Tameifuna's huge hit on Michael Hooper


Streaker starts mass brawl after tackle


Sam Burgess breaks cheekbone, plays on


Just how fast is Carlin Isles?


Step and unbelievable dummy sets up try


Why you should always tackle low


Southland sensational try after big bump


Ben Funnell slamming tackle on Hawkins


Samu Manoa Huge Hit on Billy Twelvetrees

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The British & Irish Lions snatch the win over Western Province

The British & Irish Lions snatch the win over Western Province

The British & Irish Lions made it five out of five at Newlands as they snuck home with a 26-23 win over a well structured and determined Western Province in Cape Town.

Wing Tommy Bowe had another classy performance, scoring a try and then setting up flying colleague Ugo Monye with a lovely pass. Martyn Williams also crossed, as Stephen Jones got two penalties and two conversions.

For the home side Willem De Vaal commanded well from flyhalf, adding two penalties and a drop goal to go with the one from fullback Joe Pietersen, who also finished off a classy try.

It was one of the better matches weve seen so far on this tour, with a rainswept Newlands providing a great atmosphere as the locals got behind their beloved side who refused to give in.

It was the bruising matchup that the Lions perhaps desired ahead of the Test series, as Western Province stood up in the physicality stakes and did their utmost to silence the touring British & Irish supporters.

A late James Hook 50m penalty was ultimately the difference between the two sides, as the Lions have once again come close to a tour loss, but managed to produce just enough to maintain that unbeaten record.

"I'm glad to have won my first match as Lions captain," said prop Phil Vickery who captained the side on the day.

"It was a great game, played in a great spirit, with lots of physicality. This was traditional Lions rugby. Fantastic, although our execution at times was poor."


Time: 06:38

Posted at 4:42 pm | 85 comments

Viewing 85 comments

Anonymous June 13, 2009 4:15 pm

First post ladies!!!

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Tommo June 13, 2009 4:19 pm

hahaha shame you can't claim it with an identity!!! well, the Lions win again. Well done to the Northern Boys it must be said. I still don't think they have the firepower to down the Bokke though. Both of the "open play" tries today came from shocking first up tackling, something that the Lions will not be able to count on come saturday. The WP backline also did nothing, with de Vaal sitting so far back in the pocket it was not funny. Every play was telegraphed. Lions' breakdown woes are still not sorted, even with Martin Williams today. Spies, Rossouw, Burger, and Smith will be licking their lips...

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 4:26 pm

Is it just me or is Hook looking good for a starting spot? Bowe was top class, Monye was good too!
Earls was out of his depth too, barley touched the ball... Powell didn't impress me in the slightest, bar one break to set up Bowe's try.
Kearney was ok, shame some of his kicks didn't make it to touch, looked like he pushed it a bit, but still has a chance of pushing Burne for the tests.

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tehsniper June 13, 2009 4:27 pm

Lions in deep deep shit for the Boks games if they don't sort things out quickly.
The Bowe try was a frickin beauty though

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 4:30 pm

im sorry but why is keith earls on the tour? he hasnt contributed anything (apart from that try) and he just looks horribly out of his depth.

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goodNumber10 June 13, 2009 4:37 pm

Tommo I agree the Boks will probably have too much upfornt, but this was far from the test side for the lions.

Jones, Bowe and Monye form the backline,

but Earls, Ellis, Rees, DOC, Fluety, Powell, won't make starting places on the test side, and will struggle for the bench.

The open play tries came form excellent linking and two good finishes.

The game was messy, but exciting, but look at the weather conditions, was never going to be open glorious rugby and yet the lions still scored three very good try's.

Hook and Jones will both kick better come the tests as well.

Hook won't make a starting spot, but he will be the bench player over O'Gara & Fluety.

Monye and Bowe to start, Byrne at 15. everything else pretty much takes care of itself, with Worsley to start on the Bind side.

Think the lions will go for 5 forwards on the bench and two backs - whole new front row, Croft, Wallace, Ellis & Hook.

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mark June 13, 2009 5:32 pm

i don't think it's fair to say earls was out of his depth today..the conditions didn't really allow the ball to be passed wide,that's why he rarely got it.i definitely think hook deserves a place on the bench for the tests!he can play a few positions and really can change a game.the pack are gonna need to step it up a notch at this stage,almost all the good play is coming from the backs

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 5:33 pm

tommy bowe u legend monye too and ocalllaghan we'll crush the boks!!!

