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Old 07-08-21, 07:07 PM   #5361
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Old 07-08-21, 07:07 PM   #5362
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Left 10 points out there in the first half at least.

Fair play SA, horrible rugby to watch but it’s effective
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Old 07-08-21, 07:12 PM   #5363
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I’m so chuffed for Finn he gets such horrendous press. He was superb today.



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Old 07-08-21, 07:13 PM   #5364
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Left 10 points out there in the first half at least.

Fair play SA, horrible rugby to watch but it’s effective
Yeah, they know how to win. Game would have been almost over if we’d run in those try chances.
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Old 07-08-21, 07:16 PM   #5365
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They know how to win. It’s as simple as that, it’s not pretty or great to watch but it’s incredibly effective and professional sport is all about the winning.
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Old 07-08-21, 07:16 PM   #5366
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Left 10 points out there in the first half at least.

Fair play SA, horrible rugby to watch but it’s effective
That's fair, but we lost around the same amount from Pollard's boot where he should have slotted fairly regulation kicks. Australia possibly beaten NZ earlier if their kicker wasn't 2/7. Pollard is really important to the game and does a good job, but his kicking can be a little wayward at times, it's hugely annoying considering how accurate SA kickers usually are.

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I’m so chuffed for Finn he gets such horrendous press. He was superb today.

https://twitter.com/giteau_rugby/sta...53173908500480
Top performance, particularly in the first half, kicking outstanding. Even though it was right in front didn't think he had the distance for the last one in his locker. Easy to say in hindsight, but Gatland's conservatism predictably sold him short.
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Old 07-08-21, 07:18 PM   #5367
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Another mistake was not taking Wyn Jones off when he was down injured. Left him on and he gave away two scrum pens, before getting hooked.
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Old 07-08-21, 07:20 PM   #5368
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That's fair, but we lost around the same amount from Pollard's boot where he should have slotted fairly regulation kicks. Australia possibly beaten NZ earlier if their kicker wasn't 2/7. Pollard is really important to the game and does a good job, but his kicking can be a little wayward at times, it's hugely annoying considering how accurate SA kickers usually are.



Top performance, particularly in the first half, kicking outstanding. Even though it was right in front didn't think he had the distance for the last one in his locker. Easy to say in hindsight, but Gatland's conservatism predictably sold him short.
Yup, Pollard left a few out there as well. This tour was far from a classic but I think it showed the fine margins with winning and SA know how to get over that line.

Easy to forget how big getting on a Lions tour is for our players but for the home sides (bar Steyn) it’s a once in a career shot to get to play against the Lions.
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Old 07-08-21, 07:21 PM   #5369
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Top performance, particularly in the first half, kicking outstanding. Even though it was right in front didn't think he had the distance for the last one in his locker. Easy to say in hindsight, but Gatland's conservatism predictably sold him short.
Yep. Gatland only plays one way. It wasn’t working. It was looking like more of the same first ten with Biggar. As soon as Finn came on we played off 10 more and started to get some momentum.

I wonder if he hadn’t been injured if he would have played earlier?
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Old 07-08-21, 07:22 PM   #5370
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Kolbe was amazing. He just delivers when he gets the ball. Doesn’t do much else but when it matters he is there.
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Old 07-08-21, 07:22 PM   #5371
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Also can't believe Morne Steyn kicked the winning points. History repeating itself. Hasn't played in a million years, doubt he thought he'd ever play again. He can thank Jake White for bringing him back and giving him the platform to show he still has it. Don't think anyone else would have done that.
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Old 07-08-21, 07:28 PM   #5372
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Going to be a monumental piss up for both teams
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Old 07-08-21, 07:36 PM   #5373
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Given how bad England were in the 6Ns how did the Lions finish the series with a pack featuring 7 England players? There were a few playing really well but the continued selection of Curry was baffling, and the one England forward who I actually wanted to see, Jamie George, didn’t get a look in…
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Old 07-08-21, 07:55 PM   #5374
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Even though that series brought a new meaning to war of attrition, I did enjoy the competitive nature of it and how close everything was. I preferred the last tour as the games and individual performances were incredible, although this was still engrossing in its unique way. I'd have said this regardless of the results because the first and last games could have gone either way and would be tough to take losing. Where the Boks for me deserved the 2nd clearly. The banter in this thread, as always is a good laugh.

