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Overall thoughts on the Lions tour

Genghis

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Well, now that the tour is over ..... I thought it was one of the very best Lions tours that I have seen over the past 30 years.

Somehow, yet again, the tour rose above the usual small minded pariochalism, the worst efforts of the home Unions and administrators, the bile and stupidity of the UK and NZ media.

The Lions, a scratch team with almost no time for preparation or training together, went into the homelands of indisputably the best team in the world, a fearsome All Black unit who have swept everything in front of them away. Into a country that genuinely eats, sleeps and dreams about rugby. They were competitive and well coached, and I think the drawn series may well have been the very best series result by any Lions team in history.

Conversely, a young New Zealand side, pretty hard hit by injuries, were on balance the superior side to a rich and well supported foreign team that had been drawn from a population of about 90 million people! They were playing against one of the strongest Lions squads ever assembled.

The Lions fans were great, loud and passionate without generally being obnoxious, superb supporters for the team. The New Zealand fans and public are probably the most knowledgeable rugby people on earth, and the welcome they provided - plus the mutual respect shown by both sets of supporters was brilliant.

The super high quality of the midweek and warm up games helped the Lions team get better. What great depth the New Zealand game has and fair play for not stripping the franschises of their best players, like the Aussies did last time.

On the pitch, I thought New Zealand were marginally the superior team. Their attacking play and speed was incredible. They led for all but three minutes of all three tests and I think they might feel aggrieved about some of the ref decisions. However, the defence and tenacity of the Lions was great, and they played some good attacking rugby too ..... THAT try will go down in history as one of the great Lions tries. However, they All Blacks were genuinely thrown by the ferocity of the defence and the Lions kickers were head and shoulders above poor old Barrett. The way they reacted to the defeat and draw was very classy (I always say that if you feel cheated by a ref decision, the game was too close for you to claim unfairness. A great team would be far enough ahead that a poor decision wouldn't make a difference).

For the record, I thought Sonny Bill deserved a red card, I though Vunipola was skating on thin ice, and I also thought the 'accidental offside' should have been a penalty. Still, that's the way it goes.

Roll on South Africa. What a shame it's 12 more years until we go back to New Zealand!
 

Old Hooker

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If the Lions future was in doubt, it isn't any more. Just hope the administrators give the team a chance next time. Also hope that the Springboks are the big horrible nasty team we're used to seeing in green and not the pale shadow of recent seasons.

On the pitch the Lions needed one big totemic rallying point. Itoje gave it a good crack but, with no disrespect to Faletau, I think Binny was badly missed. That extra muscle and go forward could have made the difference.
 

Papsmear

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Both teams, both sets of fans, the games = good.

The media, the complicated nature of the rules = bad.
 

Five Meters Out

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Real accurate post Genghis.
Lions fans were outstanding and well liked by Kiwi's.
Warburton led like a AB Captain. He should emigrate.
 

Car

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This was only the second tour I got to watch, but I really loved it even more than the last one. Ok, I only saw highlights of one midweek game and the other on demand only, but even there the standard was high and they didn't feel like only a preparation for the real deal.
 

The Jones Boy

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It was a cracking tour, and I can say that happily in retrospect foremost because I'm missing the midweek games and the Saturday matches badly already.
We were spoiled by a powerful Lions squad and some good homegrown talent going at it twice a week.
Both sets of fans were wonderful ambassadors for their respective contingents.
The Lions fans in full voice at the second test was a sight to behold and to hear.
The All Black fans up and down the country did their best to make NZ a place for the tourists to feel welcome and enjoy.
What a wonderful occasion.
Long may Lions tours reign.
 

Tallshort

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90 million? Have France joined the Lions?
 

Tautahi

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It was a great tour I think the whole Tongan community here were supporting the Lions. Everyone was behind Taulupe and Mako. It got to a point where Lions jerseys were worn to Church services with the traditional Tongan attire. Though I was truly behind my country of birth the All Blacks, we were given a tour to remember.
 

mania

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my favorite tour so far. lions were awesome. all the blamyArmy members i spoke to were polite, respectful and fricken funny.
the five weeks went so fast. lions are always welcome to Aotearoa
 

Nubiwan

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Well, now that the tour is over ..... I thought it was one of the very best Lions tours that I have seen over the past 30 years.

Somehow, yet again, the tour rose above the usual small minded pariochalism, the worst efforts of the home Unions and administrators, the bile and stupidity of the UK and NZ media.

The Lions, a scratch team with almost no time for preparation or training together, went into the homelands of indisputably the best team in the world, a fearsome All Black unit who have swept everything in front of them away. Into a country that genuinely eats, sleeps and dreams about rugby. They were competitive and well coached, and I think the drawn series may well have been the very best series result by any Lions team in history.

Conversely, a young New Zealand side, pretty hard hit by injuries, were on balance the superior side to a rich and well supported foreign team that had been drawn from a population of about 90 million people! They were playing against one of the strongest Lions squads ever assembled.

The Lions fans were great, loud and passionate without generally being obnoxious, superb supporters for the team. The New Zealand fans and public are probably the most knowledgeable rugby people on earth, and the welcome they provided - plus the mutual respect shown by both sets of supporters was brilliant.

