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Eeternaloptimist
30 Jun 13 21:24
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Date Joined: 28 Jun 10
| Topic/replies: 38,236 | Blogger: Eeternaloptimist's blog
There aren't many aspects of the game where they have shown themselves superior to the Aussies. I think it's time to shore up the areas where they do have an advantage and play to the fact that Poitre will be reffing game three. It won't be pretty but I'd play a monster tight five with a mobile back row with instructions to get over the gain line and then secure the ball. Similarly I'd opt for bringing in both Roberts and Tuilagi in the centre and also get North coming off his wing again looking to punch holes through the middle.

It wouldn't be pretty but in an all out arm wrestle I'd fancy the Lions. They haven't shown they can go around the Aussies but they may be able to go over them.

Outside of that I'd scrum and maul them off the pitch. My team for Saturday if all fit. All areas where they have gained an advantage when the right men have been on the pitch:

Corbisiero
Hibbert
Jones
Gray
AWJ
Warburton (Tip if not fit)
O'Brien
Falatau
Phillips
Sexton
Roberts
Tuilagi
Bowe
North
Halfpenny.

Bench

Vunipola
Youngs
Cole
Evans
Heaslip
Murray
Farrell
Davies.

It may seem sacreligious to drop O'Driscoll but for me his time has gone at this level.
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Report curious-cat July 3, 2013 4:03 PM BST
Hope you enjoyed your trip Stewards.

I didn't fancy the Lions in the first 2 tests and thought the odds on here were badly wrong.

I think evens both is the call for the final test but as the Lions are now 2.28 and climbing I think there is a slight value in backing the Lions.

In view of the closeness between the teams the draw has to be backed.

As posted earlier team selection appears close to perfect for this one.
Report boyce July 3, 2013 4:11 PM BST
wales are not that good,,,lost to ireland and england lost to the ocassion ,,,,aussie tharshing on the cards
Report Ozymandius July 3, 2013 4:16 PM BST
Even Joey Barton is having his tuppence worth;

Joseph Barton ‏@Joey7Barton 8h
Shocked at @BrianODriscoll omission. Thought he was outstanding in the tour so far. Legend is a word used way too much. He truly is one.
Report RugbyMan July 3, 2013 4:20 PM BST
It's a tough one to work out for sure. Tension is going to be incredibly high, about as much pressure as you can find in any game of rugby, and the two teams have been extremely equal so far - 1pt between them on aggregate.

For their extra backline threat and cohesion Australia have become favourites, but there are pretty good reasons for opposing that. Firstly the scrums were messy last week, but the Lions went with 2 lesser scrummagers - Vunipola is still very young and Youngs not very big, but even then they did pretty well after a ropey start. Corbisiero is a better scrummager, Hibbard is a big lump, and Romain Poite is a Frenchmen so he likes to penalise weaker scrums. It's always tough to predict scrums at this level, but this is certainly the Lions best chance to get at them here. They've also gone for bulk in the back-row and in recent games the Lions have been low on carriers - Croft, Warburton and Heaslip all struggling to make yards.

Jamie Roberts is fresh and could be a massive plus point. Australia aren't big at 10/12 and if Roberts gets rumbling over the advantage line quick ball could be a lot more likely. On the other hand he may just be too rusty, but who knows.


Just like in previous weeks I'm seeing one team start as favourites when I can't separate the two. As CC says, the draw should be a runner (though this could lead to complications at the end as to whether teams will settle for the draw?) and another very tight game decided by very small margins seems most likely. You can do the draw, Lions 1-5 and Australia 1-5 for around 6/4.
Report Ozymandius July 3, 2013 4:30 PM BST
Interesting question as regards whether either team would settle for the draw at the end?
Report TheVis July 3, 2013 4:58 PM BST
Well I thought the Lions would be under-priced for the 3rd week on the bounce but given I wanted Corbisiero back and a go with Roberts, I am now not so sure.  Also the back row does look a good group and the bench looks to be potentially the best impact of the 3 weeks, though again the backs don't excite me one bit  - but then you have to have a 9 cover and Farrell is always going to be backup 10 - at least Manu may offer something different.

So in short, for me Gatland is rolling the dice and fair play to him as last week's personnel were not working and he has more people to choose from this week.  The BOD dropping is over-hyped as all likewise things these days are given that everybody has to have their say - Joey Barton ffs.

In conclusion, at the prices I now feel the Lions are a much better bet than in weeks 1 and 2.  However, I also feel Aus are much more likely to win by 12.5+ this week.  It's an either/or job for me.  It may click or may just be a game too far with another team cobbled together with too many changes from an increasingly beaten up squad.

