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HUGE hit between giant Polish forwards

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The British and Irish Lions win the first Test as Kurtley Beale misses late penalties

The Lions held on to win the first Test as the Wallabies, who had multiple injuries to contend with, missed two chances to take the lead late in the game. The outcome of the series now looks as though it'll be down to who adapts best to injury setbacks.

The Wallabies got off to an awful start as debutant Christian Leali'ifano was knocked out cold in the first minute after a strong carry from centre Jonathan Davies. It set the tone for the match, as Berrick Barnes, Pat McCabe, Digby Ioane and Adam Ashley Cooper followed.

At one stage in the second half the Wallabies had flanker Michael Hooper in the backline, but they showed great courage to hang on nevertheless, coming painfully close to snatching the win from two late penalty attempts.

Earlier brilliant tries were scored in a scintilating first half, with debutant Israel Folau scoring after a brilliant Will Genia break, and then George North scoring arguably one of the greatest Lions tries.

Folau got his second try with a sensational inside step and fend, before Alex Cuthbert crossed through the disorganised Wallaby midfield later in the game.

In the end it all came down to a penalty attempt from Kurtley Beale at the death. Beale, just having returned from time out of the game due to some personal issues, slipped on the chewed up turf, allowing the Lions to take the win and go 1-0 in a series that has already been a fantastic advert for the code of Union in Australia.

"KB did as well as he could. I told him not to worry about it... everyone in the team still loves him," said captain James Horwill, who was later cited for a stamp.

Multiple players will undergo scans today and this week, and it looks as though Paul O'Connell is on his way home after suffering with a broken bone in his arm. Prop Alex Corbisiero is also under an injury cloud, so Australian born Ireland prop Tom Court joins the Lions squad as cover.

On the balance of the first Test, one might say that the Lions were lucky to take the win. They played some great rugby but the Wallabies had very little luck, missing early kicks at goal from James O'Connor, losing key players to injury, and of course missing those late Beale kicks at goal.

It'll be interesting to see the approach to the next Test as both units will have to rebuild, restructure and reinvent themselves somewhat, especially the Wallabies, if they aim to take the series victory.

Post match interview with Leigh Halfpenny | British and Irish Lions section

Feel free to share your thoughts on the game (and the incredible tries!) in the comments below.

Page: 12View All

Posted by Rugbydump at 2:51 pm | View Comments (99)

Posted in British & Irish Lions 2013

Viewing 99 comments

TheZeboFlick June 22, 2013 5:07 pm

Thought the lions looked sluggish, and the wallabies proved they are a real threat. With players returning from injury, who does everyone reckon should start the second test?

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FootyBois June 22, 2013 5:18 pm

great sportsman ship from davies

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Alfymoon June 22, 2013 5:29 pm

What a thrilling game, with tries you could watch over and over again from both sides! Ref made some poor decisions from a lions fan's point of view, but justice seemed to have been done with that slip from Beale.. Horrible to happen to anyone but I must say I was soo glad it did! Certainly was a battle and intense! Phillips let me down being Welsh and all. Looking forward to next weekend and wish the injured boys a speedy recovery!

I'd have Tipuric, O'brien and Faletau on the bench and bring them on if things were as this week, maybe start Vunipolo instead of Coresbo.. Obviously injury dependant Roberts at 12 even though Davies had a really good game. And Bowe in for Cuthbert

Bring on next week!

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UpTheLowEnd June 22, 2013 6:48 pm

Corbisiero showed far more than Vunipola has at any stage (taking the class of their opponents into account), if anything Vunipola gave away the first penalty that Beale missed and is somewhat of a liability around the field. No doubt he has his talents, but doesnt have a tight enough game (at this point) for such a pressurised environment.

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KermitAfc June 22, 2013 5:55 pm

Not a lot to be happy about that game aside from the score to be honest. Will need to seriously step up our game to win again. Terrible game management, especially in the second half. Had two huge opportunities to kill of the game at the end and bottled them both. Only woeful kicking from the Oz saved us from defeat.

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brawnybalboa June 22, 2013 6:29 pm

Seeing as the Lions scraped a victory against an injury riddled Australian side (that played with 9 forwards for the last 35 minutes) that missed 14 points worth of kicks, there has to be a lot of concerns looking at next week. I do not like criticising referee's as I think it is an easy cop out for excusing a poor performance, but a few of his decisions were a bit strange. His refereeing seemed to eliminate competition at the breakdown, a big part of the Lions game.

Mike Phillips -> Usually a big game performer, but seemed off the boil today. Hopefully a one off, but the Aussies were all over him today. His leisurely saunter backwards after being stepped by Genia for the first try was disappointing to see.

Substitute Tight forwards -> Cole, Hibbard, Vunipola and Launchbury didn't play up to the standard of Jones, Youngs, Corbisiero and AWJ when it came to scrum time.

Complacency -> The Lions seemed to turn off after 45 minutes and did not do much for the last 35 minutes. Considering they had the attacking threats of North, Cuthbert, BOD & JD2, they did not test Hooper enough when he was at 12.

