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Source: (consider it) Thread: The game that batters: the rugby thread
kingsfold

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As a Sassenach living in Scotland, would it be too much to hope for a draw tomorrow??
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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by kingsfold:
As a Sassenach living in Scotland, would it be too much to hope for a draw tomorrow??

I'm English but my Dad was born in Edinburgh and his mother's family were Scots too. Many of Sister-in-law's family is from the Hawick area so I can't really lose, nor crow about anything other than a hard-fought draw.

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betjemaniac
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I'm at a wedding tomorrow. Who gets married, in Cheltenham, on the day of the Calcutta Cup and the first weekend of Gold Cup Week??? Well, clearly I know the answer to that one but even so.

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Sioni Sais
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Betjemaniac, IHope the wedding goes well, but also that it is not as hard-fought as last night's match in Cardiff between Wales and Ireland!

Ultimately Wales won because their halfbacks played better and Ireland, of all people, butchered a gold-plated try-scoring chance! The Wales halfbacks, especially Biggar, had been their weak link in previous matches but they achieved it in large part by knocking Murray and Sexton senseless at every opportunity. Not pretty but it happens more often than those who haven't played would suppose.

Two matches with clear favourites today: I wonder if Italy will use their ruckless breakdown today? It's a legitimate tactic but now people have seen it, it needs to be played wisely, maybe as a called play. As for the Calcutta Cup, Scotland have a clear chance but unless they have a decent lead with twenty minutes to go, England should win.

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kingsfold

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Given I'm watching the game in the pub with a group of Scots mates, I'm still hoping for the draw...

I'm hoping it's going to be a good, hard fought game and then it won't matter who wins.

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I came to Jesus and I found in him my star, my sun.
And in that light of life I'll walk 'til travelling days are done


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L'organist
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The Organist's household are all praying for Scots victory...

We're all shattered after the nailbiting match yesterday - especially since the only non-Welsh blood in my veins (about an armful) is Irish [Snigger]

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Sioni Sais
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and that was a bit disappointing TBH. England (finally) turned up and Jonathan Joseph looked very classy, but once again they showed that any decent side can score at least a couple of tries against them. Let's see how the balance of physicality goes against Ireland, because I think that will determine the outcome.
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Imaginary Friend

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Just seen the score. Ouch. [Hot and Hormonal]

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Piglet
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"Ouch" doesn't even begin to cover it. [Waterworks]

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Sioni Sais
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Ouch doesn't just cover the score. Poor Scotland were almost too brave for their own good and they could very nearly now field a decent team from first-choice players who are currently injured. I hope they all recover because some of those knocks and injuries have been very heavy, and Scotland doesn't have that many top-class players.

[ 12. March 2017, 10:48: Message edited by: Sioni Sais ]

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rolyn
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
and that was a bit disappointing TBH. England (finally) turned up and Jonathan Joseph looked very classy, but once again they showed that any decent side can score at least a couple of tries against them. Let's see how the balance of physicality goes against Ireland, because I think that will determine the outcome.

If England turn on another display like that then Ireland will have a difficult time containing it. When Joseph gets away like that it takes a very strong lone tackler to stop him.
Mind you I seem to recall Ireland putting a spanner in the works of premature Grand slam celebrations once before.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:

Mind you I seem to recall Ireland putting a spanner in the works of premature Grand slam celebrations once before.

England have a habit of this. ISTR England falling at the last maybe three years in succession. Possibly 1999, 2000, 2001.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:

Mind you I seem to recall Ireland putting a spanner in the works of premature Grand slam celebrations once before.

England have a habit of this. ISTR England falling at the last maybe three years in succession. Possibly 1999, 2000, 2001.
And they have done it again! Well played Ireland although England did look off the boil.

I've had a look at this years results and of the fifteen matches, eleven ended in home wins, the exceptions being Italy's home games and Wales at home to England, which was very close!

