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Test Match 3: All Blacks v British & Irish Lions (Auckland)

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TRF_Olyy

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19:35 (08:35), 08/07/2017
Eden Park, Auckland​
 

ncurd

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So Lions loss by 30+ points? ;)

Actual reality I think about 10 points loss.
 

Tigs Man

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Really wish Gats will drop AWJ and start Lawes and Itoje with Henderson on the bench.......BUt that isn't going to be happening.

Least SOB will be playing.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Really wish Gats will drop AWJ and start Lawes and Itoje with Henderson on the bench.......BUt that isn't going to be happening.

Least SOB will be playing.
That would be my secondrow, as well. AWJ did have a far far better game this time round, though.
I was thinking I wouldn't be adverse to having both AWJ and Henderson on the bench. Gatland doesn't like using his bench, so it's not like he's pre-planning to take off Warburton, SOB or Faletau and if there's an injury then Itoje, Lawes and Henderson have all played backrow (internationally, as well, I think?). Just gives an extra option.
 

ncurd

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Honestly wouldnt surprise me if Gatland made no changes unless they were injury enforced. Mako being the only one who might cop some ire due to the way he ended the match.
 

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Fekitoa has been called in to the ABs to cover SBW, doubt he'll play though. Our midfield options are ALB, Laumape, Goodhue, Fekitoa and at a stretch Ioane, but that would be dumb imo.
Considering they were the 2 originally in the squad and have been playing pretty well, I'm confident we'll see Laumape and ALB starting, which is exciting.
I think they have the potential to be great together, but they're a brand new pairing so the fluidity might not be there.
I think they'll bring the bus back this week in place of Ioane, and he'll need a big game. It would be a shame if he just fell off and never reached that ABs try scoring record that he has seemed destined for. I don't think that'll happen, but he needs to prove himself. Someone just needs to get it ingrained in his head that he needs to get his ass involved more!
No idea what the weather's doing but I'm expecting a big performance from the ABs regardless. Losing at home will hurt, and Mt Eden is a fortress. Wouldn't be surprised by a blow-out, but I won't predict it. This Lions side have earned more respect than that. They'll really need to be on their game's to be in this though, more so than they were in Wellington IMO.
 

munstermuffin

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If I was to pick a team I'd go

1. McGrath
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Lawes
6. Henderson
7. SOB
8. Stander (Faletau hasn't been superb but if he plays fair enough)
9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Daly
12. Farrell
13. Davies
14. Watson
15. Williams

16. Owens
17. Mako
18. Sinckler
19. & 20. Stander or Faletau/O'Mahony/Tips
21. Webb
22. Te'o
23. Nowell
 

Bluemoon

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I think Gatland and Co now have another unusual situation ahead of them, the prospect of possibly changing a winning team. A lot went wrong on the weekend, as much as right. Discipline was important, but the game management from the backs was also poor. I was furious with the insistence on the high ball tactic between 40 and 60 mins, when we should have been playing territory and exploiting the extra man in the backs.

I think the backrow were very good and will remain the same. There was a massive shift where the ABs no longer had dominance or the pace in the ruck and that made them a lot less dangerous, even before the red card. I'd like to see Lawes start in place of AWJ with Henderson on the bench, but I think Gats will insist on AWJ and Itoje once more.

I can only really see changes happening on the bench, barring injuries to members of the starting 15.
 

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You forgot to ask how much you thought the Lions would win by in poll form Olyy. Good news that SO'B's citing was dismissed. I can't see Gatland changing much that isn't enforced. AWJ did ok for a while on Saturday, but his fitness is not good enough for the All Blacks games. Thought the duel playmakers paid dividends towards the end of last game. At th very least it varies the kicking game. I would bench Vunipola for discipline, as well as an oppurtunity to attack the scrum and he's more of a finisher anyway. Faletau had a great finish yesterday, but hasn't been as notable as he normally would. Still would start him I think. Warburton was fine, didn't steal much, but you can hear the ref constantly shouting his number while not actually pinging him which is good backrow play. Still don't think he deserved a start though. Needs to lift his game again Would have Hendy in the 23 and would start Lawes. At the very least we can make a team that can make life punishing for the All Blacks.
 

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This could be the Match of Matches if the Lions wouldn't have Gatland&Co. as their coaching staff.

I like the line up that munstermuffin posted, (an all irish backrow for Murray...yes!), with the exception of Daly. It doesn't seem he's doing anything worth of keeping him on the pitch. He's been largely irrelevant so far.

George North in spite he's not impressed us, has a lot more potential of being the impact player the Lions need and he showed that in the last mid-week game.

And if you don't want North out there, place Jack Nowell instead.
 

Tigs Man

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This could be the Match of Matches if the Lions wouldn't have Gatland&Co. as their coaching staff.

I like the line up that munstermuffin posted, an all irish backrow for Murray, with the exception of Daly. It doesn't seem he's doing anything worth of keeping him on the pitch. He's been largely irrelevant so far.

