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South Africa vs British & Irish Lions - Test 1

dullonien

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The rubbish spouted on here about AWJ is ridiculous. It's repetitive, boring and 99% of the time completely baseless. The guy put in a shift today with very similar stats to his MoM partner in the boilerhouse. Yes Itoje secured a couple of key turnovers in the first half, but AWJ was huge in the mauls, both offensive and defensive - one of the key victories for me today. At one stage in the second half he forced his way through the heart of the feared SA maul to stop it dead, followed by working extremely hard at the front of the next Lions maul that went forward but for Ken to be forced into touch. On top of this he was the captain who steered the ship extremely well, taking the correct options at the right times, such as going for the corner for the Lions try; and managing the ref (or the touch judge on this occasion) very well.

And yet some of you would see him dropped! I feel like those who criticise him in every thread involving Wales or the Lions need to change their tune. The guy is approaching 160 test matches including 10 consecutive tests for the Lions and he's been superb in most. He had a quiet year or so around the 2019 WC/2020 6 nations, but otherwise he's been colossal for Wales and the Lions ever since his debut back in 2006.

It all just gets very old and is one of the reasons I think why there's so few quality Welsh posters anymore. Any that start posting here are jumped on by a handful of regular posters who spout the same nonsense over and over (same thing happens with Tipuric, could have done with him today, let me tell you!), and then they leave. I still post occasionally, but mostly check-in every day, probably just out of habit really after 15 years of being part of this community, and it really is tiresome to see this circle-jerk of misinformation about some of the legends of Welsh rugby who deserve far better.
 

bargepole

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As one of the few on here who predicted a Lions win, I always thought we would get over the line, even when 12-3 down. The first half hour wasn't great, the Lions got sucked in to the Boks' suffocating style of play, and paid the price with kickable penalties. The tide was beginning to turn towards the end of the half, with many of the Bok team blowing hard, and Henshaw's line break, with supporting runners either side, should really have led to a try. But apart from that, he had a solid game, and should keep the shirt for the second test.

The second half, which the Lions won 19-5, was a continuation of that, and once we started keeping ball in hand, and offloading out of the tackle, the Boks had no answers and kept giving away penalties. I wouldn't single out any player as having had a particularly bad game, they all contributed something, obviously Itoje more than most.

Questions to be answered before next Saturday:

If Wyn Jones is fit, does he regain the starting no. 1 shirt, and if so, should Mako be on the bench rather than Sutherland?
Other than the above, should there be any changes in the forward pack?
If Biggar is ruled out, and Russell still injured, do we go with Farrell at 10, or take a gamble with Smith?
Would Harris at 13 be a better bet than Daly?
Is there any reason to change any of the back three?
Who will be the TMO next time? Wayne Barnes?
 

Protalus rampart

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As one of the few on here who predicted a Lions win, I always thought we would get over the line, even when 12-3 down. The first half hour wasn't great, the Lions got sucked in to the Boks' suffocating style of play, and paid the price with kickable penalties. The tide was beginning to turn towards the end of the half, with many of the Bok team blowing hard, and Henshaw's line break, with supporting runners either side, should really have led to a try. But apart from that, he had a solid game, and should keep the shirt for the second test.

The second half, which the Lions won 19-5, was a continuation of that, and once we started keeping ball in hand, and offloading out of the tackle, the Boks had no answers and kept giving away penalties. I wouldn't single out any player as having had a particularly bad game, they all contributed something, obviously Itoje more than most.

Questions to be answered before next Saturday:

If Wyn Jones is fit, does he regain the starting no. 1 shirt, and if so, should Mako be on the bench rather than Sutherland?
Other than the above, should there be any changes in the forward pack?
If Biggar is ruled out, and Russell still injured, do we go with Farrell at 10, or take a gamble with Smith?
Would Harris at 13 be a better bet than Daly?
Is there any reason to change any of the back three?
Who will be the TMO next time? Wayne Barnes?
I can only see Wyn Jones coming back in, Harris into the centre to bring a bit more physicality, and Daly (for big kicks and versatility) dropping to the bench over Williams for when the Boks begin to blow. The Boks are going to throw the kitchen sink at the first 40 next time out and we need to be equipped to deal with it.
 