There's usually some advantage to playing at home but I'm surprised it is that pronounced.

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Piglet
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
... England did look off the boil ...

I wish they'd been a bit more off the boil against Scotland ... [Big Grin]

Still, well done Ireland - having lived in Belfast for 15 years I have a wee soft spot for the Irish team too (and I always like the little guy to win!).

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rolyn
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I missed the Ireland England game which now appears was a happy accident as highlights looked pretty lacklustre. Didn't quite get why Ireland were being given pens for what looked like legitimate English tackles.

Also a bit confusing as to why France and Wales played for a 100 mins. Thought they stop the clock in rugby for telly screen stoppages.

Ah well, all over for another year.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
I missed the Ireland England game which now appears was a happy accident as highlights looked pretty lacklustre. Didn't quite get why Ireland were being given pens for what looked like legitimate English tackles.

Not for the first time Ireland found a weakness in England's game. Under the current (ie, new) tackle laws, you have to tackle below the shoulders and make sure your arm(s) don't ride up to the neck or head. The Irish ran low, so that the tacklers made contact high, which increased the chance of a high tackle". It isn't the only game in which this has occurred and running low is effective too, but it does add problems to the tackle laws.
quote:


Also a bit confusing as to why France and Wales played for a 100 mins. Thought they stop the clock in rugby for telly screen stoppages.
Ah well, all over for another year.

I was surprised it went on that long. After a couple of scrum penalties I would have thought Wayne Barnes would have awarded a penalty try. Maybe he just chickened out, for fear of being the most unpopular Englishman in Wales, as if he doesn't hold that title already.
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L'organist
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Any gloom in Cardiff was transferred into righteous anger towards Wayne Barnes who, as Sioni says, is already in the top 5 of most Welsh "Most Loathed" lists, other natural entries being Edward I (if you go for the historical), Tony Blair and Alun Michael.

But all that changed with the news from Dublin: the eruption of joy in Cardiff when the final whistle was blown in Dublin was universal. THANK YOU IRELAND!

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iamchristianhearmeroar
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
But all that changed with the news from Dublin: the eruption of joy in Cardiff when the final whistle was blown in Dublin was universal. THANK YOU IRELAND!

I'm going to take back-to-back championships and Wales fifth overall as cause to celebrate in England too!

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Sioni Sais
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In the wake of the Six Nations Championship some rubbish is being talked. First prize must go to Eddie Jones's idea that there should be four captains, one from each country. Nice idea but a) it "bottles" the decision and b) only one of the current captains is actually the best in their position. Despite what everyone says I reckon your captain has to be an automatic choice, barring injury.

So I would give the job to Rory Best, in part because he is very good but also because he won't be the only Irishman in the front-row. Some aren't sure about Itoje this year but he's a shoo-in for me, not for his all-action play in the loose, which was last years trademark, but for his work in the tight. He has become a phenomenal scrummager and a terrific lineout forward. With him behind Tadhg Furlong (or Samson Lee?) any opposing loosehead will have his work cut out, so that could be their put in ruined.

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Sioni Sais
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On the subject of the Lions tour party selection all I can say that it appears to be Warren Gatland's ambition to win a series for the country of his birth!

The England party for Argentina is much more interesting, although I would have liked to have seen one or two hard-running or heavyweight back row players, like Zach Mercer of Bath or Don Armand and Dave Ewers of Exeter, but Eddie Jones has gone for ball-winners there which could indicate his vision for England's future.

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Zappa
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quote:
Originally posted by Sioni Sais:
On the subject of the Lions tour party selection all I can say that it appears to be Warren Gatland's ambition to win a series for the country of his birth!

Pretty much what the NZ Media are saying, too

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Zappa
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A reasonable strt from the Lions, with Ben Te'o and Laidlaw for me amongst the best on the field.

