Saturday, June 25, 2005

First Blood to the All Blacks

Very disappointing display by the Lions this morning - Sir Clive is probably going to cop the flak for his selection, with a certain amount of justification, but you can't expect to win games at Test level if you can't secure your own lineout ball, and Shane Byrne had an absolute shocker. Ironic, considering I was pleased he got the nod over Thompson precisely because he was supposedly a better thrower !

They'll not be able to prove it, but I suspect the All Blacks deliberately targeted O'Driscoll for some early 'treatment' - whether they set out to injure him or just rough him up a little I don't know, but it's still disgracefully cynical behaviour. They also got the benefit of some dodgy decisions and slices of luck early on, but once they had the momentum, they never really gave the Lions a sniff, and that second try was astonishing quality in the conditions.

Onto Wellington then, and with only three fit centres, not including the woefully out-of-form Gordon D'Arcy, Henson HAS to come in, with either Greenwood, who I thought did okay, or Horgan to partner him. Jonny moves to 10, Lewsey to full-back, and bring Shane Williams in on the wing. Thompson and Grewcock will probably start, and Martyn Williams may get a chance at 7. It wasn't ALL bad, the NZ backline didn't shred the Lions as I thought they might, and the Lions might just turn it around if they can secure some ball. Big 'if' though...

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