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Goldie
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PostSubject: Rugby on the Menu   Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:02 am

Great excitement in our household at the moment with the British Lions tour.

We support all of the UK boys 




Hubby off out to see some of the games, I am still a bit restricted at the moment.

This article from Wales on line a Welsh newspaper.







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 Goathland has named  his Lions team to take on the All Blacks in Auckland and surprised us all with a number of calls.
Here, Simon Thomas analyses the selections and explains why he's gone with it.
15. Liam Williams
So Warren Gatland did have more up his sleeve than his arms after all!
No-one saw this one coming with Leigh Halfpenny seemingly nailed on to start at full-back after not missing a kick at goal on tour and playing an important role defensively with his covering work. Moreover, most of his rivals appeared to have slipped out of the reckoning for a variety of reasons. But, as it turned out, one of them has timed his run to perfection.
Just last week, Gatland was still maintaining Liam Williams was a wing, but handed a chance in his prefered full-back berth against the Chiefs, the player begged to differ and the attacking spark he injected in Hamilton has got him the nod. Explaining his team selection, Gatland says to beat the All Blacks you have to be courageous, play some rugby and score tries. Away you go Sanjay!




READ MORE



  • Lions name shock team to face All Blacks as Liam Williams starts and Leigh Halfpenny and George North left out



14. Anthony Watson
While other wings stuttered in the opening games of the tour, Watson hit the ground running and has been in the box seat from the word go.
He set his stall out with a twisting, turning finish in game one up in Whangarei, then showed his counter-attacking threat when pressed into a service in his club role of full-back in Christchurch, before sealing his spot in the team with some outstanding chasing and contesting against the Maori. He’s got great footwork, he’s seriously quick and he can cause real damage.

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Fellow contender Jack Nowell did come to the party in Hamilton with a brace of tries, but too late to force his way into the Test reckoning.



Anthony Watson takes on Israel Dagg (Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
13. Jonathan Davies
Having played just 28 minutes on tour in the first four matches due to coming into camp late and picking up a head injury, the pressure was on Davies going into the Maori game in Rotorua, but he came up with the goods.
When he hit one of his trademark angles and sliced his way through right up to the line, you kind of knew he had booked his place in the Test team, a spot he cemented still further with his intelligent kicking game afted the break.
Of his rivals, Jonathan Joseph staked the strongest case with the gas he showed in scoring against the Highlanders, but Davies’ greater solidity in defence and gain-line breaking was always like to tell.



Jonathan Davies makes a break (Photo: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland)
READ MORE



  • The All Blacks have just revealed a truly formidable team to face the Lions as Kieran Read and Sonny Bill Williams start



12. Ben Te’o
Going into this tour, Robbie Henshaw was the overwhelming favourite to wear the No 12 jersey in the Tests, given the outstanding season he’d had and the big part he played in Ireland’s famous victory over the All Blacks in Chicago. But it just hasn’t happened for the Irishman, who we shouldn’t forget is still a young man at 24.
In contrast, Te’o has grabbed this trip by the scruff of the neck from day one. Returning to the land of his birth, he has provided Warren Gatland with the defence busting power the coach relied upon Jamie Roberts to deliver for so long. He has consistently got behind the opposition and shown there is more to his game than just brute force with his pace and offloading.
The only way he wasn’t going to start this first Test was if Gatland went for the Farrell/Sexton option at 10/12 and he is chosen to keep that in reserve.



Ben Te'o surges forward against the Maori ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan
READ MORE



  • Liam Williams selection divides opinion as pundits praise Lions team and some fans left outraged by Maro Itoje omission



11. Elliot Daly
On form on tour, it couldn’t really be George North as he has made very limited impact in attack and gave away a try against the Maori with a fumble on the deck. But you just wondered whether his past exploits on the international stage might get him the shout, with the coaches putting faith in him coming good.
In the end, form told and it’s Daly who deservedly gets his chance, having been the most consistent wide man along with Watson. The Wasps utility man has built on his fine Six Nations and backed up his lively initial outings on tour with a decisive display against the Chiefs. He was tricky, he was diligent and when he scorched up the left touchline before giving the classy offload to Jared Payne in the build-up to Nowell’s second try, Gatland had seen enough. Off he came and a place in the Test team was booked.



