Barbarians too good for England XV


England beat Baby Boks in JWC2014 final


Huge hit by Tonga in Pacific Nations Cup


Ma'afu banned for punch on Tom Youngs


Toulon do the double with Top 14 win


Jason Rutledge's great tryline defence


Dafydd Howells scores quickest try ever?


George Pisi hit makes Shane Geraghty ill


Jebb Sinclair red card for leading elbow

Sunday, June 07, 2009

British & Irish Lions survive late scare to beat the Cheetahs

British & Irish Lions survive late scare to beat the Cheetahs

The Freestate Cheetahs came within inches of a famous upset victory over the British & Irish Lions on Saturday in Bloemfontein, as the relieved tourists came out on top 26-24.

The Cheetahs, who finished bottom of the table in the Super 14, went behind early but came back strong as they sniffed a famous scalp. Louis Strydoms drop kick minutes from time sailed inches wide, as did three penalty kicks from starting flyhalf Jacques Louis Potgieter.

The Lions, with a changed side from that who won 74-10 over the Golden Lions in midweek, have now won all three fixtures on tour so far. They will be concerned with the ease in which the Cheetahs came back into the match though.

James Hook knocked over four penalties and two conversions, but the side lacked the cohesion and deadly finishing that we saw during the week against their namesakes.

The Lions led 20-0 after twenty minutes, but somehow got themselves into a position to lose the match. Many questions need to be answered, particularly around the breakdown area, where Heinrich Brussouw had another excellent game.

In the end, on the scoreboard, it was job done, with the coach and management possibly getting a better idea of who theyll want lining up against the Boks in the first Test, but the fact that they werent able to kill off the game will be a concern.

"I was pleased with the victory, but considering the position we were in after 20 minutes we should have done better," admitted captain Paul OConnell.

"They did well at the breakdowns and turned over quite a bit of our ball. While we started well enough, we went to sleep at times and that allowed the Cheetahs to get the better of us."

The Lions face the powerful Sharks next, in Durban on Wednesday. Despite them missing many Springbok players, they will field a strong side and should be another stern challenge for the men wearing the famous red jersey.


Time: 06:09

Posted at 9:53 am | 130 comments

Viewing 130 comments

Anonymous June 07, 2009 9:34 am

first comment:D

anyway disapointing from the lions to let them back into the match!!

willams is a defo out off the test now....cant do anything right anymore.

great try by earls as well...great way to silence his demons!!

· Reply · Report

Rossy C June 07, 2009 9:52 am

Ferris is coming under a bit of criticism for his sin-binning and some quarters are calling for croft to be picked above him.

But big Ferris's hits are straight out of the neil best academy yet he has pace, discipline and brain to go with his brawn that neil best never had and he should be the first name in the lions backrow!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 10:03 am

i agree williams doesnt deserve a test spot, id even put monye before him. His defensive work is shocking.
even though earls got the try i still think he looks a little out of his depth and could do with some more international experiance.
Wednesday team FTW!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 10:16 am

The back line was way to inexperienced,
apart from Williams, who was shocking, there weren't enough highly capped internationals.
The pack looked ok though, i think Ferris has serious potential and should make the test teams ahead of Croft

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 10:26 am

I think that now everyone has had a game, and their chance, geech should have his team and i think they faster he gives them a chance to gel the better chance wel have.
1.murray
2.rees
3.jenkins
4.jones
5.o connell
6.ferris/croft (not sure yet)
7.wallace
8.heaslip
9.philips
10.jones
11.monye
12.roberts
13.o driscoll
14.bowe
15.byrne

i think this series could be much closer than the 3 nil whitewash people are predicting

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 10:28 am

so, em...anyone else think the team that beat the (golden) lions to start the test fixtures? lol

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 10:39 am

shame flutey has been injured and not had a chance as he had abit of a spark when he came on late in the first game.

Re Paul Gormley, you really think rees as hooker? His lineout throwing is questionable which you need when against victor and bakkies.
id personally go for mears who is also decent in the loose

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 10:59 am

haha good point, iv been wondering who to choose, and if you look at the other teams iv named in the other lions videos, iv put mears in but what i saw of rees the other day i liked.

· Reply · Report

Hackney Griffin June 07, 2009 10:59 am

Worsely played himself straight into the mid week team, thought Barnes was the only person out there who had a worse day. Normally a terrific ref, but the amount of hands in the rucks was just ridiculous.

Where's Williams form? Needs to find it soon. I was surprised to see Fitzgerald and Earls on the plane - and they've done nothing to suggest they should be there yet.

It is nice to see the Lions front row utterly dominant at the scrum. If SA pick Smit at prop it could be a long day at the engage for the Boks come Test time.

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 11:14 am

are you from the same planet?? have you not SEEN what earls and fitzgerald have been doin this year? theyve both scored an incredible amount of tries in their first and second seasons as professionals. come the next lions tour both will be in the prime of their lives you see. and worsley is just an oaf! he can tackle, but hes mnowhere near the standard of any of the other backrow

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 11:17 am

SH teams are very competetive at the breakdown, very aggressive and will almost always have a go at pilfering the ball.
From what I've seen of the Lions, clearing the ball and trying to steal the ball from the other team are not strengths of theirs.
It's been a feature of the Tri-nations and S14 in the last few seasons for there to be a more intense battle at the breakdown, and the Lions will continue to struggle to retain their ball if they don't start hitting the breakdown with more intensity and with more numbers.
They also need to clear the ball quicker, because the longer it's in there, the better set the defence, the longer the team has to steal the ball and also, one of the best ways to relieve pressure at the breakdown is to get the ball out fast and keep the defence disorganised and backpeddaling.

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 11:28 am

and i thought we hit rucks hard in the northern hemisphere!! but nowhere near as hard its amazing really to watch the bulls final

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 11:33 am

"I was surprised to see Fitzgerald and Earls on the plane - and they've done nothing to suggest they should be there yet."

I agree Earls is questionable, but Fitzgearld proved himself in the 6 Nations. He's had a minor injury and the flu since he arrived and only got 1 game yet, where he was out of position, I think if he gets a chance at 11 he could prove himself and give Monye a run for his money, or at least be 1st off the bench in the tests for the 11 spot, especially considering the form Williams has been having

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 11:34 am

i genuinely believe earls is a bigger talent than fitzgerald

· Reply · Report

Ted June 07, 2009 11:38 am

The break-down was the crucial area - there were so many turnovers on Lions ball i lost count. The Cheetahs were definitely more intense (and I imagine the Boks will be even more so) but at the same time I thought Barnes's refereeing of the game was appalling. Ferris was rightfully binned for his actions but the Cheetahs' forwards regularly got away with more blatant offences like simply picking the ball up in the middle of a formed ruck.

Despite that the Lions should have been better. I thought Sheridan impressed with his scrummaging, Hook was good with what he got and Byrne was pretty good, otherwise none of that lot will make the test 22.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 11:43 am

Nothing too concerning, there 9 NEW starters yesterday. You're not going to roll over a team with that number of changes.

The Lions managment said before the tour started that they'd hand starting places to every fit player in teh first 3 games and they've been true to the word. Now that everyone has had their chance, it's time to start constructing a team, I'd imagine the first shape of a test team would be next Saturday, so the starting XV against the Sharks will more than likely not be considered for the opening test.

