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  1. #151
    Moderator Balla Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Upfront_1979 View Post
    So one injury to either centre means entire backline gets rejigged! Lets hope what happened to the Aussie backline last week does not happen to the Lions. I would have left Cuthbert off the bench and had Tuilagi there, Croft can be the wing sub
    Tuilagi on the bench or not is a tough choice for a coach. Do you go for impact, which he no doubt brings, or versatility and cover, which he really doesn't?

    Having one back on the bench makes him a luxury I think.
    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

  2. #152
    Admiral of the Fleet Upfront_1979's Avatar
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    Tuilagi and SOB coming off the bench would be a nice option to have in the last 20-30 though! Would have done some serious damage to that patched together Aussie backline last week.
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  3. #153
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    Murray can cover out half and full back. Probably centre and open side too.

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  5. #154
    Moderator Balla Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Upfront_1979 View Post
    Tuilagi and SOB coming off the bench would be a nice option to have in the last 20-30 though! Would have done some serious damage to that patched together Aussie backline last week.
    SOB I'd agree with, but I think Tuilagi is a bit of a passenger for a team on the back foot, as the Lions were. He's not in BODs class as a defender - particularly on the floor, and in the open against angled runners.

    The Oz injuries were odd. They had a better player on the bench for most of them, and Beale changed the game when he came on (up to the two misses).

    I rate Tuilagi as a player, but I wouldn't have him anywhere near the 22 for this Lions team in this series. If we were playing the Boks and knew it would be a two way clatterfest he'd be on my starting team.
    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

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  7. #155
    Moderator Balla Boy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Last Stand View Post
    Murray can cover out half and full back. Probably centre and open side too.
    Can he prop both sides though?
    "We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men" Edward R Murrow

    "Little by little, we have been brought into the present condition in which we are able neither to tolerate the evils from which we suffer, nor the remedies we need to cure them." - Livy


    "I think that progress has been made by two flames that have always been burning in the human heart. The flame of anger against injustice and the flame of hope that you can build a better world" - Tony Benn

  8. #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Balla Boy View Post
    Can he prop both sides though?
    LH right now but could do TH by the 3rd test.

  9. #157
    Quote Originally Posted by the plastic paddy View Post
    Guess who I just heard on the Today programme speaking from Australia!!??!!
    Is there a Matt Williams option...?
    The future is bliiiiiinnnnkkkk, the future is Axel.

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  10. #158
    Great Shogun of the Red Empire sewa's Avatar
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    Croft instead of a second row is an odd one, looks the obvious reserve lock but could it possibly be that SOB covers lock, he is as strong as a horse could be an option?
    #bringourboyshome

  11. #159
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    He obviously didn't want to upset Croft and Cuthbert by dropping them straight out of 23 from starting 15. Neither make sense on the bench. Cuthbert out and out wing and Croft a light second row option. Bowe as good a player as he is has done nothing form wise since he came back from injury, I'd say Cuthberts nose is well out of joint.
    Loose head is a real worry. Marcus Horan never went on a Lions tour, it just goes to show that sometimes being a Lion is down to pure luck and scarcity of quality in different generations.

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  13. #160
    Munster Praetorian Guard fishooks12's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmunster View Post
    He obviously didn't want to upset Croft and Cuthbert by dropping them straight out of 23 from starting 15. Neither make sense on the bench. Cuthbert out and out wing and Croft a light second row option. Bowe as good a player as he is has done nothing form wise since he came back from injury, I'd say Cuthberts nose is well out of joint.
    Loose head is a real worry. Marcus Horan never went on a Lions tour, it just goes to show that sometimes being a Lion is down to pure luck and scarcity of quality in different generations.

    Bowe has been in good from since he's come back from Injury. Add even if he hasn't been he's still a much better player than Cuthbert who's glaring defensive weaknesses have been exposed time and again on this tour (Reds game anyone?). That said he can probably feel hard done by considering he took his try well but It's about getting your best team on the field and there is no room for sentiment at this level