Elliot Daly is tackled by Chiefs' Tim Nanai-Williams and Finlay Christie (Photo: PA)
10. Owen Farrell
When Farrell was forced to withdraw from the Maori game with a quad strain, there was real concern over whether he would be ready for the first Test and where that would leave the Lions.
As it turned out, Johnny Sexton proved there was a very able alternative available with a consummate display in Rotorua, showing he did indeed have his mojo back, while Dan Biggar has also had a fine tour, confirming the depth of quality in the fly-half department.
So who was it to be at No 10 - Farrell or Sexton? Or might they even be employed together in midfield? Was that the ace Gatland had up his sleeve. Well, in the end, it’s turned out to be the scenario we expected before the tour, with Farrell handing the reins in recognition of his status as arguably the best player in the northern hemisphere over the past 18 months.
Will have an absolutely pivotal role as playmaker and also as goal-kicker, with Halfpenny benched.



Lions star Owen Farrell (Photo: PA)
9. Conor Murray
Just about the first name on the team-sheet. That’s no disrespect to Rhys Webb, who has done well on tour and proved a real threat with his sniping and darting around the fringes of ruck and maul.
But Murray is such a key cog in the Lions machine.
We’ve always known about his strength, his dynamism with ball in hand and his physicality in defence. But it’s his kicking game that has really come to the fore on this tour. If he was to carry the ball up field 30 metres and place it in his desired spot, he couldn’t be any more precise in his box kicking. His accuracy is just phenomenal and it is proving a serious weapon, with opposition players unable to cope with the pinpoint aerial bombardment.
The best scrum-half in the world at the moment? It’s hard to argue otherwise.



British and Irish Lions scrum-half Conor Murray (Photo: Getty Images)
1. Mako Vunipola
Pontypool has provided a host of Lions down the decades including the likes of Ray Prosser, Malcolm Price, Bobby Windsor, Charlie Faulkner, Graham Price, Jeff Squire, Terry Cobner, Staff Jones and Eddie Butler. Now the town can be proud of another famous son, with former West Mon pupil Vunipola stepping out against the All Blacks.
He actually played in all three Tests in Australia in 2013, but this will arguably mean even more to him in the land of this birth. The Wellington-born, Welsh-raised England international was behind Alex Corbisiero in the pecking order four years ago. But this time he has cemented himself as the number one No 1, with his incredible workrate both with ball in hand and in defence, which has seen him hold off the challenge of two established Test men in Jack McGrath and Joe Marler.



Lions' Mako Vunipola (Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
2. Jamie George
Coming out to New Zealand, George had never started a Test match for England. He had 17 caps to his name, but all of them had been off the bench, mainly as deputy to Dylan Hartley. In contrast, Rory Best has started 83 times for Ireland, while the 50-cap Ken Owens has started 11 on the trot for Wales and was the in-form hooker in the Six Nations.
Yet it’s George who has been handed the No 2 jersey, which means he can be added to that exclusive group of players who have started a Test for the Lions before starting one for their country.
Owens has done well in his outings, showing up with his carrying and his defence, while Best proved a really galvanising captain for the midweek men in Hamilton. But George’s lineout understanding with Saracens team-mate Kruis is crucial and he is just a real ball of energy around the pitch.



Jamie George
3. Tadhg Furlong
After the midweek mauling at the hands of the Highlanders, there were real concerns about the scrum being a potential weakness for the Lions. But that was the cue for Furlong to come in and turn the tide against the Maori.
Spelling his Christian name correctly can prove a challenge, but that’s as nothing compared to the challenge this man from farming stock in Wexford lays down to opponents in the tight. He munched the Maori, serving as the driving force of a dominant scrum that earned two tries. Not that he’s just a shover and nothing more. He’s also comfortable with ball in hand and delivers a big work-rate. He has emerged as one of the most important members of this tour party.



Lions' Tadhg Furlong is tackled (Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
4. Alun Wyn Jones
It says everything about the esteem Jones is held in and what he brings to a team that he has held off the huge challenge from Maro Itoje.
One wondered how you could leave Itoje out after his performance against the Maori, with the youngest man in the tour part capping an immense all-round display by driving over low for a try.
But Jones is a warrior-like talisman who has a decade of consistent excellence in his favour and the kind of experience you just can’t buy. When you are in the trenches, he’s the sort of man you want alongside you and then you have Itoje to come on and provide huge impact off the bench.
The Lions really are spoilt for choice at lock, with Courtney Lawes confirming how much he has developed his all-round game over the past year or so and Iain Henderson growing in stature every time he takes the field, not to mention George Kruis of whom more in a moment.
Given he has got the nod, it’s maybe a little surprising Jones hasn’t been handed the captaincy, but the coaches have gone for continuity after the fine job O’Mahony did last weekend.