· Reply · Report

themull June 07, 2009 11:47 am

First of all....What in the name of god is Geech doing playing Fitzerald at inside centre??? Williams had his chance already so he should have been on the bench and Fitz on the wing...Fitz still deserves a game (perhaps this wed) in his right position to prove himelf...

O' Connell had another immense game, carrying countless number off balls and hittin o many rucks..A true captain if ever there was one..The front row played well, only criticism was the line out throwing was a bit off and needs to be corrected immediately as this is probably the Boks greatest strength....

Wonder if Darcy will get a chance and start the next game along side BOD?

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 11:49 am

Paul Gromley said - and i thought we hit rucks hard in the northern hemisphere!! but nowhere near as hard its amazing really to watch the bulls final

And I thought all you NH fans said it was the bad chiefs defense?? Better late than never to admitt you were wrong??

Can't wait for the test matches!!!

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 12:19 pm

i actually think fitzgerald will be irelands future 12 alongside earls.
and regarding the anonoymous who spelt my name wrong! am i still think the lions will do it

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 12:21 pm

agree with two above.....Fitz has not got a chance on the wing where he plays for club and country! instead Willams got it and he has not played well since 2008!!

hopefully Fitz will be picked as a sub this week and hopefully get some game time as a wing!!

could be him and Bowe starting yet??

· Reply · Report

Kieth June 07, 2009 12:36 pm

You can't really say this was a second string Lions team! I thought the Lions players were all picked because they're the best in the NH ??? If so why did they nearly get beat by the SH S14 wooden spooners ??? Funny really :P

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 12:39 pm

and how many of those players are going to be starting come the 20th? hook? earls and fitzgerald in the centre? shane williams? halfpenney? ford? sheridan? o callaghan?worsley? powell? ellis? doubt it! there were NINE players making debuts, new combinations some players playing their first game at altitude.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 12:44 pm

Keith, how many of those backs do you really think are going to start the test matches?
It was a weak side but very disappointing all the same, let the foot off the gas when they should have buried that team

And I can't see Fitz moving into 12 for Ireland any time soon. Has he ever preformed playing 12?

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 12:50 pm

darcy started off his career at wing, and while he got one cap for ireland he was always a stepper, and it wasn till2004 that when he made it to centre it paid dividends for o driscoll. and as earls is o driscolls ready made replacement in a few years, i think fitzgerald could play the darcy role.

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 07, 2009 12:54 pm

First Up; why the Hell is Brussow not in the springbok camp? that guys been amazing in the super 14 and had a great day at the breakdown yesterday.

Keith, whats funny is that i think you'll find it's the best in the home Nations not the Nothern Hemisphere - massive difference.

Also you think you can have 37 1st choice players in a 15 man team. Do the maths, obviously there is going to be first and second choices for positions.

RE: the performance, was a very weak lions side to be honest, and i was very nervous they would lose. I had a feeling from the moment i saw the team that we might lose this one, and I'm glad we got away with a win.

Good points were they stuck at it and team spirit came through, Hook looked good - he's surely going to make the bench over O'Gara, Hines once again made an impact when he came on - he's looking very very good, and front row stood up and were counted.

Bad, Ellis and Earls looked out of their depth, and POC still seems off the boil - Geech please give him a rest for a couple of games. Powell coughed up possession waaaaay to much and Williams proves again he cannot tour.

Test team as it stands for me:

1: Jenkins
2: Mears
3: Murray
4: POC
5: hines
6: Croft
7: Wallace
8: Heaslip
9: Philips
10: Jones
11: Monye
12: Roberts
13: BOD
14: Bowe
15: Byrne

Subs: Vickery, Ford, Powell/WIlliams(can't decide), Ferris, Blair, Hook, Kearny

Still hoping Fluety can make an impression, would hate him to not show his stuff on these hard grounds.

Lions need to start upping the performances, sharks will be difficult, and as i still think we'll drop a Provincial game this could be the one.

Still think the test series will go 2-1 to the boks.

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 1:01 pm

why are ou playing o connell at 4? why does evryone outside ireland ALWAYS thinks he plays at 4? he is number FIVE! HAHAHAHA and clearly o connell hasn been off the boil! he carrying an awful alot of ball and over calling himself in the lineout to compensate for the poor players around him. if he had played against the golden lions he would have strived.
i agree with your line up ut ferris should start he nealry as fast as croft and hes much more physical and is the form player. and also with ferris on the bench u dont have a second row, whereas if u start ferris u have croft on the bench who can play second row. also o garas tackling is the only thing keeping off atarting the test series, and hook was called up as a replacemnt and geech made it clear to him that he was third choice from the very beginning. so o gara will and should be on the bench

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 1:10 pm

Attendance v Royal XV: 12,352
Attendance v Golden Lions: 22,218
Attendance v Cheetahs: 23,710

For a nation that's supposedly full of rugby lovers, that's weak for an event that happens once every 12 years. Ticket prices for those games were around 15-20. That wouldn't exactly break the bank.

· Reply · Report

ed June 07, 2009 1:15 pm

haha, if u look at the cheerleaders behind the posts for the drop goal attempt its evident that most of them are pretty clueless as they jump around and cheer when they miss the kick.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 1:25 pm

With a few people saying O'Connell has played well i still do not think that he played as well as Hines and AWJ did. They complimented each other fantastically and were dominant in the line out. O'Connell has been a good source of line out ball and always will be but if he was not captain would he merit a test place at this moment in time?!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 1:26 pm

Thats a good point about Fitz in 12 for Ireland, he's got the strength in his run but then there's a need another 11, which judging from the North American tour there's not much talent in that department apart from Dowling, who in my opinion isn't international standard.

And i think they should put out a full strength side against Sharks, as much for the entertainment as for the bonding of the test team

· Reply · Report

themull June 07, 2009 1:32 pm

Good No 10.....

Did you just say O connell looks off the boil??
You mad in the head or what, he was probably the lions best player yesterday...He carried countless balls into contact always driving his tackler backwards....He disrupted a good few line outs too...Exactly the kind of player you want going up against a pack of the physicality of the Boks....

Not to mention he stole the ball from the final ruck to seal the game for the lions...

Also IMO hook is not nearly as good as O gara...the only place that Hook makes it over O'gara is tackling....Of all the players on that tour O'Gara is one of the few that can take the game by the scruff of the neck and control it with his pin point kicking...However because of his weak tackling Jones will more than likely start ahead of him as a weak link like that in defense will be exploited unless they decide to constanty keep Ferris or Wallace beside him...

· Reply · Report

I think most people June 07, 2009 1:35 pm

1.murray
2.rees
3.jenkins
4.jones
5.o'connell
6.ferris
7.wallace
8.heaslip
9.philips
10.jones
11.fitzgerald
12.roberts
13.o'driscoll
14.bowe
15.byrne

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 1:41 pm

no the majority of people are not in agreement with rees at 2 and fitzgerald at 11! monye has seized his chance and is a deadly finisher, he will have the 11 jersey

· Reply · Report

Leinster fan 4 life June 07, 2009 1:42 pm

worsley was shit, drop him, put fitzg on the wing with bowe and have AW jones at 4. Also give Kearney a chance at fullback some more he was great against the lions and should defo get a test chance. And people say earls is questionable he had a bad 20 mins in first game but nearly everyone else was awful 2 and he was 1 of the best yesterday if u saw the whole game.

