Test Rugby 2017 British & Irish Lions Tour of New Zealand

Dipper

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Not quite sure what Lions can do to change things up.

Indications are that Itoje will start and Lawes to maybe start with him or at least have a place on the bench. Might give a bit more oomph to the defensive side and breakdown but wouldn't surprise me if the scrum then started rolling backwards.

Warburton for POM seems likely too.

Perhaps Nowell on bench for Halfpenny.

Personally I'd start with Sexton over Farrell.

They have to be harder at the breakdown and nullify the ABs pick and drive down the guts to stand a chance.

A little more composure if they do manufacture any line breaks. Definitely a try on twice early in the second half if best option taken.


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Jascave

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Wellington is about the Lions only hope of winning a Test match on this tour.

The Lions do have a major concern in that they allowed the Hurricanes to come back in the second half to force a draw, and their defence needs to tighten up in the 2nd Test against the All Blacks, otherwise they could be on the wrong end of the scoreboard.


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robbieando

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Lions swing the changes for the 2nd Test on Saturday Night. Farrell moved to his England position of 12 to take on Sonny Bill Willams (lol), meaning Sexton comes into the starting team at Fly-half for Te'o who drops to the bench. Nowell replaces Halfpenny as the spare Back on the bench. Somehow Alun Wyn Jones stays in the starting line up and Warburton comes into the side to captain the team. Lawes and Stander come onto the bench as the lock and back row backup. Kruis and O’Mahony drop completely out of the squad.

The All Blacks have made 2 changes, bringing Ngani Laumape to act as back cover on the bench, while Waisake Naholo comes into the team to start on the wing left vacant by Israel Dagg moving to Full Back to replace Ben Smith who misses because of concussion. Anton Lienert-Brown who started the 1st Test on the bench will replace the injured Ryan Crotty.

Personally don't think this Lions team can beat the All Blacks but if the starting 15 keep it close the bench is better placed to take their chances than last week.

British & Irish Lions

15. Liam Williams – Scarlets, Wales
14. Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby, England
13. Jonathan Davies – Scarlets, Wales
12. Owen Farrell – Saracens, England
11. Elliot Daly – Wasps, England
10. Johnny Sexton – Leinster, Ireland
9. Conor Murray – Munster, Ireland

1. Mako Vunipola – Saracens, England
2. Jamie George – Saracens, England
3. Tadhg Furlong – Leinster, Ireland
4. Maro Itoje – Saracens, England
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Ospreys, Wales
6. Sam Warburton (capt) – Cardiff Blues, Wales
7. Sean O’Brien – Leinster, Ireland
8. Taulupe Faletau – Bath Rugby, Wales

Replacements:
16. Ken Owens – Scarlets, Wales
17. Jack McGrath – Leinster, Ireland
18. Kyle Sinckler – Harlequins, England
19. Courtney Lawes – Northampton Saints, England
20. CJ Stander – Munster, Ireland
21. Rhys Webb – Ospreys, Wales
22. Ben Te’o – Worcester Warriors, England
23. Jack Nowell – Exeter Chiefs, England

New Zealand
15. Israel Dagg
14. Waisake Naholo
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
12. Sonny Bill Williams
11. Rieko Ioane
10. Beauden Barrett
9. Aaron Smith

1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor
3. Owen Franks
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. Jerome Kaino
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read (Capt)

Replacements:
16. Nathan Harris
17. Wyatt Crockett
18. Charlie Faumuina
19. Scott Barrett
20. Ardie Savea
21. TJ Perenara
22. Aaron Cruden
23. Ngani Laumape
 

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Lions getting away with some absolute filth by this ref.

Naholo cops a blatant swinging arm and nothing but he's lost to the test and a no arms tackle which takes out Barrett also only gets a yellow after a red earlier.
 

robbieando

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24-21 win to the Lions. So that makes it a successful tour.

