Manu Tuilagi smashes Tom Williams

Top14 player imposter!

JDV smashed by Benoit August

The Northampton Saints 30m scrum!

Bastareaud huge hit on Rory Lamont

All Blacks skills - Pt 2 In the backyard

Trinh-Duc sets up Harinordoquy try

Wales vs England 1999

Greg Holmes great hit on Francois Louw

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The British & Irish Lions avoid embarassment in tour opener

The British & Irish Lions stumbled to victory in their opening tour match against a scratch side of second division players, known as the Royal XV. The 37-25 win flattered the tourists as they were made to work hard at the Royal Bafokeng Sports Palace.

Ronan O’Gara notched up 22 points as the Lions fought back after being 18-3 down to the side that is made up of Vodacom Cup players comprising five different teams. Eigthman Jonathan Mokoena and scrumhalf Sarel Pretorious in particular showed their quality for the home side.

After an awful start to the match that lacked precision and composure, with Munsterman Keith Earls in particular having a shocker, the Lions battled back and showed their experience to regain the lead with four minutes remaining.

O’Gara added to his seven from seven kicks as he scored a try on the final whistle, taking the winning margin to a flattering 12 points.

It was a wake up call of note as the Lions showed nerves and rustiness, lacking execution and making numerous errors against a side that on paper, is by far the weakest that they’ll face on tour.

Lee Byrne was the most impressive Lion on the day, with Jamie Roberts looking imposing and captain Paul O’Connell leading from the front, mainly in the second half.

Former England captain Phil Vickery sees this as a wake up call.

"We could have easily lost that game. The guys showed a lot of guts and courage to stick in there. I think it is a good kick up the backside, which you need. The reality of what faces us on this tour is staring at us.”

The British & Irish Lions next match is against the Golden Lions in Johannesburg on Wednesday. They'll be up against a stronger side than the Royal XV, so the Lions will look to find cohesion and iron out the nerves that we saw on Saturday.

Time: 08:49



  • 1st!
    Horrible stuff


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 4:26 pm  

  • Not looking good for the Lions.
    Outrucked by a team of Currie Cup players (and not even the best Currie Cup players).
    And for all the talk of great defence in the NH, they've conceded 25 points against a scratch team of second division players.
    Obviously this wasn't the best Lions team, but there were same players with big reputations out there, who were made to look pretty average.

    By Anonymous Jon, at May 31, 2009 4:29 pm  

  • For me that was nowhere near the starting Lions team.. More of a game for people to stand up and show why they're on the plane. Unfortunately they didn't for most of the game.

    Anyway, I think it's better that the Lions get a shock in the first game as it means they'll probably work harder in the next game.

    By Anonymous wibble, at May 31, 2009 4:32 pm  

  • come on they've been together how long? it's always like this. funny how the back three were in sync? no. they're clubmates.

    there's a reason they had the easiest first

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 4:42 pm  

  • why is everyone saying kieth earls was crap in this game. he didn't have a great game but he was by no means the worst player on the pitch

    By Anonymous no9, at May 31, 2009 4:43 pm  

  • good flourish at the end and good spirit. Dissapointing in many ways, because even at this stage players should perform well individually, poor from O'Connell and Earls looking a questionable choice already. Itll get better, but it needs to happen fast.

    By Anonymous Schpoople Master, at May 31, 2009 4:46 pm  

  • Must say it's a poor performance from the lions against few SA mercenars

    will need cohesion and motivation against springboks

    By Anonymous Gavin, at May 31, 2009 4:46 pm  

  • How is it that people say O'Connel had a poor game? He carried an incredible amount of ball for the Lions, most of it to good effect.

    Some players had average games, some had a nightmare start (Earls, but at least he recovered from it, to a certain extent).

    At least these games are more valuable than stuffing a Western Australia team by more than 100 points!

    The Lions will get better, no doubt about that.

    By Anonymous Sander, at May 31, 2009 4:55 pm  

  • from what ive seen of earls, he doesnt deserve to be here, hes too inexperienced, he crapped himself, we need people who know what there doing and players who can tackle.
    get the defence going first then get attacks flowering.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 4:57 pm  

  • What a turd of a game...

    Certainly, the refereeing wasn't the greatest, but it could've been worse.

    How many dropped balls were there?

    And I have the feeling that if Pretorius wasn't trying to win the game for himself, the winger would've maybe tackled Byrne and stopped that try from happening...great solo-effort try, though.