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UpTheLowEnd June 22, 2013 6:53 pm

Just like to point out that Launchbury is in fact not a part of the lions squad, You mean Geoff Parling (another english lock) who for the record I didnt think played badly by any means, made all his tackles but didnt have an opportunity to show his skills (specifically lineouts). Apart from that i'd agree with your comments although i will add that i thought Adam Jones brought very little around the park (as per) and therefore it was only at scrum time that he outshone Cole.

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DanKnapp June 22, 2013 8:59 pm

Front row is surely Corbs, Youngs, Jones? Can't argue with that based on today.

I'd drop Phillips after today, and give Youngs a chance next week. Phillips' effort (or lack of) when they scored their first try was appalling. He jogged back after a man who had stepped him.

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jimter10 June 22, 2013 11:36 pm

I couldn't believe Philips just jogging like that. He let Genia go in the first place. Maybe even if he'd sprinted he wouldn't have stopped the try, but it's a certainty that he wouldn't doing that.

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brawnybalboa June 22, 2013 11:19 pm

I was referring the scrummaging of the tight 5 as a unit, after the subs the scrums became a bit of a lottery.

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Jimmynee June 22, 2013 6:48 pm

Nervy first test from the Lions - didn't gel fantastically as a team, but just did enough to deserve the win. Lots of positives - functioning, although not that ambitious, line out; only one free kick missed; well worked set piece try.

Gatland's decision to substitute the entire front row early on caused a lot of problems, and some of the tackling was very sluggish taking nothing away from 2 brilliant tries by Folau.

With the win behind them I think the Lions will play with far more confidence in the next test. If some of the key play makers can elevate today's good performances into great performances I think they'll rap the series up. Tipuric should be on the bench, but I doubt he will be.

Aussie's very unlucky on the injury front, very. Hopefully, most will recover for next Saturday otherwise it will taint the series - Genia was world class, as always.

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FlankerGib June 22, 2013 7:00 pm

Phillips was pretty awful - he tried to play the same game that he did against the Barbarians and it was a total failure. Also a shame to see a pitiful attempt at getting back for first try, same for Croft for Folau's second - he might have got a hand on him if he sprinted.

I thought Corbisiero was excellent, and totally outplayed Vunipola in both carrying and scrummaging, particularly considering that Vunipola faced weaker opponents - though the loss of Jones (who was poor around the park) for Cole (who was average at best in the scrums and poor around the park) undoubtedly made things harder for Vunipola.

Tom Youngs also outshone Hibbard for me - his throwing was solid, as were his carries and scrummaging, whereas Hibbard missed a tackle or two and obviously the scrum was weaker after the round of changes, though I know too little about the front row to know who was at fault for that.

Cuthbert quiet until his try, but he took his chance and was rewarded.

I also thought the much anticipated battle of the 7s was lacking, with neither dominant at the breakdown. Alun Wyn Jones and POC got through a phenomenal amount of work, though the latter gave away a risky penalty or two late in the game.

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mrjmmlc June 22, 2013 7:39 pm

yeah last 15/20 min were really disapointing from a lions point of view. i was thinkink we would kill the game when they had so many injuries but we were far from it.

refereeing was just uncomprehensible at the breakdown! seemed like every ruck was a penalty against the lions! anyway we should prepare for the same type of referee next week and be prepared to keep discipline.

front row substitutions really let us down! next week they wont be coming on so soon..

phillips was just dum, played so badly..

freaking heaslip so their scrum was under pressure and didnt take the ball out TWICE! could had cost us the game!

hope to see obrien in the next test!!at least from the bench

at center is a though choice if we get roberts and tuilagi back.. i absolutly dont know what i would do.

all in all great game! only good from the lions for 60minutes

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Mastersa June 22, 2013 7:50 pm

Lucky escape. All this talk of needing ground hogs and the battle of the break down, undone by super 14 ref playing super 14 rules.
That said lions were slow to adapt. Philips and Croft offered little and Warburtons skills simply weren't needed. Hope to see Youngs, SOB start and Falatou as impact sub. Roberts back in centre with BOD. Cutbert deserves to stay after that try even though I'm a bowe fan.

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browner June 23, 2013 12:39 am

Sadly, Super 14 play under the same laws...... it's the Interpretations that are different.
Surely the IRB can insist on standard interpretations, they appoint referees ..... start demoting all those who won't apply standard interpretations, all this SH NH divide is poor for the game.

If the SH want to play RL then bugger off & do it. As a Union xplayer & fan I want to see contests all over the pitch..lineout, ruck, maul, tackle, jackal, scrum feeds, hooking, kick off catches etc

It's supposed to be an international sport.

Phillips has always kept guards occupied with his taxiing, but it slows down ball to receivers , when he can't get through it looks terrible, but when it works he's a handful. everyone can see Youngs service is quicker, but if he doesnt interest the defenders they just smother the 1st/2nd receivers ..... take your pick. Croft did lots of tackling, still worth his place IMO

can't wait for next sat .......

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getitout June 23, 2013 1:16 am

Youngs is by no means not dangerous and still creates an interest around the breakdown. He just doesnt attempt it as many times as phillips did today. Before today i thought he'd have a greater impact off the bench than phillips and so phillips should start, but i think today made me change my mind...