Don't expect it to be close next week, but a win is a win and the Lions keeping the All Blacks try less in a match was good to see despite the extra man for most of the match.
 

Dipper

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I'm not sure the Lions got away with filth but when they had the extra man they were dumb verging on pathetic. If Barrett had kicked a couple of easy penalties he missed then it was game over.

When it was 15-15 and 14-14 I think the Lions actually scored more points so it says a lot about how poor they were when they had the extra man.

Not sure the twin playmaker thing worked particularly well.

That late penalty although it's the rules was harsh. Afterwards when NZ were attacking outside Lions 22 I just thought why doesn't the scrum half make a high pass from the ruck for a forward to run onto whilst leaping, no way he won't be tackled and hey presto, kickable penalty. I wonder if it was random or a worked thing from Lions to win a penalty late on in a close game.

It's great that it goes to a decider and whilst I think NZ will win at a canter if the Lions can put together for longer the stuff they do well then it could be a good game.

Refereeing very different from last week and that's a reason why SH games are more open, whether he's right or wrong on his decisions the game never got any continuity with him blowing his whistle all the time. So many at the breakdown.

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All you want in any contest is a bit of consistency. The shot on Naholo was a clear swinging arm and the shoulder charge while not as bad as the SBW one was there and should've been red and you could almost argue his sole intention was to take Barrett out of the game.

Couldn't believe the amount of support for the Lions. Sounded like the stadium was full of their supporters.

All adds up to a huge game in Auckland. Personally I think the Lions can win and if they get the run they got tonight, then who knows.
 

boondy

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Lions scored their first Try with 14v14 . So I wouldnt be too hasty saying it will be a canter for the All Blacks .
 

Jascave

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I'm not sure the Lions got away with filth but when they had the extra man they were dumb verging on pathetic. If Barrett had kicked a couple of easy penalties he missed then it was game over.

When it was 15-15 and 14-14 I think the Lions actually scored more points so it says a lot about how poor they were when they had the extra man.

Not sure the twin playmaker thing worked particularly well.

That late penalty although it's the rules was harsh. Afterwards when NZ were attacking outside Lions 22 I just thought why doesn't the scrum half make a high pass from the ruck for a forward to run onto whilst leaping, no way he won't be tackled and hey presto, kickable penalty. I wonder if it was random or a worked thing from Lions to win a penalty late on in a close game.

It's great that it goes to a decider and whilst I think NZ will win at a canter if the Lions can put together for longer the stuff they do well then it could be a good game.

Refereeing very different from last week and that's a reason why SH games are more open, whether he's right or wrong on his decisions the game never got any continuity with him blowing his whistle all the time. So many at the breakdown.

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It's a shame a series decider of this magnitude between the All Blacks and the Lions at Eden Park next week can't have the number 1 referee in the rugby union world, Nigel Owens of Wales, controlling the game. The International Rugby Board must overrule its appointments panel and assign Owens to referee the series decider.


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boondy

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All you want in any contest is a bit of consistency. The shot on Naholo was a clear swinging arm and the shoulder charge while not as bad as the SBW one was there and should've been red and you could almost argue his sole intention was to take Barrett out of the game.

Couldn't believe the amount of support for the Lions. Sounded like the stadium was full of their supporters.

All adds up to a huge game in Auckland. Personally I think the Lions can win and if they get the run they got tonight, then who knows.
Referee inconsistency not paying the lions a penalty for that late hit but then paying the AB obviously causing frustration and ill discipline. It was almost like get the ball in the forward half and wait for the penalty was AB only strategy.
 

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Referee inconsistency not paying the lions a penalty for that late hit but then paying the AB obviously causing frustration and ill discipline. It was almost like get the ball in the forward half and wait for the penalty was AB only strategy.
Ref was s**t, the weather was s**t and the AB's still could've won. Once the Lions played footy they ended out winning the game.

