Thursday, July 4, 2013

Has Gatland panicked?

My Aussie stay is nearly over - the kids have an obligatory boomerang and a suitcase full of Tim Tams. I managed to plan a trip from Ireland to Australia where we were in the wrong city each weekend for 
the Lions.

Be that as it's still been great to be over here, and soak up a bit of the atmosphere, also to see the Aussie attitude change from self confidence to respect for the Lions.

The big talking point this week is the dropping of BOD. As an Irish blogger, I'd feel that Heaslip would be more aggrieved to be dropped on form. Not that I think dropping BOD is right, but Heaslip is a quiet grafter - I think he was the leading carrier in the whole of the Heineken Cup, notwithstanding Leinsters early exit. As far BOD goes - Gatland has come to win, and he's putting out the team that he thinks will do the job. I think he's gone with Roberts and Davies mainly because they play together more and their defence it stronger, and he's gone with Roberts to punch some holes. I think it's the wrong move - It's easer to run round a brick wall than through it, d BOD is genius at making space, and that's completely overlooking his leadership skills.

What's done is done - Gatlands strategy now, as it's probably always ben, is to let Halfpenny win for them. The contest of the match is going to be Sean O'Brien V George Smith - SOB starting now when he probably should always have.

I'm behind the Lions all the way, the momentum is with the Walalbies now, but !'m going with a one point Lions win!

British and Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sean O'Brien, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Alex Corbisiero.Replacements: 16 Tom Youngs, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Richie Gray, 20 Justin Tipuric, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Manu Tuilagi.Australia: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 George Smith, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 James Horwill (captain), 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.Replacements: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 James Slippper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Ben McCalman, 21 Michael Hooper, 22 Nick Phipps, 23 Jesse Mogg.

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