Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions ABs

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not_english
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Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions ABs

Post by not_english »

In my rare quiet times away from the family I have been slowly re-watching the third test, and am so far through to half time. A few thoughts from an All Black perspective.
We knocked the ball on 3 times inside the Lions 22. There was the much talked about Savea one (was the pass forward though anyway?).. Sam Cane rather inexplicably knocked on, and Aaron Smith fired a much too hard pass at Beauden Barrett, who could well have gone through and scored.
That is a lot of errors. The Lions were only in the AB 22 3 times, once for the Farrell intercept pass and once was the lineout they didn't bother to jump for, and another time the ABs tackled them and turned them over quickly.


I thought Savea and Dagg who have been a bit criticised both played reasonablywell. The Connor Murray high kicking game was fairly well neutralised. We have missed The Bus I think running hard close to the ruck, and I think he still has a future for the ABs.

Jordie Barrett got caught with the ball in one of the back moves by Davies, and he was miles offside, as were the rest of the Lions backs. I think they played the ref better than the ABs on this.

2 of the ABs tries in the series were from cross-field kicks, and one from a quick taken penalty. They didn't seem to have much of a clue how to get around or through the Lions rush defence.

The second try on Saturday was a proper AB try from a good hit forward by Retallick followed by two beatiful passes. Any other time in the game we would have dropped the ball. Why didn't we see more of this in the series?

More general thoughts.
Scrum was a f**king lottery, I thought Poite was going to be strict on it? There was lots of wheeling and funny angles from both teams.
Was Read affected by the hit in the first half? The penalty he gave away just after halftime was absolutely ridiculous, criminal in a close game.
Should we be more concerned about AB foul play? In th last couple of years it seems like we have had to play a lot of game time with a player in the bin. I think maybe questions should be asked about it, as it is costing us.
Codie Taylor has stepped up really well as Coles replacement. Lineout was very good.
Barretts restarts and kicking in general play were excellent. Not previously a noted part of his game.

I've never rated Warburton particularly, but thought he was excellent. Unfairly penalised early on and made a couple of very good turnovers in the first half and some great hits.
Why does Watson fall over all the time?
Lions could have scored from the quickly taken penalty in the first half with a bit more luck, ABs were taken totally unawares.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by MaccTaff »

Just on Warburton, he's completely underrated by quite a few people and, in all honesty, probably overrated in parts too.

However, he had a very good 2nd test and a fantastic 3rd test. I hope all the Captain Invisible (bimbo) comments dry up now.

Will be interesting to see who the Welsh skipper is going to be though.

Good appraisal though NE.

Personally I've never seen the ABs handle so badly as they did in the first half. Combo of that and Barrett's place kicking was mighty profligate, and really rather generous.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by pieman99 »

MaccTaff wrote: Personally I've never seen the ABs handle so badly as they did in the first half.
It did remind me of the Georgia game in the RWC.

Edit - good analysis :thumbup:
Last edited by pieman99 on Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by not_english »

One thing I think the Lions did very well was there was not much aimless kicking, so the ABs didn't get the ball in broken play very much (at all?), and consequently didn't get a roll on. The Lions kick chasers were very good.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by not_english »

Seneca of the Night wrote:Which Barrett brother made the intercept?
Beauden wasn't it? Then just caught by Liam Williams, which I did not expect.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by MaccTaff »

not_english wrote:One thing I think the Lions did very well was there was not much aimless kicking, so the ABs didn't get the ball in broken play very much (at all?), and consequently didn't get a roll on. The Lions kick chasers were very good.
Best exemplified right at the end of the second test when Barrett collected a ball in his 22 from a kick downfield to be met by a well organised line of red, and promptly chipped it straight to the Lions. Good kick chase and not unimpressive fitness too.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Enzedder »

Lions could have scored from the quickly taken penalty in the first half with a bit more luck, ABs were taken totally unawares.
How "primary school" was that from the ABs? I reckon we were not mentally there all series but I am not surprised as I though we had a bloody lucky year last year
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Invicta »

Lions could have scored from the quickly taken penalty in the first half with a bit more luck, ABs were taken totally unawares.
This.