Oh yeah Ferris starting first test

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 1:44 pm

Rees is not 1st choice hooker. In my opinion he is below both Ross Ford and Lee Mears in the pecking order and has done nothing to help his cause.
Jenkins and Murray swap.
Apart from these i imagine the rest of the test team to be pretty similar to the above.
I would quite like to see D'arcy play on the wing with Roberts and BOD in the centre, he has played there a few times this year and also previously in his career and i personally think including a guy of his class in the team is valuable

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 1:47 pm

Look at Ferris just before he touches down, the horse gallop:)

· Reply · Report

Back Line Boy! June 07, 2009 1:51 pm

1: Jenkins
2: Mears
3: Sheridan
4: Wyn-Jones
5: POC
6: Ferris
7: Croft
8: Heaslip
9: Philips
10: Jones
11: Monye
12: Roberts
13: BOD
14: Bowe
15: Byrne
Thoughts?

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 1:51 pm

Brussouw had an absolute stormer!!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 1:54 pm

I'm not that worried.....it was basically the dirt strakers minus a few players. They have been chucked together and have never played atogether. They won.

Ok the Cheetahs were low in the S14 but they know each other and how to cope at altitude and that counts for alot.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 1:56 pm

Back line boy:
Wallace in for Croft

· Reply · Report

Back Line Boy! June 07, 2009 1:56 pm

Leinster fan 4 life said...
put fitzg on the wing with bowe.
no mate monye is already placing his mark on the wing, solid in defence, amazingly strong and fast and amazing running lines.
couldnt really ask for much more.

· Reply · Report

Ted June 07, 2009 2:01 pm

Paul - can't tell if you're joking or not about POC being a 5 rather than a 4. If there's a difference between 4 and 5 then I am yet to find it and I've played in the second row all my life. Maybe at international level there are a world of subtleties I don't know about but still...

· Reply · Report

mark June 07, 2009 2:06 pm

Ferris was brilliant!didn't think he really deserved a yellow.croft's only chance of getting a test place is with his lineout play i think.powell showed once again that all he can do is barely get over the gain line and nearly always have the ball slowed or turned over because he chooses to run so upright.hopefully the lions will sort out the contact area and they'll stand a good chance against the 'boks

· Reply · Report

Rhett June 07, 2009 2:06 pm

The Lions don't look there yet but I think these tough hit-outs and putting some wins together might be just what they need, even if they are struggling to get the combinations going. I'm a neutral on this and I can't see the Boks losing the series but maybe it'll be close .. then again, Wednesday will tell us more.

· Reply · Report

Ally June 07, 2009 2:07 pm

Broussow was exceptional yesterday (cheated a lot yes but got away with it so fair play) so we should give credit where it is due. No specialist open side really hurt the Lions.

My big concern is does POC merit a starting test place? (Hines and AWJ were both very good and looked like a great combination). Who doesn't want to see Hines squaring up to Botha! For me, POC is carrying too much ball (he is not the most dynamic) and not as dominant as I would like. Could BOD be the test captain?

We now have some interesting test battles - Croft v Ferrs, Murray v Vickery, Kearney v Monye v Fitzgerald?

ps I thought Powell was very disappointing yesterday as much as Ferris was impressive (just ahead of Croft for me at the moment).

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 2:54 pm

they sud field a better side going into the sharks match, and be careful they dont take the south africans 4 granted, sharks will be a much much harder test....in fact id probaly bak the sharks to beat the lions regardless wat team the lions put out!.. bu lets hope not anyway!

· Reply · Report

opfazonk June 07, 2009 2:58 pm

i guess you have to concider the fact that the b&i lions can't be seen as a real unit yet. against the golden lions, they showed what potential they have. and still the final test team against the boks has to be found.
seen from that point of view it's clear they could not always perform well, as long as geech is experimenting with the squad - which is ok, because that's what those games against the domestic sides are for!
let's see what team he will pick for the games against WP (most likely a weak one) and the sharks (most likely the "nearly-strongest").
and apart from that, you have to admit that the attitude for those domestic games is not the same as for the tests against the boks (sadly)

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 3:33 pm

Re ted,
i was just saying that both o callaghan and o connell have spoken how annoying it is when people but donnacha as 5 and o connell at 4! thats all.
Re ally, u genuinely think hines (that absolute OAF) deserves to start over paulie? u are the most deluded person i have EVER come across!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 3:46 pm

Hooks kicking was sharp, i'd have him on the bench for the tests with jones starting

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 3:55 pm

I still don't understand why D'Arcy isn't a Lion, I'd have picked him instead of Earls.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 4:09 pm

1: Jenkins
2: Still no idea... Rees if he could throw, Mears if he was tougher, Ford if he had more finesse?!
3: Murray
4: Wyn-Jones
5: POC
6: Ferris
7: Williams
8: Heaslip
9: Philips
10: Jones
11: Halfpenny
12: Roberts
13: BOD
14: Bowe
15: Byrne

At 11, nobody has played better here than HP has played all year. And he has the boot.

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 4:18 pm

matter of opinion i suppose but ur opinion SUCKS! monye has to be 11, and wallace HAS to be 7

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 07, 2009 5:24 pm

Pau, didn't really think about POC's number just put him down in the 2nd row.

Think he was better yesterday, but he's not imposing himself in the way he should be. He's carrying the ball yes, but he needs to start offloading a lot more. - Good in defence though. Just think he looks tired and could do with a couple of games rest.

RE: Hook, O'gara cannot cover 12 & 15.

Hooks playing well, kicks goals and can play 10/12/15 - he'll be on the bench for the tests if his current form keeps up.

ROG won't because he's a one position player.

If Croft starts at 6, and Ferris on the bench Croft can still move to 4 later int he game, to allow Ferris on. That means we'll finish with a faster pack when breakdown ball will be the most crucial..... But i wont' grumble if Ferris gets the Nod.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 5:33 pm

this (in my opinion) should be the starting team!

15.Byrne
14.Bowe
13.BOD
12.Roberts
11.Monye/Fitzgerald (kind of hard to choose)
10.Jones
9.Phillips
8.Heaslip
7.Wallace
6.Ferris
5.POC
4.AW Jones
3.Vickery
2.(kind of seeing how were f*cked since Flannery got injured it dont matter who they put there, they are going to be screwed over by the boks anyway)
1.Murrey

any thoughts????

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 5:41 pm

Ferris, Hook and Sheridan impressed me. Wouldnt mind any of them starting the tests.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 5:53 pm

Nice prop try

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 07, 2009 5:55 pm

listen i no what your saying makes sense, but neither croft will be in the starting 15, otherwise geech would have included them in the original party.
o gara will barring injury be on the bench and they will have some other player as a utility player either fitzgerald or earls, as both cover every position apart from outhalf and scrumhalf.

· Reply · Report

titto June 07, 2009 6:00 pm

One more crappy performance from the lions.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 6:30 pm

Does anyone else think that Fitzgerald sucks?