  14. #161
    coach Neil Jenkins should be punted, says Jim Tucker

    Jim TuckerThe Courier-MailJune 27, 2013*11:59AM
    How a goalkicking coach is allowed to stand, as a security blanket, a few metres behind star Lions pupil Leigh Halfpenny when he kicks in this Test series against the Wallabies is baffling.He does so under the flimsy title of kicking-tee runner and waterboy. Get Jenkins off the field and standing in the technical zone by the sideline.Tennis mentors in the stands at Wimbledon are castigated for any sign of "coaching" from the bleachers.On the last British and Irish Lions tour in 2001, Phil Larder, the former Britain rugby league international was told to get back in his box for being too overt as a waterboy runner who lingered on the field too long.He was in fact the Lions defensive coach but almost wanted to be a 16th player so chatty and close to the action did he make himself, at times, as he directed players in defence from just behind the line.Jenkins was a marvellous goalkicker in his day to amass a then-world record of 1090 Test points for Wales and the Lions. He is a brilliant kicking coach adding the polish to Halfpenny, who is operating at a superb 27-from-29 success rate on this tour.Jenkins' official Lions title is "assistant coach-goalkicking" so he has no place on the field in a Test match when he can be a comforting presence behind super sniper Halfpenny.Perhaps, the Australian cricket team does need a batting coach standing next to the square leg umpire at Lord's to offer pearls of advice each over in the upcoming Ashes series. Maybe, Jenkins is onto something.The gripe about Jenkins being so overtly present in Halfpenny's kicking routine does not for a moment suggest other teams, including the Wallabies, have not tried to gain little advantages in this area too.When former Wallabies prop Cameron Lillicrap, a qualified physiotherapist, ran water for the Wallabies there was the added bonus of a few on-field words to the front-row because he was also scrum doctor as well.Equally, long-time Wallabies defence coach John Muggleton, part of the 2001 series win over the Lions, ran the water for the Wallabies and clearly added his two-bob's worth on where defensive line corrections could be made.The difference was...they all ran off the field. Jenkins looks as settled in as a Welshman at a bar on St Mary Street in Cardiff who has just ordered his first pint of Brains Bitter.Perhaps, in Australian eyes Jenkins' presence just magnifies the all-bases-covered methods of the Lions.


    We are lucky to have the kickers we have," Jenkins said."It generally is goalkicking that wins or loses Test matches."It's important to stand behind your kicker, watch closely at how he is shaping and how things are going. You saw a kick last Saturday when the tee moved a little and Halfpenny; pushed the ball to the right, but these boys recover quite quickly and move on to the next kick."Jenkins said the Wallabies were letting themselves down by not having a full-time goalkicking coach travelling with the team for this series.South African Braam van Straaten has greatly aided Aussie kickers James O'Connor and co. To be offering feedback by Skype from South Africa while Jenkins is in Halfpenny's back pocket just highlights how the Wallabies have got this one wrong.Former Wallaby Julian Huxley once introduced a goalkicking aid in games at the Queensland Reds where he emptied a trail of sand from a bucket onto the turf to mark his radar for kicks at the goal posts.It just didn't look right and officials barred him from doing it a game or two later. The same goes for Jenkins. It doesn't look right so send him off to the sidelines.
    "Hell, I'm not saying I'm an angel, but when it came to dirty tricks I couldn't hold a candle to the Irish Mafia" Jimmy Hoffa

  15. #162
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    Strange feelings to the selection-

    Happy with the addition of Youngs, Bowe, Lydiate, O'Brien and Murray to their respective positions.
    Concerned about Vunipola and Parling but those are enforced changes and to be fair they probably are the next best candidates. Mystified about Cuthburt and Croft. The idea of putting Croft into the 'row is almost nonsensical, he is many things but a test lock he is not.

    The aussie's also have their own problems especially in the backs where I don't believe either centre can be close to being fit and that O'Connor is not a test level outhalf.

    Big thing this week is accuracy, the Lions should have been out of sight last week but they weren't and it nearly cost them. I would be more optimistic things ought not to be so tight this week.

  16. #163
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    It is a fair point.

  17. #164
    Admiral of the Fleet Evil Omer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Outlaw View Post
    I wouldn't see that as a great selection at all to be honest. I'd agree with the Lydiate call in the back-row and Bowe in.

    However I'm not a huge fan of Youngs I think Genia will like to play against him.

    To be honest I wouldn't be a fan of Grant either. Didn't really scrum well on Tuesday and nowhere near as good as Corbisero.

    Parling is enforced. Good honest player but not in the class of POC.