    By Anonymous wobble, at May 31, 2009 4:57 pm  

  • To the anonymous above, Earls did make a few good tackles...one in particular was relatively "massive" - can't remember who it was on, though.

    By Anonymous Soumynona, at May 31, 2009 4:58 pm  

  • can something be relatively massive? no, no it cant x

    By Anonymous ghyu, at May 31, 2009 5:01 pm  

  • byrne and rog impressed otherwise we r fucked for te boks

    By Anonymous leinster fan 4 lfe, at May 31, 2009 5:02 pm  

  • Must.. not.. criticise.. NH.. defence... aaaaargh I'm struggling..


    Keep your heads up - they'll get tighter as the tour goes on. :)

    By Anonymous Shaft, at May 31, 2009 5:10 pm  

  • Weren't the Lions supposed to tackle?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 5:18 pm  

  • This match had one big highlight!:

    the most beautiful element in sporting all around is back: THE ROLLING MAUL!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 5:30 pm  

  • The first try was very nicely done!

    By Anonymous Madmax, at May 31, 2009 5:38 pm  

  • Why is Sackey playing for the Royal XV at no.8. Look at 8:25, it's definately him

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 5:51 pm  

  • My God Lee Byrne was not the most impressive player here. Incredibly lucky for his try, and he made a few mistakes with finding/going into touch. And for everyone who says that Earls was poor, did you see Shane Williams? He was God awful, dropped everything, butchered a try, couldn't counter. But hey, things...can only get better...

    By Anonymous Onwards and Upwards, at May 31, 2009 6:22 pm  

  • The first two trys were completely the fault of Andrew Sheridan. He tackled the wrong man on both occassions. How stupid can you be. Williams was terrible.
    Martyn shouldnt start for the test.
    Completely new front row is needed.
    No more Shaw
    Get rid of the back row.
    Mike phillips in at 9
    keep ROG
    Roberts and BOD
    Bowe on one wing
    Kearney on the other cos he can play both wing and fullback and if Byrne sticks up a garryowen Kearney can cover back or chase after it and vice versa

    By Anonymous Ben Kirby, at May 31, 2009 6:41 pm  

  • The Lions have no chance against the springboks, I picking S.A to win the tri nations aswell.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 6:42 pm  

  • Kearney on the other cos he can play both wing and fullback and if Byrne sticks up a garryowen Kearney can cover back or chase after it and vice versa...
    i agree with ben. well on some points. philips is a definate at 9, while bod and roberts should start, with bowe on one wing, and a new front row is def needed and sheridan kicked off the tour! for world player of the year, williams was shambolic. and martyn williams while i think hes a fabulous footballer, should only make the replacements. and simon shaw is useless. but i disagree with the backrow, yes they were awful but surely ur not saying david wallace should be dropped?
    also rog was average. nothing spectacular apart from plaace kicking. you have to be fair and give steve jones a chance, his goal kicking is inferior to o garas but his tackling is much better and is much more used to playing extremely flat passes ala wales.
    while kearney is a savage under highballs, and CAN counter (didn do it in the 6 nations) he came to the tour as a fullback. as in hes in a battle to get the 15 jersey, so why bring a good few wingers if a fullback is going to take their place? i would go with monye or williams, faster than kearney

    By Blogger Paul Gormley, at May 31, 2009 6:52 pm  

  • thanks a million for these highlights RD...lions will get better!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 7:06 pm  

  • Wow, struggling to beat a SA second division team... And that's the NH dream team we're talking about.
    LOL fucking ridiculous if you ask me

    By Anonymous L.O.L, at May 31, 2009 7:06 pm  

  • To the anonymous guy who said Sackey was playing 8 for the Royal XV, do all black men with dreads look alike to you? Besides the point, this 8 looked prett good, as did their 15, 9 and 12.

    I thought Roberts, Byrne, O'Conell, and possibly Bowe looked ready, the rest dissapointed tremendously. I was hoping for more from martyn, though he made a trade mark pass to ROG (who offers little in attack, other than passing) for his try.

    Worsley must be injured or something because the SA commentators were making excuses for not hearing his name, stating his team did not have the ball. Did he not get on the team for his defence when the opposition has the ball.

    Must agree with the other comments, it is early in the tour and its good to have a tough 1st game.

    At least the best Welsh players were in SA so we could give the Cymru a go here in Canada!

    By Anonymous Canadian Content, at May 31, 2009 7:07 pm  

  • Ridiculous performance from the alledged best NH side.
    They claim to be the world's best defenders, please.
    They are going to be torn apart by the boks.