· Reply · Report

Ally June 07, 2009 6:43 pm

Paul,

I don't really see how it's deluded. POC is a different type of player to Hines and Hines and AWJ looked very good together. Hines is more abrasive and hard nosed than POC, he is also a better off loader/ball carrier in some respects. POC is probably the better lineout specialist and captain.

And yes Hines playing well would be better than an average POC frankly and I think most on this board would agree. Sorry if that upsets your Irish bias.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 7:08 pm

"Does anyone else think that Fitzgerald sucks?"
Doubt it, considering he played a central role in Irelands Grand Slam and Leinster's Heineken Cup win

· Reply · Report

ryebye June 07, 2009 7:38 pm

themull said...

First of all....What in the name of god is Geech doing playing Fitzerald at inside centre??? _________________________

I think youll see when it comes to test time, what i belive geech is doing is looking for options for the bench, if you have 1 scrum half and one fly half on the bench that only leaves one place for another back . . . i think geach is looking for options.. somone who can play to a good standard at center, AS WELL as wing and full back

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 7:42 pm

Hooker really concerns me at the moment. We just don't seem to have the complete package in that position but Mears has done enough IMO to earn a test place so far.

As far as picking players for the test that were in the original squad I think thats nonsense.

Clearly a player can play himself into any team. I beleive Croft has done that. His flexibility to cover second row also gives him an advantage over a few others.

Loving BOD and Roberts in the centre. Hard to see that partnership being topped although I am looking forward to see how Flutey takes his chance.

If hook can get another solid game under his belt before the test I think O'Gara will need a special game to secure the bench spot.

Powell dissapointed although I thought the general play at the breakdown was horrific. Everyone needs to accept responsibilty for that and I think Powell has taken a lot of the brunt for it. I can't see him making the Test team with others making a much bigger impact.

DOES EVERYONE ELSE HEAR GET AS EXCITED AS ME ABOUT A LIONS TOUR!!!!
GOD I LOVE A LIONS TOUR!!!

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 07, 2009 8:02 pm

"isten i no what your saying makes sense, but neither croft will be in the starting 15, otherwise geech would have included them in the original party.
o gara will barring injury be on the bench and they will have some other player as a utility player either fitzgerald or earls, as both cover every position apart from outhalf and scrumhalf."

Odd how in '89 Rob Andrew wasn't in the touring party, but replaced the injured Paul Deans and ended up playing the 2nd and 3rd tests because Chalmers wasn't up to it.

Same with Johnson in 93, I think, and Corry in 2001 & Ryan Jones in 2005.

All of the people i mentioned where pretty much players of the tour by the time it had finished certainly went from not even being selected to being first choice, by the time the tests came around.

Not being selected in the original tour party doesn't mean sh*t, it's what you do on tour that matters.

Hooks played himself into it, O'Gara won't make the bench, as he's a one position player, and Hook offers more coverage and is also a world class goal kicker.

You don't need O'gara to come on and steady the ship, as jones controls a game far better then O'gara and plays flat to boot.

Hook can come on and change a game, o'gara can only shut it out.

Thats why i think Hook will be in over O'Gara come the tests.

· Reply · Report

con bons June 07, 2009 8:59 pm

i think looking at the form of the hookers flannery is a big loss. it could be the altitude or something but it doesnt look like any of them are really carrying ball or just generally throwing themselves around.....thats why its such a toss up about whos gonna start???

· Reply · Report

Why Flannery? June 07, 2009 9:10 pm

I never realised how absolutely vital Flannery was to this Lions tour. The rest of the hookers are hugely flawed.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 9:32 pm

What retards are saying Paul shouldnt start. He is hands down the finest second row in the world. He is the best lineout man in the world. Always makes yards, the only reason he doesnt offload is because its impossible to when you have 4 players on you. Ferocious tackler. The only reason the lions havent lost the first and third games is because of o connell. He just gets stuck with crap players around him so he isnt at his best. Put him in a good squad and he'll show you why Hes the best in the world.

Theres no point arguing over hooker because not one of them is decent.

The entire irish back row to start. The two irish wingers and maybe Kearney at full back because Byrne didnt impress me in that match and Kearney was brilliant in his and he ran brilliant lines all match but no one would give him the ball, Monye was selfish and tried to beat everyone on his own and Kearney is the best defending fullback they have.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 10:09 pm

O' Connell had another immense game, carrying countless number off balls and hittin o many rucks..A true captain if ever there was one

this is a different paul o'connell to what i was watching. alun wyn and nathen hines are the best second row at the moment.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 07, 2009 10:22 pm

"What retards are saying Paul shouldnt start. He is hands down the finest second row in the world"

he might be the best in northan hemisphere, but victor and bakkis are the best in the world.

p.s i think POC will play coz he's captin, along with AWJ, who is great athlete and futrue lions captin.

· Reply · Report

Cheis June 08, 2009 12:30 am

was very close!!

thought that late drop went over for a second!!

CHEEETTAAAHHHSS

ps. Brussow was massive!

· Reply · Report

scrappy-doo June 08, 2009 12:38 am

I agree that while POC was chosen as captain because, let's face it, he's a beast of an athlete, I'm not so sure that automatically warrants him a starting place in ALL three test matches. We'll see, because it'd be a shame not to get him in at least one, but Hines and AWJ did have a great game and I could see them doing some damage against the Boks (though Hines is a bit of a liability because his livewire tendencies can lead to penalties).

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 1:37 am

The line outs of Wales has been poor for a long time.
I somehow feel bad for POC, cox the last 2 matched he played made him you look like the team played crap with him, while he was actually the only guy who really performed and carried the team. He really should be furious.
Nathan Hines is a quality forward in his own right and we have 3 quality locks competing for 2 places.
Jamie Roberts has been consistently good, but Riki Flutey is a far more round player who offers kicking option. The chouce between them will be a tactical decision rather than who's the better player.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 1:48 am

Re: We do compete furiously in the break down in the NH. Things is with a newteam that lacks understanding, everyone just looks at the pile of people not knowing who's gonna go in, which is plain stupid and will be sorted out.
I'm picking Ellis over Blair. It's a choice of lesser of 2 evils (I am normally a Tigers/ England fan) but when Ellis sees something needs to be done he doesn't screw around and just gets on with it.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 1:48 am

Re: We do compete furiously in the break down in the NH. Things is with a newteam that lacks understanding, everyone just looks at the pile of people not knowing who's gonna go in, which is plain stupid and will be sorted out.
I'm picking Ellis over Blair. It's a choice of lesser of 2 evils (I am normally a Tigers/ England fan) but when Ellis sees something needs to be done he doesn't screw around and just gets on with it.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 1:59 am

Contaray to popular beliefe, Fitzgerald's preferred position is actually inside centre. Last season he kept Darcy on the bench for Leinster and Ireland. But Darcy (who in my opinion has got to the come back king of the year) stormed back to form this season and Fitzgerald has enough pace to play on the wing, and actually got quite good at it tbh.
It's not unthinkable to play LF at IC, he probably just needs game time there.

· Reply · Report

Canadian Content June 08, 2009 2:09 am

You have a supporting vote from me for your first 15 Back line boy.

Though I agree that BOD should be considered for the Captaincy over POC. POC looks good, but BOD has developed into a fine Captain and is one of the few unquestionables in the first 15.

Why does Wallace have to start? Does he deserve it? Has he earned it?

