Official Lions Vs. All Blacks Thread

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by kiwi_the_iwik, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. kiwi_the_iwik macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    London, UK
    #1
    I'm VERY surprised there's not been a thread on this already - so - HERE GOES!!

    The First Test match between the British and Irish Lions and the New Zealand All Blacks in 12 years was completed last Saturday in Christchurch's Jade Stadium, and the triumphant AB victory was marred by the ugly and unfortunate events that occurred 45 seconds into the first half - where the Lion's captain Brian O'Driscoll was unceremoniously dumped by Keven Mealamu and captain Tana Umaga during a maul - dislocating his shoulder with such force that it took the medical team a full 20 minutes to re-insert it.

    Ouch.

    Adding to that, Englishman Danny Grewcock's unsportsmanlike attention to Mealamu's finger 20 minutes into the 2nd half earned him a 2 month ban for biting.

    He got off lightly.

    However, it was doubtful from the outset that O'Driscoll's participation would have had any major impact on the game - the Lions were unimaginative and as stodgy as the conditions in which Sir Clive Woodward had based his selection on. Since then, the backlash in the UK has been dramatic. The choice of 9 English players in the starting line-up was a surprising and unwelcome decision in UK/Irish rugby circles, as many believed (myself included) that key players had been left out of the 22 altogether, in favour of a "tried and tested" formula of ex-England coach Woodward's - who haven't been in form (or played together) since the English World Cup victory in 2003.

    The All Blacks, on the other hand, played a blinder - great movement of the ball, constant pressure on the backs, and the magic that IS Chris Jack that earned him player of the match for his sterling performance on line-out duty, all gave the Lions absolutely NOTHING to work with.

    It all may change, now that Clive's sure to start with Welshmen Gavin Henson and Shane Williams (who had a brilliant game against Manawatu this morning running in 5 tries with some spectacular goose-stepping. Not really a decent gauge relating to Manawatu's performance - especially as they'd only finished midway down the field in the National league's 2nd division - but it shows he's cooking, and on form. Certainly one to be wary of...).

    So - roll on Saturday, for the 2nd test in Wellington.

    (I've taken the day off, as I'm getting used to having a beer at 8am whilst watching the game!)


    :)
     
  2. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #2
    To be honest, I didn't expect anything else have Woodward was announced as coach despite his comments on 'picking on form'. I didn't bother getting out of bed to watch it; I find Woodward's style of rugby intensely boring to watch. I wish they'd reduce the points for penalties or increase the points for tries further to make kicking penalties less attractive.
     
  3. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    #3
    If there's one thing I noticed about the style of rugby in the Northern Hemisphere as opposed to the Southern Hemisphere, it's that the NH teams tend to attack in "waves", creating attacking plays and then falling back before regrouping and resurging.

    In the South, teams tend to play to a consistent pace. It may not be fantastic rugby, but the constant grind tends to be too much for the teams from the North, who rely on the boot, and breaks by the wing.

    The All Blacks, however, have mastered a level of consistency that sits above the average run of play.

    And they keep it there.

    And THAT is why they're awesome to watch.

    (As for wondering WHY they blow it on the important World Cup games - I'm at a loss... :rolleyes: )
     
  4. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    #4
    Unceremoniously dumped? Is that what a spear tackle is called in New Zealand? What really got me was Henry saying today that the All Blacks have a standard of professionalism to live upto. Round objects (and we're not talking football ;) ) - the All Black game has never been shy of extreme physical power - the famed All Black maul. As for why they don't win World Cups - easy. Super 12. This joke of a competition removed all essence of forward play, preferring the open running game, and the high scores that go with it, to a traditional game of attrition that frees up space for a good back line (of which NZ has the finest, and for a long time has had the finest). Hookers on the wing? Jerry Collins at No 8? He's too underpowered to be a No 8. Both recent World Cups have been won by teams that understood this (Aus And England). The All Blacks used to understand this but have lost it in the last few years. Colin Meads (metaphorically) must be spinning in his grave.
    However huge congrats to the All Blacks last Saturday - they played a totally superior game and deservedly thumped a second rate Lions team. Woodward screwed up, big time.
     
  5. jared_kipe macrumors 68030

    jared_kipe

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    Seattle
    #5
    Too bad this isn't on american local TV, I'd love to watch something like this.
     
  6. roadapple macrumors regular

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    Oct 21, 2004
    #6
    I would watch the highlights.

    Oddest legitimate thread title, ever
     
  7. satty macrumors 6502

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    You can't beat Wellington on a good day
    #7
    Lions are using Apple Computer

    Hi

    Did you see the Lions coaching staff?
    They have Powerbooks, very nice, and sad looking faces now, not so nice.

    I hardly miss any All Black games (have seen some games live at Lansdowne Road and Millennium Stadium). This was one of the most outstanding performances I can remember (since 1995). The last test in France was very good as well.
    Okay, the last two world cups I had tears running down my face (the only times since 1995).