It's a shame a series decider of this magnitude between the All Blacks and the Lions at Eden Park next week can't have the number 1 referee in the rugby union world, Nigel Owens of Wales, controlling the game. The International Rugby Board must overrule its appointments panel and assign Owens to referee the series decider.
Probably not doing any because he's from one of the home nations. He'd be a good choice though.
 

robbieando

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It's a shame a series decider of this magnitude between the All Blacks and the Lions at Eden Park next week can't have the number 1 referee in the rugby union world, Nigel Owens of Wales, controlling the game. The International Rugby Board must overrule its appointments panel and assign Owens to referee the series decider.


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Owens would never agree to referee the match if that happened, you would have his impartiality being called into question by New Zealand and such a move would be something he wouldn't stand for. The 3 referees have been known for months leading up to the tour so no point complaining about it now as we all know what the French refs are like in applying the rules, its up to the teams to adjust. In any case I doubt World Rugby would be questioning Poite's appointment as he did the French Top 14 Final this year, 2 Six Nations matches as well as the Munster vs Saracens European Cup Semi Final (a game which supplied a bulk of the Lions squad), so he was the clear number 2 ref in Europe behind Owens.

Keep in mind they had to pick 3 refs from the elite panel of which the NZRU and Home Nation refs can't be used and that left the names Romain Poite (Fra), Angus Gardiner (Aus), Jerome Garces (Fra), Jaco Peyper (RSA), Mathieu Raynal (Fra) and Pascal Gauzere (Fra) so with 4 Frenchmen left out of the 6 remaining the fact the got two Tests isn't surprising in the least.
 

Jascave

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Owens would never agree to referee the match if that happened, you would have his impartiality being called into question by New Zealand and such a move would be something he wouldn't stand for. The 3 referees have been known for months leading up to the tour so no point complaining about it now as we all know what the French refs are like in applying the rules, its up to the teams to adjust. In any case I doubt World Rugby would be questioning Poite's appointment as he did the French Top 14 Final this year, 2 Six Nations matches as well as the Munster vs Saracens European Cup Semi Final (a game which supplied a bulk of the Lions squad), so he was the clear number 2 ref in Europe behind Owens.

Keep in mind they had to pick 3 refs from the elite panel of which the NZRU and Home Nation refs can't be used and that left the names Romain Poite (Fra), Angus Gardiner (Aus), Jerome Garces (Fra), Jaco Peyper (RSA), Mathieu Raynal (Fra) and Pascal Gauzere (Fra) so with 4 Frenchmen left out of the 6 remaining the fact the got two Tests isn't surprising in the least.
So which referee has the Test series decider between the All Blacks and the Lions next Saturday night at Eden Park in Auckland?


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robbieando

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Will also point out that French referees aren't scared to make a huge call involving a Red Card if there is foul play involving the head. Maxime Machenaud of Racing tipped Matt Giteau of Toulon on his head in a one on one at the 17 minute mark of the 2016 Top 14 Final between Toulon and Racing and was Red Carded by Mathieu Raynal. While Racing went on to win the match, it certainly changed the flow of the match, but it was the right call and one that Raynal didn't allow the occasion get to him.
 

robbieando

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All you want in any contest is a bit of consistency. The shot on Naholo was a clear swinging arm and the shoulder charge while not as bad as the SBW one was there and should've been red and you could almost argue his sole intention was to take Barrett out of the game.
The TMO cleared the swinging arm while Naholo was being checked so the ref didn't get a second chance to look at it. The shoulder charge was only a penalty after a TMO referral but should of been a yellow card (never a red as he didn't make head contact) but the same player got yellow carded less than a minute later for an illegal cleanout.
 

Jascave

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If the All Blacks lose the Test series to the Lions on Saturday night, expect them to come out with all guns blazing and deal instant retribution on the Wallabies, Pumas and the Springboks in the upcoming Rugby Championship series.


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Dipper

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Yeah but if they win they'll do exactly the same. There's a big gap between them and everyone, and all the other RC sides are at various states of rabbledom.

