Discussion in 'Other Sports Forum' started by Rosco, Apr 30, 2013.
that the Lions - Wallabies is a bigger occasion than the "state of origin" .
Good to see Bowe and Lydiate in the team.
1. Vunipola deserves his chance, but i hope it doesn't effect the scrum too much.
2. I would have had Evans over Parling.
3. Is Phillips injured (not on the bench). Regardless of this you could make a strong case for Youngs coming in even if Phillips was 100% fit.
Don't bother posting the team for the rest of us.
Lions: 15-Leigh Halfpenny (Wales), 14-Tommy Bowe (Ireland), 13-Brian O'Driscoll (Ireland), 12-Jonathan Davies (Wales), 11-George North (Wales), 10-Jonathan Sexton (Ireland), 9-Ben Youngs (England, 8-Jamie Heaslip (Ireland), 7-Sam Warburton (Wales, captain), 6-Dan Lydiate (Wales), 5-Geoff Parling (England), 4-Alun Wyn Jones (Wales), 3-Adam Jones (Wales), 2-Tom Youngs (England), 1-Mako Vunipola (England).
Replacements - 16-Richard Hibbard (Wales), 17-Ryan Grant (Scotland), 18-Dan Cole (England), 19-Tom Croft (England), 20-Sean O'Brien (Ireland), 21-Conor Murray (Ireland), 22-Owen Farrell (England), 23-Alex Cuthbert (Wales)
Croft is clearly covering second row on the bench too. He's a bit unlucky to be dropped, but Gatland can't be seen to do what's needed so Croft loses out. Cuthbert is unlucky too, Bowe is better in my book but Cuthbert didn't do much wrong last week
And I just realised I'm not going to see this game.
Not in this Country it isn't. Fair enough putting that rhetoric in a UK/Irish newspaper where people may not know different. But that doesn't make it true.
I think you'll find that it's been posted on page 16.
I think you'll find I didn't look at page 16
How big is the lions tour from an aussies perspective?
I know the tickets for the tests went within a matter of minutes, but a few articles i've read also states that the ARU board really need a good performance from the Aussies team in order to give rugby union a much needed boost over there.
Union seems to be getting bigger in most of the leading nations (crowds + finances), yet in Australia i get the impression that the sport is dying a slow death.
The tests have been promoted and reported on fairly well. The games in between, not really. But even the tests are fighting a losing battle against the other sporting codes, that's just the way it is.
From the ticket perspective, EVERY big event in Australia sells out in minutes. The reason being that so few tickets go on general sale. Most are corporate or bought by other distribution agencies. So, the tickets will be made available, a story will do the rounds that they're all sold but, search around and you'll get some. That's not to say the tests aren't genuinely sold out though, they might well be. They will probably end up that way anyway but I doubt they were actually 'sold out' in minutes, I could probably get a ticket now.
The problem for the ARU is the Super Rugby (generally) isn't working for Australian teams. IMO they should withdraw and start a domestic league. There has been a steady decline in standard in the 5 years we have been here, to be honest, it's boring. The Aussie teams have a self-imposed $3M salary cap which the SA & NZ teams don't have and are therefore not restricted by. The Aussie salary cap is not there to promote fair play but to protect the clubs from over-spending. Consequently, Aussie teams lose players to RL, French RU (where the cap is about $9M) and other S15 clubs and these players then can't play for the Wallabies. The salary cap in the NRL is about $7M, AFL is nearly $10M. Has to be said, the Reds were good a few years ago and the Brumbies have been good this year but they're not consistent.
The strength in depth in RU is poor here, bear in mind, there are only 5 teams and they still can't fill them properly with quality players. Contrast that with the strength in depth in NRL and AFL and it's a massive problem. The other codes have absolute conveyor belts of quality kids coming through. Plus, they have tons more cash, both codes have recently signed $1BN TV rights split between free-to-air TV and Fox. The free-to-air TV here don't even bother bidding for the Super Rugby so Fox get it cheap. The Lions tests have been on free-to-air though. The major TV networks, 7 & 9, are run by massive AFL & NRL fans respectively.
The NRL is king in NSW & QLD, AFL rules in Victoria, SA & WA. AFL in Victoria is, quite simply, per capita, the most well-supported sport in the World, bar none. And I mean, bar none. There's 4M people in the State and they all go and watch it. There are about 5 Man Utds in Victorian AFL. Nothing's ever going to compete with that. RL isn't as popular in it's home states, NSW & QLD, but it's certainly as popular, say, as footy is in the UK, probably more so actually.
So, it's difficult and I don't know what the answer is for them. As you say, Worldwide, they do OK but the trend is bucked here. One thing RU can offer a player is a genuine 'World' experience, AFL & NRL cannot. But internally, State of Origin & the AFL Grand Final are like the Superbowl and FA Cup FInal rolled into one.
One other thing I meant to say is that, in the UK, RU & RL are very different and people choose which they prefer. Most choose RU.
However, over here, they have spent a lot of time making the S15 as similar as they can to the RL. But it hasn't worked, it's not as good. So, if two products are similar but one is markedly better than the other then, naturally, you'd watch the better one. They should play to Union's strengths a bit more, probably wouldn't lose them any fans.
The IRB have stepped in and are reopening the case against Horwill. If found quilty he will miss the 3rd test.
There will be blanket coverage if he's found quilty.
Agree 1 and 3. Tempted to agree with 2 also, but Parling's done himself credit on the trip and has earned his chance. The lineout in particular may well improve with him there. The Lions' tight shove will miss a little bit of sheer heft but adding Vunipola should counterbalance that.
Good. Hopefully that Kiwi prat who cleared him won't get too many more similar gigs.
I think it's inevitable the scrum will be affected but you'd hope it's offset by the all round game Vunipola brings to the table.
Our second row is arguably the deepest position on tour - I actually thought O'Connell was a bit lucky to make it on tour given how little he played in the second half of the season. I don't think we lose anything other than a bit of hard nosed leadership. All the others can do what he does otherwise.
The backrow definitely needed more graft in it so I'm happy Lydiate is there - it might also be a reflection that tactically given how well Australia took away tail line out options from us that we might be content to take what's on offer at 2 and 4. If we're throwing there we'll need to drive the maul a bit better to suck in the back row and Lydiate suits that tighter game.
That would usually be enough to give our midfield room to work in, but Youngs approach will have to change to a pass first one. He has a tendency to look to take on too much ball himself- like Phillips does.
If a bookie would take a bet on a Sexton to Bowe cross kick resulting in a try I'd be all over it this weekend
I don't understand the nuances of forward play in Union. But, whenever I see O'Connell play, he is like having 2 men on the pitch. Surely that is a big miss?
I am surprised the Aussies kept O'Connor at 10. The 12 who got injured is a good player, if he's right, he'll get a chance to show that. And Beale is their best full-back. Ioane wasn't fit last time so I doubt they'll miss him, even being their best winger.
They might be stronger this time.
Don't get me wrong- O'Connell is great. But there's not a big drop off from him to Parling or any of the other second rows.
And it doesn't create any problems for the Lions in how they approach the game - nothing changes.
If the English, Irish and scots players can start to contribute to the scoreboard, i think we'll win the second test.
LIONS LIONS LIONS!
One or two dodgy decisions already but at least they seem to be even-handed this time.