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 5:34 pm

Pity bout earls playin awful nothing like he was for Munster dis year maybe next tour :)

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Paul Gormley June 13, 2009 6:44 pm

i have to to the opinion that the good number ten does nothing but log onto rugbydump! honestly theres a difference between being a genuine rugby fan and waiting all day for the next clip to be uploaded so he can make stupid assertions. he claims that both hook and jones will kick better in the tests? how are you so sure? that is just a statement based on no concrete evidence. now i have said from the very beginning as the good number ten surely knows that jones will start ten. but he kicked only 8 points today, nowhere NEAR good enough. also o gara has kicked about 90% of his goals. not only was his kicking awful but he didn find touch when attacking, he knocked on a few balls and i thought he played shockingly bad, and if it wasn for o garas tackling which the sprinboks will target, o gara would be a shoo in. also worsley will not have a hope of starting hes just an oaf! and the number 7 spot is dead open and geech has said he prefers a link man and williams was certainly that for bowes try but i mean it would be a sin if david wallace didnt start he is the best ball in my opinion in europe. watch when he takes the ball into contact he never ever goes backwards.

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 6:57 pm

worsley is defo not an oaf......... learn your rugby mate!!

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Paul Gormley June 13, 2009 7:03 pm

he is the most average backrow forward i have ever seen, hes a one trick pony. you compare the best number 6 in the world rocky elsom to that oaf and its embarrassing hes on this tour

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 7:07 pm

yep worsleys shit

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 7:14 pm

he may look average at first glance but if you watch the bloke he has an extremely high work rate and very physical presence. Trust me not very pretty but consistently wears down opponents, you wouldnt want to play him!! Saying that I personally wauld not start him in the test team but he does not warrant criticism!!

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goodNumber10 June 13, 2009 7:15 pm

LOL classic trolling from Paul Gormless.

Couldn't possibly just discuss the game, or the lions no, has to launch int apersonal attack on me.

ROFFLE.


And for the record Jones and hook will kick better in the tests because A: the weather is meant to be better and B: the 2nd and third tests are at altitude.

O'Gara is a one trick pony mate, take your rose tinted glasses of and stop trolling this website with your inane, bigoted and inaccurate attempts at rugby knowledge.

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goodNumber10 June 13, 2009 7:19 pm

"he is the most average backrow forward i have ever seen, hes a one trick pony. you compare the best number 6 in the world rocky elsom to that oaf and its embarrassing hes on this tour"

Two completely different types of players.

Worsley is a great defensive player, he could shut down the blind side in the same way Hill did in 1997.

the toher option is to play Wallace & williams, but i think they'll got for Williams on the bench when he can come on againts tired legs and secure the tail end of the game breakdown, when bodys are tired.

Let wallace take the steam out fo them then let williams come on and do the job. Exactly how it worked in 97, Rodber, Dallaglio @ 6 Hill at 7.

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dj June 13, 2009 8:14 pm

all the best players for the lions are welsh or irish and its no surprise that the standout player so far on tour is bowe, irish and playing for the ospreys. also the 2 fullbacks have done well although byrne seems to be more of a try scoring fullback and so will start the tests.

byrne,bowe,bod,roberts,fitzgerald, jones,philips. sheridan,rees,murray,jones,poc, croft,wallace,heaslip.

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dardar June 13, 2009 8:33 pm

just to point out that on the first ry from tommy bowe the SA number did shy away from a tackle that would certanly have avoided an immediate try

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 9:01 pm

It was a second rate lions team in horrible conditions but having said that western province did well. Keith earls was shocking i only heard his name mentioned twice in the first half really bad show from the center tommy bowe is a BEAST no.14 lions jersey is his!!!

Conor

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cheech June 13, 2009 9:07 pm

I don't think tha there is any doubt that Byrne should start at 15. By far the best fullback on tour. Kearney just hasn't produced the same quality. The backs have chosen themselves.
Its a shame to see Andy Powell not performing as well as we have seen this season.
Its not going to be an easy choice for the selectors

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FrankyH June 13, 2009 9:24 pm

Conor, it was also a second rate Western Province team in horrible conditions.. which the B&I Lions would be more used to I might add.. so no need to make excuses, or whatever.

And yeah, Tommy Bowe is having an awesome tour. :)

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Ben Kirby June 13, 2009 9:35 pm

I thought DOC played exceptionally well today. He cleared up everything at lineout time. MOst of the balls that the lions threw were short sharp to the front with DOC and he claimed every single one and about 2 or 3 of the WP balls too. He played well in the loose and has done no harm to himself.

Ellis was crap. Why does he always go blindside??? He did that WAY too many times today. At one point he passed blind to powell and he hurled the ball out the other way Ellis got runners into trouble a couple times today.

Flutey did absolutely nothing all game as did Earls.

Kearney played fantastic today. His kicking was very good and his defence was the best on the park by a country mile(that includes Worsley) He made every single tackle that he had to make and no one got padt him. He always got his man down or in touch.

If he doesnt get on the pitch for the first game then theres defo something wrong in the lions camp.

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Leinsterfan June 13, 2009 9:38 pm

I agree with Ben Kirby.
Kearney was pretty good today.