Ferris and Croft have been the most effective flanks so far, they are both mobile and Ferris gives plenty of grit.

Earls will benefit greatly from this tour, but that does not mean he should be on it. Lions should be the best B&I players, not those with the most promise.

Murray, Flutey, Kearney, Hook, Wallace, Hines, Ellis, Ford on the bench

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 5:35 am

"We do compete furiously in the break down in the NH. Things is with a newteam that lacks understanding, everyone just looks at the pile of people not knowing who's gonna go in, which is plain stupid and will be sorted out.
I'm picking Ellis over Blair. It's a choice of lesser of 2 evils (I am normally a Tigers/ England fan) but when Ellis sees something needs to be done he doesn't screw around and just gets on with it."

I disagree mate. I've watched a fair buit of rugby from the NH in the last few seasons and the competion at the breakdown is simply not as fierce. Have a look at Hine's comments today about how SH teams compete differently at the breakdown and how the Lions need to learn these tactics to compete.
Gatland also came out at the begininng of the tour and highlighted the intensity at the breakdown in the S14 and Tri-nations as being something the Lions won't be used to and an area of their game they need to lift.
The Cheetahs coach came out and said that they had noticed the lack of intensity from the Lions at the breakdown and had targetted it as an area of weakness they could exploit.
In the first game, against a team of almost semi-proffesional players, from the third tier of South African domestic rugby, they lost quite a few balls in the ruck.
Just in my opinion, from what I've seen, they clearly don't commit as many numbers in breakdowns in northern rugby, and they don't hit the rucks with quite the same intensity. They also don't really go after the ball the same way SH players do in defence, and without that kind of defensive pressure (the north doesn't really seem to produce the same ball pilfering no7s that the south does) there is no incentive to commit more men to the ruck.
The Lions clearly aren't commiting enough men, they aren't staying on their feet and they're not hitting the rucks hard enough.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 5:46 am

"What retards are saying Paul shouldnt start. He is hands down the finest second row in the world. He is the best lineout man in the world."
Only the most one eyed Irishman could believe this.
Clearly Botha and Matfield are the two best second rowers going round at the moment. I personally don't rate O'connell all that highly. He goes missing against the very best teams. His line-out work is good, but around the field he is only a decent player, nothing spectacular. He never offloads in contact, his hands aren't that great, generally his passing is poor, and his defensive work is solid, but is never gonna put the fear of god into a team.
He's solid, but clearly not the best scond rower in the world. That's laughable.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 7:10 am

Attendance v Royal XV: 12,352
Attendance v Golden Lions: 22,218
Anon said: Attendance v Cheetahs: 23,710

For a nation that's supposedly full of rugby lovers, that's weak for an event that happens once every 12 years. Ticket prices for those games were around 15-20. That wouldn't exactly break the bank.

WELL FOR A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY IT MIGHT JUST BREAK THE BANK AND TO CONVERT THE TICKET COST TO FROM RANDS - JUST SHOWS HOW THICK YOU REALLY ARE, BET YOU HAVEN'T EVEN BEEN OUTSIDE OF EUROPE!!! MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY!!!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 7:15 am

Thought the Cheetas played really well and almost took it in the end!! Well played!!
Why the hell is Brussow not a Bok??????

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 8:35 am

I dont see the big deal about croft, he played well in a very opening attacking game last week. But he showed in the H cup final he was useless in a tight game. Typical english press have blew a good player into a Superhero!
Shane Williams just looks like he's forcing everything at the minute, Earls is looking very out of his depth especially in defense, Lee Mears is the pick of the hookers, Rees just isnt a lion

· Reply · Report

Just a Fan June 08, 2009 8:46 am

At around R300 a ticket for a non-test match - puts the game out of reach for most of us here in SA - times are very tuff...you still have to pay for transport, accommodation, parking and grub......definitely NOT a family affair and definitely not important when it almost a given the home side will lose...the tests will be another story...people with starve to go to THOSE.

My blood is green.

· Reply · Report

vinniechan June 08, 2009 9:42 am

Depending on which side you're watching. Leicester compete ferrociously at the break down. you gotta realised we do that once the ball has been slowed down. In the S14 final, the ball pretty much came out so quickl that there's no point competing.
But if you have the first defender to slow it a bit, then sometimes they might even smell the kill and start piling number (England has started doing it. They reverted into the traditional physical style and incoporate the competition in the break down area in autumn, except their discipline went complete banahs).
I have always argued Croft does not provide enough grit to be a 6 or a lock, but he is immense as a support player. That one cover tackle, or the extra few yards or just to be there to secure the ball, could make all the difference. I always think he plays like 7 in essence. So give him the 7 shirt, tell him to support his mates and be himself, while Ferris and Heaslip will provide the grunt.

· Reply · Report

vinniechan June 08, 2009 9:44 am

and to be honest, an attendance of 20k is hardly a bad count, given the biggest club stadium in England (Welford Road) has a capacity of around 17k

· Reply · Report

Ted June 08, 2009 9:55 am

Re; the breakdown I think perhaps we're using 'intensity' to mean lots of different things. The difference on Saturday was not how hard the rucks were hit but rather what happened afterwards. There were at least three turnovers where Cheetahs just picked the ball up in the middle of a ruck. In the NH that would get pinged, apparently in the SH it doesn't.

Of course, the ref was English so we can't have any real complaints, but nevertheless I think rucking laws are reffed more stringently in the NH than they are in the SH which means the Lions may struggle at the breakdown.

· Reply · Report

4LC4TR4Z June 08, 2009 9:58 am

Nico Breedt rulez :-P

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 10:01 am

How you can laugh at O'Connell being the best in the world is pretty stupid because the fact is that he is the best in thwe world. Bakkies and Victor have the best partnership in the second row but on his own Paul stands above everyone.

YES he is the best lineout operator as he never loses his own lineout and steal countless lineouts of other teams.

His defence is immense as he never misses tackles. His hands are very good. Teams focus in on o connell so that when he does take on ball they need 4 men to take him down so he cant offload. He hits almost every ruck. He never goes missing in games. Hes usually the biggest performer in every game as he gives it his all.

People are questioning him because hes had to work with crap teams around him. The team plays crap and does badly so it makes him look bad but the truth is he carried both of the teams he captained. Just because Hines and AWJ were on a team that won the game 74-10 doesnt mean that they are the best as i rarely saw them in that game it was all about the backs.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 10:06 am

Can anyone tell me the last thing to happen in the game???

No?

then ill tell you if your memory is at full speed.

The cheetahs had the ball a couple of rucks after Lee Byrne dropped a simple (not even that high) high ball. The cheetahs got the ball away from a retreating scrum. Couple rucks later they are setting up fpr anpother drop goal when what happens?

A Cheetah picks and drives
PAUL O'CONNELL!!! get his hands on the ball with 3 or 4 gives trying to stop him, penalty lions and he wins them the game.