Looking forward to the Rugby Championship and feel that on the back of this, the Boks have a good shot. It's always hard playing against the All Blacks and it's a pity that game is in October because if it were in the next week or two, there is a unique chance to catch them cold. They'll be match fit and will probably run rings around everyone as per usual, but there is an opportunity to win more.

Given that this group of players were so unfancied, what they're doing is really something special. No one even ranked this as the 4th or 5th best era in South African rugby before the WC. They were written off as largely useless. Rassie's mandate would have been for them to stop being an embarrassment. This nucleus has put together a the Rugby Championship, World Cup and a B&I Lions tour victory successively. Missing key players, not playing in 2 years because of COVID complications and everything else that's gone along. It's unreal. I think most coaches and supporters would pick different players and play a different brand of rugby if it were up to them, but the results have been so good no one can complain.
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Old 07-08-21, 08:10 PM   #5375
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Uuuurgh - had to walk away after that. One in 12 year shot gone - as with any tour some infuriating picks, tight calls and unsung hero’s. Russell was a breath of fresh air and leaves me wondering what could’ve been. A Boks side minus Faf, PSDT, Vermulen and Pollard missing sitters off the tee..........that 15 mins where we fucked three good chances before half time cost us

Disappointed but am too old to really “care” these days
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Old 07-08-21, 08:51 PM   #5376
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A tour too many for Gatland I reckon. Tactics were all wrong all tour. The way Rusell came on and played was not the way Gatland wanted the game played.

Surely that's Warren done? Almost greatness, but not quite.
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Old 07-08-21, 08:57 PM   #5377
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Old 07-08-21, 09:29 PM   #5378
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Uuuurgh - had to walk away after that. One in 12 year shot gone - as with any tour some infuriating picks, tight calls and unsung hero’s. Russell was a breath of fresh air and leaves me wondering what could’ve been. A Boks side minus Faf, PSDT, Vermulen and Pollard missing sitters off the tee..........that 15 mins where we fucked three good chances before half time cost us

Disappointed but am too old to really “care” these days
Snyman and others too. Was definitely a huge call to leave out Marcell Coetzee. Would have been huge outcry if we'd lost that with Kwagga and Wiese with Coetzee sitting at home.

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A tour too many for Gatland I reckon. Tactics were all wrong all tour. The way Rusell came on and played was not the way Gatland wanted the game played.

Surely that's Warren done? Almost greatness, but not quite.
After his horrorshow at the Chiefs, there is no chance he'll get the All Black job now. Scott Robertson has to get it and Gatland will probably end up in Japan or back north.
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Old 07-08-21, 10:02 PM   #5379
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Snyman and others too. Was definitely a huge call to leave out Marcell Coetzee. Would have been huge outcry if we'd lost that with Kwagga and Wiese with Coetzee sitting at home.

The Lions had their injuries also but ZA definitely had more adversity

After his horrorshow at the Chiefs, there is no chance he'll get the All Black job now. Scott Robertson has to get it and Gatland will probably end up in Japan or back north.
I’d love a complete outsider to get the job next tour - Pat Lamb or some NZ coach......too many favs being picked and would be good to have impartiality
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Old 07-08-21, 11:14 PM   #5380
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They’ve been quite the double act in Paris.
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Old 08-08-21, 07:36 AM   #5381
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They’ve been quite the double act in Paris.
Zebo back in Munster this year
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Old 08-08-21, 08:40 AM   #5382
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Zebo back in Munster this year
Yeah, good news for Ireland.
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Old 08-08-21, 12:37 PM   #5383
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Decent article by Irishman Tom English.

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No fairytale end for Lions but Finn Russell steals the show

The dream died in the end, but for a while it looked like one of the most savage British and Irish Lions series, pockmarked by bitterness and rancour off the field and little more than untrammelled aggression on it, could be settled by a genius in red rather than an army of behemoths in green.

