Australia, the weakest of the Tri Nations. In the deciding third Test, the Lions were rampant, winning 41-15. Full credit to the head coach, who dropped Brian O’Driscoll for Jonathan Davies. It cemented his legend, although it was not a difficult decision: the Wales centre deserved his place in the team.

We tend to forget the first two Tests were so close that the Lions could have been out of the series before that sublime Sydney savaging. You can dispute this assertion. You cannot question the fact that in the same year’s Rugby Championship, the Wallabies lost by margins of 11, 18, 26 and 20 points to New Zealand and South Africa. It was a desperately bad Aussie team, with Robbie Deans, their Kiwi coach, on the ropes.
Gatland may have come close to being unbeaten in Lions series but it was his conservative tactics that cost him the accolade
Gatland may have come close to being unbeaten in Lions series but it was his conservative tactics that cost him the accolade

But never mind the facts. In 2017 Gatland managed his greatest achievement, a drawn series against the All Blacks. Only the second Lions team not to lose a series, this was stirring stuff. Yet it is a fact that the Lions were thumped 30-15 in the first Test and that, in the second, New Zealand played with 14 men for 55 minutes after a contentious red card for Sonny Bill Williams. The Lions’ winning margin was three points. In the decider it will remain open to opinion but I don’t believe I have ever seen a worse decision than Romain Poite’s to overturn a last-minute penalty against Ken Owens for blatantly playing the ball from an offside position.

And so to South Africa. A tour played out to a surreal backdrop. It boiled down to the Lions being only three points from another drawn series but the world champions were even more afflicted by the pandemic than the Lions. Ravaged with injuries and rusty players, they were there for the taking.

Gatland’s conservative tactics failed and a series that should have been won was lost. The record doesn’t look anywhere near as impressive. As for style, Gatland gave up on it. He believed the hype about the green South African defensive wall and kicked the series away. Only Finn Russell reminded us that a skilled professional can find ways to unearth chinks in any defence.

But this team shut their eyes to opportunity and battled in an intellectual vacuum. They played in a manner that shouldn’t surprise anybody. Gatland is a serial winner. He won trophies with Wasps and Wales; three grand slams and four championships yet there remained siren voices.

Wales were sacrificing their rugby heritage as they played a limited but successful style — at least against northern hemisphere opposition. Now here he is, a three-times Lions coach whose team played a negative part in a nasty series. And there is talk of a fourth tour of duty. Before any decisions he will return to the Chiefs in his native New Zealand. To say he has unfinished business there is an understatement.
O'Gara may have conceded a last-minute penalty which cost the Lions in South Africa in 2009, but he would make a fine assistant coach in 2025
O'Gara may have conceded a last-minute penalty which cost the Lions in South Africa in 2009, but he would make a fine assistant coach in 2025

In his first year back in Waikato he was overwhelmed by the ambition of the other New Zealand franchises. The Lion king lost all eight of his games in charge. In a country where skill and speed of thought counts for more than the suffocation that passes for Test rugby in most other parts of the planet, Gatland was a loser.
Sponsored

This season, in his absence, the Chiefs made the final of Super Rugby Aotearoa. Do the Lions want to appoint someone most comfortable with a negative type of rugby?

The crushing conservatism failed, as did the selection policy. To try three different combinations in the centre in three Tests is an indictment. Where was the steady selection hand on the tiller? Gatland is a proud Lion and a good man. But that doesn’t give him the right to manage the Lions in perpetuity. His record does not speak for itself.

Four years is a ridiculously long time in sport. Four tours, on the evidence of the previous three, does not add up. If “the door is open” it should be politely closed. It is time to thank him and move onwards. Gregor Townsend will be the favoured candidate despite the fact that his attack achieved nothing until Finn Russell rolled the dice.

The only coach with that joyousness is the Crusaders’ Scott Robertson. Ask him (and maybe steal him from under the All Blacks’ noses) and take Ronan O’Gara as No 2. That’s a combination that would have beaten a Springbok team there for the taking.

Let’s have someone who will breakdance when his team win, as Robertson does. Let’s have a coach who will install ambition rather than fear of failure. I’d sign Robertson tomorrow; the rest can wait two years.


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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 9 Aug - 10:52

If the Australia tour ends up with as much negativity around it as this one has, is it likely to be the last Lions tour?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 9 Aug - 11:12

Irish Londoner wrote:If the Australia tour ends up with as much negativity around it as this one has, is it likely to be the last Lions tour?

Far too popular with fans to be dropped.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 9 Aug - 11:14

Irish Londoner wrote:If the Australia tour ends up with as much negativity around it as this one has, is it likely to be the last Lions tour?

Lions tours are like anything else in professional sport. What happens on the pitch does not matter unless it affects the cash flow.

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Post by Rugby Fan Mon 9 Aug - 11:21

Irish Londoner wrote:If the Australia tour ends up with as much negativity around it as this one has, is it likely to be the last Lions tour?

There's been negativity before. How often do you hear talk about fond memories of the 1980 Lions tour to South Africa? That one has been almost completely erased from history. 1983 was very fractious, and the 1993 tour saw such a split in the squad, McGeechan insisted on a complete overhaul of selection policy for 1997. 2001 almost had players sent home, as they were in open rebellion against getting flogged in training. 2005 famously threatened the whole Lions concept in the professional era.

As the four unions have individually become more competitive against the southern hemisphere (Ireland, Wales and England have all topped World Rugby rankings), there's no need to combine to present a competitive challenge. Arguably, with the lack of preparation, it's harder. Add on the disruption to individual team development two years out from a World Cup, and the Lions tour has a higher bar to clear now to justify support.

It probably still has that support for now.

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 9 Aug - 11:42

lostinwales wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:If the Australia tour ends up with as much negativity around it as this one has, is it likely to be the last Lions tour?

Lions tours are like anything else in professional sport. What happens on the pitch does not matter unless it affects the cash flow.

Is that cash going to be there in the future though - as things like air travel get more and more expensive or restricted due to climate issues, can we really justify thousands of people going to Australia to watch other people play rugby?

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Post by Old Man Mon 9 Aug - 11:42

It will be a sad day when Lions tours are no more, whilst money may be the major driver in these times, it is really the only traditional tour still alive.

South Africans love the Lions touring here

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Post by The Oracle Mon 9 Aug - 11:49

Rugby Fan wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:If the Australia tour ends up with as much negativity around it as this one has, is it likely to be the last Lions tour?

There's been negativity before. How often do you hear talk about fond memories of the 1980 Lions tour to South Africa? That one has been almost completely erased from history. 1983 was very fractious, and the 1993 tour saw such a split in the squad, McGeechan insisted on a complete overhaul of selection policy for 1997. 2001 almost had players sent home, as they were in open rebellion against getting flogged in training. 2005 famously threatened the whole Lions concept in the professional era.

As the four unions have individually become more competitive against the southern hemisphere (Ireland, Wales and England have all topped World Rugby rankings), there's no need to combine to present a competitive challenge. Arguably, with the lack of preparation, it's harder. Add on the disruption to individual team development two years out from a World Cup, and the Lions tour has a higher bar to clear now to justify support.

It probably still has that support for now.


I disagree with that line above. That has never been the reason for the B&I Lions tours!

Agree with the bit afterwards about the disruption to the individual national teams. Everyone else, including the tri nations, gets a nice straight 4 years world cup cycle. The B&I now has this in between where the players move to different coaching teams, patterns of play conditioning plans, etc. And back again to the national team when they're done. You could argue that while other countries have a 4 year cycle, the B&I nations only have 2. There are benefits to touring with the Lions too of course. But I don't think the negatives should be brushed under the carpet.
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