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South Africa vs British and Irish Lions - Test 3

Jakedood

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I have to say having had a think about it

First off, thank goodness for Finn Russell. That man was magnificent. It seemed like he was always assessing his options as he went along, vs what Biggar did which was almost a preplanned effort, going through the motions. It was fantastic to watch, and his heads up style kept the SA defense guessing in a way which we hadnt yet seen this tour. Shows the quality of a really good fly half. This combined with some handling skills at high pace, on the gain line from the likes of Mako and Sinckler, Tadgh Furlong, Itoje, Conan busting tackles, it was a real free flow and although the Lions didnt get the result, they played the game the way the Lions should be playing and that made me happy
South Africa I'm going to say were a little lucky that game... not in the sense of refereeing calls, but games can swing on the bounce of a ball in rugby, and to me SA didnt create anything, one popped up ball in the air and then they're off, and they capitalised on that chance, but if that game is played 10 times, the Lions I think win 8 of those games
I'm also very grateful that the Lions went for the corner in the last 10 minutes, they knew a draw meant nothing, so was all about getting that win. May not have come off, but Mako held up over the line, again one of those little things that can go the other way on a different day
It does leave a sour taste in my mouth though that Russell can produce such glorious rugby, and yet Biggar & Farrell have shown nothing even remotely comparable to what I just saw. I hope he's about in 4 years time, at the age of 32, along with Marcus Smith, because those two could be one heck of a force playing together in Australia
The series in general hasnt been great, but that 3rd test at least made me enjoy what the best of B&I can do when put together in a team, and that's all you can really want from these tours. I do hope there's a coach who understands this, more so than a coach from Southern Hemisphere. I hope its Townsend next time around, I'm not blaming Gatland for all of this, but the Lions have always been magical and fun to watch, and his style is not suited to the culture of these tours at all unfortunately. Joue boys, joueeee
Fingers crossed in 4 years Australia have a half decent team out and it makes for a fun series. Its like picking a Jose Mourinho for this, and kinda saps a little of the fun out of it?
The Lions are my first rugby memory and I'll always always look forward to these tours, Im grateful that Russell got the 70 minutes or so to show exactly what can be done when you pick players able to play with tempo, and we can take these lessons into 2025
 
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retired9

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I've watched the highlights, wasn't able to see live (not paying Sky that kinda £) and it was great to see Finn have a really good run and from what I could see, really change the Lions approach to the match. Playing up flat, kick passes and putting people through gaps it just looked so much more purposeful. He even seemed to get Murray playing faster!
 

big ginger 8

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Itoje won player of the tour for the Lions anyway.
 

Le Frére Alpha

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Fair. I think Henshaw could have rivalled him if his game hasn't been so restricted by the gameplan. Them, Curry and Furlong were the only players to show real world class quality.
 

Kripke

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Fair. I think Henshaw could have rivalled him if his game hasn't been so restricted by the gameplan. Them, Curry and Furlong were the only players to show real world class quality.
I think it's very telling that Furlong wasn't even at his best this tour and yet it was utterly unquestionable that he could ever be dropped. A 6/10 Furlong is one of the first names on the sheet.

Curry isn't quite at that level, but I think he brought a lot with his physicality and the way he competed, that he was worth his spot far beyond the mistakes he (definitely) made

I do think Lawes was really good too - although shame he often has a ******** penalty in him. The one which Steyn converted was totally unforced and unnecessary.

Sounding very anglo-centric here - but LCD was strong too
 

Woldog

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I’ll take that from a Kiwi and maybe even a South African (even if I can’t stand their brand of rugby, they know how to win). Not sure I can accept it from an Aussie.
We still have two RWC ***les exactly one more than the NH . Even if its been a hard 22 years since.
And we just beat the French third string team who met on the flight over with 14 men. There are levels to this my lad.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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It’s a hard one to take when a lot of clubs play great rugby but the international side always seems to make players look worse than they are.
 

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It’s a hard one to take when a lot of clubs play great rugby but the international side always seems to make players look worse than they are.
Very true.

But I’d also say that the club game makes many players look better than they are too.