Finn Russell came on to the pitch in Cape Town in the 10th minute and within seconds of arriving, a game that was going firmly against the Lions suddenly started to turn the other way. The Lions had no control of the gain line, no front foot ball, no carriers to match the might of what was coming at them from South Africa.

When Russell appeared for the injured Dan Biggar the stop-start pace of play shifted, the tempo that was pedestrian turned. Russell put speed into the game, kicking a penalty to make it 3-3, dropping in little kicks and floated passes to get the Lions moving into the outside channels where they wanted to attack.

He was flat to the gain line and, at last in this series, the Lions were throwing some variety at the Springboks. His penalty to touch was the launchpad for Ken Owens' try that put the Lions in front, his conversion, nerveless from distance, put them seven points clear. The snap in his delivery, the accuracy of his kicking, the rapidity of everything he was doing had flipped the momentum. The Lions owned possession and owned territory, too.

Approaching the half-hour there was the first of many moments that will haunt the Lions. They waited practically two and a half Tests to engineer time and space out wide and finally they'd done it. Liam Williams running free with Josh Adams outside him. Draw your man and let it go. Simple. Pressure, though. Decision-making in the white heat of a deciding Test.

Williams picked the wrong option, went for contact and the chance went. A calamitous call. It was a key play but the Lions had other chances in those vital minutes before half-time. They had terrific field position and coughed it up when Tom Curry was penalised by being ahead of his maul.

Maro Itoje's surge put them in a position to strike but they got done on the floor. Russell's penalty to touch just before the break gave them a 5m lineout but Eben Etzebeth pinched it in the air. They had another chance soon after but Ali Price got turned over by Siya Kolisi.

There's been a fair degree of lazy analysis on Russell from outside Scotland, a depiction of him as a player that's all style and not enough substance for big boy's rugby like this. Never mind that Russell's last Test match before this one was a masterclass in game management in Scotland's victory in Paris. The control he had in France was repeated in Cape Town, but those points had to come. Had to.

The Boks hung on to trail 10-6 at half-time. A veritable triumph. They'd had 31% possession and 26% territory and were only four points down. With all that ball and all those opportunities the Lions could have put themselves into a dominant position, but they didn't. All of them would have known that the Boks weren't going to be as poor again in the second 40. All of them would have known that those wasted try-scoring moments could come back to sicken them.

It twisted and turned, though. Boy, did it twist and turn. At one point the camera picked out Russell smiling amid the tension. Maybe it's a nervous tick, but he genuinely looked like he was lapping up the enormity of what was going on. Glad to be part of it. A very big part.

South Africa slowed it all down after the restart, just as they did in the second half a week ago, but they were not convincing. You looked at their team and wondered where on earth was their most lethal player, Cheslin Kolbe.

Kolbe, one of the game's great attackers, had been memorable in the series only for taking out Conor Murray in the air last week and then, somehow, avoiding a red card. Line breaks, defenders beaten, searing examples of his excellence - zero or next to zero. And then the hero turned up.

A Price box-kick, an almighty contest in the air, Willie le Roux bursting downfield, Kolbe in precious space outside. He doesn't need much. He had Liam Williams to beat and did it with ease. He had Luke Cowan-Dickie to contend with and he was by him in a blur. It went to the TMO and the officials called it right. The Springboks led 13-10 with 23 minutes to go.

Enter Russell again and again. He put over a 44m penalty to level it at 13-13, a kick that never looked like missing from the minute it left his boot. When Morne Steyn made it 16-13. Russell levelled it again with six minutes left. The pressure of that moment was off the scale. The fly-half was as cool as you like, as if he was back at Stirling County or Falkirk or Ayr banging one over in a club game before hitting the bar for a pint.

The endgame was dramatic, a kick to the Lions' solar plexus for the chances they passed up. There's been so many grim stories attached to this trip, so much logistical upset, so many meaningless turkey shoots early on, so much ugly rugby in the Test series.