As for the draw - weeks 1 and 2 were the ones that got away, last week especially.  The market seems a week behind and is now catching up offering low 20s - why such a shift when you have been comfortably getting 30s pre in the first two Tests?  Not of interest to me as a pre-match play especially given Australia's call to win the game last week rather than take 3.  I can't see why they would do any different this week as obviously don't fancy a drawn series.  I am however fairly sure the Lions would play for levels, but low 20s is a low price if only one team wants to play the 3rd man.
Report curious-cat July 3, 2013 5:16 PM BST
Vis

with both teams prepared to go for pens from far out you could just end up with a draw

i.e. you don't always need the intention.

Obviously the draw has come in as they've shown themselves to be two evenly matched sides.
Report subversion July 3, 2013 5:22 PM BST
RM - its an interesting point about leadership. I also thought the Aussies seemed much more 'supportive' of each other than the Lions when the going was tough.

I remember thinking exactly the same thing about on-the-pitch motivation when Wales were on that nasty (7 or 8 games?) losing streak and then Ryan Jones took over as captain from Warburton.

Watching RJ running around the pitch like a yapping puppy, constantly applauding his team-mates, smiling, patting people on the back and generally infecting people with his enthusiasm, was a very big contrast to the pessimism that seemed to infect the team under Warburton. SW has a lot of strengths, leading by example, being 'mates with the ref' (if you believe in such a thing) etc, but this kind of infectious, energetic, relentlessly positive leadership doesn't seem to be one of them.

And as we know, RJs infectious enthusiasm coincided with Wales form completely turning around...
Report SlippyBlue July 3, 2013 5:29 PM BST
Paddy Power have already paid out on The Lions winning the series! Fair play to them for that.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 3, 2013 5:46 PM BST
BOD has done his job adequately enough in defence and it's fair to say that the team hasn't been sent out to play in a way which would best utilise a running backs game which may have helped him but I've seen precious little evidence of him acting as a true leader at any stage on this tour and certainly not in the first two tests. All this hogwash about him raising his game for one last hurrah is just that. Had he been capable it would have already happened in the first two tests.
Report Ozymandius July 3, 2013 5:54 PM BST
You mean the way it happened for Jon Davies in Test 1 and 2?
Report Freshy. July 3, 2013 6:19 PM BST
To be fair to BOD, he has been marking one of the most difficult players to tackle & from eating up the yards after breaking the gain line, that has ever worn a rugby shirt, & he has kept him very quiet.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 3, 2013 6:28 PM BST
Ozy

Fair point. I'm not particularly defending Davies over O'Driscoll. I'd have gone with Tuilagi for shiit or bust myself. What I will say in his defence is that in teams like the Lions I do like units where possible. Roberts and Davies are such a unit and there is some sense in that familiarity.

Of course the logical response to that would be to point out that Roberts went well with BOD four years ago but four years to a back over 30 is a long time.
Report TheVis July 3, 2013 6:47 PM BST
CC yes of course we may get the draw by default, but at 20/1 for a pre match play for me it has to be a special match which usually involves something akin to bad weather at the Rec, two French teams playing a knockout cup match or Canada v Japan at a RWC Silly
Report Freshy. July 3, 2013 6:54 PM BST
I cannot see any merit in backing the draw at 21/22, where can the price go in the first thirty mins? one try & it runs out like a scalded cat.

If you think it will be a penalty swapping game, then back unders on the try lines.
Report curious-cat July 3, 2013 7:22 PM BST
I think it's wise to back the draw if only for a safety play ........ if it's 19-16 with 5 minutes to go I wouldn't want to be a few hundred down on the draw.
Report Freshy. July 3, 2013 7:36 PM BST
Plenty of time to get the draw onside, I do not think that laying it at 21/22 eighty mins out represents value, you are betting that there will be no try in the first quarter, or say a 6-0 lead.
Report JustWinBaby July 4, 2013 3:54 AM BST
George Smith's call up is intetesting. Hooper has been outstanding so far and is unlucky to be bumped to the bench
Report JOCI Club July 4, 2013 6:39 AM BST
Must dominate the scrum, hence the powerful front row. Adam Jones needs to be able to play almost the entire match.

Must gain at least parity in the linesout and not lose possession on their throws-in when in opposition territory.

Avoid kicking aimlessly to their danger men.

Avoid giving away penalties within kicking distance of the posts.

That should do it.
Report mrtopnotch July 4, 2013 8:12 AM BST
Dropping O’Driscoll means the Lions have lost their most creative attacking centre as well as their most reliable and hard-working defender.