George North in spite he's not impressed us, has a lot more potential of being the impact player the Lions need and he showed that in the last mid-week game.
North is injured.
 

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Pretty excited for this game... Just hope the Lions don't get even a little bit complacent. The All Blacks will be gunning for blood I think, and honestly I would probably back them t win at least.

I'd like to see a Lions team of:

1. McGrath
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Lawes
6. Warburton
7. SOB
8. Faletau
9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Daly/Nowell (don't really mind who)
12. Farrell
13. Davies
14. Watson
15. Williams

16. Owens
17. Mako
18. Sinckler
19. Tiporic
21. Webb
22. Te'o
23. Nowell/Daly

Someone will need to remind Gatland that he can use his bench though. If we are chasing the game, or starting to fall off the pace, don't bother bringing the likes of Webb or Te'o on with 5 minutes left. They'll need 15 minimum to make an impact I would say.
 

Groundhog

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Gatland needs to use the bench properly this time. Really screwed us a few times
 

munstermuffin

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Wonder will ref be a bearing on selection
 

TommiG88

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Cannot bloody wait.
Sat with an Irishman at the pub on yesterday, he couldn't be more excited for the Lions. Shame he was a Munster fan :D
 

Goodey

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If I was to pick a team I'd go

1. McGrath
2. George
3. Furlong
4. Itoje
5. Lawes
6. Henderson
7. SOB
8. Stander (Faletau hasn't been superb but if he plays fair enough)
9. Murray
10. Sexton
11. Daly
12. Farrell
13. Davies
14. Watson
15. Williams

16. Owens
17. Mako
18. Sinckler
19. & 20. Stander or Faletau/O'Mahony/Tips
21. Webb
22. Te'o
23. Nowell
Faletau absolutely has been superb. Statistically the best player on tour (tops the tackle count week in week out) and that's before you get to his carrying and that finish.
 

Liam Mellor

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Faletau absolutely has been superb. Statistically the best player on tour (tops the tackle count week in week out) and that's before you get to his carrying and that finish.
Big fan of his but it has felt like a quieter tour for him carry-wise. Has anyone got stats on meters gained for him?

Appreciate defensively he does a lot of unsung work.
 

TRF_Olyy

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Big fan of his but it has felt like a quieter tour for him carry-wise. Has anyone got stats on meters gained for him?

Appreciate defensively he does a lot of unsung work.
1st Test: 12m made (3rd most for a forward, behind SOB and Sinckler), 21 tackles, (most tackles made in the game)
2nd Test: 22m made (most for a forward), 12 tackles (joint 2nd, with SOB, behind Itoje)

I agree it's been a quieter series from Faletau than we're used to seeing but I think that's because when you're playing a team as good as the All Blacks it's harder to make highlight reel plays. Stats show he's still getting through a ton of work.
I think he's definitely the best option at 8 for the weekend.
 

munstermuffin

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Faletau absolutely has been superb. Statistically the best player on tour (tops the tackle count week in week out) and that's before you get to his carrying and that finish.
As I said and others have it just feels he's been quiter but equally as I said if he plays I'm not complaining either and as Olyy states I probably didn't factor in it was against NZ
 

The_Blindside

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Fekitoa has been called in to the ABs to cover SBW, doubt he'll play though. Our midfield options are ALB, Laumape, Goodhue, Fekitoa and at a stretch Ioane, but that would be dumb imo.
Considering they were the 2 originally in the squad and have been playing pretty well, I'm confident we'll see Laumape and ALB starting, which is exciting.
I think they have the potential to be great together, but they're a brand new pairing so the fluidity might not be there.
I think they'll bring the bus back this week in place of Ioane, and he'll need a big game. It would be a shame if he just fell off and never reached that ABs try scoring record that he has seemed destined for. I don't think that'll happen, but he needs to prove himself. Someone just needs to get it ingrained in his head that he needs to get his ass involved more!
No idea what the weather's doing but I'm expecting a big performance from the ABs regardless. Losing at home will hurt, and Mt Eden is a fortress. Wouldn't be surprised by a blow-out, but I won't predict it. This Lions side have earned more respect than that. They'll really need to be on their game's to be in this though, more so than they were in Wellington IMO.
So you think Laumape and ALB to start at 12 and 13 with Fekitoa to cover 23? I suppose with BB at 10 again then at least there is the Hurricanes 10-12 combo, so Laumape, despite being his first start will have a familiar voice at 10. If he has a Francis Sailli nightmare starting debut then at least ABs have Fekitoa is an option to come on at 12. Harsh on Reiko being dropped for Julian - has there been any hint that this will happen? Otherwise if Naholo is fit then I would have thought the same back 3 starts.

Lions will probably stick to same 23 from the 2nd test. Can't see any changes, unless injury enforced.
 
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