    By Anonymous jik, at May 31, 2009 7:14 pm  

  • The back row of Worsley, Williams and Powell should be dropped. I actually thin the entire irish back row should start because they are just phenomenal. Ferris will bring unbelievable physicallity to fron up against Bakkies. Wallace will burst through the poor SH tackling that weve been seeing all year long in the super 14 and Heaslip will burn Spieseven though Spies is a 10.7 second 100m runner because 100 doesnt count for nothing and heaslip will be running onhard surface unlike hes been running on all his career.
    Kearneys been scared ever since the Masi tackle in t ehireland italy game but hes beginning to get back into the counter running game again and hes faster than williams

    By Anonymous Ben Kirby, at May 31, 2009 7:49 pm  

  • royal no.10 naas oliver or however u spell it. griquas 10 i believe??

    anyways scary match

    By Anonymous Bd, at May 31, 2009 7:52 pm  

  • the lions will win every game they are amazing and earls is a legend.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 8:26 pm  

  • Why the hell is everyone treating this as a disaster? It's their first match together after only a week or so of training, that's nothing like the strongest team they could put out, and they've got quite a few games to go before they face the Springboks.

    I'm sure they'll improve, especially when the likes of O'Driscoll, Murray, Hines, Ferris and Jones are added.

    By Anonymous Angry Baggers, at May 31, 2009 8:45 pm  

  • I remember a few years ago watching Liverpool against AC Milan in the Champions League Final and at halftime with Liverpool 3-0 down at least 5 people rang me to have a laugh because I'm a Liverpool fan. And then when Liverpool had their amazing comeback, it made the gloating the next day all the more sweeter.
    So yeah the Lions were diabolical, to watch them was like watching a team that had only been together for 2 weeks. Oh wait..
    Don't count your chickens before they've hatched Springboks fans, you could all be setting yourself up for quite a fall if it doesn't go your way.
    And to the other NH people naming starting XV's, there is 5 matches left, steady on.

    By Anonymous Brick Shithouse, at May 31, 2009 8:51 pm  

  • Can people stop making comments about how this proves the Southern hemisphere is better than the northern?

    I'm sure if we took 35 players from SA, NZ, Aus and Argentina, they'd take a while to blend into a good team.

    And, for all the people knocking Earls, who else were we supposed to take as a utility player? Lewseys retired, everyone esle is off form or injured, except I suppose Armitage, who's hardly set the world alight since the six nations either. Earls has been immense for Munster, and you need to be bloody good to get into that team.

    By Anonymous Stand up if you like Gavin Henson, at May 31, 2009 9:01 pm  

  • Have I found the worlds biggest muppet on a rugby forum?

    Ben Kirby said...

    The back row of Worsley, Williams and Powell should be dropped. I actually thin the entire irish back row should start because they are just phenomenal. Ferris will bring unbelievable physicallity to fron up against Bakkies. Wallace will burst through the poor SH tackling that weve been seeing all year long in the super 14 and Heaslip will burn Spieseven though Spies is a 10.7 second 100m runner because 100 doesnt count for nothing and heaslip will be running onhard surface unlike hes been running on all his career.
    Kearneys been scared ever since the Masi tackle in t ehireland italy game but hes beginning to get back into the counter running game again and hes faster than williams

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 9:06 pm  

  • The majority of criticism that I've seen has been on the BBC sports website, from those toffee nosed tits like guscott and healy who love rubbing their chubby little trouser tents at the thought of influencing public opinion on whoever the f****ng please.

    I.e. - Earls - Few mistakes, he'll silence any critics by the end of this tour, guaranteed.

    Blair- Still don't understand why hes been criticised, any mistakes made in that department can only be the back row.

    O Connell - just WTF?

    IMHO it was first game, people will be rusty, although I am seriously concerned about the back row, especially if we actually play croft who is the rugby equivalent of a rich tea biscuit post dip.

    Get Strockosch in, a hobnob if ever i saw one.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 9:11 pm  

  • 2ND POST - They are third division mate, they are from the vodacom cup - which is below the currie cup and super 14!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 9:33 pm  

  • Guys that 3rd division team haven't been together that long either, it's composed of a few guys here and there...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 9:35 pm  

  • BEN KIRBY - poor SH tackling...what about the NH tackling in this game mate (or lack thereof?), you lot didn't do that amazing in this department either......against a 3RD Division SA team of nobodies????!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 9:41 pm  

  • dont care if its first game, earls played himself out of the test. flutey has no nerves when he replaced him and did more when he came on too. the value of class and experience

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 9:43 pm  


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 9:45 pm  

  • Stand up if you like Gavin Henson said...