The Lions’ centres, and the backline in general, have suffered from a lack of attacking opportunities,the lack of understanding between himself and Davies was clear to see. The Welshman just didn’t read what O’Driscoll and Jonny Sexton wanted from him in attack.

Defensively, O’Driscoll was magnificent. He made 14 tackles, leading the Lions’ tackle count. Davies? He made five tackles but missed three, including that crucial one for the Wallabies’ winning try. The look that O’Driscoll gave Davies immediately after that miss on Adam Ashley-Cooper said it all; it was inexcusable defending.

O’Driscoll is still one of the finest defenders in the 13 channel in world rugby; Davies just isn’t of the same calibre.

The combination of Davies and O’Driscoll didn’t work for the Lions. Change was needed, but Gatland has dropped the wrong player.
Report in hell July 4, 2013 8:31 AM BST
Davies was out of position though at 12 and BOD had offered nothing at 13 going forward . Roberts/Davies worked very well earlier on the tour . Too much sentiment involved in the dropping of BOD . Bit like when David Beckham got the chop

Right call imo
Report Ozymandius July 4, 2013 8:48 AM BST
Poll in Major Irish Newspaper;

Do you care about the last match in the Lions series now Warren Gatland has dropped Brian O'Driscoll?

Yes, it's still all to play for in the series 21%

No, it leaves a sour taste that tarnishes BOD's legacy 79%
Report mrtopnotch July 4, 2013 8:48 AM BST
Have you been watching the tests ? the ball has not been coming to the backs, with an average of 4secs clearout (terrible), basically the pack has not been doing it's work. I believe BOD is a better 13 than Davies..... please please do not let Roberts get injured , because 80 mins of defensively weak Davies/Tuliagi and we are up sh*te creek with out a paddle.
Gatland is having one last through of the dice with BASH rugby, with players he knows rather than going with form.

I hope it works out, then we win the series Happy
Report in hell July 4, 2013 9:12 AM BST
BOD hasn't been in form though .

Yes , i have watched them and and the other games . BOD has done nothing apart from get pinged at the breakdown . Imo his best days are behind him and Davies will do a better job getting over the gain line .

Everyone will have different views on this though
Report mrtopnotch July 4, 2013 9:25 AM BST
Imo BOD has been in form (I suppose it's all about opinions), he got pinged in the first test unfairly imo.
He was our best defender in the 2nd test by a country mile, Davies was woeful in defense.

The ball simply hasn't been coming out to the backs (especially in the 2nd test), BOD has the guile and hands to work out defenses if given ball and time, his decoy run for cuthberts try in the first test was magnificent.

Ok i understand BOD is not a Bosh merchant in attack and Gatland is going with these tactics, but I think Oz are very used to these tactics and are comfortable in defending the Bosh attack.

Now our scrum may eek out more penalties than normal on saturday especailly with Poite as ref (french tend to penalise the scrum a bit more), so I expect it to come down to a kicking fest ...again.

Anyway here's hoping we do it ...Come on The Lions !!!!!!
Report earlycrow July 4, 2013 10:27 AM BST
George Smith back in the starting 15, it's all over IMO
Report Eeternaloptimist July 4, 2013 3:46 PM BST
Ozy

I appreciate that BOD is an icon in Ireland but that poll doesn't reflect well. You either buy into the lions concept or you don't. The dropping of any individual within that concept should be irrelevant to that.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 4, 2013 3:47 PM BST
Ozy

I appreciate that BOD is an icon in Ireland but that poll doesn't reflect well. You either buy into the lions concept or you don't. The dropping of any individual within that concept should be irrelevant to that.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 4, 2013 3:47 PM BST
Sorry about the double post.
Report mrtopnotch July 4, 2013 4:39 PM BST
Forgot any supposed poll or wind up merchants - lets talk rugby not foozball


Imo BOD has been in form (I suppose it's all about opinions), he got pinged in the first test unfairly imo.
He was our best defender in the 2nd test by a country mile, Davies was woeful in defense.

The ball simply hasn't been coming out to the backs (especially in the 2nd test), BOD has the guile and hands to work out defenses if given ball and time, his decoy run for cuthberts try in the first test was magnificent.

Ok i understand BOD is not a Bosh merchant in attack and Gatland is going with these tactics, but I think Oz are very used to these tactics and are comfortable in defending the Bosh attack.

Now our scrum may eek out more penalties than normal on saturday especailly with Poite as ref (french tend to penalise the scrum a bit more), so I expect it to come down to a kicking fest ...again.

Anyway here's hoping we do it ...Come on The Lions !!!!!!
Report Ozymandius July 4, 2013 4:46 PM BST
Eternaloptomist.