· Reply · Report

dr June 08, 2009 10:14 am

Thought sheridan and murray worked well together.
Dont think O'connell has done nearly enogh to earn his test spot yet (infact he almost looks like a weakness with ball in hard). Just cos he's captain doesnt give hive auto-selection, as we all know. Hines is the man, he is just so big and strong and mean, just like a springbok.
Ford is the man for hooker I think. He is dynamic and very powerful. Which we will need against the bokka.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 10:55 am

Ha, O'Connell being the best is a fucking laugh.
He's a good second rower, but nearly as good as Botha or Matfield. Shit, in NZ in 2005 he was terrible in comparison to Ali Williams and Brad Thorn.
You've gotta be Irish to think he's the best in the world.

· Reply · Report

ConnachtFan June 08, 2009 12:28 pm

O'Connell looks great for Ireland and Munster in the lineouts cuz John "The Bull" Hayes lifts him like a rag doll, however he is still powerful in the loose, and will run at the Boks and come back for more, his hands arent the best but he leads by example,,, what more do you want in your pack leader? He can scrum, catch,tackle, etc...and he is the ultimate unselfish team player.

· Reply · Report

ConnachtFan June 08, 2009 12:32 pm

Ha, O'Connell being the best is a fucking laugh.
He's a good second rower, but nearly as good as Botha or Matfield. Shit, in NZ in 2005 he was terrible in comparison to Ali Williams and Brad Thorn.
You've gotta be Irish to think he's the best in the world.
---------------------------

Hmmm, it is 2009 and O'Connell is still top of his game; and he ate Matfield with ease last time they squared off. Lets see on the day?

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 12:40 pm

To the above, keep thinking that..will make it even easier for the boks if the lions think like you!!!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 12:40 pm

Thorn's doing alright too.
Look O'Connell is a good second rower, but he isn't the best.
He's limited.

· Reply · Report

Kabous June 08, 2009 1:13 pm

Lions suck!!!!!

· Reply · Report

Jacques June 08, 2009 1:22 pm

Ferris had a pretty good game, but the commentator's orgasm at his try was a tad over the top. The ball shot loose and he happened to spot it. Good opportunism, but anyone apart from maybe the Welsh fatty, Jones, would have scored the try. The commentator sounds like a complete tool when he gushes "the CHANGE of PACE was just DEVASTATING!" and "he left the Cheetahs TRAILING in his WAKE!" No he didn't. There was one Cheetah who missed the ball popping out.

· Reply · Report

Gavin June 08, 2009 1:52 pm

commentators seems to have orgasm with each lions attack/tries.

I'm sorry but on the first try: the ball pop just in front of ferris...
on the second one, earls hae the perfect bounce.

lions should be more strict against sharks and boks..

· Reply · Report

dodo June 08, 2009 1:56 pm

jesus christ, did anyone actually watch this game? i've just finished, and it's disgraceful. half the turnovers were illegal, barnes has probably been turned blind by some french voodoo. either that or he's forgotten what a ruck is. ferris' penalty was NOT a yellow, not even close. consistancy please ref!

the wingers got no ball, because the centers were tiny. fitzgereld en earls might be good players but not beside eachother at 12 en 13...

we really need a hooker who can do task 2 of being a hooker: through the ball in strait. mears was the only one who's done this so far.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 2:33 pm

any chance of england argentina highlights (if any)

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 2:37 pm

dodo - stop the mono! Please don't blame the ref for this one!!!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 3:22 pm

The largest capacity stadium in the Guinness Premiership is 24,000 just to clear that up.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 4:10 pm

I dont wish to take anything away from teh Cheetahs as they played some great rugby, the lions were poor,

but oh my good god i hope these arnt the "new interpretations of the breakdown" that the ref was playing...

shocking almost as bad as last years change "you can pull down malls" thank feck the IRB sorted that stupid mistake out,

pitty it seems they have jsut made another

· Reply · Report

Donkey Punch June 08, 2009 4:27 pm

niether williams or powell should be allowed near the test team, they are playing for themselves and not the team.
At one stage williams got the ball in the middle of the pitch, tried to go around the entire team eating up the space for everyone outside him and eventually ending up in touch. Players should not be picked on reputation but on form.

· Reply · Report

Huh!! the 3rd June 08, 2009 5:37 pm

Yeah, the same Paul O'Connell who destroyed Alun Wyne Jones 3 times this season (Ospreys in Jan and HCup and Wales in Cardiff), and Hines, even though Hines was fresher coming on in the second half in 6N. He really is crap. Especially since Golden Lions 2nd rows were 4th/5th choice, they must've been great then.

He happened to steal/ disrupt several cheetahs lineouts and drew defenders all the time. I agree he isn't as dynamic but if you watch he always recieves ball from a standing start. If he can come onto the ball at momentum then he can cause damage.

I'm Irish but I rate Ali Williams Matfield and Nathan Sharpe (maybe couple of years ago) as good or better than POC, but to suggest he shouldn't be on the test side is ridiculous. I do agree that without Flannery and Hayes he makes less of an impact but the tests he'll answer those critics.

To a previous post, Fitzgearld's own preferred position isn't wing or center but analysts they'll tell you he's the best in Ireland. It's just he faster than Kearney so better suited to wing, and Kearney is safer under high balls.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 5:40 pm

yeah donkey punch, and who was it that tackled him...a hooker!

Just terrible play!

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 08, 2009 5:51 pm

paul o connell is the best second row in europe, without discussion so you must be mentally retarded if you think he doesnt merit a starting position, he has been playing with the lesser talented players both saturdays, but wednesday, with the majority of the test team you will see the big man strive

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 08, 2009 6:05 pm

re ally,
"I don't really see how it's deluded. POC is a different type of player to Hines and Hines and AWJ looked very good together. Hines is more abrasive and hard nosed than POC, he is also a better off loader/ball carrier in some respects. POC is probably the better lineout specialist and captain.

And yes Hines playing well would be better than an average POC frankly and I think most on this board would agree. Sorry if that upsets your Irish bias"

no one in europe has even heard of hines! thats how awful he is! hines was up against the golden lions 4th and 5th choice second rows, if he didn stand out it would be embarrassing.

re the good number 10 with his anti ronan o gara comment (obviously a patriotic welsh fan) wel see come the first test son.

there was an ananomous who said o connell went missing in the big games! how about OUTSTANDING performances in two heineken cup finals, gave the best performance by ANY rugby player iv EVER seen in the grand slam match in cardiff and also in the first english match in croke park? dumbass

· Reply · Report

Huh!! the 3rd June 08, 2009 6:37 pm

My bad, I messed up.

Fitzgearld's favourite position is fullback. Most Irish analysts believe this also. If people don't think hes good defensively, watch the Leinster Wasps game from the RDS in October when he put Worsely on his ass at least twice. His father has a cap for the Lions at prop after all, Lions v World XV in 85/86.

Someone also commented on Earls weak defense. Was that in reference to this tour or the HCup 1/2 final. Because so far he has stood up to everything that came at him. One particular hit on a Royal flanker sticks out.

Although as a Munsterman I thought O'Gara's form meant he shouldn't have been selected. It was his control that brought them through the Royal game, something which Hook, although class, failed to do against Cheetahs. Hook never brought centers into game and kept feeding Andy 'luckiest British and Irish player ever' Powell who in turn played himself out of contention, as expected. Although Ryan Jones had no form, he or Denis Leamy were clearly better options than Powell.