Maybe McGeechan has it in for Kearney because Kearney made a holy show of Geechs Wasps when they played in the RDS in the HCup.
Every single ball that went inot the air was claimed by Kearney.

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 9:45 pm

"just to point out that on the first ry from tommy bowe the SA number did shy away from a tackle that would certanly have avoided an immediate try"
Ya and just to point out he's still been the best player over the tournament! And I know it hurts you so bad that he's Irish

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Anonymous June 13, 2009 9:46 pm

Looked good.First tour game where they could have losed because they were challenged, not because they played shit.
How hard and high did Hook hit that penalty?! WOW!

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Matt June 13, 2009 9:47 pm

I posted that above my bad lol for annoymous

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themull June 13, 2009 11:27 pm

Why is every one having a go at Keith Earls here....He did nothin wrong throughout the whole match he never missed a tackle....Sure he didnt get a lot of ball but neither did Flutey due to the conditions.....There was very little backs play today so stop having a go at Earls the first chance you get just because he may be inexperieced....If anyone llooked out of their depth today it was Powell and Hines....

Bowe just solidified his place on tour as did Monye barring an exceptional game from Fitz mid week.... DOC also played very well absolutely dominating the lineout however I doubt he'll mke the bench ahead of Hines/Croft....

Jones didnt play particularly well today, knocked on a few balls and kicking from hand wasn too good at all...Wont blame him on gooal kicking misses though a the wind was shocking....he will probably still start but don't be surprised to see O gara ahead of him..

Kearney played very well today too making no mistakes....His defensive play is better than that of Byrnes however Byrne is superior in attacking lines and breaking the first tackler so Geech will probably go with Byrne for 15....

One worry I have is that if Mike Phillips gets injured there is no other decent scrum on tour anywhere near is ability...Elliss wasn't too great today and Blair isn't close....

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 1:38 am

i dont know if you lions supporters realize but that western province team had NO CURRENT SPRINGBOKS IN IT!!! and they only lose by 3? thats 15 internationals in the lions vs 0 internationals in the WP. also the WP (stormers) came 11th out of 14 in the super 14 and that was with their boks.

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Steyn June 14, 2009 1:47 am

Yeah, anonymous...I think everyone realized that, actually.

That's why there isn't anyone trying to rub in the fact that the Lions won.

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 1:49 am

9) du preez vs phillips= du preez wins
10) morne steyn vs jones= draw
11) habana vs fitzgerald= habana wins, no contest
12) de villiers vs roberts= jdv better all round player but roberts is bigger, draw
13) fourie vs bod= draw, both good
14) pietersen vs bowe= pietersen wins
15) francois steyn vs byrne= steyn is a better kicker byrne is better under the high ball, both good defenders, so a draw.

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Canadian Content June 14, 2009 2:57 am

Kearney should be on the bench, gives the option of covering at wing and fullback. Shane Williams has not played, pity, and can only cover wing. Fitz has once more chance to prove himself.

I hate when players are handed their jerseys based on their pedigree, and although this might be an exaggeration, alot of fans have figured Hines is penciled in next to POC. I thought DOC outplayed him today and Jones has all tour.

Hook has earned another spot on the bench, Flutey is probably out.

Backrow is really a bitch, the more I see Worsley, the more impressed I am. His work rate is phenomenal. The other boys just are not putting in the tackles he is. Ferris was though, too bad about the injury. I'd pick heaslip for sure, wallace has to be at least on the bench, croft as well, they both can cover so many positions. williams is such a quality rugby player i'd love to see him on the pitch, though he needs to be more physical.

jones offers much more than ogara, though jenkins was not supposed to offer much in 97 either. the points have to be taken when the chance is given.

have to agree not much behind phillips.

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 3:17 am

I wouldnt mind hook being on the bench ahead of o gara.
Kearney played well but byrne still edges it for me.

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 3:56 am

JAMES HOOOOOOOOOOOK!!@!!!!

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Feargal June 14, 2009 4:07 am

i'm sorry but everyone who's still questioning the lions squad. mcgeechan knows better than you. quit the bitching please. everyone picked deserves to be there.

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Grosse June 14, 2009 6:53 am

Gotta love that guy hook, ive seen him in interviews and hes no way as big headed and as outspoken as the media makes him out to be. Hes a great guy and a quality player.
Would Ogara or jones have made that kick? i doubt it. Well done lions!!!

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 8:41 am

"I don't think tha there is any doubt that Byrne should start at 15. By far the best fullback on tour. Kearney just hasn't produced the same quality. The backs have chosen themselves.
Its a shame to see Andy Powell not performing as well as we have seen this season.
Its not going to be an easy choice for the selectors"

That kind-of reeks of Welsh bias there, agreed Byrne is better that Kearney on this tour, but he's not too far ahead of him. As for Powell hasn't preformed yet this season and the selectors will have no problem picking between him and Heaslip if far superior in every aspect of his game at the moment, and the fact that he played well against SA last year won't have much of an effect on the coaches because just like with Williams, 2008 doesn't matter

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Cheech June 14, 2009 9:15 am

So basically you agree with me.

