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  Reply # 1797953 11-Jun-2017 10:23
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I've never seen the Crusaders drop so much ball. Possibly because of the dew covered ball, possibly because the Lions were constantly offside at the ruck (Crusaders guilty of this too) cutting down time. But passes that would normally go to hand were shelled time and again.
Mo'unga had a quiet game, mainly because of the Lions 'line speed' (starting from offside) not allowing him time or space.
Hopefully the rest of the tour won't be blighted by sub-par refereeing and the Lions boring the opposition into submission.




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  Reply # 1798299 12-Jun-2017 08:51
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The dew is a massive factor as it also affected the Hurricanes game against the Crusaders. Just knew it was going to be a dour game when the clouds disappeared in the afternoon.

 

At least for the test matches it will be 8 degrees warmer and the playing surfaces are better.

 

The Crusaders lost fair and square as they didn't adapt. But it may be good for them in the long run.

 

 


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  Reply # 1798302 12-Jun-2017 09:00
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Jas777:

 

The dew is a massive factor as it also affected the Hurricanes game against the Crusaders. Just knew it was going to be a dour game when the clouds disappeared in the afternoon.

 

At least for the test matches it will be 8 degrees warmer and the playing surfaces are better.

 

The Crusaders lost fair and square as they didn't adapt. But it may be good for them in the long run.

 

 

 

 

Often the case for regular winners, complacency can set in




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  Reply # 1798334 12-Jun-2017 09:43
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tdgeek:

 

Jas777:

 

The dew is a massive factor as it also affected the Hurricanes game against the Crusaders. Just knew it was going to be a dour game when the clouds disappeared in the afternoon.

 

At least for the test matches it will be 8 degrees warmer and the playing surfaces are better.

 

The Crusaders lost fair and square as they didn't adapt. But it may be good for them in the long run.

 

 

 

 

Often the case for regular winners, complacency can set in

 

 

I don't think for a second that was the case on Saturday night. However, I do agree they will be better for it. Just like the AB's falling to Australia right before the RWC 2015, I think they needed a reminder they aren't invincible. 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1799650 13-Jun-2017 20:26
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40 minutes gone in the Lions vs Highlanders game and already more exciting play than the other three games put together.
Naholo having a blinder.




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  Reply # 1799694 13-Jun-2017 21:26
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Dingbatt: 40 minutes gone in the Lions vs Highlanders game and already more exciting play than the other three games put together.
Naholo having a blinder.

 

 

 

Yeah that game was what the weekend's game promised to be.

 

Good to see the highlanders throw the kitchen sink at it, as per usual. The NZ team finally got a couple of penalties for the offsides which certainly helped.




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  Reply # 1799712 13-Jun-2017 22:15
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Warmest congratulations to the Highlanders and Highlanders fans. What a fantastic effort, esp given that they were understrength (though the Lions played a less than full strength 23 too). 

 

The Lions were offside half the game and normally I tend to be more lenient in this regard, so if I noticed it, it must have been bad.

 

The quality of the communication from the ref was really so so much better, and as a result the game worked better. 

 

Naholo had a great game, though as usual, was plenty of mistakes to go with it. Fekitoa is obviously planning on showing the AB's selectors what they are missing out, though he still was pretty much 1 dimensional. He makes a lot of movement and often doesn't have anything to show for it. Not saying he wasn't good though.

 

A much more enjoyable night for a variety of reasons. I would love to see a Crusaders rematch in better conditions.


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  Reply # 1799715 13-Jun-2017 22:26
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networkn:

 

Warmest congratulations to the Highlanders and Highlanders fans. What a fantastic effort, esp given that they were understrength (though the Lions played a less than full strength 23 too). 

 

The Lions were offside half the game and normally I tend to be more lenient in this regard, so if I noticed it, it must have been bad.

 

The quality of the communication from the ref was really so so much better, and as a result the game worked better. 

 

Naholo had a great game, though as usual, was plenty of mistakes to go with it. Fekitoa is obviously planning on showing the AB's selectors what they are missing out, though he still was pretty much 1 dimensional. He makes a lot of movement and often doesn't have anything to show for it. Not saying he wasn't good though.

 

A much more enjoyable night for a variety of reasons. I would love to see a Crusaders rematch in better conditions.

 

 

 

 

Fekitoa had a shocker in terms of decision-making.

 

Early on in the first half he ran sideways when they had a 3 on 2 and bombed a good try-scoring opportunity.

 

In the second half he took a quick tap penalty for a fairly easy 3 pointer when the team weren't with him. It went to Naholo and a ruck or two later it got turned over and let the Lions off.

 

You wouldn't ordinarily see two such errors from a top tier NZ midfielder so I doubt anyone will be having second thoughts about dropping him in favour of the other top quality players.




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  Reply # 1799717 13-Jun-2017 22:38
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blair003:

 

networkn:

 

Warmest congratulations to the Highlanders and Highlanders fans. What a fantastic effort, esp given that they were understrength (though the Lions played a less than full strength 23 too). 

 

The Lions were offside half the game and normally I tend to be more lenient in this regard, so if I noticed it, it must have been bad.