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rowleybirkin June 23, 2013 12:05 pm

Couldn't agree more with the comment re SH interpretations and the game effectively turning into Rugby League. No contesting at breakdowns and they've been bloody awful for years with scrums, effectively making them non-competitive as much as possible as well. All done for the sake of making the game faster flowing and no doubt to try and drag Joe Public Soccerfan into becoming interested in the game. Does Murdoch have influence on the IRB to make the game more 'appealing' for thickos and yanks to watch so he can sell more Sky??

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TheZeboFlick June 22, 2013 8:15 pm

Next weekend's centre partnership is key. While Davies has hardly put a foot wrong this tour, he, in my opinion, should be the one to vacate his place when Roberts returns. We need Roberts and BOD in the centre again. BOD offers balance- I always feel a Roberts-Davies partnership is slightly one-dimensional. It will be interesting what Gatland decides to do.

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DanKnapp June 22, 2013 8:56 pm

I screamed some abuse at Phillips while he sauntered back for their first try. Shocking effort for an international #9, let alone one who is picked for the Lions. He should be hurting himself to get back in contention. I hope that he is torn apart by Gatland when they watch the video back. If he ever, ever does that again in a Lions shirt I hope it's one of the last times he makes an appearance wearing it.

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DrG June 22, 2013 9:39 pm

I caught a comment saying the Lions held on for a deserved win... From what I heard, it was not particularly deserving, the fact they gave away so many penalty opportunities just goes to show how much pressure they were put under. It was LUCK that the Wallabies didn't have a good kicker today.

I'm wondering if this will be a 2-1 Lions victory, or maybe a 1-2 victory to the Aussies...

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 12:37 am

I imagine that you're on a bit of a wind up here chum. Had you seen the match then you would have known that the reason for the number of penalties given away by the Lions had a lot more to do with the ref and his unfathomable 'interpretation' of the breakdown, which seemingly only counted against the Lions. Luck didn't come into the outcome of the game, it was a fully deserved win by the Lions when playing against 16 men for 80 minutes.

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DrG June 23, 2013 12:52 am

"From what I heard" kind of says I didn't see the match though, doesn't it....

...thanks for the feedback though..

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 1:52 am

I recognised that you didn't see the match, hence the "Had you seen the match then you would have known" comment. The luck in caps just smacked of trying to get a rise out of people, that's all.

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DrG June 23, 2013 11:44 am

So you're jumping on the "blame the referee" bandwagon are you?

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 1:25 pm

Blame the referee for what? We won the match! Why would so many fans bemoan a referee's performance having won the match, have a quick think about that? Obviously there were occasions when we were rightly pinged but those were far outweighed by those when we were wrongly pinged. For people going on about not supporting your bodyweight, I suggest you watch BOD at work again. Also, watch the Australians getting away with blue murder, including a forward pass leading to a try which I still can't fathom how the TMO didn't call?! It traveled forward, simple as. If one of my teams lose and it's a fair contest, and we lose to the better team you'll never hear me moan. By the same token I will not gloat when we win. But the ref's performance was just so bad, as has been echoed by many, that it needs to be spoken about.

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DrG June 23, 2013 3:47 pm

Me: "The Lions were lucky to win..."

You: "No, the Lions DID deserve the win"

Me: "Seeing as the Aussies missed so many penalty opportunities, I'd say the Lions were LUCKY."

You: "The penalty opportunities were due to bad refereeing."

And we come full circle as to how you are on the "blame the referee" bandwagon...

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DrG June 23, 2013 3:50 pm

Oh and regarding your comment on a forward pass, Danknapp has already cleared that one up for you down there. If you choose to ignore what is clearly right information from him and still moan it was a forward pass then that's your prerogative.

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 4:06 pm

DrG. You're just a WUM. I am not choosing to ignore the forward pass law. I'm saying it was forward, the pass motion in my opinion was forward. Therefore it was forward.
We do not come full circle. You are picking and choosing what you respond to in the same way that someone unable to hold a reasoned argument does. I would invite you to watch the full match from start to finish, yet that wouldn't make any difference as you are so determined to see everything through that solitary eye of yours.
Why does someone stating what they saw have to be classified as a moan, because it's contrary to what you believe? Must be.
Anyway, the officiating of this match has just been blown out of the water at how bad it was by the farcical clearing of Horwill from the blatant stamp.
Jog on there DrG, jog on.

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DrG June 23, 2013 7:37 pm

Take off your red lions tinted glasses "jog" and then you may be able to involve yourself in a reasonable 'discussion'...not argument..

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DrG June 23, 2013 10:15 pm

As I said, take off your lions glasses. I actually suggested that none of us know the forces Horwill was being subjected too, and none of us knew what was going through his head.

In fact genius, I said myself I was surprised he was not punished, it did indeed look like a stamp, however unlike yourself, I try to look at things with a little less bias, and do not leap on sensationalist bullshit.

Keep up your conspiracy BS it does wonders for you. Meanwhile I'll behave with a little impartiality and enjoy some damn rugby.

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 11:23 pm

And there it is, the last resort of those poor at producing a balanced argument, the insult. Well done DrG, well done.

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 8:41 pm

Well, I think any of us on the forum can discount much of what you have to say for yourself after a post I have just read of yours on the thread about Horwill's stamp. You actually assert that it could have been brought about by a loss of balance. Echoing the comment of the next poster in said thread, I must admit, I often cross my legs to regain balance...if you haven't quite caught that then to put it in easy terms for you to understand, it makes no sense to cross your legs to regain balance and natural instinct of a highly trained professional sportsman would not allow you to do it. Instead the movement would be that which comes after Horwill's stamping. Nothing like your 'nervous laugh'.