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robbieando

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Teams have been named for the 3rd Test on Saturday and the Lions have gone with the "if its not broke don't fix it" method and named an unchanged team despite talk they would make a swap at loosehead prop in light of Vunipola's ill-discipline in the 2nd Test and the fact Poite is the ref for the 3rd Test. The All Blacks have been forced into 3 changes, Sonny Bill Williams misses because of his suspension while Waisake Naholo misses due to concussion while Steve Hansen opted to make a change on the left wing with Julian Savea coming in to replace Rieko Ioane. Ngani Laumape comes from the bench to replace Sonny Bill while Israel Dagg moves to the right wing and Jordie Barrett comes into the side to play at Full Back (and means all three Barretts play). Malakai Fekitoa comes into the 23 as the back bench cover.

British & Irish Lions
15. Liam Williams – Scarlets, Wales
14. Anthony Watson – Bath Rugby, England
13. Jonathan Davies – Scarlets, Wales
12. Owen Farrell – Saracens, England
11. Elliot Daly – Wasps, England
10. Johnny Sexton – Leinster, Ireland
9. Conor Murray – Munster, Ireland

1. Mako Vunipola – Saracens, England
2. Jamie George – Saracens, England
3. Tadhg Furlong – Leinster, Ireland
4. Maro Itoje – Saracens, England
5. Alun Wyn Jones – Ospreys, Wales
6. Sam Warburton (capt) – Cardiff Blues, Wales
7. Sean O’Brien – Leinster, Ireland
8. Taulupe Faletau – Bath Rugby, Wales

Replacements

16. Ken Owens – Scarlets, Wales
17. Jack McGrath – Leinster, Ireland
18. Kyle Sinckler – Harlequins, England
19. Courtney Lawes – Northampton Saints, England
20. CJ Stander – Munster, Ireland
21. Rhys Webb – Ospreys, Wales
22. Ben Te’o – Worcester Warriors, England
23. Jack Nowell – Exeter Chiefs, England

New Zealand
1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor
3. Owen Franks
4. Brodie Retallick
5. Samuel Whitelock
6. Jerome Kaino
7. Sam Cane
8. Kieran Read (capt)

9. Aaron Smith
10. Beauden Barrett
11. Julian Savea
12. Ngani Laumape
13. Anton Lienert-Brown
14. Israel Dagg
15. Jordie Barrett

Replacements
16. Nathan Harris
17. Wyatt Crockett
18. Charlie Faumuina
19. Scott Barrett
20. Ardie Savea
21. TJ Perenara
22. Aaron Cruden
23. Malakai Fekitoa
 

Jascave

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Which team is under the most pressure heading into the series decider-the All Blacks, or the British & Irish Lions? Remembering that the All Blacks very rarely lose a series at home, while the Lions haven't won a Test series in NZ since 1971, where they had legends such as Willie John McBride, David Duckham, JPR Williams, Barry John, and Gareth Edwards in that team. The '71 Lions defeated the All Blacks 2-1 with one Test drawn, which was to be the last time the Lions triumphed in NZ.


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robbieando

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Which team is under the most pressure heading into the series decider-the All Blacks, or the British & Irish Lions? Remembering that the All Blacks very rarely lose a series at home, while the Lions haven't won a Test series in NZ since 1971, where they had legends such as Willie John McBride, David Duckham, JPR Williams, Barry John, and Gareth Edwards in that team. The '71 Lions defeated the All Blacks 2-1 with one Test drawn, which was to be the last time the Lions triumphed in NZ.


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Clearly the All Blacks are the team under the "most pressure" as they are at home, coming off a loss and they haven't lost at Eden Park since 94 makes this a free hit for the Lions. Win the Series and they become legends, lose and it is still better tour than anyone expected.
 

Jascave

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If the British & Irish Lions defeat the All Blacks at Eden Park this Saturday night, it will go a long way to assuring the future of the Lions tour concept for many years to come.


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