Rant concluded.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 08, 2009 6:41 pm

does anybody think that the lions line-out is f*cked since flannery is gone??

i know POC is doing well but thats only under oppostion line-outs...

even though hes winning lions line-outs its just a slap back!!

flannery missing is a big hole in the number 2 jersey i think

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 08, 2009 7:41 pm

"re the good number 10 with his anti ronan o gara comment (obviously a patriotic welsh fan) wel see come the first test son."

Actually I'm English, numbnuts - not sure why where i come from has to be raised as an issue. I think that says far more about you then my comments do about me.

And I'm not anti O'Gara, I'm just objective enough to understand you have to have a balance on the bench in a test situation. O'Gara is a fine player but he has to start or he doesn't get in the match day 22. If Hook wasn't there, then he'd make it for his goal kicking, but Hook covers more positions and offers the same level of consistency in his goal kicking - plus has a longer range boot.

I'm sorry that offends you so much, but it's a fact.

Maybe you should take off the Munster Red tinted glasses and actually think about what you are saying.

There isn't a single Rugby Journo who agrees with your comments on POC, everyone has questioned his performances and wheether or not he really deserves his test spot, and there isn't a single Journo who would rate ROG over Jones at the moment, not physical enough in defence and doesn't play flat enough in attack, and no one has him on the bench right now.

Sorry but that's life.

But Rugby is a physical game and injuries happen, and if Geech selects on form then ROG has Wednesday to Prove a point, it'd be a good thing for the Lions if he stands up and makes himself counted.

He's a great player but it's not about Irish glory it's about trying to win a test series. And that means best players for the job.

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 08, 2009 7:45 pm

"here was an ananomous who said o connell went missing in the big games! how about OUTSTANDING performances in two heineken cup finals,"

yes and looked lost when the wheels firmly came off the Munster wagon in the 2009 semi final against Leinster.

If ever there was an occasion to galvanise his troops that was it.

Anyone remember the 2005 lions? Lions camped in the all blacks 22, up on the score board, looking to create a nother scoring opportunity, and who comes tearing in from 20 meters out drops his shoulder smashes an all black and promptly gets penalised for the AB's to clear to touch and score the other end.

Yes that's right POC.

And that's why people are asking questions of whether or not he should be the first choice come the tests.

· Reply · Report

con bons June 08, 2009 8:11 pm

to the comment above...what the hell are you talking about 2005 for you dope i taught you were talking about presant form and when as you say the wheels fell of the wagon in the semi final he didnt go missing just didnt play well...happens lik! if you put the captains role on the other second rows and dsected their performances as much you would be talkin the same shit. when the chips are down he will pull through.

· Reply · Report

themull June 08, 2009 8:16 pm

^^^^
So one penalty back in 2005 means he shouldn't start a test match in 2009???

PLease use better facts...

Anyone who thinks POC is not the best 2nd row on that tour is delusional....You reall think Geech would have picked him as captain if he didnt think he was a quality player and a quality leader....

POC is a very good captain and to be a good captain you need tremendous playing skills which he has...So to say he's only captain because he can motivate the team is stupid because what player do you know that is useless that can motivate his team....

POC and AWJ are defo the starting locks (based on skill and ability) barring injury and if I am wrong come test time feel freee to gloat all you want.....

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 08, 2009 8:28 pm

if you have read my other comments titface, you would have read that i dont think that o gara has played well this year ATAL and that he shouldnt start. hook is not the person you want bringing off the bench, otherwise geech would have given him a place in the original touring party. they will have o gara on the pench along with a scrumhalf with kearney and a BETTER utility player on the bench.

no one knows more than paulie how poor his performances were in new zealand, he has come out saying that it was the worst patch he ever went through because the he was being labeled as the new martin johnson and he didnt like that as he wanted to make it in his own right. amd i do remember that ruck, it was down to be so eager to make a mark, he over did it,swear no ones made a mistake in their life, and who are you to criticise? you sit there with your snide comments when what have you ever done with a rugby ball?

re. the semi final, first off all you put that loss down to paul o connell? well being from england you wont no but leinster for the last 4/5 years have had to put up with the under achievers tag in ireland, they have beaten munster a few times alright but going back to that semi final in 06, they were outpassioned by both munster players and fans. they played twice in the magners league, and munster kept them scoreless in leinster, and they only got 5 points in thomond, there was no criticism of o connell then, but in the semi final it was the PERFECT performance from leinster they were outstanding in EVERY department an there wasn anything o connell could do for it wasn lacking in trying as the heineken cup means everything to people in limerick and munster.

if u read o garas autobiography he tells of an incident when o connell confronts o gara about his kicking (o gara always tells himself that "carter doesnt miss")
o connell wanted to know why he said that and o gara said he wanted to be the second best outhalf in the worls and o connell couldn get over it, he wanted to no why he didnt want to be the BEST outhalf in the world. o connell also reseraches better training regimes that people in the southern hemisphere do that could give munster an edge and demands why arent munster doing the same training. that is the professionalism and determination of the guy, who was irelands best player in the 6 nations in 08, captained munster to heineken cup in 08, was outstanding in the autumn internations, outstanding in the 6 nations, two weeks previous to the leinster semi, while your on rugby dump, look at the quarter final against ospreys where we dismantled them where he once again was outstanding and just because the leinster players collectively played out of their skin that warrants o connell not bein captain? or even in the test team? you are deluded.

also o connell has played in the two matches where lions haven bin outstanding. that is COINCIDENCE. first game it was everyones first match when they weren ready for altitude and his first game in 6 weeks, and then on wednesday they had already been at altitude for 8 days,one more than recommended to get used to it at a near test team, and saturday, 9 new starters who wont be making the starting team the majority, o connell called an incredible amount of ball on himself (taking responsibility), carried the ball so much at one stage it took 4 defenders to take him down and who won the game in the last seocnd for making the tackle, getting to his feet and hold onto the ball while 4 players tried clearing him out? o connell. also you cannot compare hines giving 100% and o connell giving 100% theres years between them and hines was up against very poor second rows.

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 08, 2009 8:42 pm

"to the comment above...what the hell are you talking about 2005 for you dope i taught you were talking about presant form and when as you say the wheels fell of the wagon in the semi final he didnt go missing just didnt play well.."

just illustrating the fact that POC goes missing at key moments in the big games.

And he looked completely lost in the Semi.

Not saying he won't be picked, just saying theat a lot of far more knowledgeable people then some internet fan boys have questioned his performances, and captaincy for very valid reasons.

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 08, 2009 8:44 pm

"^^^^
So one penalty back in 2005 means he shouldn't start a test match in 2009???

PLease use better facts...

Anyone who thinks POC is not the best 2nd row on that tour is delusional....You reall think Geech would have picked him as captain if he didnt think he was a quality player and a quality leader....

POC is a very good captain and to be a good captain you need tremendous playing skills which he has...So to say he's only captain because he can motivate the team is stupid because what player do you know that is useless that can motivate his team....

POC and AWJ are defo the starting locks (based on skill and ability) barring injury and if I am wrong come test time feel freee to gloat all you want...."

Maybe get your facts straight, I never said he shouldn't start a test, and o, look at that I even have him in my team - i'm merely pointing out why he's being put under the spotlight now and the reasons why.

Maybe understand my comments before getting into a pissing contest mate.

