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Highfeld XV v Lions

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Steve-o

Guest
Very entertaining game! Well done to the Royal XV, they deserve more credit than they getting. They were awesome and lead for most of the game, 15 points ahead around the 65 min if I remember correctly. Their scrumhalf Sariel Pretorius got MotM I believe and thoroughly deserved it. He outplayed Mike Blair hands down.

Such a pity that poor decision making cost them the game at the end.

Poor Keith Earls had a shocker of a debut. I hope he gets those nerves settled now as I enjoy watching small, elusive backs like him. It was good that he was left on the field because he improved slightly towards the end. Might of boosted his confidence slightly. POC didn't step up and take him under his wing enough, which was poor leadership imo. Earls clearly need the big man to give him a bit of assurance.
Hopefully Earls will just put this one under his belt and get on with playing his natural game.

I really hope the Lions improve.
 
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shazbooger

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Steve-o @ May 31 2009, 07:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
POC didn't step up and take him under his wing enough, which was poor leadership imo. Earls clearly need the big man to give him a bit of assurance.[/b]

Meh, very little a captain can do if a player keeps dropping the ball. I'm sure both O'Connell and O'Gara had a word, but if it doesnt stick, it doesnt stick.

Your right though, please god they improve or its going to be a dull one-sided tour.
 
V

Vambo

Guest
At least the tour is off to a winning start. Not a very convincing win granted but it's important to notch up the victories leading up to the tests.

Well played to Highfeld and especially Pretorius who was a major pain in the arse!

Way too soon to judge the captaincy of O'Connell but to be honest I thought he led from the front and certainly carried the ball well.
I actually thought O'Gara went ok... a tad conservative with his touch finders but put in a couple of good tackles which isn't his forte... landed his shots at goal, put Bowe in under the sticks and finished a good try for himself. I don't see Jones doing much better to be honest and for me O'Gara is the stronger kicking option.

Byrne was excellent. Straight into the test team.

Earls was poor and doesn't inspire confidence. Down the pecking order for the time being.

The important thing was that the Lions never let their heads down despite all their mistakes and the scoreboard being against them for the majority of the match. They still won the game and that is what really mattered yesterday. I'm confident that better performances will come and that they'll be ready to take on the boks when it really matters.
 
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edinburgh_gunner

Guest
I actually thought Blair had an OK game, he wasn't his usual fantastic self but he was by no means the worst player on the park. He struggled because the back row was so crap, Wallace gave him absolutley NO protection at the scrum and the lazy effort at ruck time meant any 9 would struggle. He did put in a couple of nice wee runs and tackles, I think people are perhaps being a bit harsh on him.
 
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Vambo

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (edinburgh_gunner @ May 31 2009, 10:11 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I actually thought Blair had an OK game, he wasn't his usual fantastic self but he was by no means the worst player on the park. He struggled because the back row was so crap, Wallace gave him absolutley NO protection at the scrum and the lazy effort at ruck time meant any 9 would struggle. He did put in a couple of nice wee runs and tackles, I think people are perhaps being a bit harsh on him.[/b]

He got better as the game went on and you're right about Wallace but Blair simply didn't look as sharp as his opposing 9 who had to deal with a terrible scrum almost every time he put the ball in and yet still managed to turn it into a threat.
 
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edinburgh_gunner

Guest
Aye, but the Royal back row at least looked like they knew what they were doing. How many times did the Lions only have a couple people in the ruck, that meant Blair had to go digging and he'd get scragged or counter rucked? Yeah he didn't have his usual spark, but I've said this before, behind a pack on the front foot (which, scrum aside, the Lions 8 were not) Blair can be lethal. I hope that Geech can see this, but as one of my team mates (who actually has several test caps to his name for Scotland, so knows his stuff) said, the whole lions team smacks of Edwards and Gatland - so I don't hold out much hope for a chance for Blair to redeem himself!
 
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Olyy

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Try McDaddy @ May 30 2009, 10:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Can anyone tell me where I can see the highlights of todays game online for free...even on a sports report.....cant find it anywhere[/b]
S4C are doing highlights of the matches the night of the match, and you can watch the channel online on their website:
http://www.s4c.co.uk/clic/e_index.shtml
Having said that, i don't know whether that service is available outside of the UK/how much is actually show on the live stream, but they're showing the wales canada match later, so there's a good chance they'll show other rugby as well
 
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Steve-o

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Logorrhea @ May 31 2009, 09:51 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Steve-o @ May 31 2009, 07:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
POC didn't step up and take him under his wing enough, which was poor leadership imo. Earls clearly need the big man to give him a bit of assurance.[/b]

Meh, very little a captain can do if a player keeps dropping the ball. I'm sure both O'Connell and O'Gara had a word, but if it doesnt stick, it doesnt stick.

[/b][/quote]

I think he should of been more vocal when his team was struggling. Of the 4 times Earls dropped the ball I didn't see any player go up to him and just give him a pat on the shoulder and tell him to relax.
 
