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Lions vs Highlanders

  • 12-06-2017 8:18pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 4,191 ✭✭✭ swiwi_


    The Lions head to probably NZ's best rugby stadium (haven't been there myself to comment) to face the Highlanders after a morale-boosting win over the Crusaders.

    The Lions tactics were taken straight out of Jake White's successful 2007 RWC campaign, with Murray playing the role of Fourie Du Preez, Farrell the goalkicking role of Percy Montgomery, and the Lions pack and defence being rock solid. While this style of rugby will never catch on in NZ, there is a certain beauty to the relentless accuracy of Murray's box-kicks, and it is actually highly skilled, if not particularly expansive.

    It was enough to defeat the disappointing Crusaders, with the backline in particular, maybe Jack Goodhue aside, being very disappointing. I would expect the ABs to be better equipped - while it can be a very effective style of rugby, it does potentially involving constantly kicking away possession and provided the back 3 can handle the fielding of high kicks, NZ could end up with a good amount of ball.

    NZ interest will rest on seeing whether the Highlanders can cope with rush defence and aerial bombardments. The Lions will be hoping their outside backs can string 2 passes together - in front of the receiver, after drawing and passing, without cutting down space by drifting. They have made this look quite difficult at times. Keith Earls made it looks like child's play.

    A lot of reports have said the Lions pack destroyed the Crusaders at scrum time - I'm not sure that is correct, as the Crusaders gave up a number of penalties for technical offences, which meant many scrums didn't even really start. Here is what our laws of the game state, the relevant law for some of the decisions is 20.1(g):

    The referee will call "crouch" and then "bind". The front rows crouch and using their outside arm each prop must bind. A loose-head prop must bind on the opposing tight-head prop by placing the left arm inside the right arm of the tight head and gripping the tight-head prop’s jersey on the back or side. A tight-head prop must bind on the opposing loose-head prop by placing the right arm outside the left upper arm of the opposing loose-head prop and gripping the loose-head prop’s jersey with the right hand only on the back or side. The props must not grip the opponent’s chest, arm, sleeve or collar. Following a pause, the referee will then call "set" when the front rows are ready. The front rows may then engage. The “set” call is not a command but an indication that the front rows may come together when ready. The sanction for any infringement will be a free kick.

    Raynal pinged the Crusaders once or twice for pre-engage, I honestly can't remember if he gave a penalty or a free kick, but it should be a free kick according to the laws. Apparently in Super Rugby the props are touching before engaging, whereas Raynal wanted a small gap. A lot of people were happy that these strict rulings were applied, but it did deny us, the fans, a proper contest in the first half, where I hardly recall any completed scrums. Aside a couple of whiny NZ media pundits, I haven't seen too many Kiwis blaming Reynal for the loss though, I personally thought he only got one scrum definitely wrong, I have no idea how Moody popping up Furlong with pressure equated to the Crusaders deliberately wheeling the scrum. It was quite a big call, as the Crusaders were in the Lions 22 at the time.

    The Highlanders pack is quite a bit depleted by ABs, Maoris, injury, such that the contest risks being a bit one-sided IMO. If they get enough ball, the Highlanders backs are handy though. You wouldn't be too relaxed about Naholo, or Li, or Buckman under the high ball though.

    If the Lions eek out a win using the same style, they will have missed a beat - if they really want to start making Kiwis sit up and get worried, they need to combine stifling defence and kicking with some tries out wide.

    I think the Lions will win this game handily enough, and I also think the Lions first choice pack will be too much for the Maoris, although the Maoris should have a considerably better backline than the Crusaders, with players such as Kerr-Barlow, Milner-Skudder, Leinster bound James Lowe, Charlie Ngatai, and Damian McKenzie available.

    Sometimes I think rugby media sites etc are like kids squabbling, with all the cliched and attempted digs popping up online. The NZ media can be a bit cringe-worthy at times, but reading articles like what Murray Kinsella posted today (http://www.the42.ie/letter-from-new-zealand-dunedin-rugby-3439111-Jun2017/), it's clear the average Kiwi is doing their best to make the Lions visitors feel welcome. Murray got to play rugby for Scott Robertson's Summer club side, which was a nice touch, and I'm sure a good memory to take back to Ireland.

    For Irish rugby fans, it would be fair to say that Henderson and Henshaw need really really big games to salvage their claims, while Payne (possibly utility bench role), Stander (probably in trouble given he's unlikely to play vs the Maori) and Best (backup hooker) are also in the mix. McGrath is probably locked in as bench LH behind the fairly impressive Vunipola.

    It should be another good week of rugby: Lions x2, ABs vs Samoa, Ire vs Japan, Arg vs Eng, Fra vs SA spoiled for choice really.

    Happy viewing people.


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Comments

  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 17,931 Mod ✭✭✭✭ CatFromHue


    How come this game is on a Tuesday?

    I thought only the mid week game before the first test and between test 1 and 2 were on Tuesdays


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,231 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    CatFromHue wrote: »
    How come this game is on a Tuesday?

