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10stonenumber10, you make some valid points about Davies being picked over O'Driscoll, and if that selection decision was an isolated incident then maybe I could accept it as being 'tactical', but when he picks a Welsh captain and everyone around the world says, "Why him?", when he continues to pick an underperforming Welsh scrumhalf over the others, when he picks a Welsh centre who hadn't played in six months, when he picks his old retired Welsh mate Shane Williams for one last farewell match because he happened to be on holidays nearby, it stops being an isolated incident and starts looking very much like a trend.
As well as that, I think we've all come to realise that 'pick loads of big guys and bash it up the middle' is as far as tactics go for Gatland.
5 Days, 22 Hours ago
DrG, tell that last point to the South African rugby administrators.
6 Days, 10 Hours ago
Sorry, but the point about Davies is simply not true. He absolutely was not playing good rugby, as evidenced by the fact that the deciding try in the 2nd test was his fault and he hadn't impressed at all in the actual test matches. Then, why would a Lions coach pick up-and-coming stars? The tour was going to be over a week after, so what difference would it have made if he picked an established player or an up-and-coming one? The only team Davies was an up-and-coming star for was Wales, so if he was picked for that reason then it was because Gatland saw potential to develop his Welsh player.
Then, yeah, the Lions won the third test after Gatland actually started to use some of the key players he had excluded until that point like O'Brien, Murray and a decent loosehead who could actually scrummage, but they shouldn't have been in a winner-takes-all situation in that test - they should have been going for a third test win. Australia were absolutely useless and should have been destroyed in all three tests.
In any case, the quota idea would just be foolish. It'd cause ill-will more than anything and would seriously undermine the team's chances of winning, because they'd be playing with dead-weight who are playing solely based on their nationality. The team should be picked on merit, because naturally there will always be a good mix when done like that (except lately for Scotland). Quotas should only be imposed when there's a risk of someone deserving NOT being picked based on nationality (or gender, or race, etc.). Just because Gatland turned out to pick loads of undeserving Welsh players doesn't mean that all coaches are going to be that biased, so it'd just be opening a can of worms that shouldn't be opened.
6 Days, 17 Hours ago
If I remember correctly, he didn't score against Wales either. I wouldn't read into that too much though.
2 Weeks, 13 Hours ago
I don't know if you're being serious or speaking in jest, but I completely agree. Not so much about a player being slapped - although that South African fan that attacked a referee set a precedent - but more for the ridiculousness of the thing.
As a fan, when this happens, if I find myself saying, "Has the match I was watching actually been stopped because some naked fella' is running around the pitch?" then something isn't right. It's just annoying. If I was a player I'd absolutely smash the guy to the ground at the first opportunity I got.
3 Weeks, 1 Day ago
Good hit, but it would have been a lot more impressive if he hadn't completely c*cked up the pass afterwards.
3 Weeks, 2 Days ago
Are you serious? I don't know about the one on North but that one on Savea was the most obvious shoulder charge I've ever seen.
I agree he's a great tackler for an outhalf but here wasn't a great example of it.
3 Weeks, 6 Days ago
Maybe I've misunderstood so correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's exactly the opposite to what you said in the knockout stages of the world cup. For example, pool A, let's say Australia goes through first and England second, England will be put in quarter final 1 and Australia in QF4, then assuming they both win Australia will then play the winner of QF3 and England will play the winner of QF2. I assume you're talking about the first and second-ranked teams of a pool, i.e. the winners, because otherwise I've misunderstood.
1 Month, 53 Minutes ago
I think the seemingly hapless performance here from Scotland isn't actually as negative as it may seem, because most of the tries scored looked to be the result of a defence that just couldn't have been bothered at the end of a long season, so come crunch time in the Six Nations/World Cup I really don't think they'll be as poor as that. Realistically, no top-flight team in international rugby lets the other team drive over from five metres out, so in matches where Scotland actually make an effort the other teams will have to work a lot harder and won't get the armchair ride that SA did.
Having said that, I still think that they'll suffer in tournaments because of a lack of top-class players.
1 Month, 6 Hours ago
Actually, now that I think about it, the Hernandez tackle was pretty legal. At first glance I thought that since he sent him flying and didn't go with him that it was a shoulder-charge but I suppose the reason he didn't go down in the tackle with him was more due to the angles of running and speed with which they collided. Bad call by me.
1 Month, 5 Days ago