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 08, 2009 8:51 pm

"if u read o garas autobiography he tells of an incident when o connell confronts o gara about his kicking (o gara always tells himself that "carter doesnt miss")
o connell wanted to know why he said that and o gara said he wanted to be the second best outhalf in the worls and o connell couldn get over it, he wanted to no why he didnt want to be the BEST outhalf in the world."


I've read O'Gara Biography and that's not in it. If it is give me the page number and i'll verify it.

"re. the semi final, first off all you put that loss down to paul o connell?"

No i don't but he played badly and he didn't have the nous to pull his team back into it.

Leinster have won the magners twice in recent years, they have only under achieved in the HC. Everyone outside of Ireland dosen't look at them in the same light as Irish fans.

And for the final time for all you idiots who can't read, i never said POC won't be in the team, or that he shouldn't or that he shouldn't be captain.

I'm merely pointing out WHY he is coming under scrutiny.

He is a good player, and a good captain, but he's not been on form and he's not led Munster or the lions well in the last few months.

sorry but that's a generally accepted fact.

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 08, 2009 8:53 pm

"and who are you to criticise? you sit there with your snide comments when what have you ever done with a rugby ball?"

I played for wasps, and played international rugby.

I also coach at senior level now.

What have you ever done?

Please let me know so i can piss that little bit higher then you.

It's a public forum where people discuss rugby and players, if you don't like that then i suggest you cancel your internet connection.

· Reply · Report

themull June 08, 2009 8:54 pm

Earlier you criticised paul o connell for being off the boil and not playing well when its quiet obvious he along with a few others have been carrying these teams themselves....

So yes you were criticsing POC and implying he shouldnt be starting a test so I replied by saying why I think he has been playing well IMO...

Not a pissing contest sorry, just a debate. SO no need to get snappy...

· Reply · Report

ArranR June 08, 2009 9:31 pm

i want JONNY WILKINSON on this tour, he is still better than Hook.

i am expectin probably a lot of negative feedback from this comment, but that is my opinion and i'm sticking with it.

· Reply · Report

James June 08, 2009 9:43 pm

Do People actually look at the whole match or just this very short 6 minute piece of the match and judge the players, because it sure sounds like it with the tripe that comes outs on this forum

· Reply · Report

MCB June 08, 2009 11:10 pm

In fairness to POC in d 2 matches he's played one was wen d team werenit adjusted to altitude and the other was wen their were 9 players making their tour debut. These teams were much weaker than d team that beat d golden lions...and they still grinded out a win. POC's brilliant in d line out and taking the ball forward. Leads by example and knows how to win.

And for those people who criticise him for d HC semi final; d whole team was rubbish and beaten by a better team on d day. Rest of d season Munster were unstoppable under POC and beat d shit outta sale nd ospreys. Best man for d lions captaincy

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 09, 2009 5:49 am

WEarlier you criticised paul o connell for being off the boil and not playing well when its quiet obvious he along with a few others have been carrying these teams themselves....

So yes you were criticsing POC and implying he shouldnt be starting a test so I replied by saying why I think he has been playing well IMO...

Not a pissing contest sorry, just a debate. SO no need to get snappy...W


Dude you're paranoid. I said he should get a couple of games rest so he 's fresh for the tests.

I then explained why people, including the worlds rugby press, are commenting on his captaincy and last few months performances.

You and Paul really need to start reading posts instead of just ranting off on some tangent you think exists.

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 09, 2009 6:07 am

""if u read o garas autobiography he tells of an incident when o connell confronts o gara about his kicking (o gara always tells himself that "carter doesnt miss")
o connell wanted to know why he said that and o gara said he wanted to be the second best outhalf in the worls and o connell couldn get over it, he wanted to no why he didnt want to be the BEST outhalf in the world."


I've read O'Gara Biography and that's not in it. If it is give me the page number and i'll verify it.
"

Actually apologies, you are right.

I know the exact bit your talking about when O'Gara is talking to the press and saying he wants to be the 2nd best 10 in the world. POC starts laughing at him.

· Reply · Report

Scotsdale June 09, 2009 9:01 am

Funny thing is.. ROG will never be the second best #10 in the world.. he doesnt come close.. unless Carter, Giteau, Hernandez, Wilkinson, James (on form) all get suddenly injured, or retire.
Reality is also, that Stephen Jones could get picked ahead of him.. or even James Hook.. so yeah, sorry ROG fans..

Perhaps that was a bit uncalled for or off topic, but some of these comments are so blatantly from Munster fans it's ridiculous.

· Reply · Report

Paul Gormley June 09, 2009 5:35 pm

oh scotsdale believe me when i tell you that i certainly dont believe rog is ANYWHERE NEAR good enough to be compared to such quality outhalves i was just reinforcing a point!

and the stuff the good number ten has come out with, is absolutley riddiculous! he thinks according to another post that i think this is a munster brigade? and ya you played for wasps? aload of absolute shit, as deluded as you are making these point, your so deluded to think you made it as a rugby player? star player no doubt! DELUDED! also kearney plays for munster you knowledgable rugby fan! and what did i hear after you making such a rant about the o gara autobiography being wrong "show me the page and il verify it?" haha u did find it then? haha

· Reply · Report

goodNumber10 June 09, 2009 10:38 pm

"oh scotsdale believe me when i tell you that i certainly dont believe rog is ANYWHERE NEAR good enough to be compared to such quality outhalves i was just reinforcing a point!

and the stuff the good number ten has come out with, is absolutley riddiculous! he thinks according to another post that i think this is a munster brigade? and ya you played for wasps? aload of absolute shit, as deluded as you are making these point, your so deluded to think you made it as a rugby player? star player no doubt! DELUDED! also kearney plays for munster you knowledgable rugby fan! and what did i hear after you making such a rant about the o gara autobiography being wrong "show me the page and il verify it?" haha u did find it then? haha"

LOL, quite sad that you can't even read all of my comments and only choose to pick fault with the ones that I've already said i'm wrong about.

did i play for wasps? Did i play international rugby?

guess you'll never know, which is kind of the point. It's as redundant as you saying "what have you ever done?"

Seriously mate you're pig eyed, you've shown it on every thread you've posted under.

Lol!

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 10, 2009 3:33 am

"there was an ananomous who said o connell went missing in the big games! how about OUTSTANDING performances in two heineken cup finals, gave the best performance by ANY rugby player iv EVER seen in the grand slam match in cardiff and also in the first english match in croke park? dumbass"

The biggest games are against NZ, South Africa and Australia, and he goes missing in those games.

· Reply · Report

Anonymous June 11, 2009 2:09 am

man you all need to stop bitching man.. if these actual rugby players saw this argument.. they would stare and take a hard laugh at you .. this is rather pathetic.

· Reply · Report

Back Line Boy! June 11, 2009 3:58 pm

1.Euan Murray
2.Lee Mears
3.Gethin Jenkins
4.Alun Wyn-jones
5.Paul O'Connell
6.Tom Croft
7.David Wallace
8.Jamie Heaslip
9.Mike Philips
10.Stephen Jones
11.Ugo Monye
12.Jamie Roberts
13.Brian o Driscoll
14.Tommy Bowe
15.Lee Byrne

· Reply · Report

Commenting as Guest | Register or Login

All comments are moderated and will be removed immediately if offensive.
 
Site Meter