Yeah, I agree with you.

But I think what the poll does is convey the genuine sense of greivence felt.  If Davies had asserted himself in either Test or been clearly the superior player, people might feel differently.

There have been stories of Welsh and Irish fans clashing in pubs in Australia also.
Report boyce July 4, 2013 5:01 PM BST
lots of free money available after the first test JOCI CLUB,
Report mrtopnotch July 4, 2013 5:01 PM BST
You're a gas man Ozy ,you little wum.

The ethos of The Lions is not about countries and p*ssing competitions, there is honour in rugby you know.

Willis John now there is a Lions man
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01c7z07
Report Ozymandius July 4, 2013 5:13 PM BST
good afternoon, Mr Top Notch,

I think you will find that I quoted Big Willie earlier in the thread.  He is shocked by the decision to drop BOD and also feels like 'the ethos of the Lions might be slipping away'.

As as regards Lions not being about National boundaries, or pissing competitions you are quite right.  Those shocked and dismayed and who feel a big mistake has been made form a cross section from Buck Shelford to Will Carling to Daniel Cater to the Rugby Editors of the BBC, Guardian and Telegraph, to name but a few.  This is not merely about an isolated group of disgruntled Paddies.
Report Lady Margaret July 4, 2013 5:20 PM BST
with regard to the BOD debate, what I haven't really seen anyone mention is that Roberts/Davies would probably have been Gatland's call for the First Test given form in the warm-up games and the fact they are an established partnership who know each other's games inside out

Roberts was injured so O'Driscoll played the first two Tests without setting the world alight, now Roberts is fit again and takes his place

BOD's not an impact player so Tuilagi on the bench is the right call IMO

No room for sentiment when there's a test series to be won
Report curious-cat July 4, 2013 8:18 PM BST
exactly
Report Ozymandius July 4, 2013 8:29 PM BST
Its not about sentiment.  It's about the claim that he outperformed Davies over the course of the two Tests and is the better option all things considered.
Report curious-cat July 4, 2013 9:06 PM BST
If you look at the try Australia scored in the first test BOD is not where he should have been and comes racing over and does nail his opponent but only after the ball has been passed
...
... because he was out of position Jonathon Davies has crept away from his opponent as quite understandably he feels he may have to tackle the inside centre.

When I watched the youtube clip I thought JD was to blame as I did at the time - this evening on sky I saw it again and with a longer view you can see BOD was originally out of position.

I only watched the last 15 mins and in that time BOD gave away a pen for handling in a ruck, kicked away an advantage which handed the ball to Aus as ell as being not in the defensive line which led to the try. I'm not saying he was entirely to blame as he managed to get back in time to get a tackle in ... however following this third viewing you can see why JD had moved out of position.
Report Ozymandius July 4, 2013 9:21 PM BST
U mean second Test, right?

I really disagree with your analysis of who was at fault for the try.  A fundamental cornerstone of a defensive sysytem is that you have to trust your man on the inside.  BOD was screaming early at JD to drift and he failed to get there.   Unlike BOD who did get his man.

Take a look at 1.22 of following clip, I would says Bod starting position is nigh on perfect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VttNqKXu84o
Report grappler July 4, 2013 10:17 PM BST
all this talk of players doing this and that will be rendered irrelevant on saturday, as it has been for the last 2. the refereee is the most important person on the pitch, and his arbitrary decisions will give one side a chance to win by kicking penalties awarded for offences that nobody understands. after the furore about 'interpretation', lets hope the ref has read the papers and awards match-winning kicks to the lions this time. the series would be over if australia( a very limited team) had a kicker like halfp.

i heard miles harrison saying that warburton has to 'play the ref'. maybe he does, but it is preposterous that such important games are decided by someone who should be invisible. the players should be free to play the game, and not have to worry about subjective decisions.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 4, 2013 10:59 PM BST
Ozy

I suppose there are differet ways of looking at this. Either Gatland has made the call honestly because he thinks that the partnership of Roberts/Davies will give the team the best chance on Saturday. Or he has done so either out of malice because of something BOD has said or done in camp or for some other reason like Welsh world cup building.

I think the latter is the least likely, a problem with BOD is also unlikely in my view. Unless there is evidence otherwise I think Gatland has made what he thinks is the right decision based on rugby reasons.

He could be wrong and people should be free to hold and express their opinion. However, I think you inadvertently hit the nail on the head with your comment. There is a lot of dismay about the decision and that comes at least in part from an emotional attachment which people feel towards this grand player and ambassador for the game. Gatland cannot afford to allow anything other than what he thinks is in the best interests of the team to form his judgement.
Report khyber kim July 5, 2013 6:44 AM BST
Well all the experts have had their say. All the Ex Lions and retired players have contributed to the debate.

