All Blacks v BI Lions Test #2



  • alt text

    1. Joe Moody
    2. Codie Taylor
    3. Owen Franks
    4. Brodie Retallick
    5. Samuel Whitelock
    6. Jerome Kaino
    7. Sam Cane
    8. Kieran Read (c)
    9. Aaron Smith
    10. Beauden Barrett
    11. Rieko Ioane
    12. Sonny Bill Williams
    13. Anton Lienert-Brown
    14. Waisake Naholo
    15. Israel Dagg

    Reserves:

    1. Nathan Harris
    2. Wyatt Crockett
    3. Charlie Faumuina
    4. Scott Barrett
    5. Ardie Savea
    6. TJ Perenara
    7. Aaron Cruden
    8. Ngani Laumape

    Lions

    1. Mako Vunipola
    2. Jamie George
    3. Tadhg Furlong
    4. Maro Itoje
    5. Alun Wyn Jones
    6. Sam Warburton (capt)
    7. Sean O’Brien
    8. Taulupe Faletau
    9. Conor Murray
    10. Johnny Sexton
    11. Elliot Daly
    12. Owen Farrell
    13. Jonathan Davies
    14. Anthony Watson
    15. Liam Williams

    Reserves:

    1. Ken Owens
    2. Jack McGrath
    3. Kyle Sinckler
    4. Courtney Lawes
    5. CJ Stander
    6. Rhys Webb
    7. Ben Te’o
    8. Jack Nowell

    [edit: Booboo's original post follows]


    Anyone know when the team is nam...

    Ok. Sorry.

    Thought we had better have a new match thread. First test is ancient history. And whilst we've still got the Canes tomorrow and some of this has been discussed in the Test 1 thread I don't think it's too early to start to focus on Saturday with a dedicated thread.

    First: us.

    So Crotty is out. Simple fix: ALB to 13.

    I believe JK is ok so he stays at 6.

    Is there a final word on Ben Smith yet? For me I'm thinking Izzy drops back to 15, Naholo to 14, JB to 23.

    Everyone else as they were.

    There's been some talk of BB at 15. Can't say I'm a fan.

    Do we need to change up tactics? Do anything different? Expect anything different?

    As for them:

    What do they change?

    Drop the box kick?

    Personnel? Start Itoje or Laws? Sinckler for something different?

    What else can they do?



  • you'd have to wonder if any of the 'canes players released back, short of having a blinder are unlikely to feature?

    Goodhue has obviously stayed with the squad, so is he a shot at the bench, or just more of this apprentice thing they like to do, given Laumape was named in the squad, but allowed to go back to 'canes, you'd assume that it wont detract from his chances from the bench, unless he has a shocker.

    I am not a fan of moving BB, but then he was our best at taking the high balls on Saturday, so maybe he will drop back, leaving Dagg at 14, Cruden to 10, ALB at 13, which is least disruption from the team that played the 2nd half.

    1-9 picks itself I think (fitness assumed) but the 10/13/15 will be interesting then the bench.

    Harris, Crocket, Faumuina, Barrett, Ardie, TJ, Cruden/Sopoaga, Laumape/Jordie/Goodhue?



  • @taniwharugby said in All Blacks v BI Lions Test #2:

    you'd have to wonder if any of the 'canes players released back, short of having a blinder are unlikely to feature?

    Goodhue has obviously stayed with the squad, so is he a shot at the bench, or just more of this apprentice thing they like to do, given Laumape was named in the squad, but allowed to go back to 'canes, you'd assume that it wont detract from his chances from the bench, unless he has a shocker.

    I am not a fan of moving BB, but then he was our best at taking the high balls on Saturday, so maybe he will drop back, leaving Dagg at 14, Cruden to 10, ALB at 13, which is least disruption from the team that played the 2nd half.

    1-9 picks itself I think (fitness assumed) but the 10/13/15 will be interesting then the bench.

    Harris, Crocket, Faumuina, Barrett, Ardie, TJ, Cruden/Sopoaga, Laumape/Jordie/Goodhue?

    Can't see BB not starting at 10. Dagg 15. Shag has given Bus a pretty clear indication that if he does the business tomorrow he'll be back at 11 on Saturday. Rieko at 14. If not Naholo in.
    On bench, no certainty that Barrett (S) makes it, albeit likely. My take is that BB will cover injury at 15, and Naholo/Bus 11/14, leaving Rieko as back up 12/13.



  • @pakman said in All Blacks v BI Lions Test #2:

    Can't see BB not starting at 10. Dagg 15. Shag has given Bus a pretty clear indication that if he does the business tomorrow he'll be back at 11 on Saturday. Rieko at 14. If not Naholo in.

    I'd keep BB at 1st 5 as well but Hansen's comments in the pressa suggests he could be leaning towards Cruden at 10 and BB at 15. That means Dagg stays on the wing.

    Hansen has never been one for sentiment so I don't think the fact that the test is in Welly helps Julian. Naholo is a good chance for the no.14 jersey if Dagg is moved to fullback.