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Cheech June 14, 2009 9:19 am

FYI My comments about selection were in general and not about Powell in particular.
I can't see why Kearney would push a starting place in the back 3 above Bowe, Moyne or Byrne.
Sorry if that reeks of Welsh bias.

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 9:49 am

some of the selection has been rubbish, to not take Hook initially was a sin, he's looking the best 10, he's much more physical than o'gara.
Vickery as captain is woeful, he gives to many penalties cause he is slow and old, he kill the ruck so he doesn't have to run for another one.
geech has a wasps bias with vickery and worsley

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 9:51 am

welsh bias... thats because the welsh players are putting their hands up and performing, probably making up for their 6N

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themull June 14, 2009 10:00 am

To an anonymous some bit above.....First of all put a name on your post...

Secondly did you just claim Fourie is equally a good as BOD??? You stoned or drunk or something there...There is no way in hell that Fourie is as good in BOD at any aspect...BOD is superior tackler, Runner and if needs be a captain....

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Ted June 14, 2009 10:02 am

Still really concerned about the penalty count and turnovers at the break down, I wouldn't be surprised if those two areas turn out to be the lions' Achilles heel come the tests.

Shame Flutey hasn't put down a marker, I would have put him on the bench as back up for Roberts but he hasn't really done anything.

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ragingbull June 14, 2009 10:10 am

I think that Powell will grow a beard and longer his hair, than he will do 5 good matches and 3 nice tackles, aftwerwards whole Wales will feel they have the best 8 in the world . He will than sell his image to marketing and advertising and start his new clothing line. powell sux

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 10:11 am

to leave out shane williams would be stupid, he is a dangerous player and SA will be scared of him, he creates space for player like BOD to run good line off.

Did you see what he did last summer for wales in SA,

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 10:50 am

to anon

"9) du preez vs phillips= du preez wins
10) morne steyn vs jones= draw
11) habana vs fitzgerald= habana wins, no contest
12) de villiers vs roberts= jdv better all round player but roberts is bigger, draw
13) fourie vs bod= draw, both good
14) pietersen vs bowe= pietersen wins
15) francois steyn vs byrne= steyn is a better kicker byrne is better under the high ball, both good defenders, so a draw."

how the hell does habana beat fitz?? no more speed about him while fitz is young and on fire when he gets running...habana cant tackle for shit..........fitz would at least try...i think fitz just about wins it man!!

and on the other wing peiterson v bowe...pieterson may be faster but (from the scotland match in the 6 N) bowe can put in some tacles...id give that 1 a draw to!!

most admit the rest of what you say is true though....should be good match:D

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Scotsdale June 14, 2009 10:54 am

themull, while BOD has done a zillion awesome things on a rugby field, he also has an aura and class and basically, character about him. Yet, he's also had bad times.
Jaque Fourie is not flash at all. But he is big, strong, fast, has amazing hands, played provincial rugby since the age of 19 (at fullback, so can kick), and is a 100% reliable tackler.

So yes, BOD is more well known and flash, but Fourie is no nonsense and a quiet guy both on and off the field.. hence, not very well known etc.. He doesnt have the same creative spark that BOD has, but is underrated in terms of a 'big name' in world rugby. He's pure quality.. and in terms of consistency and a threat, could easily match BOD.

Well, in terms of overall career rating and legend status, obviously BOD comes up trumps.. but Fourie is not far behind.. If he had bleached long blonde hair and a name like Flash Fourie, then maybe everyone would know and respect him more.

Slight rant over.. but he's a quality player, which you'll surely see come Test time. The midfield contest is going to be awesome. :)

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Scotsdale June 14, 2009 10:58 am

"how the hell does habana beat fitz?? no more speed about him while fitz is young and on fire when he gets running...habana cant tackle for shit..........fitz would at least try...i think fitz just about wins it man!!"

That comment reeks of you not having watched enough of Habana playing.. sorry to say it. He wasnt IRB player of the year, top WC tryscorer, part of two Super14 winning sides.. etc etc for nothing. I'm not willing to say he's better than everyone, cos I havent seen everyone play enough.. but I can tell you right now that saying that Fitzgerald is better is a pretty bold statement. Particularly after you say Habana cant tackle.. there goes your crediblity mr Leinster/irish fan

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 11:16 am

That comment reeks of you not having watched enough of Habana playing.. sorry to say it. He wasnt IRB player of the year, top WC tryscorer, part of two Super14 winning sides.. etc etc for nothing. I'm not willing to say he's better than everyone, cos I havent seen everyone play enough.. but I can tell you right now that saying that Fitzgerald is better is a pretty bold statement. Particularly after you say Habana cant tackle.. there goes your crediblity mr Leinster/irish fan



most admit slightly biased and fair play to habana was a pinnicle on each of those teams but i have seen habana play in the super 14 (massive chiefs fan) and every winger seems to have speed on him!!

and yes just thinking back now habana has put amazing tackles in on people who could eat him for breakfast so sorry about that!!

but wheter it be against fitz or monye he wont be the amazing player we all know him for....its going to be hard for him!!