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dullonien

Guest
I thought Burne and O'Connell looked sharp, Burne hardly making a mistake all game and looking dangerous on attack. O'Connell showing up a few too many times in midfield maybe, but at least he was making ground with some good drives. Bowe and Roberts did all they could, Bowe scoring a good try with his lovely angle beating the defense. Roberts broke the first tackle every time and recovered a few poor O'Gara passes that were on his shoe lases. That brings me to O'Gara who was ok imo. Good with the boot, but not much else, don't sugar coat his pass to Bowe, it was a simple inside ball, Bowe did all the work for that try.

Shane was again quiet and messed up a possible try, though he did well to get to the try-line. There's a chance for someone to stake a claim for the no 11 shirt. Earls had a shocker, we won't see him start another test.

Up front, Adam Jones went ok scrum time, but was nowhere much in the loose, Mathew Rees and Sheridan were poor. Shaw was nowhere to be seen for most the match, Alun-Wyn Jones came on and scored a crucial try. Back-row were poor full stop. Worseley and Wallace were both terrible. Hardly saw Worslely atall, whilst Wallace dropped a few easy passes and obviously isn't good enough at 8. He deserves another chance in his preferred position of 7, but playing out of position still doesn't justify his poor handling. Martyn Williams came more into the game towards the end, setting up O'Gara's try, but he once again showed he's not strong enough if the rest of the pack is on the back foot. He should go better alongside the likes of Ferris and Heaslip imo.

So overall a bitterly dissapointing performance, but alot of praise has to go to the Royal IV for their great performance, they deserved to win, but they should still be proud that they pushed the Lions so close.

Edit: forgot to metion Blair who was another poor performer. Some of his passing wasn't up to scratch and he was almost bullied by the opposing (smaller) nine. I know he was behind the poor pack, but it wasn't just that, he's not playing well and Phillips looked better when he came on.
 
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cyRil

Guest
If it was a Royal IV they were up against they should receive knighthoods, not just praise!!! :p ;)
 
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shtove

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (dullonien @ Jun 1 2009, 10:02 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I thought Burne and O'Connell looked sharp, Burne hardly making a mistake all game and looking dangerous on attack. O'Connell showing up a few too many times in midfield maybe, but at least he was making ground with some good drives. Bowe and Roberts did all they could, Bowe scoring a good try with his lovely angle beating the defense. Roberts broke the first tackle every time and recovered a few poor O'Gara passes that were on his shoe lases. That brings me to O'Gara who was ok imo. Good with the boot, but not much else, don't sugar coat his pass to Bowe, it was a simple inside ball, Bowe did all the work for that try.

Shane was again quiet and messed up a possible try, though he did well to get to the try-line. There's a chance for someone to stake a claim for the no 11 shirt. Earls had a shocker, we won't see him start another test.

Up front, Adam Jones went ok scrum time, but was nowhere much in the loose, Mathew Rees and Sheridan were poor. Shaw was nowhere to be seen for most the match, Alun-Wyn Jones came on and scored a crucial try. Back-row were poor full stop. Worseley and Wallace were both terrible. Hardly saw Worslely atall, whilst Wallace dropped a few easy passes and obviously isn't good enough at 8. He deserves another chance in his preferred position of 7, but playing out of position still doesn't justify his poor handling. Martyn Williams came more into the game towards the end, setting up O'Gara's try, but he once again showed he's not strong enough if the rest of the pack is on the back foot. He should go better alongside the likes of Ferris and Heaslip imo.

So overall a bitterly dissapointing performance, but alot of praise has to go to the Royal IV for their great performance, they deserved to win, but they should still be proud that they pushed the Lions so close.

Edit: forgot to metion Blair who was another poor performer. Some of his passing wasn't up to scratch and he was almost bullied by the opposing (smaller) nine. I know he was behind the poor pack, but it wasn't just that, he's not playing well and Phillips looked better when he came on.[/b]
Agree with most of that, although the Lions did deserve to win.

The Wales guys dun good, but Byrne was superb.

POC's leadership wasn't obvious, but they got better as they went on - so that shows character.

ROG better than you say - kept it steady, which is exactly what you want with a new team, and picked his moments. There was a grubber under the posts that didn't result in a try because of a dodgy block in the centre. Perfect point kicking is also a major plus. And you're ignoring his other pass to Bowe - with the boot.

Disappointment, but no bitterness. Slow start at altitude, that's all.
 
J

Jer1cho

Guest
I agree with Shtove. They needed to find their feet, and the altitude and travel things still needed to settle. Lee Byrne is such an awesome player, and he really showed his class when they were on the back foot.

i don't think this is anything to go by, as it was a warm up match first and foremost. The Lions also had some really bad individual play *Cough Earls cough*... But like i said, they need to settle, get used to playing conditions, and need more time to gel. They will get better throughout this tour, I'm pretty confident of that.
 
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Meh

Guest
IMO...