Farrell's idea was good but his pass was just awful.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by not_english »

Enzedder wrote:
Lions could have scored from the quickly taken penalty in the first half with a bit more luck, ABs were taken totally unawares.
How "primary school" was that from the ABs? I reckon we were not mentally there all series but I am not surprised as I though we had a bloody lucky year last year
It was exactly the same as the Lions in the first test. I don't remember ever seeing the ABs taken by surprise like that. Lack of leadership/ focus?
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Duff Paddy »

Really the AB's should have gone in at half time with a comfortable lead. The lack of accuracy and precision was quite shocking - certainly something we're not used to seeing from the AB's. A few nervous errors and the Davies chase down lead to the Lions growing confidence. By the time Kaino went to the cooler I think the game was there for the Lions to win. The AB's haven't looked as vulnerable in a while. The obviously have the players to turn it on but they are missing some belief or focus, hard to put your finger on it exactly
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Duff Paddy »

Seneca of the Night wrote:
not_english wrote:
Seneca of the Night wrote:Which Barrett brother made the intercept?
Beauden wasn't it? Then just caught by Liam Williams, which I did not expect.
Can you rewind it and watch it. I swear it was Jordie and most of the papers say that, and yet I've been told on here it was Beauden. I can't believe Beauden would have been caught.
Jordie surely
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by badmannotinjapan »

Seneca of the Night wrote:
not_english wrote:
Seneca of the Night wrote:Which Barrett brother made the intercept?
Beauden wasn't it? Then just caught by Liam Williams, which I did not expect.
Can you rewind it and watch it. I swear it was Jordie and most of the papers say that, and yet I've been told on here it was Beauden. I can't believe Beauden would have been caught.
Had GO BEAUDEN! caught that he was in for all money. It wasn't him.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by not_english »

badmannotinjapan wrote:
Seneca of the Night wrote:
not_english wrote:
Seneca of the Night wrote:Which Barrett brother made the intercept?
Beauden wasn't it? Then just caught by Liam Williams, which I did not expect.
Can you rewind it and watch it. I swear it was Jordie and most of the papers say that, and yet I've been told on here it was Beauden. I can't believe Beauden would have been caught.
Had GO BEAUDEN! caught that he was in for all money. It wasn't him.
Was certainly in Jordie's position in the field. I need to re-watch again.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Tim. »

Number 15 is sweeping between the ruck. It was Beauden.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npZA7iijqPg
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by not_english »

That's another thing the ABs got wrong then. Even Beauden wasn't as fast as he normally is :x
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Tim. »

not_english wrote:That's another thing the ABs got wrong then. Even Beauden wasn't as fast as he normally is :x
Looked like he hadn't quite untangled his feet yet. A few metres more and he was gone.

Your OP is a good write-up btw.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Jeff the Bear »

Tim. wrote:
not_english wrote:That's another thing the ABs got wrong then. Even Beauden wasn't as fast as he normally is :x
Looked like he hadn't quite untangled his feet yet. A few metres more and he was gone.

Your OP is a good write-up btw.
Looked to me like Liam Williams had greater acceleration over those first few metres. As I mentioned on another thread, remarkable given that no one catches BB when he's behind the defence.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by MaccTaff »

Tim. wrote:Number 15 is sweeping between the ruck. It was Beauden.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npZA7iijqPg
Must say that Williams, JD and Watson did very well between them.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by booze »

Seneca of the Night wrote:
Duff Paddy wrote:Really the AB's should have gone in at half time with a comfortable lead. The lack of accuracy and precision was quite shocking - certainly something we're not used to seeing from the AB's. A few nervous errors and the Davies chase down lead to the Lions growing confidence. By the time Kaino went to the cooler I think the game was there for the Lions to win. The AB's haven't looked as vulnerable in a while. The obviously have the players to turn it on but they are missing some belief or focus, hard to put your finger on it exactly
Probably should have been ahead about 22-6 at halftime. But that's the way it goes. The Lions were doing a lot of things right to stop that.
Yes, you have to applaud them for their defence throughout the tour but the main issue for us was composure. Dropped balls, pushed passes, lack of patience.

The AB backline had so much upheaval over the 2 tests and played a callow back line in the 3rd (only Aaron Smith and BB had major experience) that the lions with the experience of Murray, sexton, Farrell, Davies were able to disrupt quite well to hang in there on the scoreboard.