The super high quality of the midweek and warm up games helped the Lions team get better. What great depth the New Zealand game has and fair play for not stripping the franschises of their best players, like the Aussies did last time.

On the pitch, I thought New Zealand were marginally the superior team. Their attacking play and speed was incredible. They led for all but three minutes of all three tests and I think they might feel aggrieved about some of the ref decisions. However, the defence and tenacity of the Lions was great, and they played some good attacking rugby too ..... THAT try will go down in history as one of the great Lions tries. However, they All Blacks were genuinely thrown by the ferocity of the defence and the Lions kickers were head and shoulders above poor old Barrett. The way they reacted to the defeat and draw was very classy (I always say that if you feel cheated by a ref decision, the game was too close for you to claim unfairness. A great team would be far enough ahead that a poor decision wouldn't make a difference).

For the record, I thought Sonny Bill deserved a red card, I though Vunipola was skating on thin ice, and I also thought the 'accidental offside' should have been a penalty. Still, that's the way it goes.

Roll on South Africa. What a shame it's 12 more years until we go back to New Zealand!
What that man said - a top summary.
 

Nubiwan

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Just a shame we have to wait another 12 years for a repeat. Much too long. I say we lobby for Lions tours every 2-3 years. Even then, be 6-9 years away. What a spectacle. Great series as always.
 

bushytop

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Having watched each Lions tour since '93 with interest, I totally agree with the OP that this was also my favourite tour (beating '97 into second).

There was drama (questionable referee decisions galore [on both sides :mad:]), skills of the highest order ('That Try 2' [copyright pending], Read's miracle offload = try, + more), intense pressure (both sides butchering opportunities that rarely go uncompleted unless under extreme tension), pleasant surprises (the always-slick AB's proving superior upfront and in the tight while the much-mooted business-place Lions playing so much rugby) and star-making/vindicating performances (JD2, Maro, Furlong [a lot of the AB's were already considered in high esteem prior to the tour but yeah a lot of great performances from those guys too including Smith, Read & Barrett).

I really hope that the power-that-be (where ever they may be [ahem English club directors... ahem]) do not **** this glorious legacy up in anyway... if anything maybe give the boys an extra week or two together before they depart our isles!
 

KeyboardWorrier

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If I say much more, I'll get banned.

The first two weeks were awesome. The last five minutes destroyed it all. Total waste of time. Refunds should be in the mail.
 

Old Hooker

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Just a shame we have to wait another 12 years for a repeat. Much too long. I say we lobby for Lions tours every 2-3 years. Even then, be 6-9 years away. What a spectacle. Great series as always.
Nope. The rarity is what gives it its value. Don't kill the golden goose.

I suppose the one change I'd like to see is a quota requiring at least 3 from each nation are in match day squads.

Could it work in reverse for a composite SH team......I dunno, the Southern Skunks? They could tour every four years mid way between Lions tours, perhaps to France & Italy, then Eng & Sco then Wal & Ire with a couple of tests against each country? I'd be far more interested to see tours like that than just another round of eminently forgettable AIs.

Who wouldn't want to see the best of the SH midweek under floodlights in front of partisan crowds at Ravenhill, Thomond Park or Welford Rd?

Again quotas apply to stop the Skunks being the ABs in disguise.
 

Arydigital

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Both teams, both sets of fans, the games = good.

The media, the complicated nature of the rules = bad.
 

Stevens

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Less is more! what makes the lions tours so great is their rarity. Always leave people at the end of anything wanting more rather than wanting less.
 

kentdorf

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why are the tours in July?
it appears that a regular problem is clubs not releasing players especially if they playing in a finals series.
So if the tour is made Aug / Sept - would this allow for players to be released as no competitions are being played?
hope it means the players can spend more time together before the 1st test instead of the players meeting for the first time at the start of game 1 of the tour
surely the Lions tours are easier to go on now in the professional era as unlike days of yor, players are not away from work and home for 3 months on the slow boat to Un Zud. Just gotta tell the club owners to pull their bl00dy heads in & to release players
maybe club comps etc can be reduced in Lions Tour years to reduce player burnout?
Rugby tours are the best -from grass roots up to the RWC & Lions tour levels - for players & spectators.
 

EdBirch

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why are the tours in July?
it appears that a regular problem is clubs not releasing players especially if they playing in a finals series.
So if the tour is made Aug / Sept - would this allow for players to be released as no competitions are being played?
hope it means the players can spend more time together before the 1st test instead of the players meeting for the first time at the start of game 1 of the tour
surely the Lions tours are easier to go on now in the professional era as unlike days of yor, players are not away from work and home for 3 months on the slow boat to Un Zud. Just gotta tell the club owners to pull their bl00dy heads in & to release players
maybe club comps etc can be reduced in Lions Tour years to reduce player burnout?
Rugby tours are the best -from grass roots up to the RWC & Lions tour levels - for players & spectators.
I think it might have to do with The Rugby Championship being held during that time. That said with the reshuffle that will be the global calendar it'll probably all change
 
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