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Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017 
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
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When told by Radio Sport's Martin Devlin that Gatland had placed a lot of store on the Irish players who had withstood the All Blacks comeback in Chicago, Hansen said: "I'm pretty happy that our guys got some confidence beating Ireland in Ireland.

"You are clutching at straws if that's how you are selecting teams. You pick players who can do the job you want them to do, who play the style of game you want to play.

"They've got enough good players there. It's not about picking teams who beat us in Chicago."


After the Lions were named, Gatland highlighted that All Black first five-eighths Beauden Barrett wasn't even kicking for the Hurricanes, emphasising that the Lions would head south with a squadron of goalkicking aces.

Hansen said: "I remember a game in 2013 (against Ireland)... statistics don't mean anything when pressure is involved. They (Ireland) should have won the game with goal kicking, but we did with a guy kicking from the sideline.

"They have some very very good goal kickers, no disputing that, and goalkicking is very important to the game, no disputing that, but it's all about how you deal with the pressure in the big moments. Our guys in the big moments have done us proud, Beauden and Crudes (Aaron Cruden).


and it begins :D

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:23 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Whatever team / squad Gats had selected, the best I can see the Lions doing is to lose 2 - 1.
First test crucial though and if they lose that they'll likely go down 3 - 0.

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:17 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Todays press are reflecting the thoughts of many on Gats lions selections, with the likes of Moriarty, JD2, Halfpenny and Biggar under the greatest scrutiny. Selections are always going to cause a differing opinion, but normally not as critical as this.

Overall this has the potential to be damaging to the players named, taking players not on form is never a good idea. Saying that they will grow to the challenge is grabbing at straws as if they could not meet the demands and challenges in their respective leagues and the six nations, then they certainly wont on this tour. Gats said in interview yesterday as a justification on Biggar that "he believes he is the best 10". Although a commendable attitude for Biggar to have, Gats should know that by comparison he is not the best, his game although full of commitment is lacking in strength and definately with areas of weakness. It is weak justification of selection, and frankly Biggar would of been better served on the Wales tour to continue to work on his game.

Jim Telfer (a man that divides opinion. And someone i rarely agree with) has made some interesting comments this morning, and to be fair, although with a Scottish bent to the them, he is not far wrong at all.

When you look at the relative form of the players, and their teams recent form, it is hard to argue with some of the more outspoken critics such as Telfer.

Of course we should all get behind every Lion, but this tour will be marred by the background noises of Gats "favourites", and has the potential to be quite damaging to players and coaches alike.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:53 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Tbf the 2005 selection was a lot more shocking than this. But more than likely as it's the Welsh players that seemed to have benefitted (and not the English) people want to get all butt hurt over it

I can see the sense in all the Welsh players going other than JD probably

Biggar ahead of Ford and Russell probably because of his defense and is also a good goal kicker

Halfpenny because of his goal kicking and is still very good in defence

Moriaty as he can cover all the back row positions and his physicality

People up in arms over AWJ ahead of Launchberry yet do we even know if it was one of the two? Perhaps Henderson or Kruis took Launchberrys place

Hartley- I don't think there's a stand out hooker so was probably a close call between all of them

People don't seem to be mentioning Rob Evans as I think he was fantastic during the six nations and has established himself as a very good loosehead. Perhaps it's a little to soon for him and it would have been tough on the other looseheads but that doesn't mean it's a tough one on Evans.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:03 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
bazzmo wrote:
lol 3 nil tae the awe blacks


Never mind 3 nil, I am not totally convinced we will win a game on tour!


Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:05 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
wombles wrote:
Todays press are reflecting the thoughts of many on Gats lions selections, with the likes of Moriarty, JD2, Halfpenny and Biggar under the greatest scrutiny. Selections are always going to cause a differing opinion, but normally not as critical as this.

Overall this has the potential to be damaging to the players named, taking players not on form is never a good idea. Saying that they will grow to the challenge is grabbing at straws as if they could not meet the demands and challenges in their respective leagues and the six nations, then they certainly wont on this tour. Gats said in interview yesterday as a justification on Biggar that "he believes he is the best 10". Although a commendable attitude for Biggar to have, Gats should know that by comparison he is not the best, his game although full of commitment is lacking in strength and definately with areas of weakness. It is weak justification of selection, and frankly Biggar would of been better served on the Wales tour to continue to work on his game.

Jim Telfer (a man that divides opinion. And someone i rarely agree with) has made some interesting comments this morning, and to be fair, although with a Scottish bent to the them, he is not far wrong at all.

When you look at the relative form of the players, and their teams recent form, it is hard to argue with some of the more outspoken critics such as Telfer.

Of course we should all get behind every Lion, but this tour will be marred by the background noises of Gats "favourites", and has the potential to be quite damaging to players and coaches alike.


Good post. But the selection traits of Gats and Howler are well know in Wales, having been in post here since the dawn of time. Alex Cuthbert must be relieved to have not got the call.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:06 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Ultimately, Gatland has a picture of how he wants to play in New Zealand and how he thinks the All Blacks and the Provinces will be beaten.

Clearly a discussion was had regarding Russell and it was concluded they need a more defensive 10. It is evident that a more physical approach is desired at lock forward for the purposes of this game plan.

When you consider that there is barely any time for preparation, the team need to hit the ground running with an already established game plan. There is no time for tweaking or experimenting. With this in mind, it is entirely reasonable to suggest that Gatland is entitled to select which players he believes he can work with to deliver this.

He has selected a squad that fits into this framework, he has chosen specific players that he/the coaches believe will execute this.

Sentiment has to be taken out of the equation.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:12 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
tyleri82 wrote:
Ultimately, Gatland has a picture of how he wants to play in New Zealand and how he thinks the All Blacks and the Provinces will be beaten.

