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Nigel Owens shows Anthony Allen the way to the football stadium

cough *Richard Cockerill* cough...

2 Months, 3 Weeks ago

The British and Irish Lions win the series 2-1 after third Test rout

I said he MAY have done so. I'm talking about the disillusionment a lot of fans felt prior to this game. Not just the BOD fiasco, but the whole "10 Welshmen" thing as well has left quite a number of people disenfranchised from the whole idea of the B & I Lions, which is an enormous shame IMO.

9 Months, 1 Week ago

The British and Irish Lions win the series 2-1 after third Test rout

Let's cut the crap here. For all the talk of BOD, Davies and Roberts in the lead up to the game (and I was one of those who felt it was the wrong decision to drop BOD), none of them had any impact in deciding the outcome of the Test series. They still would have won had BOD been playing. It's like the old saying goes "Forwards win games, backs decide by how many."

Make no mistake about it, this game was won and lost up front. Corbisiero was undeniably the Man of the Match (he tormented Ben Alexander all game long), although Halfpenny ran him close and SOB showed why he should have been in the team from the start.

Regardless of the result, I still feel Gatland may have done irreparable damage to the Lions concept/brand. I'm just glad Gray got on the field for a bit so the Scots had at least SOME representation on this tour!

9 Months, 1 Week ago

Brian O'Driscoll dropped for series decider against the Wallabies

I've been trying to rationalise this decision for the last few hours and I simply can't. The whole "out of form" argument just simply isn't true. As a number of people have already pointed out, a quick look at the stats from last Saturday shows that BOD had a vastly superior game to Davies in defense, while they were both ineffective in attack.

To pin ALL of the blame for the lack of a cutting edge in attack on BOD is outrageous.
It's not his fault he was playing behind a beaten scrum and a pack without a single effective ball carrier (though both problems should now be fixed with the inclusions of Corbisiero and SOB), an inexperienced and out-of-position centre partner inside him, and a deathly conservative game plan that demanded they kick away every scrap of possession they got.

9 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Wallabies snatch second Test victory to level the Lions series

What a finish, what a game! So much drama. The game had no rhythm, barely any running, but was an unbelievable spectacle. We've had a two point game and a one-point game. Amazing. This has got to go up there with the tightest series of all time.

Knew that last penalty was outside Halfpenny's range. Should have tapped and run, and gotten Sexton into position for a last-second drop goal.

Pray that Corbisiero is fit for next week, because Vunipola just isn't up to it.

The people knocking BOD really need to re-watch the game. He was immense in defense (14 tackles to Davies' 7) and was the primary reason the Lions held out as long as they did. Yes he made some mistakes (eg. the intercept), but he didn't miss a single tackle, unlike Davies who missed 3 (including the one for the match-winning score). I think either Roberts or Tuilagi (whoever is fittest) needs to start at 12 next week, to give the team a bit of go-forward ball.

SOB HAS to start next week. Seriously, what more does he need to do? The fact that he only played the last 15mins, and yet finished top of the ball-carrying stats tells its own story.

Looks like Warburton has done his hamstring, so with that in mind, my back row for next week would be 6. Lydiate 7. Tipuric 8. O'Brien. Or maybe 6. Lydiate 7. O'Brien 8. Faletau. Either way is good.

9 Months, 2 Weeks ago

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

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!

9 Months, 3 Weeks ago

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

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

9 Months, 3 Weeks ago

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

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.

9 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Wallabies and British & Irish Lions teams named for first Test on Saturday

There's no way he could do that. Hogg is an exciting full back, but he is nowhere near ready to be dropped in at outhalf into the middle of a Test match against the 3rd best team in the world. If, god forbid, Sexton got injured, would you really be comfortable with a 20 year old full back with only one senior game at outhalf (in which he looked way out of his depth) coming on and trying to steer the team to victory against a quality side like Australia?

I'd have Hogg over Maitland as back three cover though, any day of the week.

9 Months, 4 Weeks ago

Wallabies and British & Irish Lions teams named for first Test on Saturday

Like most on here, I'm completely baffled by the inclusion of Lydiate. It just doesn't make any sense to me. The only reason I can come up with for his inclusion is that Gatland has opted for a VERY specific game plan. Lydiate is a tackling machine, so I have to assume the plan is to play a very tight, power game, have Halfpenny kick his goals, get their noses in front, and bring on Lydiate with 15 minutes to go to tackle anything that moves and close out the match.

But what happens if they are behind with 10/15 to go?? Lydiate is a great defender, but if they are chasing the game he's not the guy to turn to. He can't win a key turnover like Tipuric, or make a line break like SOB. Also, what happens if Heaslip or Warburton get injured? The fact that SOB can cover all three back row spots should have been enough to warrant a place on the bench.

Also, Zebo was obviously done in by the need to have a Scot somewhere in the squad. It's tough luck, but that's the way these things work. Sadly politics often has as much an influence on team selection as form or quality.

9 Months, 4 Weeks ago

 
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