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themull June 14, 2009 11:22 am

Scotsdale I do realise that Fourie is a great rugby talent but BOD, on paper at least untill they play, has to be considered the better player of the two....Fourie is a great player who has the potential to be one of the best maybe but at the moment BOD gets the nudge IMO...

And indeed the mid field battle will be awesomw I cant wait to see it....The only battle that might be more intereting will be the back row battle....

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 11:33 am

15. byrne
14. bowe
13. odriscall
12. roberts
11. monye
10. ogara
9. phillips
8. heaslip
7. croft
6. williams
5. oconell
4. simon shaw
3. vickery
2. lee mears
1. jenkins

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 1:09 pm

I thought the second try was a clear shepard (or a crossover I think you Europeans call it). Pretty obvious one too.

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 1:10 pm

15)Byrne
14)Bowe
13)BOD
12)Roberts
11)Monye
10)Jones
9)Phillips
8)Heaslip
7)Williams
6)Croft
5)O Connel
4)Wyn Jones
3)Vickery
2)Mears
1)Jenkins

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dj June 14, 2009 1:10 pm

the team picked above is clearly by an englishman and is just stupid. o'gara and jones have played pretty much equally as average bt jones can tackle which will be needed against SA. croft at 7!? and vickery and shaw shouldnt be mentioned!

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 1:13 pm

Vickery Has been far superior to sheridan or murray or jones on this tour!

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FrontRow4life June 14, 2009 1:39 pm

How can you say that ANYONE is better than BOD. Right now he is the best player in the world by a country mile He will no doubt be up for IRB player of the year and if he plays anywhere decent in the autumn series he has won it no contest. (Although Rocky Elsom is playing class).

JP over Tommy Bowe?????
rigby now Tommy is the standout player on the tour besides BOD.
Have you not been watching him???
He already has 4 tries to his name in 3 matches. And he has set up another 4 or 5 of them.
CHECK OUT THE HANDS ON MONYE'S TRY!!!!!! they are insane.

Right now he is the best winger in the world

BAR NONE

Bryan who???

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 1:44 pm

dj is a lahoooooser

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 1:46 pm

"How can you say that ANYONE is better than BOD. Right now he is the best player in the world by a country mile He will no doubt be up for IRB player of the year and if he plays anywhere decent in the autumn series he has won it no contest. (Although Rocky Elsom is playing class).

JP over Tommy Bowe?????
rigby now Tommy is the standout player on the tour besides BOD.
Have you not been watching him???
He already has 4 tries to his name in 3 matches. And he has set up another 4 or 5 of them.
CHECK OUT THE HANDS ON MONYE'S TRY!!!!!! they are insane.

Right now he is the best winger in the world

BAR NONE

Bryan who???"


Damn this kind of talk will be funny when the Lions lose the test series.

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 1:54 pm

OK - all lions players are better than the BOKS .... keep thinking like this ladies - can't wait for the first test so the Boks will show you how to play

And before you start on me - I'm no Bok fan - but they are just too damn good at the moment, and it takes 15 players to make a good rugby team not just one here and there - and we all know (although most won't admitt it) the BOKS have the best all round team - fact!!!!

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Paul Gormley June 14, 2009 2:10 pm

personal attack on the shit number ten?? haha true. but to say i dont discuss rugby is a tad far fetched read every comment iv left and tell me where i havn spokn about rugby atal? also i agree with ben kirby i thought doc was FANTASTIC was all over the park, really put his hand up

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dr June 14, 2009 3:17 pm

9) du preez vs phillips= philips wins, too powerful
10) morne steyn vs jones= jones on his day,more experience
11) habana vs Monye= Monye is faster and better defense
12) de villiers vs roberts= jdv wins, better all round player
13) fourie vs bod= draw, both good
14) pietersen vs bowe= bowe wins, peitrson can be 1 dimensional
15) francois steyn vs byrne= byrne is a better kicker from hand, styne can be erratic but also genius, draw

front row

Jenkins mears murray ...easy!

jenkins is weaker in the scrum but great in the loose, murray is strongest in the scrum by a country mile (take off ur rose tinted glasses) and mears is playing well.

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goodNumber10 June 14, 2009 5:06 pm

"Blogger Paul Gormless said...

but to say i dont discuss rugby is a tad far fetched read every comment iv left and tell me where i havn spokn about rugby atal?"

Dear, oh dear/

Mr Gormless, obviously you can't read as well as you can troll.