    Bring on the second and third test, the Tri Nations / Bledisloe and hopefully I can get some tickets for the Autumn Grand Slam Tour - Yippy. Man, what a rugby year.
     
  8. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    #8
    Yes - I managed to go to the match in Paris last year between the All Blacks and France.

    In the over 15 AB matches I'd attended, that had to be the greatest performance that I'd ever seen. The 43-6 scoreline destroyed the faith of the 80 000-strong Parisian crowd, and decimated those cheese-eating surrender monkeys on the field.

    Woo-hoo!


    And as far as the Lions team goes, they've also got Alistair Campbell in their camp - so I guess the use of the Apple cancels out the negative then...

    (Haven't you noticed the incredible use of "spin" by the Lions' management lately?!? ;) )


    By the way - good luck in getting tickets. I live just 15 minutes' walk from Twickenham stadium, and I find it nigh on impossible to get ANY tickets for matches. They all go to corporations and rugby clubs. Bah!

    I'd love to do the tour with them - Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England... <sigh!> :rolleyes:
     
  9. satty macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    You can't beat Wellington on a good day
    #9
    Man of the match was Ali Williams - professional line-out stealer and try scorer.

    It will be interesting to see who will play for the Lions on Saturday (we'll know tomorrow morning), but I have the feeling people like Jason Robinson are getting another chance, mainly because there was/is no real plan B. The team just didn't have enough game time together and now it's too late to solve this issue.
    I would have played my test team including some subs all time long until Saturday/one week before the test. Not this rotation type of line-ups with minimum play time for long time absentees (Wilko, Greenwood, Robinson, Hill to name a few).
    I think the AB coaches had already smiling faces caused by the selection weeks before the tour.

    I also go to the mid-week games (only one left) and start work later (so no beer for me on weekdays).
     
  10. satty macrumors 6502

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    You can't beat Wellington on a good day
    #10
    I didn't expect less from good old Campbel... first I thought he is the most unnecessary person in this touring entourage, but I have to admit he was the only one worth the money over the weekend:)

    I am also 15 minutes away from Twickenham Stadium. I was there for the London Sevens... I like sevens.
    Just look out for a guy with short hair and blue'n'gold Otago Jerseys.

    Such a tour would be incredible.
     
  11. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    Outer-Roa
    #11
    Yes, it was pretty uniformly dismal performance by the Lions on Saturday, versus a fairly good one from the AB's.

    It's difficult to tell if that "spear tackle" was anything truly unusual really, although obviously the result was very unfortunate, certainly the officials didn't seem to think it was a major issue.

    But its typical of Woodward to employ his industrial strength spin doctor to use it to remove any mention of the actual LOSS from the press. Anything to avoid the truth about his lamentable coaching decisions.

    Let's see if the Lions can up their actual game this weekend rather than their quality of spin. Those English team members need to turn up the speed dial on their pacemakers.

    I predict AB's 32, Lion's 9 if its a dry paddock!
     
  12. sparky76 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2003
    #12
    At least with Henson and Williams this week there might be some flair. Without O'Driscoll, the Lions had no creativity, just the grind England have relied on. Hope O'Connell & O'Callaghan are up to Williams and Jack, who dominated the first test (although some lax refeering helped them at the lineout).
     
  13. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    Location:
    London, UK
    #13

    It is...

    If you've heard of DirecTV, try Setanta Sports (channel 615).

    Go here for more details.

    This Saturday's match is going to be on at 0300 ET. Drink lots of caffeine, and enjoy the pre-match Haka by the All Blacks!

    :)


    Edit: In fact, I've just done a websearch for a place that will be showing it in Seattle. Try the Fado Irish Pub at 801 First Avenue.

    A full replay of the match starts @ 6pm with no cover charge!

    :D
     
  14. Nickygoat macrumors 6502a

    Nickygoat

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    Dec 11, 2004
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    London
    #14
    The team that should have been in the first Test? I think so. Still not sure if Jonny can handle a big game just yet, but he might be the best option, although Stephen Jones must be feeling very hard done by. Injuries are robbing the Lions of their better players and they don't have the strength in depth of the All Blacks. Dropping Gear, Sitivenu and Marshall on a rotational basis? Strewth :p
     
  15. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #15
    I have Cox cable and am located in Phoenix. Though there is a great little pub called the Dubliner that is fairly close and will probably have it. Either way, I'm said I missed the first game, and don't want to miss the second.
     
  16. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    #16
    Damn! Been called into work on Saturday - my protests falling on deaf ears...

    Apparently, there's some hoo-haa about a big concert event in Hyde Park that needs some media attention.

    ARGH!

    Oh, well - thank goodness for the invention of the recordable digibox.
     
  17. dobbin macrumors 6502a

    dobbin

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    England
    #17
    In my opinion, Clive Woodward has to take a lot of the blame for the loss last week (and the probable loss of the series).