Lee Byrne is the only nailed on test starter. At this point in time I can see Shane getting left out.
 
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Steve-o

Guest
Not sure if this praise Byrne is getting for this game is warranted.
"Superb" & "excellent" are some of the words thrown around on here but I'd say he was just solid. His try involved a lot of luck e.g. Royals fullback not going up for the ball, ball bouncing forward off Byrne's leg & Royals scrumhalf was blocking the wing from making the tackle.

But we all have our biases I guess. Like how I think the Royal XV should be getting more praise than the Munster team who pushed the All Blacks 2nd team close.
 
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Bumbadum

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Steve-o @ Jun 1 2009, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Not sure if this praise Byrne is getting for this game is warranted.
"Superb" & "excellent" are some of the words thrown around on here but I'd say he was just solid. His try involved a lot of luck e.g. Royals fullback not going up for the ball, ball bouncing forward off Byrne's leg & Royals scrumhalf was blocking the wing from making the tackle.

But we all have our biases I guess. Like how I think the Royal XV should be getting more praise than the Munster team who pushed the All Blacks 2nd team close.[/b]


The most impressive thing about the way Byrne played was that on his Lions debut he took the game by the scruff of the neck, inspired those around him and dragged some of the other previously non-players up to his level, thus improving the entire team and contributing greatly to the win.

Sure you can say he was a bit lucky for the try, but imo you make your own luck, he worked hard, kept his head and got the break he deserved.
 
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Prestwick

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Steve-o @ Jun 1 2009, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Not sure if this praise Byrne is getting for this game is warranted.
"Superb" & "excellent" are some of the words thrown around on here but I'd say he was just solid. His try involved a lot of luck e.g. Royals fullback not going up for the ball, ball bouncing forward off Byrne's leg & Royals scrumhalf was blocking the wing from making the tackle.

But we all have our biases I guess. Like how I think the Royal XV should be getting more praise than the Munster team who pushed the All Blacks 2nd team close.[/b]

Quite true but you can say South Africa were pretty lucky to get that try that sunk New Zealand last year or to come back against Fiji in the World Cup. Both were class moments in South African rugby but are easy to wave away as down to pure luck.

Its a case of looking at a glass and saying its either half full or half empty.
 
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Steve-o

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Prestwick @ Jun 1 2009, 05:00 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Steve-o @ Jun 1 2009, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Not sure if this praise Byrne is getting for this game is warranted.
"Superb" & "excellent" are some of the words thrown around on here but I'd say he was just solid. His try involved a lot of luck e.g. Royals fullback not going up for the ball, ball bouncing forward off Byrne's leg & Royals scrumhalf was blocking the wing from making the tackle.

But we all have our biases I guess. Like how I think the Royal XV should be getting more praise than the Munster team who pushed the All Blacks 2nd team close.[/b]

Quite true but you can say South Africa were pretty lucky to get that try that sunk New Zealand last year or to come back against Fiji in the World Cup. Both were class moments in South African rugby but are easy to wave away as down to pure luck.

Its a case of looking at a glass and saying its either half full or half empty.
[/b][/quote]

Like I say, we all have our biases. Like I could argue that SA were in the lead by 2 points at half time against the All Blacks in that game, and they eventually won by 2 points. I could also argue that Fiji were never in the lead (they drew the score) so there was never pending defeat.

Ultimately we're looking at games in different perspectives and taking different things from it. I saw Sariel Pretorius delivery a MotM performance and the Royals leading for most of the game. You saw Byrne's brilliance.
Each to their own.
 
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Thingimubob

Guest
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Steve-o @ Jun 1 2009, 03:22 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
Not sure if this praise Byrne is getting for this game is warranted.
"Superb" & "excellent" are some of the words thrown around on here but I'd say he was just solid. His try involved a lot of luck e.g. Royals fullback not going up for the ball, ball bouncing forward off Byrne's leg & Royals scrumhalf was blocking the wing from making the tackle.

But we all have our biases I guess. Like how I think the Royal XV should be getting more praise than the Munster team who pushed the All Blacks 2nd team close.[/b]

Correction: The Munster 2nd team who pushed the All Blacks 2nd team close

TBF the Royal XV are getting a lot of deserved praise anyway, good on them! :)

Anyway, Byrne, Roberts and Bowe all played well imo, O'Gara's goal kicking was awesome, but still not sure on the rest of his game. Looks like Shaun Edwards has had some effect on his defense though, he put in a fair few decent tackles.
Looking forward to the next match now
 
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MunsterMan

Guest
The term nightmare is thrown around a lot these days but apart from one nice tackle early on, everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong. He bounced back well enough after that and looked dangerous enough and powerful in defence but the damage was done at that stage, and he didn't do enough to make up for the appalling start to the game. It wasn't out of lack of skill though, and I'm sure he will bounce back.

O'Connell was our only lineout option. If we are playing Shaw from now on we need more Lineout options in the backrow, namely Ferris/Croft at 6 and Heaslip at 8.
 

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