Rinkadink

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After a bit of digestion and drinks, if it were me in charge I'd start Marcus Smith at 10 with Farrell on the bench similarly to today. If it goes wrong or a game needs closing out, it can be done as it was earlier by bringing on subs. There is less pressure as it is not a "must win" situation just yet but it's not a dead rubber either. Daly was targeted hard in the second half, I'd be very tempted to give him a rest in the name of robustness.

Pack probably earned the right to keep their places except swapping the hookers around and perhaps trading Simmonds for Watson if pace injection is the plan, Navidi for anything else.
 

corny

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Terrible game but a great win.

The Boks run out of ideas when you match them physically. They readily kick away possession if they're stopped on the advantage line for a phase or two and become rather desperate in defence when they can't put it in dominant tackles or jackal the ball. Not impressed.

The Lions back three were woeful competing for the ball in the air but Williams didn't exactly show them how its done when he came off the bench. The wingers did chase well though.

Don't see the point of AWJ, i never have to be honest. Henderson would have a much greater impact on the game both sides of the ball. Gatland won't be making that change though. Maybe an Aki & Henshaw or Henshaw & Harris in midfield.
 

Umaga's Witness

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The lions beat the boks at their own game, big statement that will get the boks questioning their tactics.
 

ChicagoKid

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The lions beat the boks at their own game, big statement that will get the boks questioning their tactics.
That’s an inaccurate statement at best. The Boks made errors that were more rust related than anything. Unlike other Lions tours, the home side will only get better.
 

Umaga's Witness

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That’s an inaccurate statement at best. The Boks made errors that were more rust related than anything. Unlike other Lions tours, the home side will only get better.
The logic of the matter is irrelevant, the emotional impact of the loss is what matters to their psyche.

plus rust matters most in attacking plays, in terms of how in sync the players are in their passing and catching, running lines, etc, and in their securing their attacking rucks. But the game plan was to not attack, so they wont be any better for the game in those regards. Any rust in those areas will still remain
 

ncurd

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The logic of the matter is irrelevant, the emotional impact of the loss is what matters to their psyche.

plus rust matters most in attacking plays, in terms of how in sync the players are in their passing and catching, running lines, etc, and in their securing their attacking mauls. But the game plan was to not attack, so they wont be any better for the game in those regards. Any rust in those areas will still remain
I dunno they looked gassed in that second half, the Lions were better for sure. If they managed to keep up their first half performance they'd have probably closed that one out. Fitness levels will improve we see it each year in the 6 nations.

Coupled with the rightly chalked off trys another week those marginal mistakes don't happen and they win comfortably.

I really wouldn't write off SA after one game. Even though I thought they'd surmount it SA essentially not playing for 2 years was always going to be the best chance for the Lions and yesterday it looked exactly like the case.

Definitely first blood the Lions and the have a great chance to take the series next week.
 

TRF_stormer2010

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The logic of the matter is irrelevant, the emotional impact of the loss is what matters to their psyche.

plus rust matters most in attacking plays, in terms of how in sync the players are in their passing and catching, running lines, etc, and in their securing their attacking rucks. But the game plan was to not attack, so they wont be any better for the game in those regards. Any rust in those areas will still remain
Nah, don't think so. Not rust in attack but continued intensity without the ball. Just did not have the lungs and 6 forwards we are used to having. That and inaccuracy in the air. From what I've seen we aren't questioning our game as much as feeling hard done by. I expect a step up next match.
 

Umaga's Witness

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I dunno they looked gassed in that second half, the Lions were better for sure. If they managed to keep up their first half performance they'd have probably closed that one out. Fitness levels will improve we see it each year in the 6 nations.

