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British and Irish Lions

British and Irish Lions is a rugby team made up of players representing England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Evaluation of players “British and Irish Lions” after the last match with New Zealand: the potential of each team member

Liam Williams 6.5: dropped a pair of riding balls in the first half, had little opportunity to prove him in the attack. However, in the second half, he recalled himself with one won riding competition and participation in the first attempt.

Anthony Watson 7.5: deserves a medal for courage after sustaining a rough shoulder blow to the head – passed the shake test and continued to pull the hosts defense.

Jonathan Davis 6.5: did not often get the ball in difficult weather conditions, but was marked by a good breakthrough at the end of the first half, which allowed him to earn a third free kick and even the score.

Owen Farrell 7: despite the doubts, he composed a good duet with Johnny Sexton, although at the 12th position he was not as dangerous as Ben Te’o a week ago. Shots from the point were again at altitude.

Elliott Daly 6: tried and did not let anyone down, but would prefer to get the ball more often.

Johnny Sexton 7: a brilliant short pass to Jamie George in the second successful attack with one attacking opportunity ruined by a long blow – the overall impression of the fly-hava Lvov game remained positive.

Conor Murray 8: The best in the world Scrum Hav was the author of the defining second attempt. Demonstrated an excellent understanding of the game and almost hit a fine blow before the break, although he made a couple of mistakes (the ball went out and one of the penalties implemented by Barrett).

Taulupe Faletau 7.5: earned his attempt by smearing Israel Dagg and avoiding contact with Sam Kane. There was not enough insight to read the blow of Murray, from which even the puzzled Ioane would not have saved.

Shaun O’Brien 8: One of the best in the team during the entire tour. He did not lose a full-time battle with Kane and was equally effective with the ball in his hand and with his rival in capturing.

Sean O’Brien became one of the creators of the victory of Lions

Sam Warburton 7: the captain of the guests maximally complicated the work of NZ in breakdowns, added an option to the team in the corridors, and in the decisive quarter of the meeting showed his leadership qualities, justifying the seemingly ambiguous choice of Gatland.

Alun Vin Jones 7: this time the efforts of the fifth number were obvious to everyone, and not just the coach, who risked entrusting a place in the start after the not very convincing first match. However, there are still some errors on Jones’ conscience: the loss of the ball and a couple of free-breaks in the breakdowns.

Maro Itodzhe 7.5: as usual added to the team energy, charging his emotional game. He helped to stop one potentially dangerous mole and didn’t let his opponents in crayfish rozdyh. True, in the second half did not always cope with the pressure and made two violations before he took himself in hand.

Taj Furlong 6.5: one impressive run in the first half and a hot duel with Joe Moody in a fight.

Jamie George 7.5: pulled the ball after a Sexton pass in front of Murray; paired with Itodzhe dealt with the breakwater of New Zealanders, in a fight, he also showed himself well done (except for one case at the beginning of the match).

Mako Vunipola 5: he started the game as a freight train, but quickly ran out of steam and could not stand the rivalry with Owen Franks. Born in Wellington, the pillar earned his yellow card, bringing several penalties to his team.

Mako Vunipola nearly failed the team.

Reserve players:

  • Jack McGrath 5: (65 minutes) regrets that he did not pass the ball in the attack, after which the Lions were punished for blocking.
  • Kyle Sinclair 6: (62) really added impetus to the team from the bench – if it is disciplined, it will have a great future.
  • Courtney Lowes 6: (57) was reliable, though not as impressive as Vin Jones.
  • No rating: Jack Nowell (temporary replacement for Watson).

The captain of the “British and Irish Lions” Warburton ended his career

The captain of the “British and Irish Lions” Sam Warburton decided to end his career. In 2017, the athlete had surgery on his knee and neck. “My body is not capable of what I expected after returning. I decided to end my career because my main priority is health” Warburton said. Along with the Wales team and the Lions, Warburton won a total of 79 test matches.

Last standoff with New Zealand: Lions compare score in a series

Around the confrontation of Lions and New Zealand, many copies have already been broken and the mood in the two opposing camps is not difficult to imagine. In the New Zealand press and among the fans, everything revolves, of course, around the removal of Sonny Bill Williams and the work of the judicial brigade. When Jerome Garsaz presented red to Williams, many fans were extremely annoyed and angry at the 12th number of Blacks, because his act could not be explained logically as anything – to make such a cynical contact in the 25th minute of a principled match, a match that wait 12 years, this simply can’t be an excuse and justification. Still, after two days, the team’s fans were no longer so categorical in the accusations of the SBU: they did not hang all the dogs on him and say that it was this removal that predetermined the outcome. This is not true. And experts believe that the red card did not spoil the match. She changed him.

It’s funny that the only person who – let it be as if in passing – questioned the decision of the French arbitrator, was Steve Hansen. The man who repeatedly paid attention to the constant (and in his opinion, unfounded) complaints of Warren Gatland, said that “this is one of those fouls that can be punished with red or yellow, but once the referee decided that it would be red, we must just accept it. ” The coach must protect his players, but if this is not a veiled “nagging”, then what? And yes, the press and fans again, as the whole Tour goes on, divided into two groups: Leo sympathizers (or simply haters) again raised a howl that New Zealand was cultivating cheating and dirty play, Blacks fans attacked the Europeans, in their opinion spitting on the offside rule, and specifically on the inconsistent Garsaz, who did not show red to Sean O’Brien, who injured Nakholo, and Mako Vunipola, who crashed into Barrett (the first one, by the way, appeared before the commission, but was not punished for her actions). Here we will leave the refereeing beyond the brackets, because personally, in my opinion, the work of Garsaz did not become the determining factor.