    Think the Aussies will be rubbing their hands on this one.
    sadly have to agree, big test for Youngs is can he avoid a mental breakdown when, not if, the Aussies start to get at him. He won't have the benefit of the solid front 5 of last week to protect him but on the flip side his blindside won't be standing 60m away watching proceedings so he will get a bit of an enforcer getting stuck into them. Equally says it all about Evans and Gray's fall from grace they'd rather play the lightweight option than them. I'm not sure that's as much about still wanting to run around the Aussies, he wouldn't have Lydiate and SOB there if that were the case, as much as those guys have struggled all tour. Having said that having a wing ruck inspector to come on at lock is a massive gamble. Also says it all about Grant that Vunipola is starting. Corbisero played a couple of ho hum performances but they knew he had to start.

    It is a very bold selection (wonder what all this does to Tupuric's relationship with the Wales coaching set up). I know what people are saying about Zebo being unlucky. He is a BOD style of special, has that raging confidence to do things and try things and the physicality and gas to back it up. He is a better all round rugby player than Cuthbert by some distance. BUT if Gatland still wants his tall units out wide style you can see why he's got Cuthbert there. (I've been deliberate on words there because the idea that Zebo isn't a big guy is wrong, Wade is a small winger, Zebo is 6'2 and 15st, he's not small).
    \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

  18. #165
    Admiral of the Fleet Evil Omer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewa View Post
    Croft instead of a second row is an odd one, looks the obvious reserve lock but could it possibly be that SOB covers lock, he is as strong as a horse could be an option?
    not sure it works cos SOB is so much shorter, 4-5 inches, that you're going to get a noticeable imbalance on the binds. Could be very odd at 8 because I don't think either AWJ or SOB is a BOD like specimen (with long body and stumpy legs) so you probably would see a difference confronting you. But SOB certainly has the ballast and the oomph, suspect Lydiate does as well and is nearer a body match that works.
    \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

  19. #166
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    Wallabies prop Ben Alexander says loss of Paul O'Connell a huge loss for British and Irish Lions
    WALLABIES forwards have no doubt the British and Irish Lions will sorely miss injured lock Paul O'Connell, but say they're taking more confidence from a near-victory in Brisbane than the absence of the Irish enforcer.
    The loss of O'Connell from the Lions pack with a broken arm sent a glum mood into the tourists' camp, and it's little wonder given his legendary toughness, as relayed in a story about the first Test from Wallabies prop Ben Alexander yesterday.
    "Our physio said (on Saturday): "He's just broke his arm there", before the last few scrums," Alexander said.
    "But he got up and we thought "oh, maybe not". He packed those last few scrums with a busted arm, and didn't wince, and he shook hands after the game and you thought "okay, maybe he doesn't have a busted arm"."
    It was later revealed O'Connell had indeed fractured his arm when the Aussie physio guessed.
    "They're going to miss that. They're going to miss that hardness Europeans see week-in, week-out, when he plays for Munster and Ireland," Alexander, who plays his 50th Test this weekend, said. "He's one of the greatest players I have ever played against, he's a big loss for Lions."
    Flanker Michael Hooper echoed Alexander's view, saying others with similar skills could step in for the 33-year-old veteran, O'Connell's leadership and influence couldn't be replaced.
    With James Horwill also cleared of a stamping charge, it's been suggested the "lock swap" has given the Wallabies momentum heading into the second Test.
    But Alexander said the game itself in Brisbane, not the "peripherals" afterwards, was the source of confidence.

    "Regardless of all that other stuff, just us coming out of the game feeling we should have won, that's enough momentum to carry us through to the next game. We should have won but we didn't," he said.
    Alexander said the Wallabies were pleased to bounce back from a backwards-rollerskate scrum in the opening stages at Suncorp Stadium, and end up dominating the Lions in the second half at the set-piece.
    Alexander said he would be studying tape of Lions rival Adam Jones, however, in expectation the Welshman will have new tricks up his well-filled jumper in the second Test.
    "There is a reason why Adam Jones is voted one of the top tighthead props in the world. He's as clever and as smart as a prop goes in rugby," Alexander said. I am sure there were a few little games being played there around engagement, and I am sure he has plenty more up his sleeve. It will be another massive battle."
    Lions forwards coach Graham Rowntree again shot down dated perceptions the Wallabies were a weak scrum this week, and Alexander said he didn't care if old reputations persisted.
    "We are not fussed what people think of us. It's about the pride we have in our scrum is what matters," he said.
    "If people want to keep referring back to a couple of games six to eight years ago, that's fine.
    "Every side has their up and down scrum days, we are not perfect. It's something we are still working on, extremely hard."
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  21. #167
    Admiral of the Fleet Evil Omer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NotreDameRFC View Post
    coach Neil Jenkins should be punted, says Jim Tucker

