- Feb 18, 2012
- Country Flag
- Club or Nation
To be fair, I think a lot of it is in jest - certainly when it comes to Tipuric.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.
Re. AWJ, I’m really not sure you’re helping your argument when you suggest his performance was ‘similar’ (based on stats alone) to Itoje’s who was demonstrably better. In a way, I think this highlights what many people (myself included) find irritating re. AWJ. His champions are always citing intangible qualities like ‘managing the ref’ or comment on basic things I’d expect from a test lock like ‘he disrupted a maul’.
Essentially, it’s comparing Itoje’s conspicuous influence on the game with AWJ’s often inconspicuous contribution. To be clear, I am not saying he is a bad player or had a bad game and he is clearly an influential leader. I’m just trying to explain why many question why he’s so highly rated when the main positives are that he does the basics very well and has vast experience to lean on in a leadership role. Whether those things warrant a place in the team is questionable IMO.
Does he deserve more respect? Yes. Should he be an automatic pick and captain? No.