Joey O'Barton has given his view.

itcanbedone /ozydimus has had his say.

Time to get over it he isn't playing.

This is for Lady Margret

The simple fact is that he wasn't playing well enough to merit his place, he wasn't before the start of the tour and that's the problem.


It would have been better to give him responsibility for the mid week games and help the younger tourists. I doubt he would have made the Test side had Roberts been fit.
Report TheVis July 5, 2013 7:28 AM BST
I've only read a small section of the media.  Are any journalists/ex players/footballers supportive or feel that the right decision has been made or do we have a complete flock of sheep who cannot wait to say "I told you so"?
Report khyber kim July 5, 2013 8:42 AM BST
Woodward has agreed with the decision but says he should be on the bench. The problem is most of them are his mates and it will be hard for them to say anything else.It's a bit like the racing fraternity

I hope the negativity in the press doesn't get to the players.

I actually fancy the Lions this week but we need to start well and get a bit of confidence.
Report Ozymandius July 5, 2013 8:45 AM BST
Very few are supportive, Vis.

Eddie Jones called for it and is delighted (shades of WC final 97)  SCW agrees but thinks he should be on the bench.

One Direction are apoplectic.
Report Ozymandius July 5, 2013 8:52 AM BST
EternalOptomist,

Good post.  I fully agree, Gatland has made the call honestly.  And frankly we will never be able to say definitively whether it was the right one or not, win or lose on Saturday.
Report TheVis July 5, 2013 9:07 AM BST
One Direction are apoplectic

LaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh
Report TheVis July 5, 2013 9:10 AM BST
No doubt if the Lions win anyway, the enraged media will spin it someway along the lines of well just think how much bigger the win would have been blah blah.

Will be refreshing IF the Lions win that some in the spotlight might hold their hands up and say they got it wrong.
Report TheVis July 5, 2013 10:01 AM BST
planetrugby say Lions by 2
Report TheVis July 5, 2013 10:03 AM BST
scrum.com say Wallabies - only just
Report mrtopnotch July 5, 2013 11:05 AM BST
Lady Margaret wrote:  now Roberts is fit again and takes his place (BOD).

Are you for real? Roberts comes in at 12
BOD is a 13 (and still at 34 the best 13 in the NH)
Report Poby July 5, 2013 11:11 AM BST
I think the Lions will win the scrum hands down and with the ref consequently win the penalty count and hence the match. A dour match ensues with the Lions by 6 - 9 for me.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 5, 2013 11:57 AM BST
That'll do me. I don't care how they drag themselves across that finishing line. If there's one thing I don't want it's all the shiit many of the Aussies will be coming out with if they win. I suspect most of them would be happy to win ugly rather than lose gracefully as well.
Report The_KAMIKAZEE_DRINKING_MACHINE July 5, 2013 11:59 AM BST
Who are all these Aussies Eternal? The forum is 98% UK.
Report The_KAMIKAZEE_DRINKING_MACHINE July 5, 2013 1:08 PM BST
Some quotes from Clarkey.

'Wales were by far the better team in the test series against the Aussies last summer'

In the last 8 games against Australia, Wales have won 0.

'I genuinely believe this is a very poor Aussie outfit and the Lions are much the better squad'

'The Lions,despite being a superior outfit in every department(bar 9 obviously)'

It's this kind of irrational thinking that has seen the Lions at 1.50 and the Wallabies 3.00 when it's basically been an even money bet. We should be thankful to Clarkey for the overs!!
Report Ozymandius July 5, 2013 1:33 PM BST
Simple fact is the Lions are not as good as Wales.  Understandably less cohesive and not as accustomed to playing the way Gatland requires.

Sexton is the only player on this Lions XV who would significantly improve a full strength Welsh XV, and that is mainly because they are so weak there.  And I don't think Sexton is over-performing at the moment.

