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The Lions have alot to be proud of!

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Just think guys if those 2 tries had been grounded we would have won the game. God it was so close. Ok the line out needs to be sorted out but there is alot to be proud of and i honestly think we have a chance in the second test. The boks looked stunned near the end.

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posted Jun 20, 2009

Actually one retired Wallace brother made these comments and he's even Irish, don't be bothered by it though like I said he makes up for it.

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posted Jun 20, 2009

With the excpetion of O'Connell, and only because dropping the skipper would be counterproductive, the front 5 needs totally revamped for next week.

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posted Jun 21, 2009

Got to have a scrum platform to get the players going forward, we can't blame poor performances on the likes of Paul O Connell,& Alun Wyn Jones. The Lions management already know if the Beast was boring or if Vickery's height was the factor or if Alun Wyn Jones was to blame (as some reporter suggested). Blaming the second row is nonsense, if it was his height and he was beaten fair and square then replace him with Adam Jones. Admittedly Stephen Jones had a poor game with the boot but his defense was good. I think it is harsh to say O'Gara should replace him because he missed those kicks (they were not as easy as some fans from the Emerald isle suggest). Mike Phillips service at times was slow, he needs to get into those rucks and get the ball out..these did not help Stephen out on occasions. Lee Mears had a poor game which is a shame as he has been the most consistent performer at hooker...is it a risk to replace him with Matthew Rees who did have a better match for once?? Do we drop Monye, we dropped Shane for the very same reasons...inability to finish?? He is very physical and has pace but reminds me of a crash ball winger with no silky skills.

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posted Jun 21, 2009

south africa probably deserved that, but we could have snatched it.
changes i'd make for next week: bring in kearney if byrne is injured. and adam jones for vickery.
otherwise no one else, all the backs played well and monye was unlucky. the back row is brilliant.
i feel for mears because i think he'll be dropped when he's played well all tour, it's just the south africa lineout is difficult for anyone. on a consistent level mears is better than rees and ford.

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posted Jun 21, 2009

Apart from Adam Jones for Vickery, wouldn't make any changes.
Rees is a sloppy line out thrower so would stick with Mears even tho he was disappointing.
Can't believe people are criticising AW Jones, think he's been excellent all tour and really important in the breakdown.
Possibly O'Gara or Hook (if he has a midweek blinder) for Jones, but, I think criticism is harsh. His first penalty was difficult, no guarentee another fly half would have got it.
Possibly Fitzgerald (ahead of S Williams) for Monye. Possibly Martyn Williams, altho I thought for Wallace was good and Croft brings too much to be dropped.

One question for the experts tho..

Who takes responsibility for the Lions inability to stop the rolling maul?

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posted Jun 21, 2009

Well done Lions, they gave the Boks a scare. O'Driscoll & Roberts were fantastic. A bit ominous though, that while the Lions were playing out of their skins and the Boks misfired in their first international this season, the Boks still won it. The SA backline won't be as rusty next week, and the Lions won't have as many chances. Sad, but not surprising, to see that a contingent of British fans are blaming the referee again, as is their wont. Look at the penalty count: it was even. In the end, credit to the Lions for their comeback, but the Boks deserved the win. They dominated the first three quarters of the game.

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posted Jun 21, 2009

Must admit that I have quiet confidence for the next test. We looked far fitter and more mobile in the last 20 which bodes well for altitude. Bring shaw or hines in for wyn jones to provide a big nasty streak.....botha didn`t greak sweat. Welsh front row looked very good....even rees hit the jumpers and the srcum looked secure. We just need parity in the scrum as we definitley have the advantage in the threequarters. Back row were transformed when they could actually secure ball and could work on the front foot more. Keep Williams on the bench to bring on when play gets broken up. To be honest, little between O`Gara and Jones, so keep Jones as we do need Mike Phillips. Kearney looked solid and hopefully Hook on the bench...he would have been awsome in that last 20 where game management was less important and that extra spark might just have got the extra score. Monye definetly needs another chance as there was some excellent bok defence that wrapped him up a couple of times.
hoping for the best.

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posted Jun 22, 2009

Its obvious the pack needs to be looked at.

It was sad seeing Vickery being blown up time after time. The ref, I think, was ignoring the fact that 'Beast' was boring in from the side on a number of occasions. Having said that though Jones did seem more comfortable when he came so he's got to start on saturday. In the second row, we were light-weight. Its got to be Hines coming in for Wyn-Jones who was very poor. The back row should start the same, and bring Williams on for impact in the second half. He was very impressive when he came on.

The backs dont need to be tinkered with too much for the most part. Philips came into the game well but I wish he would deliver the ball with a little more urgency. Its essential we get the ball to midfield as much as possible and that begins firstly with the pack but then Phillips.

There is a case for O'Gara to come in for S. Jones but I'd be reluctant to change too much as the back line was solid. Jones was possibly a bit wayward on the tactical kicking front and took the ball himself into contact too much. But would O'Gara be any different?

Monye was ok but he really should have been more clinical. Maybe a triumphant return for Shane Williams? Or take a punt on the sharpness of Fitzgerald? Or if Byrne is fit how about Kearney on the left? He looked very solid after coming on and gives more in attack than pundits are giving him credit for on this tour.

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posted Jun 22, 2009

Everyone is saying that the Boks won't play so badly again. I'd counter that the Lions will never play as badly as they did in the opening 20 minutes. Even in that inital mauling, we had a very close TMO call on a try and Jones missed 2 penalties.
I think both Mears and Heaslip deserve another chance. They weren't great, but both have been the (only) form players in their position all tour and will play better this week.
I think Monye will hold his position unless Fitz are Shane have an absolute monster of a game.
I just feel that if we can get anywhere near parity in the forwards, BOD and Roberts will tear them to bits (they say the boks will have sorted it out by then, well, we were running though them in the first half (when we had the ball) and we continued to waltzed through them in the second half, so they didn't sort it out at half time at all. There is hope - Keep the faith!!

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comment by U13989474

posted Jun 22, 2009

Heaslip yes, Mears no, no way. The Bokes will up their game, of this we can be certain. I hope the Lions match their intensity. But, as I have said in the past on these threads, when you play the Bokes you have to keep it tight in the first 15 mins and the final 20 mins, that is where they try and push points past you to demorolise you or consolidate their advantage, tuck the ball up their jerseys and prevent you from winning quality ball.

However, in that first test, to The Lions greatest credit, they never gave up and kept on attacking the Bokes defenisve lines and tried to punch holes in their 10-12 channel whcih looked fragile sometimes when our backs were in space or AWJ or Croft in particular had the ball.

2nd test will be touch, but this Lions squad are capable of a rate of damage against this Bokes team and I would like to see Habana wound up again - the Lions got under his skin and he's looking a yelloe card candidate as someone else pointed out.

C'mon Lions make it 1 - 1 for yourselves and your fans !!

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