    Jim TuckerThe Courier-MailJune 27, 2013*11:59AM
    How a goalkicking coach is allowed to stand, as a security blanket, a few metres behind star Lions pupil Leigh Halfpenny when he kicks in this Test series against the Wallabies is baffling.He does so under the flimsy title of kicking-tee runner and waterboy. Get Jenkins off the field and standing in the technical zone by the sideline.Tennis mentors in the stands at Wimbledon are castigated for any sign of "coaching" from the bleachers.On the last British and Irish Lions tour in 2001, Phil Larder, the former Britain rugby league international was told to get back in his box for being too overt as a waterboy runner who lingered on the field too long.He was in fact the Lions defensive coach but almost wanted to be a 16th player so chatty and close to the action did he make himself, at times, as he directed players in defence from just behind the line.Jenkins was a marvellous goalkicker in his day to amass a then-world record of 1090 Test points for Wales and the Lions. He is a brilliant kicking coach adding the polish to Halfpenny, who is operating at a superb 27-from-29 success rate on this tour.Jenkins' official Lions title is "assistant coach-goalkicking" so he has no place on the field in a Test match when he can be a comforting presence behind super sniper Halfpenny.Perhaps, the Australian cricket team does need a batting coach standing next to the square leg umpire at Lord's to offer pearls of advice each over in the upcoming Ashes series. Maybe, Jenkins is onto something.The gripe about Jenkins being so overtly present in Halfpenny's kicking routine does not for a moment suggest other teams, including the Wallabies, have not tried to gain little advantages in this area too.When former Wallabies prop Cameron Lillicrap, a qualified physiotherapist, ran water for the Wallabies there was the added bonus of a few on-field words to the front-row because he was also scrum doctor as well.Equally, long-time Wallabies defence coach John Muggleton, part of the 2001 series win over the Lions, ran the water for the Wallabies and clearly added his two-bob's worth on where defensive line corrections could be made.The difference was...they all ran off the field. Jenkins looks as settled in as a Welshman at a bar on St Mary Street in Cardiff who has just ordered his first pint of Brains Bitter.Perhaps, in Australian eyes Jenkins' presence just magnifies the all-bases-covered methods of the Lions.


    We are lucky to have the kickers we have," Jenkins said."It generally is goalkicking that wins or loses Test matches."It's important to stand behind your kicker, watch closely at how he is shaping and how things are going. You saw a kick last Saturday when the tee moved a little and Halfpenny; pushed the ball to the right, but these boys recover quite quickly and move on to the next kick."Jenkins said the Wallabies were letting themselves down by not having a full-time goalkicking coach travelling with the team for this series.South African Braam van Straaten has greatly aided Aussie kickers James O'Connor and co. To be offering feedback by Skype from South Africa while Jenkins is in Halfpenny's back pocket just highlights how the Wallabies have got this one wrong.Former Wallaby Julian Huxley once introduced a goalkicking aid in games at the Queensland Reds where he emptied a trail of sand from a bucket onto the turf to mark his radar for kicks at the goal posts.It just didn't look right and officials barred him from doing it a game or two later. The same goes for Jenkins. It doesn't look right so send him off to the sidelines.
    Could we be in the realms of Aussie in whingeing hypocrisy shocker?
    \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

  22. #168
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Omer View Post
    not sure it works cos SOB is so much shorter, 4-5 inches, that you're going to get a noticeable imbalance on the binds. Could be very odd at 8 because I don't think either AWJ or SOB is a BOD like specimen (with long body and stumpy legs) so you probably would see a difference confronting you. But SOB certainly has the ballast and the oomph, suspect Lydiate does as well and is nearer a body match that works.
    I'm a big fan of Ryan Jones, and make no bones about it. I thought his non-selection was a grievous mistake in a small party. When you have need of a hard-working, grafting, carrying 4/6/8 on the bench of a test side, and are forced to turn to Tom Croft, that mistake is thrown into even sharper relief. It's tailor made for him.

    As it happens, backrow has been a bit of a hames on this. Lots of specialists, but specialists in a different gameplan, only one adaptable player (SOB) in a short, scratch-team, tour. It does look more and more like it would have been wiser to take one or both of Ryan Jones and POM instead of Croft.
    The future is bliiiiiinnnnkkkk, the future is Axel.

    "All scrums are sexy." - Nuke.