The Lions bench is stronger than the Welsh bench, perhaps this will tell.
Report The_KAMIKAZEE_DRINKING_MACHINE July 5, 2013 1:41 PM BST
2013 is a better year for the wallabies in terms of injuries. Last year they had 42 injuries. Was nearly a 2nd XV
Report Eeternaloptimist July 5, 2013 2:04 PM BST
Kamikaze

They'll be here on Saturday if you win don't you worry. By the way I agree with your point but that is an image which the Aussie media were fundamental in perpetuating. The Lions were garlanded in your media all the way up to the first test which is the total opposite of how you usually do things. I think a big factor in that was the relative lack of English in the squad. The Aussies feel a much greater kindred spirit with out celtic brethren than the English.
Report The_KAMIKAZEE_DRINKING_MACHINE July 5, 2013 2:16 PM BST
What is it you are drinking at the moment Eternal I gotta get some!!
Report Lady Margaret July 5, 2013 3:09 PM BST
Mrtopnotch

when I say 'his' I am referring to Roberts not BOD

my thinking is that Roberts/Davies was Gatland's preferred first-choice partnership given form in the warm-up matches and the fact they are an established combo

Roberts got injured so Davies was moved out of position to 12 and BOD came in for the first two tests

Roberts in back so he comes in at 12 and Davies moves back to his usual position of 13

comprendez?
Report The_KAMIKAZEE_DRINKING_MACHINE July 5, 2013 3:36 PM BST
Roberts-Davies would've been Gatland's 1st test pick for sure.


Eternal It's the British media that have been spruiking your mob not the Australian media. UK fans are guilty of swallowing the hype. In Australia rugby is a minor sport. The British lions never rated a mention here till recently. Even now,at it's zenith,rugby is not the top story in Australian sport. It's wrong I know but that's how it is.
Report Monstrous Bryan July 5, 2013 4:22 PM BST
Sexton is the only player on this Lions XV who would significantly improve a full strength Welsh XV, and that is mainly because they are so weak there.  And I don't think Sexton is over-performing at the moment.

Think Bowe is a significant improvement on Cuthbert too Ozy, not attack-wise, but certainly in terms of positioning and defense.
Report boyce July 5, 2013 4:36 PM BST
the stark truth is,,australia are a better side than wales,,,its only been close because australia have been playing poorly,,missed kicks in the 1st and far too many handling errors in the 2nd,,,ausssies turn up ,,thrashing on the cards
Report TheVis July 5, 2013 4:40 PM BST
You'd better get some 7/1 on the 12.5+ then
Report boyce July 5, 2013 4:55 PM BST
no need ,,ive already got 5.9 on the series win after the welsh lions lucky 1st test win
Report RugbyMan July 5, 2013 6:56 PM BST
No need to take something at a big price that is apparently very likely to happen? There's a lesson in punting for everyone.

It's a good job that in every rugby game of all time one team has played poorly and thats the only reason the other team got a look in. Would be weird if that ever changed.
Report Eeternaloptimist July 5, 2013 9:41 PM BST
Kamikaze

I'm not a big reader of Aussie papers but we do get some reports here and that was my impression which was reinforced by the many positive comments by the Aussie players and coaches following the early tour matches.
Report in hell July 5, 2013 9:42 PM BST
How the fcuk is that a knock on
Report JOCI Club July 5, 2013 9:52 PM BST
Monstrous Bryan 05 Jul 13 16:22 
Sexton is the only player on this Lions XV who would significantly improve a full strength Welsh XV, and that is mainly because they are so weak there.  And I don't think Sexton is over-performing at the moment.

Think Bowe is a significant improvement on Cuthbert too Ozy, not attack-wise, but certainly in terms of positioning and defense.


Think Cuthbert is unlucky (a) to have been dropped to the bench after scoring a try in a WIN for the Lions in the 1st test and (b) to be dropped from the squad completely, after being replaced by Bowe, then watching the Lions lose the 2nd test.
Report JOCI Club July 5, 2013 9:53 PM BST
Monstrous Bryan 05 Jul 13 16:22 
Sexton is the only player on this Lions XV who would significantly improve a full strength Welsh XV, and that is mainly because they are so weak there.  And I don't think Sexton is over-performing at the moment.

Think Bowe is a significant improvement on Cuthbert too Ozy, not attack-wise, but certainly in terms of positioning and defense.


I'd have thought one of the other nations would have a 2nd row that could come into the Welsh side and partner Alan Wyn Jones, which would improve the team.
Report Ozymandius July 5, 2013 9:58 PM BST
MB, I agree about Bowe, certainly a better player than Cuthbert.
Report JOCI Club July 5, 2013 10:00 PM BST
Let's hope he shows this superior ability tomorrow.
Report RugbyMan July 5, 2013 10:04 PM BST
Well, on that note I would say that Youngs has definitely been better than Hibbard at hooker, which surprised me because I had Hibbard as a certain starter a few months back. Healy is better than Jenkins these days for sure, the latter well past his best. O'Connell quite clearly improves the second row. It's a bit of a pick your favourites from 9 in the back-row. Sexton clearly at 10. A few positions like 9 and 13 are the sort of things that can start arguments up and down the land.