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DrG June 24, 2013 12:26 am

Thank you Jog, thank you :D

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DrG June 23, 2013 10:19 pm

Oh by the way, I edited my Horwill post as I realise where your little mind got confused by my mistake.

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Jimothy Top Comment | June 22, 2013 9:43 pm

What was the finger pointing from North for? I know he'd scored a pretty impressive try but I imagine if his name was Armitage he'd be getting all sorts of abuse on here and other social media sites. Not cool!

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DanKnapp June 22, 2013 9:57 pm

I agree, it wasn't on. Armitage gets more abuse because he has so much prior, but I get your point.

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goodNumber10 June 22, 2013 11:36 pm

he was going to hand off, then changed his mind as Genia is about waste height on him :)

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Snoop June 25, 2013 8:09 am

I agree, he points inward as he wants to take the ball further infield before grounding. You can tell because he looks angry rather than jubilant after the try is scored.

Shouting and punching the ball away after the try would be more congruent behaviour if the point had been meant in a taunting or disrespectful player.

I understand northerners don't see many tries scored so they may not be as used to the scoring process as us southerners.

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goodNumber10 June 22, 2013 11:51 pm

it's also no worse than Issy Folau throwing the ball at, and mouthing off at, Sexton when he scored his second try.

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Moo June 22, 2013 11:54 pm

Agreed. And I wasn't too keen on Folau's chucking the ball at the Lions player either. Is there some bad blood that hasn't been widely publicised?

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stroudos June 24, 2013 11:55 pm

No, Folau just seems to be a bit uncouth, that's all. What an awesome rugby player though.

The stark difference in pundit reaction to North v Armitage for exactly the same behaviour, notwithstanding Armitage's previous form, almost reeks of racism to me!

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mise June 22, 2013 9:47 pm

Most has been said above re philips and the breakdown especially: thought BOD was unlucky 1st 2 times in the first 10 mins, and that wa s a real tone-setter for the match. Muted a major Lions weapon.

Oz feeds into the scrum as so crooked its a laff, but they get away with it.

This might shake up Gatland and bring a few onto bench and starting 15 - most pointed out above (I'd say Tipuric, SOB, Bowe and maybe Roberts, as he partners well with BOD)

Lions were arrogant in not taking pens when they were on offer, and the state of the pitch?!? It was a disgrace. It had too much influence on the outcome of the match - like the collapsed scrum at th eend and the slip for the last kick.

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DrG June 22, 2013 10:21 pm

"Oz feeds into the scrum as so crooked its a laff, but they get away with it."

What team in the world ever feeds straight? When was the last time you saw a hooker HOOK!!!

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browner June 23, 2013 12:42 am

Fitzpatrick & the Hit inventors started this problem ....... IRB have spent £0.5m on a new sequence that wont stop diddly shit. Oh & next season straight feeds are going to come back in, yeah the lawbook ever changed on this subject

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goodNumber10 June 22, 2013 11:48 pm

is that not why the lions didn't take every penalty on offer?

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mise June 22, 2013 10:47 pm

@drg : i know feeds are crooked there days in general, but in Oz its been taken to a new level. The mid week match was when I noticed it especially: the ball actually went to the feet of the #8 at times! Incredible. This explains the faster scrums in the SH- its just ball recycling, and a step towards League. (likewise with the brekadown rules).

Lions need to start doing the same sort of back row scrum feeding.

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Cianrugbyfan June 22, 2013 11:31 pm

Thought the ref neutralized the back row battle a bit. Thought the lions trio did as well as the ref allowed.

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goodNumber10 June 22, 2013 11:37 pm

everyone talking about the missed kicks costing australia but the first izzy Folau try shouldn't have been a try.... knock on wyn jones, knock on aussie 5, then pantly.

first offence, Lions, second offence australia... should have been a scrum to Asutralia in their 22.

so that just about evens it out...

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Matt June 24, 2013 7:15 pm

What I don't understand about the first Aus try is why the ref called advantage over! He was playing penalty advantage for an Aus infringement (can't remember what exactly for) committed on the 22 - don't see how the Lions using 3/4 phases to move forward 2 metres qualifies as an advantage.

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OxonRugby - 89 June 22, 2013 11:42 pm

Phillips was the real surprise in this match, though regrettably for the wrong reasons. His decision making around the ruck was poor: on several occasions his decision to carry rather than pass made him look rather ordinary (although we should give some credit to the Aussies for their fringe defence).

As mentioned previously, whilst is it not right to question the referee (alas the sport would degenerate into football), objectively, I dothink this referee's interpretation of the breakdown strange. The lions did not receive a single penalty during the course of the game for the Australian's hanging-on after the tackle had been made. If scrum halves have a time limit of 5 seconds (adjudged when the ref believes the ball is playable), would it be reasonable to introduce a similar measure for when a player is deemed to have held onto the ball on the floor: perhaps a time limit of 3 seconds of so? This would certainly limit the degree of interpretation at the breakdown, increasing consistency when refereeing in the northern and southern hemispheres.