Losing Bender, crotty, sbw(his fault) was a big blow
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by booze »

Seneca of the Night wrote:
Tim. wrote:Number 15 is sweeping between the ruck. It was Beauden.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npZA7iijqPg
Fck. Thanks. Jesus that is good defence from the Lions.
Impressive for both of them to stay between laumape and savea. No chance of a pass really
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by UncleFB »

Enzedder wrote:
Lions could have scored from the quickly taken penalty in the first half with a bit more luck, ABs were taken totally unawares.
How "primary school" was that from the ABs? I reckon we were not mentally there all series but I am not surprised as I though we had a bloody lucky year last year
At the time I thought that was a bit dodgy as it followed a stoppage in play and the ABs weren't set. I don't remember if there was a time back on signal or anything.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by bimboman »

MaccTaff wrote:Just on Warburton, he's completely underrated by quite a few people and, in all honesty, probably overrated in parts too.

However, he had a very good 2nd test and a fantastic 3rd test. I hope all the Captain Invisible (bimbo) comments dry up now.

Will be interesting to see who the Welsh skipper is going to be though.

Good appraisal though NE.

Personally I've never seen the ABs handle so badly as they did in the first half. Combo of that and Barrett's place kicking was mighty profligate, and really rather generous.
:lol: , he was defensively excellent, he offers nothi in attack and made a stupid decision to kick the penalty at the end. Speaks nice and is as beige as the role demands. Still think he's military medium and not as good as Robshaw.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by MrDominator »

I've seen Warburton shut down and dominated too many times by England to be overly in awe of his abilities.

Yet that said, his ice man leadership and sheer good egg-ness is immensely impressive.

The players looked shit scared walking out at Eden Park in the 1st test under POM; a week later they looked cool as cucumbers under SB. Impressive stuff.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by badmannotinjapan »

not_english wrote:
badmannotinjapan wrote:
Seneca of the Night wrote:
not_english wrote:
Seneca of the Night wrote:Which Barrett brother made the intercept?
Beauden wasn't it? Then just caught by Liam Williams, which I did not expect.
Can you rewind it and watch it. I swear it was Jordie and most of the papers say that, and yet I've been told on here it was Beauden. I can't believe Beauden would have been caught.
Had GO BEAUDEN! caught that he was in for all money. It wasn't him.
Was certainly in Jordie's position in the field. I need to re-watch again.
Na, true. I remembered that differently. GO BEAUDEN! It was.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by vh5150 »

McCaws been saying it for years. There is very little between the top teams and it's about preparation. If you are off a wee bit it's tighter than a nun's naughty at test level. The Lions proved they are a top team. The ABs are still there as well. They ars still at the top of the pile in terms of consistency. Lots of potential and talent.

Great to the see the Northern Hemisphere up the anti. :thumbup:
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by SilverGrin »

badmannotinjapan wrote:
not_english wrote:
badmannotinjapan wrote:
Seneca of the Night wrote:
not_english wrote: Beauden wasn't it? Then just caught by Liam Williams, which I did not expect.
Can you rewind it and watch it. I swear it was Jordie and most of the papers say that, and yet I've been told on here it was Beauden. I can't believe Beauden would have been caught.
Had GO BEAUDEN! caught that he was in for all money. It wasn't him.
Was certainly in Jordie's position in the field. I need to re-watch again.
Na, true. I remembered that differently. GO BEAUDEN! It was.
It was Beaudy. He had to leap for the intercept and he landed a little awkwardly and stumbled for a few paces which allowed Williams to catch him before he could gas it.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by not_english »

Well I have now made it through to the end of the test.

Having sat through the whole game again, I think the quality of the rugby in this one was really quite low. The ABs made a huge number of knock ons (shared fairly evenly through the whole team), but the Lions were also quite careless with the ball.

From the position NZ were in at 70 minutes, deep in Lions territory and 3 points up it's hard to believe they didn't win. Surely they just needed to keep the ball in hand and run it through the forwards waiting for the inevitable penalty.
We kicked it away twice in this period (once knocked on by Liam Williams), and bizarrely chose Dagg as the man to take the ball forward on crash rather than someone bigger like Fekitoa.

