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Lions Player Ratings

International Lions
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For a game where the Lions were expecting to win comfortably it was a pretty flattering scoreline. It's not a good sign when competent performances seem outstanding.

15. Lee Byrne - 8 - Competent as always in the kicking game, made some good breaks and showed great vision for his admittedly fortunate try. Kearney will need to impress to take away his test place.

14. Tommy Bowe - 7 - Showed great ability under the high ball, showed good support and made a couple of decent runs. An all-round solid performance at the back despite not getting any decent ball from Earls.

13. Keith Earls - 2 - Fumbled the ball 5 times in the opening twenty minutes, and kicked the ball straight out in frustration after knocking the ball back giving the Royals the field position which set up their first try. Appears to lack some mental toughness.

12. Jamie Roberts - 7 - One of the few bright spots of a dismal first half. Ran straight, ran hard and made breaks. Didn't get much support and faded in the 2nd half but a pretty solid performance.

11. Shane Williams - 5 - Didn't play particularly badly but fumbled a few times and seemed to have lost his sense of geography entirely at times. Worrying.

10. Ronan O'Gara - 7 - Place-kicking was as reliable as ever. Coped well with poor ball. It will be interesting to see how he plays with better service from scrum half.

9. Mike Blair - 4 - Shambolic first half, with poor distribution and lack of communication at the back of the scrum and ruck. Pretorius showed him up big time.

8. David Wallace - 3 - Partially responsible for losing ball at the scrum, made unforced errors and didn't get the Lions moving forward.

7. Martyn Williams - 4 - Anonymous for most of the game.

6. Joe Worsley - 3 - Anonymous for pretty much all of the game.

5. Paul O'Connell - 5 - Captaining qualities will be questioned after this performance, but came good towards the end. Didn't lead by example to the same extent as he does Munster. Needed to have a quiet word to calm Earls down early in the 1st half.

4. Simon Shaw - 4 - Guilty of trying to do too much by giving away silly penalties, but otherwise solid.

3. Adam Jones - 5 - Looked strong in the scrum early on but that disappeared in the second half.

2. Matthew Rees - 3 - Throwing was off and didn't look his usual self in the loose.

1. Andrew Sheridan - 4 - Same as Adam Jones but his lack of discipline in defence allowed Barnes to score untouched from the rolling maul.

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posted May 31, 2009

Can players be sent home for being rubbish? Because if so can we please see Earls and Blair on the first flight home? Blair was the reason that the Lions' backline didn't perform, his service was shocking! and when they did get the ball Earls just managed to knock on passes that an under 12's player should be catching.
Also think people are being a bit harsh on Martyn Williams, ok he didn't have his greatest game but he made four or five turnovers and linked well with the backline.
Ronan O'Gara as always was non-existant in defense, in fact at one stage I saw him side step an attacker.
Paul O'Connol carried alot of ball but very rarely made the gain line.
Adam Jones looked like he was going to die, i'd say the heat doesn't agree with Adam.

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posted May 31, 2009

RobTheGuru
I agree Roberts and Flutey looked good as a centre partnership but for the test it'll probably be between the two to decide who partners o'driscoll.

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posted May 31, 2009

BarryBun
U r clearly biased and english. How u can say martyn Williams is just not there in world cup, lions and SH rugby. Its far 2 early to judge the lions players on their performances. They will improve. Williams was also one wales' best players in the last two world cups. Earls had a bad day yesterday but it's total rubbish to say he can't score trys. I remmember 2 against the ospreys. Josh lewsey is retiring now and isnt better atm than the wingers/ fullbacks on tour. If byrne gets injured Rob Kearney who is a better than lewsey is now can take his place at fullback. If bod gets injured flutey and Roberts can play centre. If shane Williams gets injured there are a number of excellent wingers who can do a better job than lewsey could at the end of his career. Monye, Fitzgerald, halfpenny,Bowe.

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posted May 31, 2009

Murg27 - you made the point before me and made it well - please can we stop talking as though the Royal XV was made up of local Joberg postmen and shop owners who received a letter asking them to close up for the day and put some shorts on.

EVERY one of their players was a hardened pro, most came from a team that had just won a provincial championship cup, 7 had Super 14 experience and all of whom were up for the game of their lives against a team they will never encounter again in their careers.

This board is meant for fruity, combative posts - that's the whole point but let's try and keep the facts vaguely accurate.

Another worrying thing (and again, I say this without having seen the game) was that we didn't seem to get the penalties that we should have had from our hugely dominant scrum.

I really want to see a front row with Murray, Ford and Sheridan (after his performance). That's a serious amount of power by any standard.

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posted May 31, 2009

I agree Tomos the backrow collectively were non-exsistant yesterday, seriously worrying considering they're going to face the likes of Burger, Spies and Johan Smith in a few weeks time. This is the area of the game that will determine who wins the big crunch games, whoever the lions select at 6,7 and 8 they will clearly be inferior to the best backrow in world rugby i fear.

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comment by Segnes (U1710014)

posted Jun 1, 2009

It's a winning start, but in all likelihood the game won't be remembered long: it was never a significant one.

The Royal side did very well, and a number of its players did themselves no harm. All credit to them. On the other hand, the Lions have no reason to panic. Most visitors to South Africa battle during the first few games at altitude and many a perfectly sound player finds it hard to achieve his usual standards in between gasping for breath. Loose forwards in particular look leaden-footed. That is why most sides on long tours begin by playing a few coastal teams. Why McGeechan didn't insist on such an itinerary I don't know, but I won't believe that he has been taken by surprise. I think that we now see why Blair wasn't in the original selection: it takes a very stout heart to put up with the treatment which unprotected scrum-halves enjoy in South Africa and deliver a sweet service. No doubt McGeechan will be ramming that lesson home too.

The next game will be much more telling, I think, and we're going to have a real chance to see how that ball travels at altitude. Also, the stadium will be full and menacing, and I surmise that O'Connell will be sitting it out...

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comment by Nathan (U9208515)

posted Jun 1, 2009

Saturday's Lions team was a scratch side with ver few combinatiobns and it showed. thats said Irealnd wales and england have had to draught in alot of new players too and they and struggled to click as well.

Credit to the Royal XV they played really well and both Geech and De-Villeisr will be looking at the tape to see what they can take from it.
I think alot of fans were expecting a 110 pt scoreline as was the case against western australia in 2001 but the aussies that day were amatuers and the Royals had 11 giriquas giving them a professional footing and more telling, the combinations to operate as a team.

Wednesdays match will be much of the same I feel, the rest of the squad will get a run out and there will be that unfamiliarity factor against and this team we're up against a proper rugby team. it will be tough again, but we have the stars to win this match and then next Saturday THATS when I'd expect the lions to step it up a couple of notches!

my verdict is good win by 15 individuals now its onwards and upwards!

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posted Jun 1, 2009

I expect the lambasting that the Lions are getting from the Media but not the supporters. The constant whinging and jumping on the back of players is a real shame....its the first chuffing game for crying out loud give the boys a break and get behind them. The lot of you sound like football supporters.....

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comment by Nathan (U9208515)

posted Jun 1, 2009

Cwatts,

Totally with you sentiment.

Come On the Lions!!!!!

Can't wait to see Roberts and O'Driscoll combine on Wednesday!

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comment by rollff (U13987501)

posted Jun 2, 2009

Barrybun, can I suggest that you write your next comment when you are sober. If you were sober then please review your article before publishing because there were far too many mistakes; there again perhaps your rugby knowledge is on a par with your command of the English language and your spelling. Now lets have some sensible comments from you in future please,remember ignorance is not an excuse.

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