    He should have picked his first choice test team to play together long before the first test. This test team should have played each weekend game on the tour and the second choice team should have played the midweek games. The 3 weeks before the first test would have given sufficient time for some players to move between the "test team" and the "midweek" team depending on the form they showed, and as required by injuries & bans.

    Clive's run out of time now, yet again we will be starting a test on Saturday with a team that has never played together before. Its more like a scratch barbarians team, than a fully prepared Lions team.

    Its a shame, because Clive did so much with England, but a lot of people will now remember him for the mess he's made of this tour.

    Having said that, the All Blacks were outstanding and I don't mean to take anything away from their performance. I just wish we could have been a bit closer.

    As for the foul play, I think the citing officer has a lot to answer for. If players think they can get away with dangerous tackles, then they will do it again.
     
  18. dobbin macrumors 6502a

    dobbin

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    #18
    ha! yes, what fun! We started drinking at 6.30 am last Saturday. This was the first time I've ever been drunk by 10 am in my life. Once we were inside the pub in the dark atmosphere with people cheering etc, it didn't seem like first thing in the morning, it could have been any time of the day or night.
     
  19. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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  20. satty macrumors 6502

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    You can't beat Wellington on a good day
    #20
    What a game!

    This - the 48:18 win of the All Blacks over the Lions - must have been one of the best performances I've ever seen by the ABs.

    Dan Carter (over 30 points) was... I don't know a word for such a cool and over the top performance. Also a good response from captain Tan Umaga and the team after all the bad press last week.

    As I mentioned earlier, the B&I Lions just don't look like a team and therefore the blame is going to the coaching staff. Although I have no idea how they could beat the ABs.

    It will be difficult for the Spin-Doctor Campbell to divert the attention away from the team performance/result this time.
     
  21. kiwi_the_iwik thread starter macrumors 65816

    kiwi_the_iwik

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    #21
    Well...

    I had to film the Live 8 gig yesterday from 6am-12am - an 18 hour day. Argh! What was worse was that I had to rely on my Sky digibox to record the match, and avoid hearing any mention of the game for the entire day (VERY difficult when you work for a 24 hour News Network, and have an earpiece constantly listening to the output broadcast from the news room. I had to turn the volume down every time we went to the sports break, and when the headlines were announced...).

    So - I got home at 1am (ish), and promptly cranked on the telly.

    Wow!

    What a result...

    Admittedly, my eyes were blinking, my head was turning, but Mr. Brain had long since departed. However, during my moments of clarity, whatever senses that were still functioning (albeit partially) were assaulted on a relentless level.

    The first few minutes gave the impression of a phenomenal turnaround of events from last week after a brilliant breakaway try by Thomas, followed by a Wilkinson conversion, but it was to come to naught.

    An amazing run of play from That-man-Carter and Tana Umaga produced what was to be one of many fantastic tries that kept me captivated throughout.

    Tana and his men answered their critics the best way they knew how - to win. And they did so convincingly.

    The face of Gavin Henson said it all after he was removed after 63 minutes. The dream of a Lions' return to the fray had fallen apart. Even the fancy footwork of Shane Williams couldn't break through, as time and again he was comprehensively slapped down mid-stride by a ruthless and uncompromising All Black defensive line. Once again, the AB's DEFENCE was more convincing than the Lions' OFFENCE.

    The death knell sounded when Wilkinson make his departure from Westpac Stadium, emotionally and physically defeated after facing his opposite number and dangerman Dan Carter storming down the left wing in one of the plays that showed his true dominance on the game. It may be the last time we see Johnny's presence gracing a ground in national colours, after what appears to be a reoccurring shoulder injury. Surely, he deserved better than that.

    In my view, it was the Welsh who held the Lions together. O'Connell played an undisciplined game - giving away possession to the AB's after a storming start, whilst the Lions were at their most dominant, and for having a wayward left uppercut. Thomas tried to bring his team together, but if you're not able to gel in training, there's not much hope on the paddock.

    Satty's right - it's going to come down hard on Woodward. And even Alastair Campbell, the Prince of Spin, is going to have a hard task getting the tourists out of THIS one...



    (P.S. - back at work now for a 6am start after 3 hours' sleep... Feeling envigourated and bouyant after the win. Let's see how long it lasts...!)

    :D
     
  22. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #22
    Well that was fun, utterly convincing AB performance for a change.

    Better effort from the Lions certainly.

    Wonder who Clive will bring in as reinforcements for the third test? Gurkhas?

    Perhaps he could just bring himself and Alastair Campbell and several container-loads of rotten fruit for the Balmy Army to let loose with.



    :rolleyes:
     
  23. Xtremehkr macrumors 68000

    Xtremehkr

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  24. mvc macrumors 6502a

    mvc

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    #24
    Last night (NZ time), AB's win 38-18 or something like that (it was late when I watched it ;-). Fairly average game, not a standout performance.

    Clean sweep, so much for that. ;)
     

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