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Zappa
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(played in my former town, by the way, and where I expect to retire to) [Axe murder]

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Imaginary Friend

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Yeah, I watched a few minutes of the game. Probably not a statistically significant sample, but I thought the Lions looked like they were still learning their lines a bit. Shaping up to be a fascinating tour. [Smile]

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Brian Clough

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Imaginary Friend:
Yeah, I watched a few minutes of the game. Probably not a statistically significant sample, but I thought the Lions looked like they were still learning their lines a bit. Shaping up to be a fascinating tour. [Smile]

There's probably something to be said for starting with established partnerships, such as an all-Irish front row, English locks and an all-Welsh back row. Not necessarily the best players but as a basis, with ostensibly stronger players coming on later, it might work out, especially on a short tour.

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Zappa
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All Black great Justin Marshall is convinced the Lions are foxing.

Um .. if that's not a confusing concept [Ultra confused]

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Sioni Sais
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A disappointing result for the Lions against the weakest Super Rugby opponents. Rob Howley, the attack coach, is getting a lot of criticism for a lack of imagination. The only good news is that this fixture weeded out a few more as nowhere near the team to play the All Blacks.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

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Zappa
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But WG has proclaimed that there's not much difference between the Super Rugby sides and the All Blacks. That has the kiwi media in guffaws.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
But WG has proclaimed that there's not much difference between the Super Rugby sides and the All Blacks. That has the kiwi media in guffaws.

That looks a lot like Gatland preparing the ground for a one win against nine losses tour result.

I see Alun Wyn Jones is captain for the Crusaders match on Saturday - is there some rule that the match captain has to be Welsh? [Biased]

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Zappa
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There were a couple of moments last night when the referee(s) cost the Lions, but on the whole a sub-par performance - and the best Highlanders players were not on the field. I had hopes they'd stamp their authority on the game, to keep the tour interesting. Attention is waning in NZ because basically meh.

SAD.

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Imaginary Friend

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I imagine everyone will wake themselves up again for the first Test, right?

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Brian Clough

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
There were a couple of moments last night when the referee(s) cost the Lions, but on the whole a sub-par performance - and the best Highlanders players were not on the field. I had hopes they'd stamp their authority on the game, to keep the tour interesting. Attention is waning in NZ because basically meh.

SAD.

What hacks me off is that outcomes can be decided by dodgy officiating. It couldn't have been much closer and 3 tries to 2 has to tell a story.
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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
There were a couple of moments last night when the referee(s) cost the Lions, but on the whole a sub-par performance - and the best Highlanders players were not on the field. I had hopes they'd stamp their authority on the game, to keep the tour interesting. Attention is waning in NZ because basically meh.

SAD.

I'm wondering if the NZ public lost some interest when the itinerary was announced, more when the party was announced and having seen some performances they really aren't impressed.
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Jamat
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All Blacks 78, Samoa 0.
Ho Hum. Why even bother.

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
All Blacks 78, Samoa 0.
Ho Hum. Why even bother.

I have the awful feeling we will be saying much the same in a week or so.
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Zappa
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McKenzie at first five against Sexton will be an interesting matchup tonight, and i think the Maori will have a shitload of ahi (fire) in the belly. On the other hand the Lions might be hurting. But i think the Maori will eat them, even in wet Rotorua conditions...

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Zappa
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On second thoughts ....

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
On second thoughts ....

Lions 32 Maori All Blacks 10
Big forward statement by Lions. Good for the game.

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Sioni Sais
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The Lions showed some form but Scotland beat Australia and an England side missing any number of first-choice players has beaten Argentina on their own turf twice. Some players with little or no international experience did very well which must show that Premiership rugby is of a good standard.

Some didn't do so well, notably in the three-quarters and I don't think Marland Yarde will be wearing an England shirt again.

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Jamat
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The English are on the up. All credit.
Regarding the Lions, Tuesday will be interesting. They will come across NZs 2nd best super team minus it's All Blacks. But they will have combinations the Maori lacked.
The Lions have the muscle that's for sure but maybe not the flair. Predictable sides generally get muntered down here.