  23. #169
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Omer View Post
    Could we be in the realms of Aussie in whingeing hypocrisy shocker?
    Do we ever get out of them?
    The future is bliiiiiinnnnkkkk, the future is Axel.

    "All scrums are sexy." - Nuke.

  24. #170
    Great Chamberlain of the Red Empire Cowboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomond78 View Post
    I'm a big fan of Ryan Jones, and make no bones about it. I thought his non-selection was a grievous mistake in a small party. When you have need of a hard-working, grafting, carrying 4/6/8 on the bench of a test side, and are forced to turn to Tom Croft, that mistake is thrown into even sharper relief. It's tailor made for him.

    As it happens, backrow has been a bit of a hames on this. Lots of specialists, but specialists in a different gameplan, only one adaptable player (SOB) in a short, scratch-team, tour. It does look more and more like it would have been wiser to take one or both of Ryan Jones and POM instead of Croft.

    Nathan Hines boss, against his own friends and family. A champion lock and credible blindside who has the link play of an openside. He should have brought him and jettisoned one of Gray or Yanto
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  26. #171
    Great Shogun of the Red Empire sewa's Avatar
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    Ryan Jones was a great player, legs are gone though, he'd not last the pace in Oz
    #bringourboyshome

  27. #172
    Quote Originally Posted by sewa View Post
    Ryan Jones was a great player, legs are gone though, he'd not last the pace in Oz
    Seemed to do bloody fine this 6N!

    The idea of "hard Australian ground" - it's been raining for most of the bloody games.

    Him or Hines instead of Gray (who is shocking ineffective for a huge lump), and POM for Croft - we'd have been talking. Hey, JO, too late to do anything now.
    The future is bliiiiiinnnnkkkk, the future is Axel.

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  28. #173
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    The biggest problem with the back row remains the decision to hand the captaincy to a player who would not in the normal scheme of things be guaranteed his place.

  29. #174
    Leader of the Red Hordes Munsterboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomond78 View Post
    Seemed to do bloody fine this 6N!

    The idea of "hard Australian ground" - it's been raining for most of the bloody games.

    Him or Hines instead of Gray (who is shocking ineffective for a huge lump), and POM for Croft - we'd have been talking. Hey, JO, too late to do anything now.
    Not at all. Send POC into their room tonight with a bar of soap in a sock and they can be invalided out of the tour in the morning.

  30. #175
    Admiral of the Fleet Evil Omer's Avatar
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    Agree about Hines (if another lock) or Jones (if a cover player). Either of them would do the grunt job required. To be honest Hines is unlucky that far less capable players have got more recognition than him. Dare I say it but were he English or Welsh then over the past 5 or so years his praise would have been huge. Especially with Sky Spurts.
    \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

  31. #176
    Admiral of the Fleet Evil Omer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munsterboy View Post
    Not at all. Send POC into their room tonight with a bar of soap in a sock and they can be invalided out of the tour in the morning.
    is there anything to be said for doing it anyway?
    \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

  32. #177
    Quote Originally Posted by Munsterboy View Post
    Not at all. Send POC into their room tonight with a bar of soap in a sock and they can be invalided out of the tour in the morning.
    Should have done it Monday. They'll barely get there for kickoff now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Omer View Post
    is there anything to be said for doing it anyway?
    As Ieuan Evans would say: oh, very much so. That, and another mass.
    The future is bliiiiiinnnnkkkk, the future is Axel.

    "All scrums are sexy." - Nuke.

  33. #178
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Last Stand View Post
    The biggest problem with the back row remains the decision to hand the captaincy to a player who would not in the normal scheme of things be guaranteed his place.

    Biggest problem with the BR is one of them or SH has to nail Beale as he is dropped off by JOC and/or others on an angle at where Sexton was standing before he tracks JOC, Beale comes late against the grain of a drift defence and needs strong decking.

  34. #179
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomond78 View Post
    Gray (who is shocking ineffective for a huge lump)
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  35. #180
    Admiral of the Fleet Evil Omer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thomond78 View Post
    As Ieuan Evans would say: oh, very much so. That, and another mass.
    Got to say had an improved impression of him from the programmes about the 89 tour and a few other things seen. For a "girly back" he's actually a pretty hard lad (2 shoulder dislocation operations by age of 22) and has the right kind of "shoe him" mentality.
    \"A million monkeys with a million crayons would be hard-pressed in a million years to create anything as cretinous as Battlefield Earth.\"

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