At times I thought the lions looked a bit disjointed - perhaps Youngs in for Phillips and Roberts alongside BOD. Maybe O'Brian in at 6 to beef-up the back row in place of Croft.

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goodNumber10 June 22, 2013 11:55 pm

good points and I agree, the breakdown reffing was terrible - as when pollock reffed england in Argentina the other week.

Hooper was continually offside, getting to his feet on the wrong side and in the path of the 9, of their feet a lot (why no yellow card when off their feet 2 metres from the line).

i really don't think he was consistent in his rulings, at least not consisten between both sides.

terrible reffing imho!

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DrG June 23, 2013 12:34 am

James Horwill has been cited for stamping/trampling :/ Not good news for the Aussies...

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browner June 23, 2013 12:44 am

We need a vid to look at RD one?

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DrG June 23, 2013 12:50 am

8 seconds, not sure on this one regarding deliberate or not......

View Video

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Celt11 June 23, 2013 1:52 am

After watching it 10 times it defiantly looks dodgy, he is looking down so knows Wyn Jones is there and there is no reason for him to push his foot down into that position or with that force, as it would put him off balance.

Unsure about what the verdict will be though.

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 1:54 am

Had to watch it a few times too, I'm sure we'll see other footage come to light as well. Agree Celt11 that it's an unnatural movement from Horwill, but we'll just have to wait and see.

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Rugbydump June 23, 2013 4:15 pm

On the homepage now

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mrjmmlc June 23, 2013 1:54 am

wow if they lose horwill, their pack is gonna miss him really bad!! i cant see them fronting up to the lions pack without horwill

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Maggie June 23, 2013 1:47 am

Anyone else notice SO'B all togged out? Was there an injury concern leading up to the match with one of the other backrows? He lined up with the rest of the team during the Aussie national anthem too.

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ConorL June 23, 2013 3:43 am

Ye I saw that! I thought maybe Lydiate had pulled up in the warm-up, or that maybe Gatland had a last minute change of heart and realised he should have picked SOB in the first place, but obviously that wasn't the case. I don't think any explanation was given for his mysterious appearance on the bench.

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wow-jiffy-lube June 23, 2013 4:23 pm

Tom Croft has had a niggling toe injury all week which threatened to pull him from the squad. Passed a last minute fitness test though.

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 1:48 am

People will say that it's sour grapes and bitterness to criticise a referee's performance. The biggest problem with Pollock today was not how bad he was, and he was atrocious, but that he was biased. A ref can make poor decisions, but often they balance out, however, in this case Australia got everything their way, including a forward pass not called by the TMO, a yellow card not given against them, and massive protection at the ruck.
All of this aside, the Lions can play better. Tight five were fantastic, back row is unbalanced, leaving Warburton to shoulder too much of the dirty work. Heaslip went missing, as many predicted, and Warburton needs someone like Faletau to balance it up as I think Croft had a good game, albeit he's not my ideal 6. Phillips had one of the worst games I've seen him have on the international stage as he just looked for contact too much, still wouldn't start with Ben Youngs next match as I think Phillips will come good. Centres, can you really drop JD2 after his performance? Only problem being that O'Driscoll plays well with physical centre inside him. If Roberts is fit you'd probably have to put him in for JD2, but wouldn't put in Tuilagi. Back three, not without fault but had a good all round game. Cuthbert doesn't deserve to be dropped, but if Bowe is fully fit then I'd find it difficult to leave him out.
Bench was a mixed bag with Dan Cole and Vunipola lacking a bit in the scrum, but Parling, again not my favourite, doing what he has done well this tour and doing well from the bench. Won't oust the starting locks but I wouldn't want anyone else there. Tom Youngs was good, solid lineout, Hibbard was good, solid in the loose. Youngs the right call to start though.

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DanKnapp June 23, 2013 1:21 pm

"including a forward pass not called by the TMO"

Hold up. This is a rule which is never understood properly. Take some time to read this, watch the video, and you'll understand why the decision was correct.

A pass is ruled forward ONLY IF it is released forwards. The movement of the hands is the important aspect here. If the movement of the hands is backwards, the pass is backwards.

If a player is charging at full speed, and releases the ball backwards, the ball might still travel FORWARDS due to momentum. It is important to understand that this is still NOT a forward pass.

Look at the following video, released by the IRB, which will explain.

View Video

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 1:33 pm

I understand the law (there are no rules in rugby) and have seen videos explaining the concept and have been to refereeing conferences where this has been brought up. Still say that the pass was forward and that the TMO bottled it.

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DanKnapp June 23, 2013 2:17 pm

Well, I think you're wrong. The ball was passed in a backwards motion. I couldn't argue with that try.

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Colly June 23, 2013 8:10 pm

Heaslip went're having a laugh mate. Pick of the back row forwards.

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jog1986 June 23, 2013 8:44 pm

I thought he went missing. Not doing the dirty work like Lydiate or Faletau would, nor showing up with barn storming runs which SOB would. Certainly not the pick of the backrow by any stretch.

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ConorL June 23, 2013 10:36 pm

I have to agree with Colly here. I thought Heaslip was far and away the best Lions back row. A quick check of the stats shows that he was the top ball carrier, was in the top 5 in tackles (AHEAD of Croft), made some lineout grabs, and won two turnovers.

