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British and Irish Lions 2017

Discussion in 'general sports' started by bendeus, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    So, it's almost upon us. That time when we can put aside our emnities, stop hating each others' players (except Fat Dylan, obv) and instead start appreciating their talents, physical prowess and what they bring to the side. We can, for once, be united by rugby (except when the useless fucker from team x, the idiot coach from team y, or the unutterably daft decision by the captain from team z undermines that unity)

    I don't think this 6N augers well, TBH. Lots of tough, physical and often scrappy and uninspiring rugby on offer. Too much of the 'honest triers' and too little of the rubicon crossing flyers to, in my opinion, trouble the ABs at home. Some question marks, too, about the coaching staff. Most on here know my opinion of Gatland, Howley speaks for himself and I'm not sure I'm entirely bought into Farrell's defensive philosophy (Ireland conceded quite a few tries this tournament). On the flip side, Ireland have shown how to beat the ABs and that they're fallible if pressure is unrelenting and execution is near-perfect.

    One thing's for sure - to win a tour in NZ you need to bring something different - Carwyn's Lions in '74 showed that the only way to beat the ABs over a tour is to outthink them; keep them guessing and stay on the front foot mentally, physically and tactically. Gatland ain't no Carwyn, and the squad won't be peppered with JPRs, Prices, Barry Johns, GOEs, etc., etc. Nevertheless, we've got to go there believing we've got a chance.

    Gatland will obviously go to dominate up front - there'll be a lot of beef in that pack - and to keep discipline and hold the line defensively at the back. Will he go with his innate conservatism and include Halfpenny, whose indifferent form hasn't exactly lit up the pitch but whose defence probably still puts him ahead of the rest of the field, and whose boot can 'do a Neil Jenkins' and snaffle points from distance if there are infringements anywhere up to halfway or Hogg, who is electric going forward but suspect as a final line of defence? The next few weeks will be very interesting, and some brilliant players won't even travel. Here, for the sake of it, is my XXIII - a mix of who I'd pick and who I think Gatland will go for.

    Vunipola, Owens, Furlong
    Itoje, AWJ
    Stander, Vunipola, Warburton (c)

    Hogg, North, Joseph, Farrell, Sexton, Murray, Watson

    Bench
    Nel
    Cole
    Launchbury
    J George
    Faletau
    Webb
    Te'o
    Halfpenny

    1 Scot
    4 Irish
    4 Welsh
    6 English in the starting line up

    Just a starter for ten :) Feel free to shoot me down
     
  2. Reiabuzz

    Reiabuzz Well-Known Member

    Who's 'Fat Dylan?' Like it. A huge unit I take it.

    No idea, but my welsh mates seem to be looking forward to this thing.
     
  3. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    Fat Dylan is everyone's favourite biting, stamping, gouging English hooker, Dylan Hartley.
     
  4. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

  5. stavros

    stavros Well-Known Member

    Is there a case to take Launchbury? I thought he was England's most consistent player in the 6N.
     
  6. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    He's a magnificent player and on my bench. I think Kruis will also tour. TBH I think lock is the hardest area to call. You've got AWJ, Grey, Itoje, Kruis, Launchbury all in with a shout, maybe more than that.
     
  7. Grandma Death

    Grandma Death Reconfiguring & Reconstructing


    A third English, a third Irish the other third welsh/scottish

    You not think Biggar had a good 6N and is worthy of inclusion?
     
  8. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    I love Biggar - nobody plays with more heart and guts - but his limitations in terms of the modern game are getting exposed. He's too slow, can't play flat and doesn't have the distribution. Right now I'd say he's definitely behind Ford, Farrell and Sexton. Not sure how he compares to Russell, who's flakey and IMO, overrated.
     
