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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.
10 Months, 1 Day ago