There's been a lot of fury and little joy. A million kicks, a million things for the TMO to analyse, a million allegations in a Rassie Erasmus video that lasted a million minutes - or just felt like it. What we had in the final seconds was a fairytale. Not a Lions fairytale or a Russell fairytale, but a fairytale belonging to his opposite number, Steyn, the 37-year-old's kick securing a 19-16 win.

Duhan van der Merwe played all three Tests in South Africa
Not many will lament the passing of this tour. Most rugby lovers have a grisly fascination with the physicality of the game, but this series spent much of its time on the dark side instead of in the light. Farewell.

The eight Scots who went there will come back better players. Inevitably, their tours varied. Stuart Hogg became a Test Lion in games one and two and that was everything he wanted. Missing game three would have hurt. Duhan van der Merwe was a surprise call in the first place and yet he started all three Tests.

He spent much of those games chasing kicks and competing for ball in the air. The very thing that he's most devastating at - carrying - was something he could do little of given the scarcity of possession he received.

Ali Price started two Tests and played in a third off the bench. A tremendous step forward. Chris Harris had a fine tour. Rory Sutherland is a two-Test Lion. Zander Fagerson didn't make it that far, but Fagerson's competition at tighthead was of a very serious order.

The high hopes for Hamish Watson were never realised. He was outstanding in the early games, but there was only a fleeting glimpse of him in the big stuff. He escaped a yellow card in the first Test but didn't escape the video review. He wasn't seen again in Tests two and three. Life with the Lions is a savage business.

And then there was Russell. Injured early on. A forgotten man. The tour went on without him and, at times, you had to remind yourself that he was still there, still training, still hoping. He got his chance and he deserved it. Amid the carnage he was a joy.

In the end, he smiled. That smile probably masked other emotions, but that's the way he rolls. The Lions will be back, of course. The show moves on to Australia in 2025. It's too early to speculate as to who will make it. Give it a month. Maybe two.

This trek might have been a wearying one, but the greatness of the Lions is its ability to overcome disappointment and failure and go again in an absolute blaze of excitement. Scottish players have had a taste of it now. The next generation have role models to follow.
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Old 08-08-21, 10:09 PM   #5384
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He’s been great but no thanks

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Old 08-08-21, 11:11 PM   #5385
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Please god no.
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Old 16-08-21, 07:19 AM   #5387
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Old 04-09-21, 02:42 PM   #5388
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Just went to the open day and unveiling of the brand new Edinburgh stadium. It is pretty shit But better than 4000 rattling around inside Murrayfield. I have got a season pass also The team underwent a training session as part of the day.

Edinburgh have made some interesting new signings, Henry Immelman looked class even in the training session today. James Lang from Quins is a solid signing. Ramiro Moyano and Emiliano Boffelli from Argentina. Ben Vellacott from Wasps. Adam McBurney from Ulster. Charlie Savala, who is a young Scottish Q Fly half.

All of these seem to be with an eye on having some strength during the 6Ns and the Autumn internationals.

Looking forward to the new season and interested to see how the northern hem teams go against the SA teams.
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Old 05-09-21, 11:18 AM   #5389
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Looking at the ABs ability to get in behind an in your face defence I fancy they’ll beat SA handy enough. Impressive again this morning

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Old 05-09-21, 11:43 AM   #5390
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How bad are the Aussies now though? Some woeful defence and 2 interceptions. Against 14 men…

Will be interesting to see how they go this Autumn - we’ve got a great record recently against them.

The ABs just look as good as ever. Good to see consistency in that Red, Adam Hastings was red carded for that last season for Glasgow.
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Old 05-09-21, 12:26 PM   #5391
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How bad are the Aussies now though? Some woeful defence and 2 interceptions. Against 14 men…

Will be interesting to see how they go this Autumn - we’ve got a great record recently against them.