Test matches are called that for a reason. The challenge presented by the opposition is that much higher - what dazzles against Worcester when the sun’s out may well end up with you dumped on your arse and looking a bit silly against the Boks or ABs. Don’t also discount the impact of the pressure that these big high profile matches bring either.

That’s not defending the dross we’ve seen in the last few weeks, it’s been awful. But expectations shouldn’t be at the other end of the spectrum either.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Glad for the win. The 3rd test had more going for it than the previous two. The drama leading up to test 3 was mild compared to test two. Did it salvage the tour? Probably not. Will the irritation be forgotten in time? Probably. I don't know if it was desperation, Gatland or Berry post match that brought the worst out of Rassie but it wasn't your typcal SA hospitality . Probably a combination of all three. But no crowds and a terrible pitch didn't help things along either. Kolbe just about couldn't step without slipping as the grass gives under him. People complain about the disappointment of the rugby on show. Ehh, I don't mind an arm wrestle. A bit dragged out, sure but that was a by product of week 1 and the coaches' shenanigans. Hopefully for Lions fans' sake the midweeks will be meaningful next time round and the pandemic a thing of the past. For SA, our search for a replacement for Vermeulen continues, we've learned a bit more about a couple of players and hell, we've actually played some rugby again. My only gripe with SA rugby ATM is the comparitive weakness of our provincial sides. We've just lost so many quality players and its only the Bulls it seems that are getting players in. WP keeps losing ground. I'd hope with the inclusion in Europe and sale of Newlands we would have access to more money but more money won't help us if our backroom is a bunch of corrupt politicos.
 
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Kripke

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I reckon that's a really fair and rounded summary Stormer.

There is no one factor that made this the tour it was, but quite a few things in reality. A lot of it was particular to what's going on at the moment and I think all parties will learn from this and not repeat some of the missteps on both sides. Some of it will be quickly forgotten, other bits are going to be future issues to work through, and with the Rassie stuff I think the media should stop giving it oxygen now and let whatever closed door processes happen

From a lions pov I really agrees with what Keith Wood said about how what the lions should be about is the philosophy which you stamp on top of the players who are in theory the best from their countries - that philosophy being to do something different to what the separate countries do and let your players play what they see and let it happen as a group. I think Gatland got this wrong and it's been going that way for a while now - over engineering and coaching a way to play when actually if you let players be instinctive and grow together, you'll probably get something at least as good. Over coaching? Discuss. Either way, the lions have to take responsibility for how they chose to play this series rather than slinging mid at others.

As for SA I don't know if this will be right but I'm a little worried for you guys ahead of TRC just given some of the injuries to massive players - going straight from the comedown of this tour to a probably intense physical battle against Argentina is a tough ask, not to mention you've got Aus and especially New Zealand waiting impatiently on the sidelines to have their say! I'll be really interested to see what transpires but I reckon safe to manage expectations for this tourny? Could be wrong.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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Keith Wood makes the right noises re what you mentioned. I just don't know how easy that is to implement but maybe it is as easy as going full Baabaas? I think a lot of the dissatisfaction from Lions fans is that some of the selections point in a way just did not transpire on the pitch. Fair to say the fans might even be right as the early period with Russell calling the shots were probably the Lions looking the most potent? Only two tries both coming from mauls might say something different but truth be told there just was not enough time under Russell and the men surrounding him does not point in the same direction so.. questions very much unanswered. More meaningful midweeks might help hone the team more in the lead up but with our test players being unavailable our provinces aren't much of a stern challenge for the quality in depth the Lions pose even at just a basic level. I'm afraid I don't think the Aussie midweek sides won't be much of an improvement even if Aus test player were to be available in hopefully a post-pandemic context.

On SA in the RC.. we'll just have to wait and see I suppose. I'm not going to go into too much depth here as I am putting up a matchday thread but we have already named a very heavily rotated 23 to face off vs Arg. Its a decent enough side still. Could go well but it does kinda send the message that the Lions series was the focus and we are now focussing on developing our depth though I do expect the usual suspects as far as they are fit pitching for the "bigger" tests on NZ soil vs Aus and NZ. From an SA POV its just good to see rugby again and the expectations aren't sky high. At least not from myself but as far as I can speak on the behalf of others I think we wouldn't be surprised to see our 'A' side go down to Argentina if they field their test side.
 