The scrums became completely ludicrous in the last 10 minutes. Poite didn't want to blow his whistle even when the front rows stood up, and both teams were at 45 degrees.

NZ actually had a good chance to set up for a droppy in the last play of the game, with a ruck right on the 22, right in front of the posts. I wonder if anyone considered it?

<whinge mode>
1) I not sure what the technical definition of a high tackle is anymore, but Retallick grabbed shoulder and chest only
2) Wyatt Crockett looked like he was desperately trying to get away from the ball to the point where he had twisted over on to his stomach when he was penalised for the drawing penalty. Webb made a lot of it, but didn't look to me like he was interfering in the play (not that we had a close up of it)
</whinge mode>

The forward pass to Savea in the second half was a move very similar to the second try they scored.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Murdoch »

bimboman wrote:
MaccTaff wrote:Just on Warburton, he's completely underrated by quite a few people and, in all honesty, probably overrated in parts too.

However, he had a very good 2nd test and a fantastic 3rd test. I hope all the Captain Invisible (bimbo) comments dry up now.

Will be interesting to see who the Welsh skipper is going to be though.

Good appraisal though NE.

Personally I've never seen the ABs handle so badly as they did in the first half. Combo of that and Barrett's place kicking was mighty profligate, and really rather generous.
:lol: , he was defensively excellent, he offers nothi in attack and made a stupid decision to kick the penalty at the end. Speaks nice and is as beige as the role demands. Still think he's military medium and not as good as Robshaw.
Robshaw is the definition of military medium.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Jeff the Bear »

The thing with Warburton is he can have his ups and downs, but when he's on one of those ups, he's hitting heights that Robshaw can only dream of.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by not_english »

Should have mentioned, the two crooked lineout throws by the Lions at the end must have been very frustrating (but just more evidence of a generally low quality game)
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Grizz Wyllie »

On the All Blacks lack of handling accuracy... I think we're starting to feel the departure of skills coach Mick Byrne last year. Normally we'd pull of those soft catch-and-pass at a million miles an hour but many of this latest crop of All Blacks haven't had the benefit of working with Byrne. And perhaps some of the established All Blacks are seeing those trademark skills wane.

Makes you wonder, once Wayne Smith exits will there be another drop off in All Black standards felt next year?
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Santa »

Grizz Wyllie wrote:On the All Blacks lack of handling accuracy... I think we're starting to feel the departure of skills coach Mick Byrne last year. Normally we'd pull of those soft catch-and-pass at a million miles an hour but many of this latest crop of All Blacks haven't had the benefit of working with Byrne. And perhaps some of the established All Blacks are seeing those trademark skills wane.

Makes you wonder, once Wayne Smith exits will there be another drop off in All Black standards felt next year?
What about the first test. The short passing there was ace.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by akann »

Grizz Wyllie wrote:On the All Blacks lack of handling accuracy... I think we're starting to feel the departure of skills coach Mick Byrne last year. Normally we'd pull of those soft catch-and-pass at a million miles an hour but many of this latest crop of All Blacks haven't had the benefit of working with Byrne. And perhaps some of the established All Blacks are seeing those trademark skills wane.
I doubt it. These guys have been displaying fantastic skills during the Super season and also last year so I don't think Mick leaving has got anything to do with it.

I put it down partly to the shuffling of the backline due to injury and suspension. But mainly attribute it to the Lions defensive pressure at the ruck and their line speed. The ABs haven't faced that sort of defensive pressure since the RWC semi against the Boks. The greasy conditions didn't help either.

Let's see how they go in the RC before writing them off.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Ted. »

not_english wrote:In my rare quiet times away from the family I have been slowly re-watching the third test, and am so far through to half time. A few thoughts from an All Black perspective.
We knocked the ball on 3 times inside the Lions 22. There was the much talked about Savea one (was the pass forward though anyway?).. Sam Cane rather inexplicably knocked on, and Aaron Smith fired a much too hard pass at Beauden Barrett, who could well have gone through and scored.
That is a lot of errors. The Lions were only in the AB 22 3 times, once for the Farrell intercept pass and once was the lineout they didn't bother to jump for, and another time the ABs tackled them and turned them over quickly.