 

The quality of the communication from the ref was really so so much better, and as a result the game worked better. 

 

Naholo had a great game, though as usual, was plenty of mistakes to go with it. Fekitoa is obviously planning on showing the AB's selectors what they are missing out, though he still was pretty much 1 dimensional. He makes a lot of movement and often doesn't have anything to show for it. Not saying he wasn't good though.

 

A much more enjoyable night for a variety of reasons. I would love to see a Crusaders rematch in better conditions.

 

 

 

 

Fekitoa had a shocker in terms of decision-making.

 

Early on in the first half he ran sideways when they had a 3 on 2 and bombed a good try-scoring opportunity.

 

In the second half he took a quick tap penalty for a fairly easy 3 pointer when the team weren't with him. It went to Naholo and a ruck or two later it got turned over and let the Lions off.

 

You wouldn't ordinarily see two such errors from a top tier NZ midfielder so I doubt anyone will be having second thoughts about dropping him in favour of the other top quality players.

 

 

Agreed. Those exact examples eluded me when I wrote that email but I recall commenting at the time it was pretty brain dead. He was mostly good on defense. I think because he moves so much it sometimes draws defenders, but he looks pretty easy to grab under the armpits. He was never really for me, the right choice in the midfield for the AB's, I think I noted as much at the time of his selection.

 

 

 

Naholo also wasn't smart in a number of ways. He often left his support too far behind him. I am not sure how many times the ball got turned over, but in the times it wasn't, it was a close thing. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1799813 14-Jun-2017 08:33
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networkn:

 

Warmest congratulations to the Highlanders and Highlanders fans. What a fantastic effort, esp given that they were understrength (though the Lions played a less than full strength 23 too). 

 

The Lions were offside half the game and normally I tend to be more lenient in this regard, so if I noticed it, it must have been bad.

 

The quality of the communication from the ref was really so so much better, and as a result the game worked better. 

 

Naholo had a great game, though as usual, was plenty of mistakes to go with it. Fekitoa is obviously planning on showing the AB's selectors what they are missing out, though he still was pretty much 1 dimensional. He makes a lot of movement and often doesn't have anything to show for it. Not saying he wasn't good though.

 

A much more enjoyable night for a variety of reasons. I would love to see a Crusaders rematch in better conditions.

 

 

 

 

What a difference a surface not covered in a heavy dew makes. Both the Lions game and the Hurricanes games were played with a heavy dew after a clear day. Makes you want to wish for a dreary cloudy day before a night game at AMI stadium.

 

At least it will be in the 8 - 10 degrees area for the Auckland test so if not raining the surface should be good.

 

 


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  Reply # 1799818 14-Jun-2017 08:42
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Never mind the Cathedral, build a covered stadium in Christchurch!




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  Reply # 1799869 14-Jun-2017 10:32
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Dingbatt: Never mind the Cathedral, build a covered stadium in Christchurch!

 

I think the rugby ground was always Canterbury's true cathedral anyway.

 

Auckland needs a covered stadium more than anyone - for all that rain.





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  Reply # 1801050 14-Jun-2017 18:49
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Great game!
Best I've been at.
The singing cheering and the result...

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  Reply # 1801066 14-Jun-2017 19:02
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I fear that the Lions have experienced what happens when you try and play open running 'Southern Hemisphere' rugby and will now revert to a dour grinding forward based game where the aim is to get to the right place in the field, gain a scrum penalty and convert it to points. After all that is how England won their one and only Rugby World Cup.
Lesson from the last week, plan A forward grind (Crusaders), plan B running rugby (Highlanders).




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  Reply # 1801075 14-Jun-2017 19:19
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Dingbatt: I fear that the Lions have experienced what happens when you try and play open running 'Southern Hemisphere' rugby and will now revert to a dour grinding forward based game where the aim is to get to the right place in the field, gain a scrum penalty and convert it to points. After all that is how England won their one and only Rugby World Cup.
Lesson from the last week, plan A forward grind (Crusaders), plan B running rugby (Highlanders).

 

I don't think anyone seriously thought the Lions were going to try and play open running rugby.

 

I do feel that the two last games were clashes of styles. The Crusaders effectively got out-Crusadered by a team better equipped to play that game. I didn't watch very closely but the Crusaders are usually less all out attack and take fewer risks than the Highlanders, Chiefs or Hurricanes, preferring to get forward dominance first. The Highlanders attacked everything last night and came away with a win. I think a few penalties going the Highlanders way (rightfully) was critical. Despite playing a better Lions team, the Crusaders could have also won as they can score points, but they didn't get a few calls go their way, particularly around offside and scrum.

 

I think it will be who can impose their style on the game. The Lions will try and slow it down and keep it tight. NZ will try and speed it up and play at pace.

 

That's not to say the Lions won't run it if the opportunity arises, but it won't be their core game plan.

 

If anything I think the preparation the Lions are getting is top notch. They will know the intensity level they need to bring and I'm sure they will step up again for the tests. We will have to hit the ground running to get a result.

 

Nobody will be talking about these games vs super teams if we lose test matches.


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