Kripke

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On the lions , McGeechan in 2009 by all accounts had quite an open philosophy and fewer structures. Sure, we didn't win that tour either but we played better rugby and we were playing a superior Boks side (imo).
Full baa baas wouldn't fly, we'd get massacred and it wouldn't help the image of the Lions - but the other end of the spectrum is worse - when you play this way, everything hangs on whether you win or lose.
 

MACCA

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It's too much. Ruck have AWJ as #4 best lion in 2021 - the basis? Recovering quickly from the shoulder. The clichés have gone too far
View attachment 11948
AWJ was an immense player but unfortunately a tour too far. Average is the best you can say about his performance. Ryan, Kreisler and Gray( and possibly 3 or 4 others) would have added more but his capacity to make the wrong calls is boggling. Calling to kick to the line when he made 3 metres in 3 tests? Test rugby take the points. Trying to make up for LW‘s inability to pass ?
 

MACCA

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Henshaw a bit quiet in the finale? Only back who looked like doing something, ******* hell.
AWJ was an optimistic 4/10 for the series and that’s because I quite like him. Henshaw 7.5/10 because he is a genuine threat. Price, Russell, Aki, Henshaw, VDM, Adams and Hogg was the back line to be picked. LW should not have toured. Watson on the bench. Lawes had a good 45 mins in test 1. But Beirne was the form player. Beirne , Conan Watson back row. Curry a penalty machine and 1? Test turnover Ryan, Gray and Kruis would have been 150% better than AWJ. Navidi also a good bench alternative. A Simmonds fan but it wasn’t set up to play to his strengths. Better option than Daly at 13 though.
 

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On the lions , McGeechan in 2009 by all accounts had quite an open philosophy and fewer structures. Sure, we didn't win that tour either but we played better rugby and we were playing a superior Boks side (imo).
Full baa baas wouldn't fly, we'd get massacred and it wouldn't help the image of the Lions - but the other end of the spectrum is worse - when you play this way, everything hangs on whether you win or lose.
Yes this tour was 2 immovable objects not quite colliding, sort of squashing into each other on not moving very far
 

Kripke

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Best weighing in on Welsh and Scottish bias...


It's hard I think it is and isn't true - clearly when you look at overall volume of players selected it's been heavy on English players often - but equally there have been a few blindspots you could attribute to coaches biases. Things like VDM, AWJ coming straight back in etc.
 

ncurd

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Best weighing in on Welsh and Scottish bias...


It's hard I think it is and isn't true - clearly when you look at overall volume of players selected it's been heavy on English players often - but equally there have been a few blindspots you could attribute to coaches biases. Things like VDM, AWJ coming straight back in etc.
Farrell playing, Mako playing okay but in terrible form beforehand.

Gats problems is less country bias and more 'players who have performed for me in the past bias unless your name is Sexton'
 

MACCA

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Farrell playing, Mako playing okay but in terrible form beforehand.

Gats problems is less country bias and more 'players who have performed for me in the past bias unless your name is Sexton'
Agree entirely.Biggar, AWJ and LW are standouts Gatland choices from Wales. Mako and Farrell from England. Only Mako turned up at all.Think a touch of click bait here but to be honest it appears to be English selections which were bad for the Irish. Porter would have played if fit, Henderson should have played instead of AWJ, Beirne for Lawes. Let’s face it Murray was well below par And if Care had been selected he would have been dropped problem is the Welsh scrum half chosen wasn’t up to par. Sexton debate can go on forever but I would pick him before Biggar and Farrell Every time. Don’t think you can just pick coaches to allow your pals to play though Which is really Best’s point ( and ROG and BOD, incessantly. Personally think Farrell and Townsend with Jenkins O’Connor and Tandy would be excellent.
 

Kripke

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Farrell playing, Mako playing okay but in terrible form beforehand.

Gats problems is less country bias and more 'players who have performed for me in the past bias unless your name is Sexton'

Or Irish in general..he has form for not picking Irish players
 

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