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South Africa vs British and Irish Lions - Test 2

Jimbo

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Depends on your school of thought but if he does revert to recent poor form you have the option to pull him, bring him off the bench and your backed into a corner.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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My take on the whole waterboy and Twitter thing. It's Rassie. It is his sense of humor and where he gets his kicks from. I don't for a second think it actually adds any benefit. If anything it comes across as a little contrived and juvenile but that comes with the Rassie terrii. Remember the whole flags and roof thing. And his digs in the media regarding new tackle techniques after Farrell got away with a clear shoulder charge. As long as it doesn't hurt anyone I don't think it should be disallowed even if I find it irritating myself.
 

TRF_Olyy

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What were the flags and roof things?
 

Which Tyler

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If Mako can play again like he did in the first test then great. However it is a risk because that performance has been the exception, not the rule.
There's also a huge difference for a dodgy prop, between holding your own for 20 minutes, as opposed to holding your own for 60.
It's not that he's so bad he's simply outclassed in every scrum - it's that the more hard work he does, the worse he gets at it.

Added to which, of course; what he offers in open play works so much better against tired legs. For England, I'd always start Marler and have Mako on the bench (or Genge); for the Lions I'd always start the solid scrummager (and quite honestly, there's no wrong decision between Jones and Sutherland), with Mako on the bench.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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2013 - Poor Aussie side
2017 - A gift from SBW
2021 - COVID = Unfit and undercooked Boks

Q - Has Gatland been lucky or do you make your own luck?
I don't think anyone denies Gatland is a good coach, it's impossible and in terms of longevity he's one of the best ever but his peaks weren't as high as his peers. If you look at what he achieved with Wales once Joe Schmidt and then Jones arrived it's pretty poor.

Against Schmidt all he has over him is a RWC semi final, Schmidt is two championships clear plus a far superior record over SH sides. Jones totally eclipsed him, a championship clear, a better record v SH and a better world cup. Gatland always had Wales set up as the level you had to be at or above to win the 6n, Kidney and Lancaster weren't good enough, Schmidt and Jones did it regularly. It looks similar with the Lions except with better quality players, his team's never look unbeatable but are set up as difficult to beat hoping/knowing the opposition aren't at the level. Oz were never going to win that series, NZ choked and got robbed in that third test and it looks like SA's covid enforced break is troubling them. A 66% record will be very good but equally is what should be expected in the circumstances, if you had peak Schmidt or Jones over the 8 years I'd suspect NZ would have been dealt with too. It's always been the way I've seen Gatland, avoid the lows but restrict the highs, he probably got an extra grand slam doing it his way but there's no reason Wales should have been so desperately uncompetitive v NZ and poor v SH in general in that period.
 

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Its a pretty bad one, Mako came of a bench and played pretty well and deserves to keep his place for it but he's been such a problem for so long now that he can't trusted with a start.
And anyone who thinks the Boks aren’t going to come out all guns blazing, especially in the tight which is pretty much a source of national identity, is a fool.
 

Old Hooker

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Murray, Harris and Mako starting.

Faletau on bench. H Watson and Williams out of squad.
 

TRF_Olyy

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SOUTH AFRICA v THE BRITISH & IRISH LIONS
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839

Replacements:
16. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
17. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
 

ncurd

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Murray, Harris and Mako starting.

Faletau on bench. H Watson and Williams out of squad.
Don't get Murray stating, Harris for Daly makes some sense.

Watson dropped for basically nothing.

Mako as noted is being rewarded for simply not ******** the bed he wasn't that good.

Yup usual Gatland changes bringing in guys with no real reason why guys got dropped.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Faletau for Watson doesn't make much sense,
Though the press release does say they're still waiting on full sign off for Biggar - wouldn't be overly surprised at Farrell starting and then Watson coming onto the bench for a 6:2
 

The_Blindside

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Why announce the team so early though? Doesn’t need to be done until Thursday right?

Just gives the Boks early view of the team and adjust their team/tactics accordingly.
 

Jakedood

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Faletau for Watson doesn't make much sense,
Though the press release does say they're still waiting on full sign off for Biggar - wouldn't be overly surprised at Farrell starting and then Watson coming onto the bench for a 6:2

Maybe they think Faletau will be more use in the open game, but yeah I'm not a huge fan of this, especially given Faletau's form on the tour, he's been pretty poor

Mako Starting... well I'll say this, I noticed technically he wasnt being as aggressive in the initial shove. A big issue for him this tour has been over extending and his feet slipping out behind him, but the more passive mindset really helped his body position to just lock out the scrum
My worry actually comes from the one where the Lions one a penalty. Malherbe screwed right in on LCD (or Owens at the time), and basically allowed Mako to get his head underneath Malherbe's armpit. What happens though if the focus comes more through Mako and less on the hooker, can he continue to keep the stable set up or will there be a few penalties? Its so important early on to not let it seep into the ref's mind that SA have a dominant scrum
 

Jakedood

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I dont think you'd punish a player for something like that, it can happen to anyone. Wasnt deliberate, just lost a little control

Curry now to play the full 80, will need a bigger performance than last week. A back row balance of 3 locks and 2 Number 8's wouldnt be ideal for sure

Very harsh on Hamish, as i actually thought he did well when he was on (barr the close call). Sucked in multiple defenders to tackle him, his usual pace and energy, and defensively sound, waiting to poach

Is there a left footed kicker starting on that team? If i have to see another banana kick go 15 yards (watched leali'ifano do it for Ulster, and its pathetic), dunno why Daly wasnt used for those touchfinders instead last week, but hopefully not see it this week
 

Le Frére Alpha

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Nothing too wrong with that in my opinion after last week. I think you'll see Lawes and Curry drop to the bench next week and Conan drop out completely. Gatland picking big men in the backs is his modus operandi, clearly trying to double down on what was successful last week and get it done in two.

I think if SA last the 80 they're a smart enough team to pick the Lions apart though, could be a good game.
 

Dan Kelly is Irish

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Very harsh on Watson really.

Only thing that might make logical sense is if he’s worried about someone in the starting teams fitness.

That or he thinks SA will pick a heavier back row?
 

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