I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound like a player "going missing" to me!

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Roadpig June 24, 2013 2:43 pm

Jog1986 - yes, it is just sour grapes and bitterness. Pollock was consistent in his decision making, and refereed in the manner common to SH referees (an interpretation which, IMO, is consistent with the laws). I particularly enjoyed how your central piece of evidence of purported bias on the part of Pollock was the decision of the TMO.

In the words of another poster, it might be time to remove the rose-tinted glasses.

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mrjmmlc June 23, 2013 2:10 am

really was expecting more from heaslip. especially when he didnt take the ball out of the 2 scrums really made me crazy! unsure about geting in faletau for him though.

really hope obrien plays next game, either from the bench or starting. also think croft should stay, he did well, especially in the line out and tacked a lot and with an open game if he gets an opportunity he can make the difference

think the front row subs maybe need to come one prop at a time and later. corbs did well and is good scrumager. youngs played really well too

think lions should start contesting more in the line out. maybe bring on parling earlier, would bring him for poc instead of awjones though

phillips may have just played himself out of the starting line up for next game. i would bench him

centers is a reallly difficult decision because jondavies has been playing so well and if he doesnt start he probably wont even be on the bench as farel has to cover for flyhalf and covers for center as well. but can you realy leave roberts out if he is fit?

back 3 should stay the same and take bowe on the bench, he can make a real impact

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Guest June 23, 2013 2:20 am

Does anybody know the state of Tuilagi and if he would be available for the next test? And do you think he would get a spot?

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dave June 23, 2013 5:22 am

I think Tuilagi's on pace to play in the midweek game against the rebels tuesday
it's basically his audition to play on saturday

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MartsB June 23, 2013 2:38 am

Wallabies could be looking for a few backs come the 2nd Test. Barnes suffered a broken jaw, McCabe re-injured his neck, Ash,ey-Cooper dislocated his shoulder, Ioane has shoulder and knee injuries and nothing more on Leliafano, although not considered too serious....

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DrG June 23, 2013 11:47 am

Barnes has such a "glass jaw". Always getting head injuries, just plain injuries etc, it's a shame...

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GoAllBlacks June 23, 2013 2:54 am

Gotta love the Lion supporters comments. Ref was biased, Oz first try shouldn't have been allowed, Oz feed crooked, this and this happened so it was justice when this happened blah blah blah I remember hearing the same bitter crap in 2005 here in NZ.

As a neutral I thought it was a great game not much difference between the two teams, though I think the better team lost on the night. Lions lucky to get away with that one.

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DanKnapp Top Comment | June 23, 2013 1:25 pm

You won a World Cup Final recently due to some horribly biased refereeing, so please forgive my lack of sympathy for your position. The All Blacks are the best team on the planet, but they weren't that night, but a one-eyed ref made it alright.

Wasn't 2005 the year two of your players dislocated BOD's shoulder by driving it into the ground, off the ball?

Forgive me if I don't have a lot of love for your precious All Blacks.

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Roadpig June 24, 2013 2:52 pm

Of all the partisan, myopic and puerile comments that I have had the pleasure of viewing on the RD website, this one is right up there.

As a neutral supporter of this particular game, I concur with the sentiments of GoAllBlacks - the general tone and content of Lions' supporters has been nothing if not consistent - whining about the referee.

I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but seeing how apparently unreasonable the "majority" of lions fans are (or is it only the nutjobs who are commenting), I am certainly barracking for Australia in the next game.

DK - your rejoinder is nothing more than a tacit admission as to the legitimacy of GoAllBlacks critiques - rather than deal with the same on any reasonable level, you bring up past events which have nothing to do with the discussion, fail to engage with any of the points raised but which happen to involve the team which GOA supports! I suppose it did make me laugh ...

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UpTheLowEnd June 25, 2013 12:51 am

Try and come off a pit more pretentious why don't you.

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Roadpig June 25, 2013 11:25 am

UTLE - thanks for engaging with my comments. You are right - I apologise for every "pit" of my post.

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ConorL June 23, 2013 4:04 am

I can't remember the last time fans of the WINNING team came out after the match complaining about the referee! That just goes to show how truly awful the ref was in this match. I though the calls against BOD, in particular, were a nonsense and completely neutralized the best part of BOD's game.

Cuthbert finished his try really well, but overall I thought he had a poor game. If Bowe is fit, he has to come back in to the starting XV. Philips was terrible, but he will probably keep his place on the assumption that he can't possibly play as bad as that two games in a row! Thought Croft was pretty anonymous, and SOB could have wreaked havoc on an Oz backline that was all at sea in the 2nd half.

My 2nd Test team: 1) Corbisiero 2) Youngs 3) Jones 4) AWJ 5) POC 6) SOB 7) Warburton 8) Heaslip 9) Phillips 10) Sexton 11) North 12) Roberts/Tuilagi 13) BOD 14) Bowe 15) Halfpenny. Subs: Vunipola, Hibbard, Cole, Parling, Tipuric, Youngs, Farrell, Zebo/Hogg

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RedYeti June 23, 2013 12:38 pm

What possible reason would fans of the *winning* team have to unfairly criticise the referee's performance? How can you, as a neutral, honestly say that you understood or agreed with all of his breakdown decisions? It was clearly a matter of interpretation, but unfortunately Pollock's interpretation favoured the southern hemisphere team.