Sonny bill made history

From the second meeting of the New Zealanders with the guests, many expected to see the results of work on the errors of the first test and the greater variability in the attack. On the first point, hopes came true, in the second – not. The game in the corridors of the All Blacks obviously pulled up (90% won against 80%), acted correctly in cancers (100% against 96%), did not lose any of their fights (they won one stranger and only towards the end of the game did they all begin to experience problems when entering the ball by the Lions), forced the opponent to break the rules more often (8/13 in penalties), made more thorns and generally owned the territory, putting constant pressure on the defense of the northerners. But if we take into account the fact that in the middle of the first half, the New Zealanders were in the minority, they obviously had to rebuild their game plan – hence the desire to collect at least some penalty points, refusing to try, and transferring the game to the ground, without the use of flanks (why Naholo and Ioane were bored out the whole game). We saw only a little New Zealand magic in the first test and did not see it at all in the second: last Saturday it was dictated by the fact that the players of the New Zealand team acted from a position of strength, and therefore used the fact that it worked so smoothly; over the weekend, their opponents were pragmatic because of the numerical minority.

Do not forget that New Zealand is still confronted by the national team (conditionally) of the best players in the northern hemisphere, even if it is gathered for the first time, but has already managed to play and adapt to the New Zealand style for eight games. The victory of the British and Irish Lions is primarily the result of team efforts, the result of competent application of their skills where and when it was needed. And it is absolutely unimportant that the opponent played more time in the reduced composition – to accuse New Zealand of lack of effort or skill, the language will not turn. How to relate to the result of the second match of the Lions tour and what to focus on, everyone decides for himself – there can be more than two opinions. The main result for the fans should be the atmosphere of the third game, which has not turned into a formality and review of the reserve. Both sides have not prepared for the week. They are approximately on equal footing, under a comparable burden of expectations and have tangible chances of success. It seems that this is a reason to rejoice and tune in to an exciting presentation.

Hot on the heels of the first hunt for Lions: a characteristic of the game
Now consider one of the most important parts of the team’s life – the confrontation with New Zealand. And consider this on the example of a specific game.

Disputes before the start of the game about the choice of certain performers in the start to avoid, of course, failed. The fans were very happy about the return to the ranks of Ryan Crotty (as it turned out – prematurely), whose ability to read the game and defend themselves could be a key advantage of the New Zealanders in the center of the fan. The castling of Julian Szavea, who almost always gets into the team regardless of the form, turned out to be quite unexpected for young Rioeko Ioan, surprising with his play this season, as was expected of him. Kiran Reed, as promised, was restored to the first meeting – not a minute earlier – and at the nine positions Steve Hansen preferred the proven option with Aaron Smith to the detriment of the intercepted, it seemed, last season Perenare had this position. Fans even collect a petition in favor of Ardi Savea – Hansen stubbornly sees him as a joker at the bench. Well, yes, the coach still needs to answer for the result.

From the first minutes the game went at maximum speed, and the collision of the players literally sparks fell from his eyes. And after a brief onslaught of the Lions, a great territorial advantage of All Blacks emerged, suppressing any attacking encroachments of the guests and increasing the pressure in the other 22’s due to the competent play of forwards. The main actors in the first half-hour were Kane, Reed and Retellik, who worked equally efficiently on their own and that of others. Aaron Smith skillfully led the game, creating space for a partner and performing excellent positional strikes – just what Hansen had intended, releasing him from the first minute. To some extent, the New Zealanders of the opponent were under-suppressed, refusing pressure at the first opportunity to execute the penalty, and attempting to enter thanks to the promptness of Aaron Smith, who felt the possibility of a quick rally and skillfully realized it. Two early replacements were a big blow: Ben Smith, who had been shaken, and Ryan Crotty, who had gone limp on his right leg, had contact. Both of them, in principle, didn’t look at ease, so that Barrett (through castling with Kruden) and Lienth-Braun, who took their places, added reliability commands to the game, but took tactical weapons from Hansen as replacements.

The local fans, perhaps, should have been distressed by the fact that by the time the Lions had managed to reduce the score with an impressive attempt from his own half of the field: Williams shook Reed who had jumped on him, carried the ball across the rear to the opposite flank and rushed off someone else’s half, where the partners came in time, provided feasible support and withdrew O’Brien through a pass. In fact, in 80 minutes of the game, the British and Irish Lions did not have any good positional attacks (with the exception of the final attempt after the siren), creating their chances on the opponent’s mistakes. True, the Europeans’ counterattacks were indeed deadly, and the positional attacks were quite literate and accurate, but they were not sufficiently creative and unpredictable (maybe they could have made an even steady score in the middle of the second half if Ben hadn’t slipped ‘about).

Be that as it may, the second half brought a turning point in the game: the defense of Lions began to fail more and more, and the attacks one after another ended in losses or violations. And with each substitution made in the teams, it seems the situation has only worsened. The second attempt by All Blacks was the result of successful pressure from replacing the pillars, pushing their rivals – even if Reed had made a mistake in the performance of his magical offload, New Zeladnia would still get a penalty. In fact, having come off in the long run, the hosts did not experience some kind of unbelievable pressure, calmly fighting off the opponent who had sat down.

The two main components in which All Blacks are noticeably conceded in this battle are the effectiveness of the captures (the main reason probably lies in the fact that the NZ in the attack acted in a power manner, not hesitating to play on the ground, and the Lions – mainly at speed in counterattacks). The more strange is the decision to throw into the corridor instead of a fight after a penalty at +15 (that corridor was, by the way, successfully lost).