The ABs just look as good as ever. Good to see consistency in that Red, Adam Hastings was red carded for that last season for Glasgow.
Aussie defence was poor and a definite red card
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Old 08-09-21, 12:39 PM   #5392
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Bullshit decision - he knew what he was doing

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Old 08-09-21, 01:24 PM   #5393
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Hastings got a full 4 weeks ban for exactly the same, but probably with more of a claim for accidental. No consistency.

The AB's are the Man U of International Rugby so....
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Old 18-09-21, 11:15 AM   #5394
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Didn’t expect the Aussies to beat the Boks back to back.
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Old 18-09-21, 11:51 AM   #5395
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Didn’t expect the Aussies to beat the Boks back to back.
Open attacking rugby and moved them around - The Lions have much better players and never used them……Gatland tried to beat them at their own game. I expect NZ to beat them handily also
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Old 18-09-21, 12:01 PM   #5396
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Open attacking rugby and moved them around - The Lions have much better players and never used them……Gatland tried to beat them at their own game. I expect NZ to beat them handily also
is making Gatlands Lions tactics look even more naive.

30-17 is pretty comprehensive.
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Old 18-09-21, 12:14 PM   #5397
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Didn’t expect the Aussies to beat the Boks back to back.
No complaints either. Last week it was a horrorshow again on the tee from Pollard, but he was very accurate today. It wasn't as bad as the score suggests, but the Boks screwed up by playing too much and not executing in key moments. Better hands, passing and discipline and it would have been a different story, Wallabies were excellent today though. They've had the wood over us historically and have maintained it. I still find it hard to believe I was at Ellis Park in 2019 for the last game between the two prior to this series. Seems like a billion years ago considering what's happened to the world.

Just have to take it on the chin and say fair play. Hoping for better performances against the ABs but expect a walkthrough.
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Old 18-09-21, 12:25 PM   #5398
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Open attacking rugby and moved them around - The Lions have much better players and never used them……Gatland tried to beat them at their own game. I expect NZ to beat them handily also
Whilst that is true, I'm not 100% sure that would've changed things. These games have been more open by nature. Not sure if it's tactically planned or Rassie not being their physically has something to do with it. I expected us to lose at least one game against Australia and probably both against NZ whilst I thought we would have won the Lions series 3-0 before a game played. Southern Hemisphere games are on another level and can be a lot more unpredictable.

Also Australia have a lot defensive holes which encouraged enterprising play. If the Boks had executed we'd be looking at another scoreline, they also defended superbly under immense pressure at the end, very unlike recent Australian teams. Kolbe being out is huge too. Nkosi is a great player, but he doesn't make other players look consistently good like Kolbe can. Like that shit pass he couldn't quite take in the first half. Not his fault, but Kolbe probably takes that 80% of the time and then penetrates.

In boxing it's said that styles make fights and what is served up in the Northern Hemisphere is usually made to order for South African teams. You need a different calculator to solve the equations that NZ and Australia throw at you. I think turning the games against the All Blacks as ugly as possible is the only way to go.
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Old 18-09-21, 08:49 PM   #5399
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Whilst that is true, I'm not 100% sure that would've changed things. These games have been more open by nature. Not sure if it's tactically planned or Rassie not being their physically has something to do with it. I expected us to lose at least one game against Australia and probably both against NZ whilst I thought we would have won the Lions series 3-0 before a game played. Southern Hemisphere games are on another level and can be a lot more unpredictable.

Also Australia have a lot defensive holes which encouraged enterprising play. If the Boks had executed we'd be looking at another scoreline, they also defended superbly under immense pressure at the end, very unlike recent Australian teams. Kolbe being out is huge too. Nkosi is a great player, but he doesn't make other players look consistently good like Kolbe can. Like that shit pass he couldn't quite take in the first half. Not his fault, but Kolbe probably takes that 80% of the time and then penetrates.

In boxing it's said that styles make fights and what is served up in the Northern Hemisphere is usually made to order for South African teams. You need a different calculator to solve the equations that NZ and Australia throw at you. I think turning the games against the All Blacks as ugly as possible is the only way to go.
This is very true
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Old 18-09-21, 08:59 PM   #5400
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Quite liking the 50:22 kick rule.
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