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DanKnapp June 23, 2013 1:27 pm

I don't think someone bothered to read past the first sentence. The second sentence helps. Breathe deep, read to the end of the post, the comment. In that order.

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brendon June 23, 2013 9:33 am

I'm not an Oz or a Brit but I've been reading around to see what people are saying about the game. But I've started skimming over the comments because of the tediously repetitive and ignorant complaints about the refereeing. Jeez, imagine the howling if they'd lost. I don't even know where to start to try and explain some of this stuff. But just one thing… when the Lions were penalised for not supporting their own weight going for the ball at the breakdown, it was because it's in the laws and it's reffed pretty strictly in the SH. It's not about stopping a contest, it's about allowing the contest to get a fair result. If the Lions can't adjust, like SH teams have to all the time when they travel north, that's their problem. If they got pinged more often (I didn't count, I was watching the football) there is every chance it's because they were infringing more often. The refereeing looked pretty fair to me but one thing I've learned going around the rugby sites is that it doesn't matter who the ref is, there are certain fans who will whinge and moan and prattle on about laws they clearly don't understand, and League (which they appear to never have watched). I enjoyed the game, either side deserved to win, I'd have been ok with a draw.

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leinsterfan June 23, 2013 11:26 am

Brendon, Of course there is whinging when the Lions get reffed one way for the entire run up to this game, then totally differently in the test match almost costing us the game. Paul O'Connell, Tipuric and Brian O'Driscoll have been allowed to contest and win turn overs in every warm up game - that ref pulled the rug out from under them last night, you could see it on their faces.
People are complaining about the reffing because in the northern hemisphere we still play a game where contests at the breakdown are allowed. The reason why there is hardly any contest allowed in the Super 15 (and forward passes, accidental offsides are hardly ever called as well) is because of the poor crowds year after year. Cheer leaders and more tries is their answer. Well, we've got a game where nearly every game of consequence is a sell out and we don't like to see the erosion of the aspects of the game that allow the ball to be slowed down, challenged, turned over. The fact is it is a global game and it is frustrating to see the custodians of the game splitting the rules' interpretations into north and south.

From someone who watched the game more closely I can tell you that the lions did get pinged more often - twice as much. There was some ridiculous decisions last night where the team with ball in hand was given massive latitude. The penalties against O'Driscoll were wrong. Have a look at the amount of time Folau holds onto the ball after he knocks out Barnes. Where in the rules does it say you can do that? Yet O'Driscoll was pinged for diving on the ball before the first try - rightly, but there was no consistency.

Lastly, as for whinging, when Australia go up north and lose at Murrayfield we hear all about the weather, the pitch, the ref, the slow ball. Kiwis are still going on about losing to France in the quarters two world cups ago to a forward pass that would never get called in the super 15.

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Snoop June 23, 2013 2:34 pm

Your penalty counting is pretty suspect... Northern hemisphere education must be slipping in standards if 13 is equal to double 8.

Previous to the game the Lions assistant coach Rob Howley said: "We're quite happy with Chris Pollock refereeing, he's an outstanding referee." I'd imagine that Howley has a better grasp of Pollock's refereeing style (which was consistent with Saturday night's performance) than you (or most people on this forum), and that the Lions had prepared accordingly. Perhaps the reason O'Connell (who I thought was fantastic), BOD and co. were pinged against the Wallabies when they hadn't previously in Australia, was because last night they were playing a test side, not a Super Rugby Franchise.

I have to agree with you about the erosion of Super Rugby to the point where there is no contest for the ball; the competition has produced too many players like David Pocock, George Smith, Richie McCaw, Rene Ranger, Schalk Burger, Willem Alberts etc etc who have never been able to dominate Northern Hemisphere players at the breakdown.

At the end of the day the Lions tour should be an advert for international rugby, and everyone I have talked to since said that the match was scintillating footy, with more time with the ball in play than most tests, and a true spectacle to behold.

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DanKnapp June 23, 2013 8:57 pm

I've got to like your comment based on this paragraph alone:

"I have to agree with you about the erosion of Super Rugby to the point where there is no contest for the ball; the competition has produced too many players like David Pocock, George Smith, Richie McCaw, Rene Ranger, Schalk Burger, Willem Alberts etc etc who have never been able to dominate Northern Hemisphere players at the breakdown."

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JJ June 23, 2013 2:56 pm

I get more and more disappointed with Phillips lack of an attempt to defend each time I watch the highlights. Expects other people to do the work for him. He just stared at O'Driscoll when he dived on the ball and got a pile of Aussie forwards as reward. All he wants is glory runs! Youngs or Murray to start next weekend purely for MPs stinking attitude as professional rugby player in a Lions test, he should be willing to do whatever it takes for his team.

Only other changes I'd like are SOB for croft for more power, he's dominated Aussies before and Bowe for Cuthbert, good line for a try created for him but did nothing else. Possibly Tuilagi for Davies justo get more power in midfield, a better foil for BOD.