  • I think the lions would be pretty happy to see BB not start at 10



  • Long term forecast ...

    http://www.metservice.com/towns-cities/wellington/wellington-city#!/ten-day

    Rain
    Nor'easterlies
    13
    10

    Bloody Wellington. You had one job.



  • @booboo hey it's not a southerly.



  • @booboo RE Ben Smith, pretty sure Hanson said he has returned home to recover.



  • The southerly at Athletic Park was always an absolute killer. With that in mind, why oh why did the not put a lid on the Cake Tin.



  • @booboo said in All Blacks v BI Lions Test #2:

    Long term forecast ...

    http://www.metservice.com/towns-cities/wellington/wellington-city#!/ten-day

    Rain
    Nor'easterlies
    13
    10

    Bloody Wellington. You had one job.

    Wellington forecasts are good for about 90 minutes after that it's a lottery



  • Beauden at 15 probably isn't our most stylish combination, but it might be the most likely to deal competently with the high ball and hence perhaps the most likely to win.

    I reckon they will be very, very keen to retain the two fullbacks in the back three combo - which means Israel staying on the wing and either Beaudy or Jordie (or DMac?) at 15 - assuming Ben Smith won't be.

    I can't really see the logic of releasing players to the Canes if they're planning to use them on Saturday. The homework has surely already been done? And in the cases of Jordie and Laumape, every day spent in the AB environment running with the team would be hugely valuable if they're likely to make an appearance on Saturday.



  • From all that Gatland and the players have said post-1st Test we have to assume that outside of injury and someone 'walking on water' versus the Hurricanes pretty much the same 23 will be involved for the 2nd Test.

    They believe they have the right personnel, and with more precision and better execution the right tactics to beat the ABs .

    I'm happy with any of the front row combinations starting and Sinckler may be the only change.

    Interestingly Kruis is on the bench against the Hurricanes. Are they looking at how he performs as an impact player? Is AWJ injured? A cert?

    Is Lawes starting just to show he's ready for Saturday?

    I think Gatland will choose Lawes and Itoje with AWJ on the bench. Well that's what I'm hoping 🙂

    Our back row was pretty ineffectual at the breakdown so does Warburton go to 6 instead of O'Mahoney? If that's the case, then I'd have Tipuric on the bench.

    If Gatland feels that our back row will improve after a week of training, then we'll see the same starters with Warburton on the bench.

    Murray and Sexton were locked in prior to the Lions leaving for NZ, and some decent box kicking from Murray aside, neither has set the world on fire, and neither has played to the standard they showed against NZ in Chicago.

    Gatland will still start Murray, but I would start Webb. He offers something very different from Murray and will commit Smith and the NZ backrow.

    Farrell is our best option at 10. He just needs to play to his ability. If Webb plays inside him he'll have a bit more time and hopefully show us more than the 1st Test.

    Te'o and Davies certs.

    Williams at 15 cert.

    Wings are tricky. Daly was instrumental in the try but got pulled in and outflanked a couple of times. Watson had some nice broken field running but no real penetration.

    Outside of Nowell or North scoring a hat-trick against the Hurricanes, Daly and Watson will keep their places.

    If Gatland starts Murray, then Webb and Halfpenny on the bench.

    And I would select Biggar over Sexton to cover 10.

    But as a mate said, unless we win the forward battle and control possession then it's just deckchair arranging on the Titanic.



  • I don't want BB at 15. Back to 10. It's then either Dagg to 15 or put huge faith in Jordie Barrett, which would be a massive call.

    If Dagg 15 => Naholo please
    If JB 15 => Dagg stays 14

    If Ioane not covering midfield than I'd prefer Goodhue to Laumape.

    I think Smith should be given time off to be right for the 4N.



  • It shits me that BB even gets moved at all during a game. But if they're going to move him back at a stage of the game when he usually cuts loose then they might as well have him at 15. He's arguably the best back under the high ball in NZ and is an excellent last man defender. In fact the better tactic would be to start him at 15 and then move him to 10 when things open up a bit.



  • @No-Quarter H.W. Shortt recreation ground is lovely in a southerly.



  • @MiketheSnow I think you're right in that there will be little change. I would like to see Sinckler given the nod to start too. Furlong hasn't been quite at his best the last couple of games. I would still have him over Cole though. Second row is a poser for sure. You'd have to assume that Lawes is fit and if he is in Gatland's thinking it is likely he will get half a game to show that he's firing on all cylinders and then Kruis will get his chance to show that his below par performance on Saturday was an aberration. If so that may be hard for AWJ but I thought he looked off the pace again. Mind you I said that before and he came back with a powerful performance so who knows. I do think that Gatland will want to get Warburton on the field and he will improve the breakdown, but who to drop?

    The back line stays the same for me but bring on Webb a bit earlier. If North has a stormer then I'd certainly take him on the bench instead of Halfpenny as I feel he can really add something if he's on form.



  • @Bovidae said in All Blacks v BI Lions Test #2:

    @pakman said in All Blacks v BI Lions Test #2:

    Can't see BB not starting at 10. Dagg 15. Shag has given Bus a pretty clear indication that if he does the business tomorrow he'll be back at 11 on Saturday. Rieko at 14. If not Naholo in.