I'll leave it at that.

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goodNumber10 June 14, 2009 5:10 pm

Scottsdale, Fourie is a class player, a real workhorse, can get accross the gain line and is strong in defence.

he dosn't quite have the wow factor of BOd but he certainly wont' be out of his depth.

I think the midfield in the tests will be a fantastic battle.

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 6:29 pm

vickery does not deserve a spot and has not been better than jones all tour,he will get a spot because he is clearly a Geech favourite, they have been together at wasps for ages. But he gives away far too many penalties and gets yellow often too. he is slow around the park also. Adam Jones has a much higher workrate.

everyone bigging up Habana, last summer shane williams got the better of him more than once.

shane should get a test spot over monye, people always say he is poor defensively, but bigger doesn't mean better, shane reads the game much better than monye. think of martyn williams, not the biggest forward but has good technique and plays the game with his head.

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 6:31 pm

The comparison of the players is clearly a SA bias, also its not the individual merits which matter its how they play together

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Huh!! the 3rd June 14, 2009 6:38 pm

Sorry in advance for length of this rant. It not all Pro Ire.

As an Munsterman and hugh BOD fan I have to disagree with themull and frontrow4life. Fourie is probably the best Outside Centre in World rugby.

Better try scoring record for Boks than Habana. Obviously before anyone objects, I'm refering to percentage wise, tries to games, something like 70/80% whereas, BOD has 40% record.

Incredibly atheletic, he can out jump most 2nd rows. Just watch at restart time.

Just like BOD puts his body on line, in Defence aswell as Att, watch some of his tries for SA, one v Wales or Scotland sticks out.

He'd also burn Drico for dead in a race, although so could John Smit so thats not a boast.

Oh yeah, he is also a world cup winner, something BOD will never be.
He is just a bit too arrogant though. I recall his comments before WC 1/4 final when he said how easy Fiji and Arg/Fra would be to overcome reaching final.

To Grosse, I think you'll find plenty of evidence on this site showing O'Gara making kicks like Hook's in worse conditions easily. Leiecster Oct 06, Wasps Jan 08, Scarletts, against the beloved Stephen Jones, Dec 07.

Finally, I have posted previously my belief that ROG's form didn't warrant selection, now its on, Jones hasn't done anything ROG couldn't.

To those who say the SA backrow will target him, get over yourselves. 93 caps later (including some of the best backrow players ever to play) he is still being targeted and correct me if I'm wrong, has lead IRE to 2 wins over SA. When was last time Jones or Hook did likewise, oh yeah, never.

Rant concluded.

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Huh!! the 3rd June 14, 2009 6:51 pm

I forgot, while I've been impressed with Mears something important has to be addressed.

I feel the selection of Ford ahead of Best could bite big time if anything happens to Mears. Rees and Ford just aren't up to it. I could see Mears playing 3 tests without being subbed. Thats a hugh ask.

While Scots/ welsh mighn't agree, they were terrible choices, Best doesn't do bad games. He may not be as accurate as Mears (who is in B and I), but he offers a cool head and won't be fazed by SA jumpers. Lets hope Mears sails through injury free.

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Scotsdale June 14, 2009 7:14 pm

btw.. loving the debate guys.. cheers for 90% of you keeping it clean and respectful, and to RD for tidying up the mess. Keep at it.. and lets be proud to be a rugby fraternity?

*violin music plays in the background*

;)

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goodNumber10 June 14, 2009 7:42 pm

"Huh!! the 3rd

ROG may have won two tests against SA but he's lost a ot more against all the major nations.

however, it's hardly down to ROG a win or a lose a game solely on his own, it's down to the team and he never really had the strength of team around him at international level until the last two three seasons imo.

But Jones has won two Grandslams as well, lets not forget.

ROG will always be targeted and he is called the turnstile for a good reason, that's how it is.

Not because he misses tackles but because he's not confrontational enough on the gain line, both Jones and Hook attack the attacker, ROG goes low and the opposition whilst being stopped still get over the gain line.

Jones plays flatter then O'Gara as well, and that's better for Roberts and BOD as he can hold the ball up and take the contact if needs be.

O'Gara is playing flatter then i've seen on this tour, but you could see he was uncomfortable in the last game he played , hence going to the boot so much as he's not used to playing in that Zone.

He a grand player no doubt, and you don't play this level or get that many caps without being class, but the question is who's better for this test series?

And imo that's Jones - he's just far more comfortable with the gain line game Geech wants to play, with hook on the bench.

Vickery? His tackling and work rate on this tour have been excellent, So has Jones but Vickery and Jenkins have been destructive on the gain line in defence - they will get the nod, their scrummaging is good, and I thin we may see a full front row swap on the bench, and only two backs.

All in all though this is nicely warming up for the first test, shame Kearney is hurt, lets hope he can recover to stake a claim for the 2nd test.