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Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
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Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Sioni Sais
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
The English are on the up. All credit.
Regarding the Lions, Tuesday will be interesting. They will come across NZs 2nd best super team minus it's All Blacks. But they will have combinations the Maori lacked.
The Lions have the muscle that's for sure but maybe not the flair. Predictable sides generally get muntered down here.

The starting XV may have muscle and skill but the bench includes those flown in from the Scottish and Welsh squads out east, and once they get on the field everything will change. They simply aren't anywhere near good enough.
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Zappa
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A deserved win - Nowell and Cole were for me two standout players ... but a team effort. The series is alive!

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Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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I reckon that Gatland has selected the right 23 barring Lawes who has been the best lock on tour and he should be there instead of AWJ with Itoje on the bench. Otherwise I would have started with Sexton for Farrell (Irish combination) and North too.

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Posts: 23926 | From: Newport, Wales | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Sioni Sais
Shipmate
# 5713

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After watching as much of the All Blacks v Lions as I could stand I conclude that the ABs aren't supermen by any means. They have some outstanding players but they simply don't screw up. If you don't make errors, you don't lose matches.

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"He isn't Doctor Who, he's The Doctor"

(Paul Sinha, BBC)

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Basically I think they won on aerobic fitness, managing to play the game at their pace. Some luck too - a couple of bounces of the ball went their way. Referee? When I used to coach netball I taught the kids to "play the referee" to adjust asap if they're not used to the style of decision. The ABs know Peyper and played him. I thought he had a goo game (but I would).

Lions of class for me were Sinkler and Itoje. To some extent I jest, but it struck me that both of those could break a game open ... Williams too.

I loved the battle between Te'o and SBW, the two leagies. I thought George Kruis and Jamie George had solid games.

The trouble is I think about 18 ABs had good games, and Retallick, Whitelock and Read - the engine room, were outstanding. Which kind of negated the Lions expected forwards strength.

I enjoyed the game, not just for the result. I'm a bit of a Lions fan anyway, though not quite enough to push my beloveds off the perch.

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Jamat
Shipmate
# 11621

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quote:
Originally posted by Zappa:
Basically I think they won on aerobic fitness, managing to play the game at their pace.

Lions of class for me were Sinkler and Itoje. To some extent I jest, but it struck me that both of those could break a game open ... Williams too.


I enjoyed the game, not just for the result. I'm a bit of a Lions fan anyway, though not quite enough to push my beloveds off the perch.

Agree, pace of game is where teams cave against them but it is boring to see AB always dominating.
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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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I can't see the lions winning this but I've been wrong almost every tme. Good to see Itoje getting a start - he's been my Lions standout ... bring it on.

Itoje was interviewed, a gorgeous interview, tonight for the preamble. What a guy.

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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PS - shame for the Lions he's up against Retallick.

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and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Red card SBW - game over I reckon

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
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Zappa
Ship's Wake
# 8433

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Well I was wrong. It was a game to the max - but only because the Lions didn't keep their cool for the remainder of the first half. They should have capitalised 12 points in that period. Then the ABs outplayed them for 20 minutes in the second. But with 14 if the Lions got their heads straight it was always going to ve a tough call. No complaints about the call on SBW, either. It was apiece of league brutality, a brain explosion which he does have occasionally. As it happens the last AB to be red carded was Colin Meads (now seriously ill) so he's in good company -0 buy the '67 ABs went on to win with 14.

Vunipola back in his city of birth had rocks in his head. My man Itoje went from hero to zero and back but on the whole showed what a talent he is.

The ABs will win next week but the Lions can be proud. And as for thier fans, the NZ populace have fallen in love!

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shameless self promotion - because I think it's worth it
and mayhap this too: http://broken-moments.blogspot.co.nz/

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