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    Mike Phillips Interview



    Most of it is [img]smileys/smiley38.gif[/img], but obviously he is great when talking about the Irish players [img]smileys/wink.gif[/img]
    <H1>Springboks' sound and Fourie don't wash with Phillips</H1>


    <S&#079;NG>MIKE PHILLIPS: GERRY THORNLEY</S&#079;NG> meets the powerful scrumhalf. His game and confidence were tested last week – and both passed the test with flying colours


    THERE’S AN edge to Mike Phillips, especially on the pitch. He’s not exactly the shy or retiring type, nor does he lack in self-confidence. His Wales coach Warren Gatland admits his scrumhalf’s on-field confrontational temperament can be a concern, but when riled continuously last week Phillips reputedly responded by telling Pierre Spies he was useless and came within a whisker of a try before eventually giving the Lions a chance of victory.


    There were criticisms of Phillips for punching the ball away in celebration after scoring. But that goes with the feisty adrenalin that enabled him to see the gap, dummy and score. Phillips made two breaks and came within an inch or two of two tries. That shows class. Had the first effort been awarded he could even have put Matt Dawson’s outrageous dummy and try in the first test in Cape Town a dozen years ago in the shade. He could have been the hero.


    Ask Gatland about his scrum-half and the Lions assistant coach smiles and pauses for a few seconds. “Probably the most cocky, confident rugby player I have ever met in my life,” he says. “But I’m saying that in a real positive way. He really has a lot of self-belief and when he’s on top of his game I think he’s very good.


    “He’s a good threat, a real threat. People try and make a bit of a criticism about him in that he does pick up and take a bit of a step, but we’re comfortable with that because he poses a threat around the fringes as well. The complete opposite is someone like (Peter) Stringer, who just sweeps, sweeps. He’s not a threat around the fringes.


    “He’s (Phillips) got a very good pass, a very good kicking game, he’s physical. You want him to keep his head, but he’s the one guy who got into them (the Springboks).”


    Nor does the step Phillips takes seem to bother his Wales and Lions halfback partner Stephen Jones: “He’s a fantastic athlete, we can all see that, his distribution is very, very good and he’s been in great form on this tour,” says the outhalf. “He’s working hard on his game, the coaches demand the best out of him and he knows the gameplan.”


    A lively character? Jones also smiles. “He’s a good man. I’ve known him for a lot of years and Mike is probably different to what you see on a rugby pitch. He’s quite bullish and boisterous on the pitch, but off it he’s very laid-back and he’s a good man and good fun.”


    Phillips seemed to be one of the Lions players targeted by the Boks, verbally anyway, especially by Bakkies Botha, who was having a fairly constant dialogue with the the scrumhalf.


    “Yeah, there was a bit of banter out there,” says Phillips. “I really enjoy it, I enjoy the confrontation and I enjoy the chat. It just gets me more up for it, to be honest, and more focused and switched on.”


    He admits he copes with it better now than he might have two or three years ago. “It’s just part and parcel of growing up, isn’t it? Having more experience and more game time, being part of big games, it’s just part and parcel of getting older.”


    As for what Botha was saying to him, Phillips joked: “I think he fancies me, yeah. He was going on about my sexy blue eyes or something. I don’t know what he was on about. I didn’t have any comment back, to be honest. He was trying to put me off my game. I was getting a bit worried at times,” he says, with a hint of sarcasm.


    “But I think the respect was there for each other after a bit of banter and a lot of effort had gone in.”


    It was all part of a new, heightened Test match experience against the world champions and playing his first Test for the Lions.


    “T
    Free Palestine.

    Champions aren\'t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them - a desire, a dream, a vision.
    Muhammad Ali

    #2
    i thought this was about Mike Philips the welsh rugby player with the lions........aparently not

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Hopelessly Devoted


      Ask Gatland about his scrum-half and the Lions assistant coach smiles and pauses for a few seconds. “Probably the most cocky, confident rugby player I have ever met in my life,” he says. “But I’m saying that in a real positive way. He really has a lot of self-belief and when he’s on top of his game I think he’s very good.


      “He’s a good threat, a real threat. People try and make a bit of a criticism about him in that he does pick up and take a bit of a step, but we’re comfortable with that because he poses a threat around the fringes as well. The complete opposite is someone like (Peter) Stringer, who just sweeps, sweeps. He’s not a threat around the fringes. So f**king what ? This level has proven once again the benefit of a fast pass, and the damage a lack of one can do. I would take a Stringer or a Peel any day of the week.


      “He’s (Phillips) got a very good pass, [img]smileys/lol.gif[/img]LIAR !!!! a very good kicking game, he’s physical. You want him to keep his head, but he’s the one guy who got into them (the Springboks).”

      Comment


        #4
        Did a search and found various threads with Mike in the title... felt this was was the most for this post since he doesn't seem to have been misbehaving lately ;)

        Anyhow, for those of you that might be interested and have S4C (Sky channel 134), there's a whole programme dedicated to him this evening at 20.25 - 'Mike Phillips 009'. It's also repeated on Sunday at 17.30.
        "The trouble with resisting temptation is that you may not get another chance"
        Edwin Chapin (1857 - 1942)

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