Current test team imo:

01: Jenkins
02: Mears
03: Vickery
04: Hinds
05: POC
06: Worsley
07: Wallace
08: Heaslip
09: Phillips
10: Jones
11: Monye
12: Roberts
13: BOD
14: Bowe
15: Byrne

SUBS: Sheridan, Ford, Murray, Croft, Williams, Ellis, Hook

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 10:41 pm

goodnumber10 clearly rog cant win a game solely on his own but he pretty much has in many matches not as much for ireland but deffinatly for munster. the control hes had over some games has been unreal! admittedly he hasnt been doing as much of this in recent times

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 11:23 pm

Good lord, you Lions folk have a hurricane of immense proportions waiting for you just around the corner! Frontrow4life, do you really, honestly want to get THAT excited about Tommy boy's 4 tries scored against paltry opposition? You can't just claim someone as the best in the world in their position after a good run in 5 matches! Maybe Habana has lost a tiny bit of speed...so f***ing what - he's still an amazing player who's quicker than most, has an awesome rugby brain and is great on defence(those who say he can't tackle are simply ignorant half-wits).

I can only attribute some Lions' supporters "optimistic" comments to the fact that they're probably not used to winning 5 matches in a row - a bit of hysteria is to be expected I guess...

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Anonymous June 14, 2009 11:33 pm

Would love to know where some of you guys get your facts from...

Dr, Monye has barely been introduced to the rugby world yet you claim he's faster than Habana, I'm curious to know how you came about this piece of fiction? Were you perhaps both their physical trainer at some point lol? Ugo Bugo looks mighty heavy to me to be out-running ol' Jet Shoes..

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Just a Fan June 15, 2009 7:25 am

Considering the that the lions have, with the exception of the Cheetahs, played second rate provincial teams, it doesn't seem prudent for any of the Lions players to have their egos boosted....none of them would have been tested yet. And judging by the way BOD was hunted down by the Sharks player...there will be some tears from the Lions.

The Bokke aren't invinsible - but I don't understand how anyone can say that there are better players in the B&I Lions.

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themull June 15, 2009 8:53 am

"Just a Fan".....

So by your reckoning not one B&I Lions player is better than a South african player?

Of all the comments that has to be one of the most biased....YEs their are ome players from britain and ireland that do infact outmatch your boks...Particulary in the centre and full back positions....

Just because you's are in fact the best team in the world at the moment doesnt mean you's cannot be beat or all of your players are better than everyone else...So get off your high horse before you start getting the New Zealand syndrome..

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Jacques June 15, 2009 10:44 am

Not that I really want to get into this whole "mine's better" business, but those of you claiming Bowe is a better rugby player than Habana have surely fallen for a bit of premature hype. We're talking two different classes here. Habana should be compared to the likes of Sivivatu and Rokocoko. One day, when this young Irishman has put in a few big performances against quality international opposition, then we might talk again.

On the Fourie vs O'Driscol debate - I really would have loved to see them face each other as I believe there is very little to choose between the top 3 outside centres in the world (Mortlock is the third). Sadly we're likely to see Fourie on the bench and Jacobs starting. It's a political numbers thing. And Jacobs is by no means a bad selection, but Fourie is top of the pile.

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Anonymous June 15, 2009 11:27 am

It would be hard for most of the B&I Lions players to get into the South African team, although there are obviously exceptions.
Anyone else notice the penalty that should have been given for the Lions second try on this video. The inside support runner clearly impeded the defender, looked pretty intentional too. Lucky to get away with that one.

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Huh!! the 3rd June 15, 2009 1:14 pm

I think it best to disregard some of the SA verses Lions comparsions here, some Irish dolts falling over themselves saying Bowe is better than Habana, 4 words, RI DIC U LOUS, I'm Irish by the way.

goodNumber10


While I completely agree with you, Jones is no pushover, I still don't think he can control a game under pressure like O'Gara. Although I think the Lions can win, its not going to be the type of game suited to Jones. The Lions are going to be on the back foot and might/will only scrap it. Jones has won 2 GSs, but remember Wales played exactly to their strenghts, ie, open expansive front foot running rugby. However, look at the pressure Ire brought on themselves against Scotland, Wales and to a lesser extent England, they managed in each game to change tact absorb pressure and kick on and even though O'Gara had a shocker v Eng he still kicked a difficult match winning pen.

If both were at the top of their games I'd still think ROG should start, but he has been playing a different game to his usual strenghts, as you mentioned notably v Sharks. If he were to play his Munster game, remember originally that seemed Geech's plan (8 Munster) then he'd start. Losing O'Leary was a nail in his chances of starting.

However after saying all this, its pretty obvious Jones will start. I don't think Hook is good option as cover, at 10 at least, he doesn't have game management like ROG/SJ especially if Lions are losing and being honest had a poor game v Cheetahs (didn't use centres, passed to Powell to much, didn't go for corners or pressurise their defence) which Gatland and Edwards know (only started 1 game v Italy in 6N, wasn't picked originally). That is fact.