  9. The Octagon

    The Octagon Stop......Hammertime

    Match dates:

    Saturday 3rd June 2017
    Provincial Union Team
    Toll Stadium, Whangarei

    Wednesday 7th June 2017
    Blues
    Eden Park Auckland

    Saturday 10th June 2017
    Crusaders
    AMI Stadium Christchurch

    Tuesday 13th June 2017
    Highlanders
    Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin

    Saturday 17th June 2017
    Maori All Blacks
    Rotorua International Stadium

    Tuesday 20th June 2017
    Chiefs
    FMG Stadium Waikato, Hamilton

    Saturday 24th June 2017
    All Blacks
    Eden Park Auckland

    Tuesday 27th June 2017
    Hurricanes
    Westpac Stadium Wellington

    Saturday 1st July 2017
    All Blacks
    Westpac Stadium Wellington

    Saturday 8th July 2017

    All Blacks
    Eden Park Auckland


    (Edited to tidy up and highlight the main games)
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017
  10. Mr Retro

    Mr Retro Leviticus 26:12

    Who do you think might be surprise inclusions? I would give Henderson a tour slot as number 6. Aggressive and a great line out option too. Not great at the breakdown but if you're playing him with Warburton that would hardly matter. I think Stander is as one dimensional as they come and wouldn't even bring him. SOB loses out for have a very ordinarily 6 nations.
     
  11. gawkrodger

    gawkrodger Well-Known Member

    The most obvious ommission from your list is Elliot Daly. He surely has to be on the plane!
     
  12. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    Gavin Henson ;)
     
  13. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    That's only my XXIII. Gatland will take a lot more than that, including the likes of Daly, POM, etc., etc.
     
  14. 1927

    1927 Funnier than he thinks he is.

    No Tips?
     
  15. stavros

    stavros Well-Known Member

    I was going to say Tipuric, probably Wales' best player in the 6N. As you say though, the back of the scrum is ridiculously competitive. Lawes was good too.
     
  16. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    If it was me I'd pick an all-Welsh backrow of Tips, Warburton and Faletau. We dominated every side we played at the breakdown and that should count for something. It's not me, though, it's Gatland, and he likes big lumps. I could well imagine Tips on the bench, though. He had a fantastic 6N amidst a sea of (mostly) dross
     
  17. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    Yeah. Forgot Lawes. Another who's put his hand up at second row
     
  18. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    Stephen Jones in the Times has apparently picked Kearney at 15 and Scott Williams at 12 for his XV. Fuck me, and he gets paid for this. :D:facepalm:
     
    gawkrodger likes this.
  19. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    Here's the picks of the 4 Times rugby pundits. A couple of selections (e.g. Kearney) are just plain mental. Really surprised to see SOB in three of them. Reputation rather than form?


    STEPHEN JONES

    R Kearney, G North, J Joseph, S Williams, A Watson, O Farrell, R Webb, B Vunipola, S Warburton, M Itoje, C Lawes, AW Jones, T Furlong, D Hartley, J McGrath

    LAWRENCE DALLAGLIO

    S Hogg, G North, J Davies, O Farrell, E Daly, J Sexton, C Murray, B Vunipola, J Tipuric, S O’Brien, J Launchbury, M Itoje, T Furlong, D Hartley, M Vunipola

    STUART BARNES

    S Hogg, G North, J Joseph, O Farrell, A Watson, J Sexton, C Murray, B Vunipola, S O’Brien, S Warburton, M Itoje, AW Jones, T Furlong, K Owens, M Vunipola

    PETER O’REILLY

    L Williams, G North, J Joseph, O Farrell, A Watson, J Sexton, C Murray, B Vunipola, S O’Brien, M Itoje, J Launchbury, AW Jones, D Cole, J George, J McGrath
     
  20. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    ... and Barnes has picked the same XV as me. I feel slightly dirty.

    E2A: no he hasn't. SOB's there
     
  21. Balbi

    Balbi Hey, Dean Yager!

    Got tickets to the first and final test. Cost a bomb. Worth it though.
     
    Mr Retro and bendeus like this.
  22. Mr Retro

    Mr Retro Leviticus 26:12

    Jones is a fucking fool. I reckon before he makes these kind of selections he wonders who he can annoy and then selects based on that.
     
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  23. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    It has to be that, right, as anyone with a modicum of rugby understanding and who has watched recent games would know that these are exploding clown car selections for a tour of NZ, let alone someone who makes a living from watching and writing about the sport. So he's either trolling or he's genuinely clueless about rugby, which would be quite astonishing given his day job.
     
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  24. bendeus

    bendeus Bellend Tagline Generator

    Is he a another time serving Pacific Island import? Hoping he might fill the difficult test 13 slot.
     

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