Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Lions and Ireland struggle with physicality

There were some good tough games this weekend. The Lions got into a dogfight with the Reds, and although they pulled clear in the end, the Reds had them sweating. The Lions didn’t seem to be able to impose themselves physically – Faletu, Lydiate and Warburton weren’t noticeable enough to contain the pack. Meanwhile, in the backs, North and Bowe shone.  The A team is shaping up in terms of performers, and the B team in terms of solid but unspectacular players. The Lions do seem to be shipping a lot of injuries – but then Australia will as well, and the Lions are going to be battle hardened by the time the tests start.

I was expecting a completely different game from the Ireland USA match – I thought it was going to be a lot more free flowing, instead of a penalty fest. The USA are coming on in leaps and bounds – they need to sort their discipline out, but they are a big strong team, they got stuck in ferociously, and we didn’t seem to have the firepower to answer them with. SOB, Heaslip and O’Connell would have gone down a treat. Our lineouts were shocking, and both locks had pretty modest games. We still got the win though, and have some new internationals blooded, which can only be good in the long run.

Finally I caught the first half of the AB France match, and saw some great rugby. A good looking French team, and an up for it New Zealand. You won’t see many better tries than Frances opening salvo, and although that rocked the AB’s back, they upped a gear and scored two good tries of their own.

International Match
British & Irish Lions
Reds 12 - 22 British & Irish Lions
Saturday , June 8
Japan 18 - 22 Wales 
New Zealand 23 - 13 France 
South Africa 44 - 10 Italy 
Argentina 3 - 32 England 
Scotland 17 - 27 Samoa 
Sunday , June 9
USA 12 - 15 Ireland

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