Coupled with the rightly chalked off trys another week those marginal mistakes don't happen and they win comfortably.

I really wouldn't write off SA after one game. Even though I thought they'd surmount it SA essentially not playing for 2 years was always going to be the best chance for the Lions and yesterday it looked exactly like the case.

Definitely first blood the Lions and the have a great chance to take the series next week.
Sure, im not suggesting the lions will win next week. Just saying that the loss against a team playing exactly their style may make them question their tactics, despite their rust. I wouldnt call lack of match fitness “rust”, and absolutely agree the boks easily could have won. Like i said, despite the logic, the loss against a team playing the same tactics may cause them to doubt themselves and try something different next week.
 

Don't Skip Leg Day

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I got so drunk yesterday (on rattler), can’t remember most of the second half. How did Farrell and Mako do?

I might re-watch the game later.
 

Umaga's Witness

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Nah, don't think so. Not rust in attack but continued intensity without the ball. Just did not have the lungs and 6 forwards we are used to having. That and inaccuracy in the air. From what I've seen we aren't questioning our game as much as feeling hard done by. I expect a step up next match.
Will be interesting because the tactics were very different to what we saw against england in 2018, for example. Stick with what you did last game, or play more like 2018?
 

Umaga's Witness

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I got so drunk yesterday (on rattler), can’t remember most of the second half. How did Farrell and Mako do?

I might re-watch the game later.
You might believe you are still drunk but mako held every scrum steady except the one in which he won a scrum penalty
 

Kiwiwomble

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Anyone want to summarise the thread? Not sure I’m going to be able to read through it all

With the risk of repeating things that have already been said

wasn’t the most enjoyable game to watch as a neutral, neither team felt like that had anything up their sleeve they were about to unleash, game plan seemed to just hit it up and if they didn’t break the line then but the box kick up…all with the aim of just getting within kicking range

might all be rust based, hope to see a better game next time
 

The Oggmonster

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Anyone want to summarise the thread? Not sure I’m going to be able to read through it all

With the risk of repeating things that have already been said

wasn’t the most enjoyable game to watch as a neutral, neither team felt like that had anything up their sleeve they were about to unleash, game plan seemed to just hit it up and if they didn’t break the line then but the box kick up…all with the aim of just getting within kicking range

might all be rust based, hope to see a better game next time

1. Game of two halves. Boks in complete control in the first half with the Lions controlling the second.
2. The Boks are undercooked and can't put in an 80 minute performance at the moment.
3. Gatland telling the press he was furious with the South African TMO on Friday might have been the difference especially with the decision re. the almost La Roux try.
4. Itoje was immense.
 

anderton46

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Surely Watson's place has to be questioned. He was one of the few people you could pinpoint a few errors on. Was poor under the highball, which was basically 50% of the game, and then made that awful defensive read that led to their try.

I'd also drop Daly. He didn't do anything particularly wrong, but he lost quite a few metres in contact and generally looked a bit outsized. Plus he missed his kick which is a good part of the reason he was even on the pitch.
 

ncurd

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Surely Watson's place has to be questioned. He was one of the few people you could pinpoint a few errors on. Was poor under the highball, which was basically 50% of the game, and then made that awful defensive read that led to their try.

I'd also drop Daly. He didn't do anything particularly wrong, but he lost quite a few metres in contact and generally looked a bit outsized. Plus he missed his kick which is a good part of the reason he was even on the pitch.
Back 3 it's all a bit of a muchness you can make the changes but everyone is capable. I wouldn't gripe about any changes but equally it's a big call to drop any of them and then the replacement doesn't perform.

Remove Daly you likely end up with Aki. It doesn't feel like a vast improvement if a different style.

Either way if Biggar is out and Farrell at 10 (which would be a huge shock if someone else replaced him) who plays in those potions becomes pretty mute.
 

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