    I thought only the mid week game before the first test and between test 1 and 2 were on Tuesdays

    I think tomorrow is a religious holiday in NZ. McCaw's birthday or something.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,473 ✭✭✭ budhabob


    What radio station has changed game coverage?


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,277 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Expect some tony brown special strike moves from set pieces today, especially designed to trouble Joseph at 13.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 27,836 ✭✭✭✭ ThisRegard


    budhabob wrote: »
    What radio station has changed game coverage?

    LW252 had the last few, and if you've got the fancy internet, Talksport with the people with the funny accents.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    CatFromHue wrote: »
    How come this game is on a Tuesday?

    I thought only the mid week game before the first test and between test 1 and 2 were on Tuesdays

    The last one or two midweek games move to Tuesdays. Has happened on last tour. I assume it's to give an extra day of recovery to those who will potentially be involved in the test team.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,453 ✭✭✭ elefant


    Highlanders: R Buckman; W Naholo, M Fekitoa, T Walden, T Li;
    L Sopoaga, K Hammington; D Lienert-Brown, L Coltman, S Tokolahi, A
    Ainley, J Hemopo, G Evans, D Hunt, L Whitelock (capt).

    Replacements: G Pleasants-Tate, A Seiuli, S Halanukonuka, J
    Dickson, J Lentjes, J Renton, M Banks, P Osborne.

    British & Irish Lions: J Payne; J Nowell, J Joseph, R
    Henshaw, T Seymour; D Biggar, R Webb; J Marler, R Best, K Sinckler, C
    Lawes, I Henderson, J Haskell, S Warburton (capt), CJ Stander.

    Replacements: K Owens, J McGrath, D Cole, AW Jones, J
    Tipuric, G Laidlaw, O Farrell, E Daly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    So who are we paying particular attention to today? Stander and Warburton obviously. Does Marler have a chance of sneaking the 17 jersey? He has gone pretty well so far.

    Will be interesting to see how Payne gets on but him playing at 15 suggests that he's probably not in the mix for the 13 jersey now. Perhaps a good chance at the 23 spot though?


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Lions to win. 24-21, Bucky to score 3 tries. Ideal.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,446 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Bagpipes? Really?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,364 ✭✭✭✭ Del.Monte


    Something special by the Highlanders today?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 27,836 ✭✭✭✭ ThisRegard


    "The Edinburgh of the south"? Are they called The Highlanders due to Scottish origins? I thought it was because of their location, or at least because of the movie with the swords they have.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    swiwi_ wrote: »
    Raynal pinged the Crusaders once or twice for pre-engage, I honestly can't remember if he gave a penalty or a free kick, but it should be a free kick according to the laws

    A free kick the first time. If you infringe multiple times it becomes a penalty. And the Crusaders did (at least 3).

    And there's a good reason the Crusaders were trying to get an early push. They were trying to get negate the locking ability on the other side. It wasn't just some cultural thing or misunderstanding, it really annoys me that people believe random pundits that this is somehow the case, lets not forget multiple guys on the Lions side have kiwis as scrum coaches.


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,814 irishman86


    ThisRegard wrote: »
    "The Edinburgh of the south"? Are they called The Highlanders due to Scottish origins? I thought it was because of their location, or at least because of the movie with the swords they have.

    Must be Scottish emmigrants


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    awec wrote: »
    Bagpipes? Really?

    Highlanders have very strong Scottish links. Would be akin to Boston or something with Ireland.

    Bit disappointed by that. They said they were planning something different with a Scottish slant.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Bad miss from Seymour to start. I'm worried...


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Soft soft ball to give up there from Henshaw, really poor judgement


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Unbelievable defense from Henshaw there! He needed that given Highlanders possession came from his error.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,045 ✭✭✭✭ vienne86


    Couple of good tackles by Henshaw and Payne there. Saved a try - just a penalty.


  • Subscribers Posts: 36,277 ✭✭✭✭ sydthebeat


    Fekitoa ya sack


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  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,320 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Peregrine


    Soft soft ball to give up there from Henshaw, really poor judgement

    He just made up for that!


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    Is that Seymour at 11? Watching on a brutal stream. He's looking very ropey.

    Fekitoa absolutely butchered a certain try.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,564 ✭✭✭ RugbyLover123


    Highlanders miles offside


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Maul? In my b******s. Not a chance his knee wasn't down there surely! :D


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,446 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Get up Biggar you fool.


  • Registered Users Posts: 37,978 irishbucsfan


    Lions defense is glorious to watch


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 3,814 irishman86


    awec wrote: »
    Get up Biggar you fool.

    Ref said what we were all thinking, he really can be a prick sometimes


  • Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,320 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Peregrine


    I think Henderson had a good start.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    Judging by my stream, the blobs in red are moving up and crashing into the blobs in blue very quicky and hard when the little white blob moves across the screen.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23,564 ✭✭✭✭ Buer


    Very nice from Webb. He won't start but he'll be a very good bench option to have. Lovely reverse to his winger too.


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