    "I'm sure if we took 35 players from SA, NZ, Aus and Argentina, they'd take a while to blend into a good team."

    ... Against the Royal XV? I don't bloody think so! They'd be outroar by people in those nations if they won by anything less than 50 points to such a shambolic side as the Royal XV.

    Infact if you hadn't realised there was a Barbarians game immediately after the Lions game. And the Barbarians faced much, much stronger opposition in an international English side... The Barbarians went onto win it, with no previous game experience together. And had a pretty impressive game by all accounts.

    Saying they need time to gel is fair enough... But it's not like the Lions were facing world beaters lmao. They were facing the Royal XV. Even without gelling they should have destroyed them.

    By Blogger Chris, at May 31, 2009 9:58 pm  

  • those biscuit metaphors from a few comments above are unreal lol. u are an absolute legend!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at May 31, 2009 10:00 pm  

  • They havent been together so they are working with different devensive patterns. And the poor tackling was down to a few players like Sheridan for letting in those first 2 tries. No one knew whos man was whos and things slipped by. Its understandable

    By Anonymous Ben Kirby, at May 31, 2009 10:48 pm  

  • LOL said : "and that's supposed to be the NH dream team"

    no it's not. It's just the british and irish dream team.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 12:06 am  

  • Wow, so much bitching. So long to old rugby spirit and welcome to the new football-style rugby full of whiny punk kids and people living out their overall inferiorities through sport.

    Thanks commercialism.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 12:41 am  

  • I just want to say it wasnt a good start for the lions and ppl say well they have been together for only 2 weeks and dont know each other that's granted but what about the Royal 15 as far as i know they are like a mini Loins team, they dont know each other and where also just thrown together when the Loin came to SA?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 1:05 am  

  • Agreed it wasnt a good game from the lions but it is early days and they got a win at the end of it, it doesnt have to be pretty as long as the job is done...... still looking for more though!!

    By Anonymous No.7, at June 01, 2009 1:18 am  

  • Terrible soft defence, against a team of 3rd division players!
    And they critisize SH defence!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 2:01 am  

  • i dont care who you put together for a week of training, you wont play well, the game just turns into a bunch of individual preformances, shane williams is definitely off his game though, after that ankle injury he hasnt really been on fire,(give him a chance though) he always seems to surprise, and martyn williams has never let me down when it mattered(except the HEC. lol) but otherwise i think things will come together, although i think stephen jones should start ahead of ROG, he seems to control things better, but toss mike blair. please. that couldnt have been good for confidence having your first kick charged down. lol

    although, id like to see the back row mixed up a bit id have to agree that there is some continuity needed there, and an all irish back row would be great.

    but hey, its early, and that wasnt even the starting 15!

    maybe we should make it the "british & irish lions & french &.....why not ;american lions. LOL

    spice it up a bit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 5:41 am  

  • Problem with that theory is that the Lions were together for just a week as well.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 6:40 am  

  • I menat the Royal XV

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 6:40 am  

  • We're all here for the same reason - we love rugby. So lets chill out and just be fans, rather than opinionated b*stards who have a go at every other team and eachother..?

    Take pride in being a rugby guy/girl, and chill out. :)

    By Anonymous where is the love, at June 01, 2009 6:49 am  

  • yeh have to agree in my opinion it wud be a bad idea to play kearney on the wing ahead of an established winger,who have more pace and more dangerous in that postition

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 9:01 am  

  • ''The back row of Worsley, Williams and Powell should be dropped.''

    Powell didn't play, your beloved Heaslip did.

    By Anonymous toppsy, at June 01, 2009 10:13 am  

  • Well, an entertaining match for non- Lions supportor...
    The greatest gain of this game is knowing who not to pick.
    I'm sorry, POC was playing his lungs out to keep the Lions in game, and Bryne single handedly earn all the territories/ get us out of trouble.
    The only time the Lions looked any threatening was Jamie Roberts running in a straight line not bother passing.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 10:15 am  

  • Topsy mate, it was Dave Wallace who started no8.
    Which is why the ball got tapped out Blair's hands quite a few times.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 10:20 am  

  • You're forgetting that this is the Hollywood generation. They've got it all planned out. We'll have a torrid time for the first seven games, there will be injuries and disillusionment, and perhaps even a falling out.