Apart from that great match! Hope the next two are as good. Aussies stuck with it to the end despite the injuries, Beale was devastating in attack, cruel end to the match for him but I'll take it!!

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BOD is GOD June 23, 2013 3:21 pm

The lions performance was awful, whatever about the ref the lions should be beating this Aussies team by at least twenty points. A part of me wants the Australians to win the series as the actually tried to play running rugby. Watching 6 ft 5 freaks battering a defence injuring the smaller men is not why i fell in love with rugby.(Apart from North try) There was almost no imagination from the lions, all the running came from the Wallabies. Although I did think Johnny Sexton was excellent, but that was it. For the sake of beautiful rugby I hope the Aussies win. Just my opinion, dont get butthurt. :)

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calvdog June 23, 2013 5:07 pm

Wow! What a great game. I think that the Aussies deserve a great deal of credit for how well they played in spite of losing their backline, and never flinching at the tackle.
The great reefing debate? It did seem biased but sometimes a team doesn't listen to what the ref is saying to them. So perhaps, the Lions didn't learn quickly enough what he wanted. Neutrals have come on here and said it was fair, so it probably was. Also we really don't want to be like soccer fans bleating the whole time.
The game will live long in the memory, the refereeing won't.

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wallawallawallaby June 23, 2013 8:00 pm

All of you lions supporters that are bagging the ref and then saying it has to be true because when does a winning team ever bag the ref are in denial. Oz only lost that match due to poor kicking so you're looking for another reason. And you idiots harping on about a forward pass look at the rules, went backwards out of his hands, end of story. Even Gatland didn't say anything at the pressa after. Just take your victory and savour it as it will be your last.

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dear_mud June 24, 2013 1:12 am

One important point, especially in comparison to Phillips for the first Oz try, was what Sexton did after Folau got past him for the second try. He chased back and forced Folau to touch down away from the posts. O'Connor missed the subsequent, harder, conversion and the Lions won by two points.

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brendon June 24, 2013 5:55 am

@leinsterfan. (RD, my reply function doesn't work). Your post is full of assertions that have no factual basis. Of course "you could see it in their faces", poor little fellas (highly paid pros, the cream of four nations, who are just so puzzled!) you usually can when they get caught out. Fact is that S15 games are fiercely contested in every aspect including at the breakdown. And most professional commentators, you know, people who played the game at the highest level, seem to think this test was also fiercely contested in every way. Your crowd nonsense has been regularly shot down, I can't walk you through it all again. But well done for filling up all those tiny grounds. And are you seriously saying that S15 is less appealing as a tough, competitive and creative spectacle than NH rugby? The vast majority of commentators from both hemispheres seem to disagree. Don't worry about the cheerleaders, they're just a bonus. Most UK writers seemed to think that after round one, the last 6N was mostly dull rugby. I agree. And I have no idea why you feel that allowing players off their feet to slow the ball down is in the interests of promoting the game. I guess if you have limited ideas of what to do once you get it, then the ball might as well stay in there. Your estimation of the SH game as having no contest and no appeal surely means that those pure classic rugby-playing nations of the north must be regularly beating the south and have done so for some time. But we look at the record and, golly, the win-loss ratio is overwhelmingly the other way whether the games are played in the north or south, with referees from anywhere on the planet. Someone is playing consistently better rugby and winning the majority of games when the real contest is on. I read a lot of sites and don't see NZers complaining about 2007, mostly it only comes up when people like you mention it. If you have to go back 6yrs to find an irrelevant example, that speaks for itself. Hey, you won, enjoy.

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brendon June 24, 2013 8:32 am

Nearly forgot.

@Snoop and @DanKnapp. I liked that paragraph too, and I see what you mean. Of course no NH side would be the slightest bit interested in having players the calibre of Pocock, Smith, McCaw .. so ineffectual, so poor at the breakdown. Continually being bossed! I just can't understand why their nations select them and why those who know the game intimately and have seen them play on several continents against all-comers, consider them among the finest loose forwards and ball winners ever to play the game. Baffling really, when you consider the loads of northern loosies that have consistently dominated SH sides over the years. (Stop giggling at the back). And as for Rene Ranger, I would have thought as a centre/wing he had limited opportunities compared to the others, especially as he's only played against Wales and France from the NH. The feeling is that he did pretty well in all of them, some would say extremely well. You've got me puzzled there guys. Oh well, I'm sure you know what you meant to say.

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Snoop June 24, 2013 3:13 pm

Mate, you're grasp of sarcasm is as slippery as the pitch of Suncorp.

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Snoop June 24, 2013 3:17 pm

I apologise for the you're/your mix-up, there is no excuse.

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DrG June 25, 2013 6:29 pm

...blame it on predictive text on your phone...

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Colombes June 24, 2013 12:33 pm

Well, i won't be too long, but i was quite surprised by australia in this match despite their defeat.
After many injuries (before and during the match) and some polemic non-selections, i thought that lions could have won easily... but the contest was a far another story, as australia should have won it.
But like France, vs new zealand, u need to take ur points when needed
Next 2 tests will be interesting to watch, whatever the outcome

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brendon June 25, 2013 1:14 am

@Snoop. You got me there Snoop. Considering the bizarre nature of some of the stuff I've been reading on here, I wouldn't have been surprised if someone had expressed that opinion seriously.

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