    I'd keep BB at 1st 5 as well but Hansen's comments in the pressa suggests he could be leaning towards Cruden at 10 and BB at 15. That means Dagg stays on the wing.

    Hansen has never been one for sentiment so I don't think the fact that the test is in Welly helps Julian. Naholo is a good chance for the no.14 jersey if Dagg is moved to fullback.

    Haven't watched full pressa. Will take another look.



  • I don't want Jordie Barrett in to play the Lions, I worry he'll get an injury due to youth and not being physically tough enough yet.



  • @Catogrande said in All Blacks v BI Lions Test #2:

    @MiketheSnow I think you're right in that there will be little change. I would like to see Sinckler given the nod to start too. Furlong hasn't been quite at his best the last couple of games. I would still have him over Cole though. Second row is a poser for sure. You'd have to assume that Lawes is fit and if he is in Gatland's thinking it is likely he will get half a game to show that he's firing on all cylinders and then Kruis will get his chance to show that his below par performance on Saturday was an aberration. If so that may be hard for AWJ but I thought he looked off the pace again. Mind you I said that before and he came back with a powerful performance so who knows. I do think that Gatland will want to get Warburton on the field and he will improve the breakdown, but who to drop?

    The back line stays the same for me but bring on Webb a bit earlier. If North has a stormer then I'd certainly take him on the bench instead of Halfpenny as I feel he can really add something if he's on form.

    This was a mate's take on what I wrote


    "Drop Kruis and AWJ from the squad. Pick Itoje and Lawes with Henderson on the bench.

    Drop O'Mahoney from the squad. Pick Warburton with Stander on the bench.

    Drop Halfpenny from the squad and put Joseph on the bench.

    If Best wins three or more turnovers on the floor in the first 60 minutes tomorrow, pick him too."


    Baby and bathwater springs to mind



  • @MiketheSnow said in All Blacks v BI Lions Test #2:

    They believe they have the right personnel, and with more precision and better execution the right tactics to beat the ABs .
    ... Baby and bathwater springs to mind

    I'm willing to use one hand to tip the bath to 30-degrees and spill out some of the bathwater, but use the other hand to hold onto the baby 😉

    It will be a mistake to set out to do the same thing again with the same people and hoping that more precision/execution will beat the ABs who were dominant for large parts of the game.

    12 years is a long time to wonder "What would have happened if ..."
    The Lions were at their best when the ball got beyond 12.
    So I'd opt for the alternative approach of 2 playmakers with Sexton at 10 and Farrell at 12.
    That is tough on Te'O as he made some ground and defended well, but he is not good at getting the outside backs going. Te'O not being in the way of SBW will stress the Lions defence line more so I'd stick with Murray over Webb for 60-65 minutes. Webb does not contribute as much to defence as Murray and Webb is prone to solo-breaks with no support and will lose possession when isolated.

    I'd take AWJ out of the squad (maybe unfair as he did take a heavy knock before the first try) but he seemed out of touch. If he was injured and has recovered, then he could get in from the start as a lineout-caller. If not, then Lawes and Kruis (again Kruis just ahead of Itoje because of being a lineout-caller).
    Then bring Itoje on at 50 min for whichever lock is likely to fade most.
    There is a huge clamour for Itoje, but for all his athleticism, he does make rash mistakes and give away penalties.

    There is talk of swapping POM for Warburton, but I don't think there is a huge difference.
    So 2 changes (Lawes for AWJ; Sexton in, Te'O out) + 1 positional (Farrell)
    Same front-row;
    Lawes and Kruis (or AWJ if he had played on injured)
    Same back-row
    Murray, Sexton
    Farrell, Davies
    Same back 3

    If Stander is going well, I'd put him on the bench instead of Warburton as Stander might be able to make yards when he comes on (but has not done that as well in 2017 as in 2016). Again, that is tough on Warburton, but Stander would offer a difference off the bench.
    Tipuric would be a genuinely different option, but Gatland/Howley have not given him much time in a Welsh shirt over the years, so it is too late for a change of heart / game-plan.

    I'd probably opt for Henderson - like Itoje he gives lock/6 cover.
    2 locks on the bench would give the starting pair the scope to flog themselves for 50-60 minutes to counter Retallick/Whitelock/Read.

    The one other bench option would be to have Joseph, again to provide something different: Halfpenny will not break open a game with a run/step.

    Bench:
    I'd make a bit more change to the bench with 3 changes and changing to a 6-2 split to give different back-5 forward options to the first Test.
    Same front row
    Itoje, Henderson, Stander
    Webb, Joseph
    Also there might be more positive benefit from the promotion of 4 players into the matchday squad (Lawes, Henderson, Stander, Joseph) compared to the negative impact of 4 players going out of the squad (AWJ, Warburton, Te'O, Halfpenny).

    It might not make sense to others who read it, but neither does doing the same again!
    Tough on AWJ, Te'O to go from starting to out of the squad, but this is the toughest arena so hard choices have to be made.