    Cut to a beach scene, Paul O'Connell and DOD, each walking alone, with a lonely guitar piece over the top. Paul O'Connell has a bit of a revelation while looking at the sea, and begins to weep. He gets on the phone to BOD, all is forgiven, (perhaps even some "I've always been your biggest fan", "Really? Well I've always been YOUR biggest fan", cue hugging).

    The boys decide enough is enough, they get the lads on the phone, and everyone meets in a knackered gym somewhere. They'll have a montage, and then go out and beat the dastardly Boks.

    You see? This is all part of the DVD scam. We're being played people!

    By Anonymous Steven Spielburg, at June 01, 2009 10:36 am  

  • at about 8:26 or something like that...

    is that yellow jersey a roscommon jersey lol

    soz just noticed it

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 11:51 am  

  • Reminds me of when B&I Lions, just scraped past Bay of Plenty back in 05.

    Feels like South Africa will be piling on 40 points per match.

    By Anonymous Wakarua, at June 01, 2009 12:54 pm  

  • if you did take 35 of the best players from southern hemisphere and train em together for 2 weeks, although its not that long - im sure they would've destroyed that Royal team.

    By Anonymous Wakarua, at June 01, 2009 12:59 pm  

  • i think everyone who is reminded us they have barely been together or trained need to look at their opposition, royal XV have been together less time ( i believe) than the lions and are a scratch side from second division SA rugby. had lions been playing a super 14 team that wouldnt have been so shocking, if they dont seriouslty get their act together the boks will destroy them 3-0, and that WAS basically a potential test team, most of the players were certain contenders.
    Shocking performance,and im a fan

    By Anonymous Lions den, at June 01, 2009 5:33 pm  

  • how did south africa get along against namibia ?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 5:36 pm  

  • To the above, SA's 3rd team did just fine, against a namibian invitation side ( which also had springboks in it..not a royal 15 of nobodies..so if you are implying that we should compare the 2 matches...your even more naive than what we expect from B&I Fans)

    anyway that match wasn't even televised, so how can you make comments about matches you haven't even seen? ( i was at the match by the way..)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 5:56 pm  

  • omg they will be smashed

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 6:08 pm  

  • good day gents, lets get some facts together here
    1.most of the people who started in that team are contenders for the actual team to face the springboks.e.g sheridan capt courageous o'connell,shane williams...
    2.that was merely a royal 15 side
    3.South African rugby is at an all time high...look at the bulls and sharks..their players look hot!

    If the lions ont gel like what happened in NZ 05 they will be humiliated...

    By Anonymous just my opinion, at June 01, 2009 6:30 pm  

  • Posted this on the BBc 606 forum:

    ok there are a few things that haven't been taken into account.

    One, none of these guys have played for a couple of weeks, most for about 3-4 weeks now.

    Two, they were playing under new rules.

    Three it was at at altitude, they've only been there a week so their lungs would have been burning after 5-10 mins of running.

    Four although portrayed a such it was not a scratch side they were playing, 11 players from the same Vodacom cup team.

    Five, anyone who's played rugby knows that sometimes you just get those days when you play down to the opposition.

    Now did anyone at anypoint seriously think they would lose?

    I didn't even when the opposition raced off to a big lead i never once thought, they look like winning here, you were always waiting for the next gear from the lions and when it came they scored all the points they needed to in a matter of minutes.

    Basically it was a typical start of tour against rubbish opposition game.

    No one found their stride, everyone got frustrated at not demolishing them and they made more unforced errors trying to force the game then anything else.

    It was a nothing game in the scheme of things, the tour starts Wednesday, when the opposition step up a gear. that's when we'll see what these lions are all about, if they get a hiding it's bad omens, if it's a good performance - dosen't even have to be a win - then things bode better for the test series.

    Lets not forget they are going to the current world champs back yard, playing against S14 teams who have dominated the competition.

    It's huge task and even the AB's have only won one test series in SA.

    Lets not lose sight of some objectivity.

    By Anonymous goodNumber10, at June 01, 2009 6:43 pm  

  • tuff luck for the lions: wilko, henson, shanklin, sackey, armitage, ryan jones, would be on my XV...

    injuries and bad calls from the coach...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 01, 2009 7:47 pm  

  • goodNumber10, a lot of sense in your post. I hope you are right.

