Firstly well done the Lions. They mauled the Wallabies in the first half with their forwards going forward and then unleashed their backline through a fragile pathetic defensive line. As a whole the team played well and deserved the win as they outclassed a woeful wantabee display.
The wantabees were at best ordinary. To be totally honest they were outplayed and I have no idea what the players were doing in the first quarter. I was trying to drown my sorrows after 20 minutes as the wallabies were outclassed to the stage of embarrassment in the first half. At least the Wallaby effort mirrored the field which was a torn up joke as well.
I spent ages on that article and what a waste of time. Can the real wallabies please stand up? Those clones were no good.
The wallaby game plan was a farce especially in the backs. The Lions backline held back expecting Larkham to do something. But he didnít, he passed all night. There was a gap of 10-15 meters where he could have run the ball up and then unleashed Grey. What a waste of opportunity. Hell did the improved eyesight scare the poor bugger to death?
Then what the hell was Grey doing? He received the ball and then passed it on. I thought he was there to smash into the defence with the ball and then set it up for the next phase? (It could have been that while playing for NSW he is used to Edmonds running the ball to the line before offloading.) But no, Grey passed it on to Herbert. At least Herbert carried the ball up!
The defence by both Larkham and Grey was a joke. Talk about a backline like a sive. There were gaps for the lions through those two all night. Once the Lions strolled through then the fullbacks were found wanting all night. Latham had an ordinary night in defence. He was stood up beautifully by Robinson on his way to the try line and then was found wanting in the next try. Burke had the same problem with his attempt in the opening seconds of the second half.
Flatley made a huge impact when he came on. He ran the ball up; he unleashed his trademark quality passing that allowed the backs to get some space. Then for reasons unknown he got Grey running hard and fast at the line, as he should have done all night. Flatley gelled the team together. The backline clicked and Kefu got pissed off and decided to play. Kefu got into the breakdowns and got some ball. He also ran the ball up and distributed it like the third centre he can be.
But then the finishing was a farce. Talk about wasted opportunities. Some of this responsibility lies with Foley. Foley what the hell were you doing at the lineouts? There were at least two major opportunities deep in the Lions 22, which you butchered by throwing the ball to the Lions. Kefu crossed the line but it was ruled obstruction by Foley. Foley you will have improved by the second test.
But the backs butchered opportunities as well. So all round they played better with Flatley there but they didnít finish it off. Note, Walker was again brilliant in that little bit of open space.
The scrum was a problem. However, in Stiles defence he did have a good game on the park especially with his hands to keep control of that awful pass. At least he did something unlike Finegan who was less than inspiring. Smith did a lot of work, he stole the ball twice and the lions got pinned at least twice by trying to counter him. However, he wasnít as dominating as he has been in the Super 12. I donít remember seeing much of Giffin or Eales through the alcholic fog. (Is it time for Harrison or Bowman who both played like men possessed in the Aussie A side?)
The scrum is going to be put through their paces this week. Anyone get the name of the NSW country tighthead prop as he was dynamic against the Lions. While we are at it, get him and the rest of the country boys to practice with the woeful wantabees cause at least they wanted to play and they could teach them a lesson about pride.
There were no complaints about the refereeing as predicted, Watson did go to his pocket and started sending people off. While Walker missed 2 valuable kicks (it should have been 9-12 at half time). Burke also had a shocker in his kicking as well (2 conversions and 1 penalty missed). If you start adding up the number of points (10-13?) it at least adds respectability to the scoreline but not to the way the Wobbalies played. But overall it was an inept display by a team that was humiliated and didnít turn up to play. They are going to have to turn it around by next week. They will be able to do it as there is no way the team can play that badly 2 weeks in a row. However, the loss of Paul is going to be considerable.
As a Qld league supporter I think the union boys should take a lead from the Qld league team and pull some bugger out of quasi-retirement to put some discipline, co-ordination and pride back into the side. Can you imagine the influence that Little and Horan would have in the backline. Nah bugger it, lets just ask Langer if he can stay for an extra week. There are very few players that can toy with a side like he did last night.
The only other good piece of news I have had after this weekend is that Williams is going to be playing in France this year. The Flatley shrine has received another shot of rum for his efforts this weekend and my collection of voodoo dolls is starting to pay off. (1 down and a couple to go)
Side note, well done to the NZ U21 side. It was a close and exciting game to watch. It was clean, fast and the skill level was high. Their skill level and strength blew away the baby wantabees late in the second half. The major disappointment I have is that these final games for the U21 series should have been the lead up matches for the test match. At least those games were closer and played by men who wanted to play.