Monday, 22 June 2009

testing times for the lions (plus more)

I got an email from Sideshow, and he has this to say:

"What got me about the Lions game was that if we could play basic Rugby, we'dve comfortably won. Thow the ball into the lineout properly, get a prop that can prop (and if not, have the 8 pick up quicker), kick intelligently rather than down the 15's throat and get a winger that can carry the ball in the correct arm = comfortable win. "

I didn't mind so much kicking the ball down Steyn's throat - he spilled a couple of times, and has played the last 18 months at 12.  Pressuring him is tactical. It didn't pay the dividends it could have, but you learn things in a three test series, and that's one of them - we need to pull him around a little bit.  That's Ok.

The Front Row - I wasn't convinced by the Vickery selection, and it turns out I know more about scrummaging than the Lions selectors.  If you insist on leaving mighty mighty Julian White at home, you can't guarantee victory in the scrum.  I'm deeply concerned about the front row call ups.  Oh well.  Mears had a poor game, but you couldn't have predicted that.  Rees will step in and do well, and we'll have competitiveness up front, which will mean we can't exploit De Villiers awful substitution timing again.

As for Monye - I thought he could have gone to deck earlier for the first attempt, but that the cover tackle was spectacular.  The second try I'll let him off, because he'd shifted arms to fend off the first tackler, and got tomahawked by an unseen man.  I don't think Williams will step in, but Fitgerald could. 

There's been a lot of talk about Phillips having a good game.  For my money, he was picked to go over people and on the one occasion he tried he fumbled away a try.  For me, off he goes and in comes Ellis.

I watched the Saxons final too.

Luke Narraway is a lot bigger than I thought - 6'3 and about 17 stone. 
The kid we played at scrum half (Micky Young of the Falcons) has a great pass - straight off the deck and it fizzes across the park.  He gets around the paddock at pace as well.  He isn't at the Ellis standard yet, but I prefered what I saw of his game to Danny Care. 
Dan Cole is a massive lump of a man. He was unlucky to be sin binned because Ireland infringed about a dozen times, got warning warning warning, Ireland get into the red zone once, Cole slows the ball and off he goes.  And watching the replay, there's an argument to say that it wasn't a penalty at all - it looked to me like he was the tackler, made the tackle and Ireland pinned him off his feet.
Varndell is still very young, and looked big and strong - his stiff arm is a thing of beauty.  He looked much more polished than he has in the past, a more complete player.  This is a problem when the player is moving to Wasps. 
Myler is still promising, but he doesn't smash people like you'd expect a League convert to.

He also refers to my story writing as a "Barbera Cartland (sic)" impression.  There's nothing like the support of your friends (and this isn't exactly the support of my friends, now, is it!) but I shall persevere regardless.  Of course, that isn't how you spell Barbara.  So there.

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