I thought Savea and Dagg who have been a bit criticised both played reasonablywell. The Connor Murray high kicking game was fairly well neutralised. We have missed The Bus I think running hard close to the ruck, and I think he still has a future for the ABs.

Jordie Barrett got caught with the ball in one of the back moves by Davies, and he was miles offside, as were the rest of the Lions backs. I think they played the ref better than the ABs on this.

2 of the ABs tries in the series were from cross-field kicks, and one from a quick taken penalty. They didn't seem to have much of a clue how to get around or through the Lions rush defence.

The second try on Saturday was a proper AB try from a good hit forward by Retallick followed by two beatiful passes. Any other time in the game we would have dropped the ball. Why didn't we see more of this in the series?

More general thoughts.
Scrum was a f**king lottery, I thought Poite was going to be strict on it? There was lots of wheeling and funny angles from both teams.
Was Read affected by the hit in the first half? The penalty he gave away just after halftime was absolutely ridiculous, criminal in a close game.
Should we be more concerned about AB foul play? In th last couple of years it seems like we have had to play a lot of game time with a player in the bin. I think maybe questions should be asked about it, as it is costing us.
Codie Taylor has stepped up really well as Coles replacement. Lineout was very good.
Barretts restarts and kicking in general play were excellent. Not previously a noted part of his game.

I've never rated Warburton particularly, but thought he was excellent. Unfairly penalised early on and made a couple of very good turnovers in the first half and some great hits.
Why does Watson fall over all the time?
Lions could have scored from the quickly taken penalty in the first half with a bit more luck, ABs were taken totally unawares.
First off, good post.

One way to negate the rush defence is to pop short kicks over the top or the good old kick pass, which is what you have described, so.... I also noted that the defensive line was persistently offside, so as a running team there's not a lot you can do about that except try to emulate them to negate whatever attack they have.

I don't think the box kicks worked that well for us, especially in the second when we were a man down. It was baffling why we persisted and about my only frustration with Smith, it seems he doesn't do a lot off the cuff to mix things up.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Altazuma »

Ted. wrote:
First off, good post.

One way to negate the rush defence is to pop short kicks over the top or the good old kick pass, which is what you have described, so.... I also noted that the defensive line was persistently offside, so as a running team there's not a lot you can do about that except try to emulate them to negate whatever attack they have.

I don't think the box kicks worked that well for us, especially in the second when we were a man down. It was baffling why we persisted and about my only frustration with Smith, it seems he doesn't do a lot off the cuff to mix things up.
Another way to deal with this is if your 12 can fire a bullet like pass across the face of the defence directly to the wing or fullback.

SBW and Laumape have their own attributes, but I think we miss Nonu's pass in some of those situations.

It is a work on for our midfielders I am sure.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by badmannotinjapan »

Question. Is A. Smith any good at running? Because it felt like there were ample opportunity for him to snipe around the ruck rather than whip the ball from the base at every ruck. It's almost too predictable.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Kiwias »

badmannotinjapan wrote:Question. Is A. Smith any good at running? Because it felt like there were ample opportunity for him to snipe around the ruck rather than whip the ball from the base at every ruck. It's almost too predictable.
Yes, he is. Look at the tries he has scored running perfect support lines. There is no reason he could not snipe on occasion.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by eugenius »

He needs to more !

Also that pass to Cane was a little unexpected , he was meant I think to be running 'interference' rather.

There was some nice space to breathe with the following runner and his outsides .

Another bombed chance .
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by badmannotinjapan »

Smith's passing is brilliant but I'd like to see him take the opportunity to run from the ruck every now and then to Jeep the opposition guessing.
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Re: Thoughts after rewatching the first half of the Lions AB

Post by Jeff the Bear »

Altazuma wrote:
Ted. wrote:
First off, good post.

One way to negate the rush defence is to pop short kicks over the top or the good old kick pass, which is what you have described, so.... I also noted that the defensive line was persistently offside, so as a running team there's not a lot you can do about that except try to emulate them to negate whatever attack they have.

I don't think the box kicks worked that well for us, especially in the second when we were a man down. It was baffling why we persisted and about my only frustration with Smith, it seems he doesn't do a lot off the cuff to mix things up.
Another way to deal with this is if your 12 can fire a bullet like pass across the face of the defence directly to the wing or fullback.
You're inviting the intercept there.
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