As for Cuthbert I think it's been mentioned many times on here that he is a fantastic attacking weapon, but good grief he can look like a lost child in defence at times. I prefer Bowe for sure, although as a neutral I would go for the sheer carnage that occurs around Cuthbert - never dull.

No doubt at all that Wales are the best NH team right now, but its a nonsense to think that they are completely dominant. You could turn it around and say that only 3 Welshmen are irreplaceable, 4 if you add Roberts (which maybe we should after the first 2 tests).
Report RugbyMan July 5, 2013 10:04 PM BST
In fact it has to include Roberts. Struggling to see a Lions victory if Roberts isn't on form tomorrow.
Report Monstrous Bryan July 5, 2013 10:12 PM BST
To be fair he did specify a player in the Lions XV who could significantly improve a full strength Welsh XV, and though I think Parling is better than Ian Evans, would not say significantly better. Would prefer to have Youngs in the team than Hibbard, but again not significantly better
Report JOCI Club July 5, 2013 10:51 PM BST
Healy is better than Jenkins these days for sure

In a fantasy world maybe.
Report yer ma July 5, 2013 11:55 PM BST
Find it a bit bizarre Roberts playing is being regarded as the second coming.  He's no Fofana (who probably wouldnt get a game for Gats).  If he smashes it up the middle a couple of the times in the the first ten tomorrow and gets nowhere, whats the plan and will that not be hugely demoralising? 

As many have mentioned arguing over the individual inclusions is pointless.  The issue is the gameplan.  If the gameplan were different then the debate over the positions would be valid - if you argue the gameplan is to play like Wales, then simply play the Welsh team.  To me thats not what the Lions are supposed to do - its meant to reflect the attributes of the 15 best available 4 nations players.  The finlay calder thing on Sky best encapsulated that - England and Scotland were the dominant teams at time, they devised a mix of their styles...they didnt simply say Scotland won the grand slam rucking so lets do that.

Last point RM said Wales are clearly the best NH side at the moment.  In games that matter I'd still take France every time.  Wales benefit massively from their domestic situation being meaningless and everything is centred around the national side. Complete opposite to France but player for player France are better (or could be).  Irrelevant to the lions clearly but in a way a lot of what Gatland has been allowed to do is based on Welsh 6N dominance that to my mind is a more to do with poor/transitional Ireland / England and unfocused France than brilliant Wales.  Few of this Welsh team would make any neutrals Worlds 15 or even 23. IMO
Report stewardsenquirey July 6, 2013 1:54 AM BST
As Manager of the Lions I have no problem with Gatland making whole sale changes(after all that's his prerogative as manager)
Personally I don't agree with them,but am willing to hold judgement until the final result.
If the Lions win,dropping Bod will look like a stroke of Genius and forgotten in seconds after the final whistle.
Like a few on here I picked up on Bods tackling stats for the 2 Tests he started against Folau who is a complete athlete and managed to shackle him as much  as you can someone of his ilk.
Personally I think Davies will be fully found out and have loaded up on Folau Anytime Tryscorer,and also had some of him for a Hat trick at 40/1.
Live by the Sword,Die by the Sword,and that's part of being a Lions Manager is about.
LIONS LIONS LIONS!!!
(But I don't see smash and crash rugby having The Wallabies quaking)
Report boyce July 6, 2013 7:40 AM BST
lions play well and the aussies play poorly=aussies still go close,,,,,,,lions play poorly and the aussies play well=aussie thrashing,,,,,cant believe the hype the lions and especially the welsh are getting,,ffs wales are average..no more
Report Ozymandius July 6, 2013 7:55 AM BST
To be fair he did specify a player in the Lions XV who could significantly improve a full strength Welsh XV,

Exactly, thank you MB.
Report Ozymandius July 6, 2013 7:57 AM BST
If the Lions win,dropping Bod will look like a stroke of Genius and forgotten in seconds after the final whistle.

Are you kidding me?  The depth of feeling that this has created ensures that this will never be forgotten.
Report stewardsenquirey July 6, 2013 8:05 AM BST
If the Lions win the series no way can the dropping of BOD overshadow it still.
It's all about a Lions series victory,not even the dropping of BOD should detract away from that.
Report boyce July 6, 2013 8:07 AM BST
how will they react,the irish,english and maybe a few of the welsh lads must have been shocked at such a decision ,,,,,,,,,,,,,come on aussies bash these welsh boyo's,,send the sheep sha ggers home
Report gentlemanjohn July 6, 2013 9:32 AM BST
stewardsenquirey 06 Jul 13 08:05 
If the Lions win the series no way can the dropping of BOD overshadow it still.
It's all about a Lions series victory,not even the dropping of BOD should detract away from that.