Alun Wyn Jones (Photo: Getty Images)
5. George Kruis
Just never seems to have a bad game.
Was a relatively late developer in both physique and rugby terms, only really starting to fill out and emerge as a prospect in his late teens. But how the man from Surrey has come on in the last few years.
He is such a technically proficient lineout operator, while his athleticism, carrying and tackling mark him out as a thoroughly modern Test lock.
There had been doubts over whether he would make the Lions tour after missing the entire Six Nations following knee surgery. But he hit the ground running when he returned to action for Saracens in April and his form simply demanded selection. He has carried that on here and is fresh and firing on all cylinders after his mid-season break.



Lions' George Kruis (Photo: INPHO/Billy Stickland)
6. Peter O’Mahony
Peter O’Mahony, Lions Test captain. Now who would have seen that coming just a few short weeks ago?
Looking back, he wasn’t even in most people’s prospective tour squads for much of the Six Nations, given he didn’t start any of Ireland’s first four matches in the Championship. But everything changed with his final day display against Grand Slam-chasing England when he wrecked their lineout and was just an immense physical presence.
That booked his tour spot and he has carried on in the same vein here, responding to Warren Gatland’s call to provide some “Munster Mongrel”. Potential blindside rival Ross Moriarty was limited to just one outing due to a back problem, while CJ Stander has been utilised as a No 8 and in the meantime the teak-hard O’Mahony has emerged as a real figurehead, so much so that he will carry that cuddly Lion out on Saturday, retaining the skipper’s role from last weekend despite Alun Wyn Jones coming into the side.



Lions' captain Peter O'Mahony speaks to his team before the game (Photo: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)
7. Sean O’Brien
The reason O’Mahony is skipper has much to do with this man.
So compelling has O’Brien’s form been out here that there was to be no way in for tour captain Sam Warburton even though he is now over his injury issues and has shaken off the rust.
Nicknamed the Tullow Tank for obvious reasons, O’Brien is the kind of player teams hate facing because he just keeps coming at you time after time. During the defining Saturday victories over the Crusaders and the Maori, he has been the man who has repeatedly got them on the front foot, either with his relentless carrying or his work at the breakdown, installing himself ahead of Warburton and Justin Tipuric among the openside options.
One of the real characters on this trip, both he and O’Mahony are “absolutely mental” - in the nicest possible way - according to fellow flanker James Haskell and you need a bit of that out here.



Sean O'Brien
8. Taulupe Faletau
Along with Murray and Furlong, one of the first names on the team-sheet. New Zealand now knows what we have known in Wales for years, that there are few more consistently excellent performers in the game than Faletau. It almost becomes monotonous looking at the post-match stat sheets because he’s always up there right at the top of the tackle and carry charts. But that’s a monotony I can deal with.
CJ Stander has had a really impressive tour as the other No 8, giving his all for every minute he has been on the field and constantly carrying the fight to the opposition when others have wilted, but Faletau’s footwork and handling skills just give him the edge.
Hearing Zinzan Brooke eat his words about the Bath and Wales man has to have been one of the highlights of my trip so far. Faletau found out on tour? You have to be joking.



Taulupe Faletau (Photo: PA)
Replacements:
Ken Owens - The perfect man to have come off the bench because he will carry up tirelessly when you need a lift and has bags of experience.
Jack McGrath - Having the Dubliner’s scrummaging strength to add to the fray after Vunipola has emptied the tank is a real plus point.
Kyle Sinckler - His handling ability and stampeding runs have taken him above Dan Cole, who had a tough time at the scrum in Dunedin.
Maro Itoje - A bit unfortunate not to have made the starting line up after his enormous effort against the Maori and will come flying off the bench.
Sam Warburton - Was already up against it before a rolled ankle set him back further. But the sharpness is returning and could yet have a big impact.
Rhys Webb - Will offer something slightly different to Murray with the way he will keep defenders tied in with his sniping threat. A creative catalyst.
Johnny Sexton - Had a wobbly start to the tour, but is now back to best. Could come on to form a dual playmaking partnership with Farrell.
Leigh Halfpenny - Hasn’t really done anything wrong on tour, but has just lost out to the greater attacking threat posed by Williams. A steady figure to have in reserve.


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37 MINUTES AGO
BathOsprey
A lot will depend on how well the centres offload after a line break. If they don't pass well, it will not matter who plays in the back 3. However great to see a a real attacking threat at 15 and on the wings.


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2 HOURS AGO
LlanwernBoy
At last, we get to see Liam at full back! I'm intrigued as to who had the say on that one and look forward to seeing him in the 15 shirt for Wales next season, with possibly HP on the wing where he started and had a very good strike record.
Hopefully, this will galvanise George North and encourage him to come off his wing a bit more and work on improving his defence, both against the kick and in one on one situations.He's still a young man and there will be much more to come from him.
Unluckiest of the Welsh boys is Ken Owens from what I've seen; George is a good player, better than Hartley, but Ken has been showing consistent form at Test level all year.
Sam will show his undoubted class both on and off the field following this disappointment and will have the bit between his teeth coming off the bench.
Hold tight, Saturday morning could be a humdinger !
Well done Gats picking the form players - but the anti Welsh brigade will still be out in force led by the village idiot Austin Healey, but win on Saturday and shut them all up.