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themull June 15, 2009 1:21 pm

Huh the third very good post..

Agree with everything you said...While Jones is defo better skilled at rrunnin with ball in hand and tackling, ROG is much better at controlling a game, passing and relieving the pressure.....

However with SA being the opposition they are likely to play a very direct running game to break the first line of defense...In otherwords their inside centre blindside wing and backrow would all likely attatck the ten channel were ROG in it....

I'd think it would be better for Jones to start and then if things aren't going well bring on ROG to try and do his thing...

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Andy June 15, 2009 3:02 pm

Goodnumber10.

I agree with your time. I've never really taken much notice of Williams (not being Welsh) but he's absolute class and is a true 7. I think he's pushing for a start, but it's a tough call. Also Wyn-Jones in second row, but again it's a very tough call.

For those of you saying Worsley is shite, you're all obviously backs. If you understood the game a bit better and perhaps actually watched him you'd realise He's a very very good player and without doubt deserves to be on the tour, as do the other back rowers who are of a different mould to him. Nothing to do with McGeechan, please get over that. It makes you sound stupid. No i don't support wasps.

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Andy June 15, 2009 3:04 pm

When i say TIME I actually mean TEAM. It's justed occurred to me that i might be dizlegsik.

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David June 15, 2009 3:11 pm

"While I completely agree with you, Jones is no pushover, I still don't think he can control a game under pressure like O'Gara."

can't agree with this.. Take a look at the most recent match between New Zealand and Wales. In that match Stephen Jones managed to completely nullify Dan Carter under huge pressure while really dictating play.
and in comparison ROG really struggled and started to crumble with Shanklin coming at him all day in the six nations final.

just my 2 cents.

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Huh!! the 3rd June 15, 2009 5:48 pm

Jones did nullify Carter well, but it has to be said, Carter didn't have a great November series, poor v Ire and Eng, even though AB got the slam. Nonu proved more influential and match changing.
I'm trying to steer away from one-up-amnship, but its proving difficult.

IMO, don't recall Shanklin doing a job on ROG in Cardiff,..no.... just me then.

O'Gara has always gotten away with his D because of quality inside and outside with Munster and Ireland. Quinny and Wally have always tracked across as protection, likewise BOD and Darcy with Ire.

He doesn't go hiding, as some here suggest, merely he has no technique. Like an annoying speed bump.

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Huh!! the 3rd June 15, 2009 6:02 pm

Bah!!!

One up man ship.... I'll leave now.

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goodNumber10 June 15, 2009 8:34 pm

"If he were to play his Munster game, remember originally that seemed Geech's plan (8 Munster) then he'd start. Losing O'Leary was a nail in his chances of starting."

See i really don't subscribe to the Munster game plan theory.

I've always believed they'll play confrontational right across the field and look to change the contact points very quickly,moving a big bok front 5 around. Matfield and Bakkies are both big guys but play like backrows in the contact, and loose, and i think they actually want to isolate the Bok Backrow away from Bakkies and Matfield.

I think the Munster guys just got in because they were the best in their positions, I don't think anyone could translate a teams game plan to an international squad using only 8 players in a 35 man squad.

It's just not achievable, in my opinion obviously.

I still can't see ROG doing the job defensivly, he's always been a go low or go high man, never a hit emand drive man, he either goes low and they get across the gain line or he goes high and they get across the gainline. The problem is he has a good game defensivly then gets steam rollered in the next. New Zealand in New Zealand anyone? He was like a bull fighter.

That's just him, and he brings so much to the game outside of that that you can't really fault him, he is a great passer, and a wonderful tactical kicker, i just think we'll be looking to hold onto posession rather the hammering it down the corners.

I think with hook playing tomorrow ROG will be on the bench for the Test though. i'm surprised i thought it'd be the other way around.

Still, it's all shaping up nicely.

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Anonymous June 16, 2009 1:47 pm

9) du preez vs phillips= du preez wins
10) morne steyn vs jones= draw
11) habana vs fitzgerald= habana wins, no contest
12) de villiers vs roberts= jdv better all round player but roberts is bigger, draw
13) fourie vs bod= draw, both good
14) pietersen vs bowe= pietersen wins
15) francois steyn vs byrne= steyn is a better kicker byrne is better under the high ball, both good defenders, so a draw.

bullshit. realistically:
9) du preez vs phillips= du preez
10) morne steyn vs jones= Jones
11) habana vs monye= habana
12) de villiers vs roberts= roberts.
13) fourie vs bod= bod
14) pietersen vs bowe= bowe
15) francois steyn vs byrne= Bryne

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Anonymous June 16, 2009 1:53 pm

goodNumber10 said...
6: Worsley
U are a retard

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