Agree 100%. If Aussies win the bleating in ireland about the dropping of our hero will be unimaginable, its already close to insufferable as it is
Report boyce July 6, 2013 9:37 AM BST
really really bad decision
Report JOCI Club July 6, 2013 2:43 PM BST
JOCI Club 04 Jul 13 06:39 
Must dominate the scrum, hence the powerful front row. Adam Jones needs to be able to play almost the entire match.

Must gain at least parity in the linesout and not lose possession on their throws-in when in opposition territory.

Avoid kicking aimlessly to their danger men.

Avoid giving away penalties within kicking distance of the posts.

That should do it.


Must dominate the scrum, hence the powerful front row. Adam Jones needs to be able to play almost the entire match. [CHECK]

Must gain at least parity in the linesout and not lose possession on their throws-in when in opposition territory. [CHECK]

Avoid kicking aimlessly to their danger men. [JURY'S OUT]

Avoid giving away penalties within kicking distance of the posts. [CHECK...JUST]

That should do it [CHECK]

Cool
Report Monstrous Bryan July 6, 2013 2:48 PM BST
State the obvious then self aggrandize after the event. [CHECK]

Silly
Report Ozymandius July 6, 2013 3:00 PM BST
ShockedLaugh
Report doubleagent July 6, 2013 3:04 PM BST
Very funny!!!Sorry.
Report doubleagent July 6, 2013 4:18 PM BST
Eeternaloptimist




 


     Eeternaloptimist   




Date Joined:   28 Jun 10 
Add contact | Send message
  05 Jul 13 11:57 
Joined:


  28 Jun 10 
    | Topic/replies: 18,718  | Blogger: Eeternaloptimist's blog   



That'll do me. I don't care how they drag themselves across that finishing line. If there's one thing I don't want it's all the shiit many of the Aussies will be coming out with if they win. I suspect most of them would be happy to win ugly rather than lose gracefully as well.



I've just noticed you started a gloating thread on the Aussie forum after the 1st test.
Report boyce July 6, 2013 4:25 PM BST
joci club,,you are a total wan  ker
Report boyce July 6, 2013 4:57 PM BST
but well done lions ,,its great to harmony and enjoyment,,may it come to all,,and u joci club,,apologies for my mong behaviour
Report JOCI Club July 6, 2013 4:59 PM BST
boyce 06 Jul 13 16:25 
joci club,,you are a total wan  ker


Spoiled my weekend now.
Report JOCI Club July 6, 2013 5:01 PM BST
Monstrous Bryan 06 Jul 13 14:48 
State the obvious then self aggrandize after the event. [CHECK]

Silly


I am treating that comment with the disdain it deserves.
Report boyce July 6, 2013 5:09 PM BST
the arhcons will take care o u
Report boyce July 6, 2013 5:09 PM BST
the arhcons will take care o u
Report doubleagent July 6, 2013 6:39 PM BST
Eternaloptimast

I see you have started another gloating thread on the Aussie Forum. What a class act you are!
Report Eeternaloptimist July 6, 2013 6:54 PM BST
Just a bit of fun doubleagent as I'm sure would have been the case for you boys. You neglect to point out that after the second test I also went onto the Aussie forum and was profuse in my praise of your boys. Why is that?
Report rubhahunish July 6, 2013 7:36 PM BST
Kiss and make up you two, now is there a link to the full match yet, pls?
Report mrtopnotch July 8, 2013 3:14 PM BST
BRITISH & IRISH LIONS 3rd test ratings:

L Halfpenny - excellent 8/10
T Bowe - did the hard yards 7/10
J Davies - largely inaffective 5/10
J Roberts - did some good work, great try with a brilliant pass from Murray 7/10
G North - class act, sometimes positionally goes missing 8/10
J Sexton - showed how to run a game 8/10
M Phillips - started well, faided bably, indecisive 6/10
A Corbisiero - Excellent 9/10
R Hibbard - think the head clash affected him, still did well 7/10
A Jones - Awesome 9/10
A-W Jones - Led by example 8/10
G Parling - some great work 8/10
D Lydiate - did some great work 8/10
S O’Brien - Class 9/10
T Faletau - did the 8 job well with a winning scrum in front of him 8/10

(T Youngs, 47) - great call by gatland 8/10
(C Murray, 51) - game changing call by gatland with 3 tries when he came on 8.5/1
(D Cole, 55)   - did his job well 7/10
(J Tipuric, 59)- did his job well
(M Tuilagi) - not on long enough to be rated
(O Farrell) - not on long enough to be rated
(R Gray)- not on long enough to be rated
(M Vunipola)- not on long enough to be rated
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