Friday Funnies - Alex Grove's freak try


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Ref Romain Poite in front of the kicker


Top 10 Tries in South African Rugby 2013


Malakai Fekitoa smashes Conrad Smith


Tameifuna & Mackintosh rucking ban


Jacques Burger's tackling masterclass


Beauden Barrett's 2013 Try of the Year


Random great tries from 2008

Monday, July 01, 2013

HSBC Lions Weekly - Reaction as series is levelled in Melbourne

It's Monday so time for the weekly British and Irish Lions warap-up as we look back on the second Test with HSBC Lions Weekly, featuring exclusive interviews and thoughts from legends past and present, in the build up to and following the second Test.

Featuring an exclusive chat between Jonathan Davies and Brian O'Driscoll the morning after the Test, we also get to hear from the Wallaby side with views from former winger Joe Roff, former Wallaby captain George Gregan, and then former Lions star Jason Robinson.

Some of the points discussed:

Brian O’Driscoll on Test 3: "I think we can win, I have absolutely no doubt whatsoever."
Robinson on Folau: "He’ll be one of the Wallaby greats"
Davies on Folau: "I don't think the pressure will affect him"

Posted at 3:58 pm | 9 comments

George North picks up and carries tackler Israel Folau

Wallabies level series with second Test victory over Lions

Posted in British & Irish Lions 2013

Viewing 9 comments

Celt11 July 02, 2013 1:47 am

Would love to hear peoples combined team based on tour form.
will post mine soon.

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murph July 02, 2013 7:43 am

There's a whole bunch of people who comment on this site who owe James Horwill an apology.

But I don't expect it.

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icr9241 July 02, 2013 7:43 pm

My selection is almost the same now as it would have been for the first test. I have had to make a couple of changes due to injury but here goes and why.

1) Mako Vunipola - I think Mako has had a bum deal over the past few days and has to some degree been used as a scape goat. He was singled out by the ref for a couple of so called scrum infringements but I think he has been unlucky. Lets face it If Brian Moore rarely goes against ref's and is very knowledgeable in the dark art of scrimmage and if anyone has read his report in the Telegraph they would not be so quick to point the finger of blame. That aside not only does he carry more than most other front row forwards but was the top tackler in the second test. His all round game would suit my selection.

2) Tom Youngs - Easy one this... not only has he been one of the better Lions players so far, he surprisingly took the starting position and has hardly put a foot wrong since.

3) Adam Jones - Although has offered little in open play, by far one of the better tight heads in the world.

4) Alun-Wyn Jones - Another easy one as again one of the better performing players.

5) Parling - Line out immense and good work around the park.

6) Croft - To me has to come back in not just for line out but for his ability to attack.

7)

8) Faletau - How he was not the starting 8 is beyond me. The moment I saw Heaslip on the team sheet I cringed as it just showed what kind of game they were looking to play.

9) Youngs - Phillips was my initial choice after the pre test games but he was poor in the first test.

10) Sexton - This is a 50/50 call as he too has done nothing over Farrell to warrant the first choice and his place kicking is not as good should there be a problem with halfpenny.

11) North - Easy one

12) Manu Tuilagi - For lions to get going forward a must. Davies has done nothing special in attack over last 2 tests.

Will continue in next post

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themull July 02, 2013 9:18 pm

agree with you except for Croft and definitely your comments on Sexton...Sexton has probably been one of the lions best players..his passing is much much better than Farrells and he knows exactly how to get the backline moving..see the first test and his pass to set up Cuthberts try..

You can't blame Sexton for the up and under tactics either considering they probably come fomer gatland himself..his kicking out of hand has been top class too..

Wouldn't mind seeing murray in at scrum half either but Youngs played very well in second test so can't argue with him being picked....Definitely agree with manu going in for davies..he will create those half gaps that BOD will be able to exploit on his shoulder with the offload..

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icr9241 July 02, 2013 8:02 pm

13) Odriscoll - Again has not really warranted selection after first 2 tests but experience needed due to loss of Captain and needed for that role.

14) Bowe - Just has the nod over Cuthbert as his defence is far better and has a better rugby brain. For all the good Cuthbert can do, he does make silly errors and miss tackles.

15) Halfpenny - Obvious call

Replacements, Corb Dan Cole, Dan Lydiate, Owen Farrell, Hibbard, Twelvetrees (not as strange as it sounds), Murray and a Back row cover who cannot decide upon as yet.

To me this is not about picking a team to maintain a good strong defence, and steadily move us up the pitch in order to kick points when they become available.
I dare not look at the stats for the last game as they will be pretty sad reading. I do know that Mako was definitely the top tackler and as I saw it carried the most of all the players.
If not for the importance of getting the scrum right I would not have had Jones starting as, as good as he is at scrum time he was by far the worst in open play. Very few tackles and rarely carries.

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Mastersa July 03, 2013 8:50 am

Well as expected Gatland has returned to form and selected the Welsh team or whats not injured. He is doing a disservice to the ethos of the 4 nations lions, which should be to select the best of the 4 nations and using that blend of talent come up with a formula to win. Its back to brutal and lets beat them up time. If you are Scottish or English, well the insult was long in place and now with the dropping of BOD he has alienated the Irish also.
Will not be watching this weekend.

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bishbashbosh July 04, 2013 2:35 pm

Ideally there would be a blend of players from all four of the countries, but this is a test match that needs to be won - to do this you need the best players on the park who are going to suit the gameplan in place. So don't go talking rubbish about there being a Welsh bias, each individual player has earned their place in the side, maybe you want to have a go the Scottish/Irish/English players for not being good enough. Gatland and the rest of the coaching staff are there to get a lions series win, not to go on a jolly and put a smile on everyones face. What would you rather, a lions win or a nice blend of nationalities? Don't get me wrong, I'd love both, but if that's not achievable ... I'd much prefer the win, even if there were 15 English in the side.

I'm not saying that they are going to win - but in the coaching staff's opinion, this is the best side they can put out to try and achieve this. Each player on tour is a lion, not seen as welsh, english, scottish or irish in the coaches eyes, so the only reason you won't be watching the final test this Saturday is because the players with your nationality haven't done enough to earn their spot.

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afanofrugby July 07, 2013 12:10 pm

I bet you feel like a total fool now?

You should!

BOD was dropped purely due to his poor form. International rugby has no place for sentiment.

This was so visible on Saturday.

Wonder if you'll have the balls to admit how badly you misjudged Gatland and his selection.....................Keith Wood, Healey and the rest should also publicly apologise!

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Afanofrugby July 05, 2013 8:51 am

You won't watch because you don't agree with a few selection choices? So glad that the players touring don't have the "toys out of the pram" midset that you seem to favour.

And on your earlier comment, Gatland HAS selected "the best of the four nations" in his opinion.

As an outseder looking in on selection, I can't offer valid rugby arguments to discredit any of his selections.

The dropping of O Driscol was done on his poor form. And the fact that many rugby pundits are bemoaning the selection as the Lions will "lose O Driscol's leadership" is a poor point. O Driscol was selected last week. And he was found wanting in terms of leadership and his own contribution. It was a game when big name plauyayers were required to step up. He didn't.

The only rugby contentious decisions are whether Gray should have played instead of Parling. Cuthbert/Bowe, and Tipuric/O Brien..

The rest of the selections are clear cut.

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