Clearly a discussion was had regarding Russell and it was concluded they need a more defensive 10. It is evident that a more physical approach is desired at lock forward for the purposes of this game plan.

When you consider that there is barely any time for preparation, the team need to hit the ground running with an already established game plan. There is no time for tweaking or experimenting. With this in mind, it is entirely reasonable to suggest that Gatland is entitled to select which players he believes he can work with to deliver this.

He has selected a squad that fits into this framework, he has chosen specific players that he/the coaches believe will execute this.

Sentiment has to be taken out of the equation.


We are going to play Super Rugby sides and the All Blacks with a scratch team. That is a huge problem.
If we wanted to win the series we should have scrapped the Six Nations, picked the Lions off the back of the Autumn internationals, and had training camps and warm up games in February/March.
Now I think it is best to see it as a rugby PR exercise.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:23 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Old Second Row wrote:
Whatever team / squad Gats had selected, the best I can see the Lions doing is to lose 2 - 1.
First test crucial though and if they lose that they'll likely go down 3 - 0.


I think 3-0 ABs and other games @ risk too ....

First test, crucial as you say David!

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:28 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Stockholm Blue wrote:
bazzmo wrote:
lol 3 nil tae the awe blacks


Never mind 3 nil, I am not totally convinced we will win a game on tour!

The first one is a sort of 2nd division team, that will be a comfortable win

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:29 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Forrealz wrote:
Stockholm Blue wrote:
bazzmo wrote:
lol 3 nil tae the awe blacks


Never mind 3 nil, I am not totally convinced we will win a game on tour!

The first one is a sort of 2nd division team, that will be a comfortable win


That one is like playing the Barbarians last time on the way to Australia ... it doesn't really count.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:35 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
bazzmo wrote:
welsh bigotry yous have a shit team who have beaten nobody yet yous have 12 players ffs,really get a grip


I can understand your disappointment at only 2 Scots being picked, but Gatland would have watched the England v Scotland game, he would have seen a resurgent Scottish team who most people thought would run the English close or beat them, taken apart and literally fall apart when put under real pressure away from home, you cannot take players like that to take on the all Blacks in New Zealand.

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:59 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Stockholm Blue wrote:
Forrealz wrote:
Stockholm Blue wrote:
bazzmo wrote:
lol 3 nil tae the awe blacks


Never mind 3 nil, I am not totally convinced we will win a game on tour!

The first one is a sort of 2nd division team, that will be a comfortable win


That one is like playing the Barbarians last time on the way to Australia ... it doesn't really count.

It will if you don't win convincingly. :thefinger:

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:09 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Dog wrote:
bazzmo wrote:
welsh bigotry yous have a shit team who have beaten nobody yet yous have 12 players ffs,really get a grip


I can understand your disappointment at only 2 Scots being picked, but Gatland would have watched the England v Scotland game, he would have seen a resurgent Scottish team who most people thought would run the English close or beat them, taken apart and literally fall apart when put under real pressure away from home, you cannot take players like that to take on the all Blacks in New Zealand.


Absolutely. There was no excuse for the sheer ineptitude and fragility of that Scotland loss to England. Here was the resurgent, dynamic modern Scotland, toughened up and streetwise getting completely vaporized. Yes England were good, but Scotland were so feeble they made them look like vintage All Blacks.

Yes Scotland are now a great side when they fire. On an individual basis when matched up against all of the other players available for British & Irish selection are they the best in their positions? Possibly not.


Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:14 am
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Post Re: Lions Tour of New Zealand 2017
Stockholm Blue wrote:
tyleri82 wrote:
Ultimately, Gatland has a picture of how he wants to play in New Zealand and how he thinks the All Blacks and the Provinces will be beaten.

Clearly a discussion was had regarding Russell and it was concluded they need a more defensive 10. It is evident that a more physical approach is desired at lock forward for the purposes of this game plan.

When you consider that there is barely any time for preparation, the team need to hit the ground running with an already established game plan. There is no time for tweaking or experimenting. With this in mind, it is entirely reasonable to suggest that Gatland is entitled to select which players he believes he can work with to deliver this.

He has selected a squad that fits into this framework, he has chosen specific players that he/the coaches believe will execute this.

Sentiment has to be taken out of the equation.


We are going to play Super Rugby sides and the All Blacks with a scratch team. That is a huge problem.
If we wanted to win the series we should have scrapped the Six Nations, picked the Lions off the back of the Autumn internationals, and had training camps and warm up games in February/March.
Now I think it is best to see it as a rugby PR exercise.


As a rugby exercise, the tour is idiotic. Taking players who are still hitting lumps of each other in domestic play offs and asking to then to play the best in the world with 7-10 days rest and little preparation is complete stupidity.

Still money talks, and the AB's are well known for stacking the deck on and off the field and taking/creating any psychological edge which is one of the reasons I admire them so much.

The test team will be based around English and Irish players primarily and I would doubt there will be more than 1 or 2 Welsh players in the test side. The Scots did not figure as it would be difficult to assimilate a midweek side also, when the focus will be the first 23, and so it was easier to take 7 or 8 Welsh players as the core of the midweek team.

The Scots are moaning, as they always do, but the 60 points at HQ left a scar. Glasgow won't make the Pro 12 play offs. In their case, the sum was better than the parts.
It really doesn't matter who you pick, as without a 4-6 week preparation and build up period, added to the strain of travelling and the stress of a tour, it will be 3-0 as Gatland as the coach not Eddie Jones, who was smart enough to say no.

From a Wales point of view, this means that Gats may be coming back after all.

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Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:58 pm
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