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7 HOURS AGO
Craigboy78
Utter nonsense captain should start if he can sit on bench then he can start gatland should have back him 



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6 HOURS AGO
PackPower
Why? he's not been playing better than Mahoney or o'brian. 


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3 HOURS AGO
Andcand
Second that. Why's is it nonsense? Finally picking form. New Zealand have dropped Julian savea, we would look foolish to pick Warburton. If he impresses off the bench, perhaps the 'nonsense' might be different next week 


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Ciderman
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PostSubject: Re: Rugby on the Menu   Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:40 am

The Lion's fans seem to be enjoying everything here. It's really good to see the happy faces on TV news, not only at the games but on the streets.

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Goldie
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PostSubject: Re: Rugby on the Menu   Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:45 am

Rugby brings everyone together. It was great on match days in the seventies, mixing with the fans. No a bad feeling in site. 

Welsh , Scots and Irish have an avid hatred of the English. Only in sporting terms though. smile We mix after the matches in Cardiff no hard feelings. Even the English were surprised at the openness and warmth we exuded towards them.

We believe the English only see things from their side. The commentators are the worse. England have a great team. Respect  Very Happy

Recently a tourist said to us, he was from Essex. I am finding it hard for the Spanish to understand me. I said have you learnt any sort of Spsnish,  please, thank you etc. No! I am English, they should understand,  me but not all Spanish speak English,. Him well they should, me Why.? Him blank look, me well we are in Spain their country.

Him but you are English, me no Welsh, him but that is England isn't it. 

Time to walk away with an eye roll moment. Evil or Very Mad oh dear
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Ciderman
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PostSubject: Re: Rugby on the Menu   Thu Jun 22, 2017 9:21 pm

Standard English response to "No hablo Inglise" is say it again but louder!   yes

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Goldie
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PostSubject: Re: Rugby on the Menu   Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:17 pm

Me  no understand Mr Fawlty even better.

I have had the same in  hospital after my recent inpatient stay. l do not speak Engleeesh senora. Neither do I as I am Welsh. Let's have a pact I will learn to speak better Spanish if you learn to speak Welsh or Galles.

You see we suffer both ends, some Spanish will not budge as true it is their country so why learn to speak English. We then get the resentful British who say well you chose to live there. True but we have at least have tried to integrate. Some won't and stay in British enclaves. We want to mix with all.

A great friend who acts as my translator on important issues  and speaks  
fluent Spanish as she has been here 20 years. Put your 63 mother in another country in Europe and expect them to speak the lingo straight away. It takes time.

I get by as I do know how to shop and speak general phrases as we have Spanish friends who teaches us.

It's understanding what the Spanish say back as they talk very quickly  smile
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PostSubject: Re: Rugby on the Menu   Thu Jun 22, 2017 11:00 pm

The crucial part of travelling  to me, is being a part of the local culture. Even without fluent language this can be done. I would never stay in 5 star hotels for this reason, (not that I could afford anyway). I don't want to take my world with me, I want to experience the locals. I think I posted in the random scribbling department about the Istanbul Bridge, which is a good example of the fun I've had. Scenery is one thing people is another. If I just wanted scenery I don't have to leave NZ.

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PostSubject: Re: Rugby on the Menu   Fri Jun 23, 2017 4:25 pm

Same here too Cider. I learned  more about life since I stared to travel. Culture, life experience etc.i have stayed in all sorts of places. Hotels as well though. Done  volunteering too.

Some don't understand our attitude in the western world and hatred of them.  

They are so humbling and welcoming,  particularly in Asian countries,  yanks are just yanks nice but very confident of themselves.

For me personally I would have hatred not to see how the other half live.

Some are happy not to travel.

Until recently mu mum in law now 87 did her last trip to the Holy Land and always travelled as did my ex mum in law.

My love of travel comes from dad, who packed us off to Europe very early in our lives ,  doing all the driving himself, with the trusted calor gas stove and kettle, mum always too loose tea and teapot plus AA route map. smile
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PostSubject: Re: Rugby on the Menu   Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:28 am

I am , of course, watching the Lions tour and the 20,000 support fans moving from match to match, but I am always surprised at how little coverage the Black Ferns (women's rugby side) get, even after lifting the world championship.
http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/sport/2017/06/black-ferns-sevens-round-out-season-with-victory-at-france-sevens-beating-australia-in-final.html

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