    By Anonymous Tanqueray, at June 01, 2009 11:24 pm  

  • There is no way in hell that the Lions will come away with a win against the Springboks! This is just my opinion. But The Springboks are a formidable force when they're at home especially against a team that plays like that! I personally can't wait for it and hope the Lions do well but the Springboks are just too good in my opinion. If anything this will be a great way for Springboks to enter the tri-nations with all these games under their belt. Now thats something to look forward too :D

    By Anonymous Kieth, at June 02, 2009 1:04 pm  

  • We believe in one BOD, the outside center, the almighty, maker of tries and big hits, and all that work off the ball that is seen and unseen.

    For our sake he was spear tackled under tana umaga, he suffered a dislocated shoulder and went home.

    In the six nations he rose again in the fulfillment of the irish times; he ascended into player of the championship and is seated at the right hand of paulie.

    He will come again in glory to judge the springboks and his kingdom will have no end

    paul devine 14:55

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2009 3:54 pm  

  • They got out of jail a bit - way too early to get any general trend from this one (first game, altitude (somewhat), first game, first game, first game).

    Also, every match they play will be a potentially life-defining achievement for the guys they play against; a one off shot at herodom eh if that's a word.

    Byrne looked sharp (lucky with the last touchfinder that was headed straight out but knocked into touch by green winger), RO'G and Bowe looked in touch, O'Connell is clearly in awesome physical shape (he made the lung burster that let to the Williams assist for RO'G's try and carried big all day).

    Shane Williams and Keith Earls had bad days - not write-off days, but bad days.

    Question mark at S/Half for me - neither Blair nor Phillips played well.

    David Wallace did not look a number 8 for the tests.

    Whoever said we need a new front row - physically they messed the Royal's up handily. Wierd refereeing however led to penalties, and lack of sharpness lead to two against the heads.

    Everyone else gets sort of a passing mark, bar perhaps Jamie Roberts who was pretty effective and gets a pass plus (but won't be let charge around like that by a better side). Shaw seemed not to be in the game much at all and gets a pass minus.

    Worst failure for me was in Defence, which is EXACTLY what you expect to see in a team brought together recently (e.g. Andrew Sheridan taking the wrong space twice, leading to two tries).

    They may or may not win the series, but this game is pretty irrelevant to their chances.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at June 02, 2009 4:40 pm  

  • the lions need some american players.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 02, 2009 8:40 pm  

  • Alot of explaining away some terrible play from the Lions.
    Fact is , this was a woeful preformance from them.
    The tackling was soft (very little physicality), the attack was pedestrian and the rucking was abysmal.
    People are using the excuse that they've only been together for two weeks. That's ridiculous., the Royal XV have been together for about the same amount of time, with only a fraction of the preperation, coaching and logisitcla support.
    No excuses, this was terrible from the Lions and guys like Shaw and Earls do't belong on the tour.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2009 6:58 am  

  • that was a nothing match, but I do hope nerves, rust and some organisation is seen to in the next week or so.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2009 8:23 am  

  • It's not a question of 'explaining away' poor play, its a question of explaining it and understanding it.

    That Royal XV was not a scratch side at all.

    By Anonymous Eoghan, at June 03, 2009 12:32 pm  

  • What??
    Of course it was a scratch side!
    It was a group of players from the Currie Cup, not even the best players from the Currie Cup. They've never played together as a team before.
    Agianst the best of the north.
    The majority of these guys aren't good enough for a S14 contract, let alone a test side. And they took it to the Lions.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2009 3:04 pm  

  • We heard all this the South Africans back in 1997.

    "We are World Champs."
    "The Super 12 is far superior, look at all the attacking play and tries."
    "The Five Nations is crap compared to our Tri Nations."
    "We are going to put 40 to 50 points on the "pussycats."

    Wow, could history be repeating itself?

    The best thing the Lions have going for them is the arrogance and over confidence that is part of South African sporting culture. They cannot conceive that they could get beaten by the Lions, and that is their achilles heel.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at June 03, 2009 3:57 pm  

  • This is getting boring:

    "Lions taking time to gel, well the Royal XV are a new team too so they will need time to gel........"

    is one comment i have read (not an exact quote but im sure whoever wrote it will get the point....... it is such a stupid comment.....people wake up, yes the lions in theory should have put a million points on this scratch team, but so what they didnt, they are taking time to gel, do any of you think that team was the entire starting line up either?! cos personally any lions team nowadays without BOD is a bit lacking!!!

    And yes Royal XV take time to gel cos they are a new bunch.....doesnt this match just show that two sides trying to gel with each other clashed and the 'better on paper' side won?!!??

    Fuck it, its a win, bring on the next game so you guys can bitch about that too!

    By Anonymous No.7, at June 05, 2009 1:19 am  

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