All Blacks v Lions – second test

The All Blacks beat the British and Irish Lions comfortably 30-15 last Saturday. The ABs out-thought and out-played the Lions.

The 2nd test kicks off in Wellington tonight. The ABs will be favourites, but it could still easily be closely fought and could go either way.

There are changes from last week.

All Blacks – minor changes to the team with Crotty and Ben Smith out injured, but hardly weakened if at all.

Lions – some significant changes to the team, trying to strengthen to forwards and more attacking in the backs.

Both will have learned from the first test and are likely to vary their tactics to try to outwit their opponents. Who does this best and adapts to the changes the other team brings best will gain an advantage.

Wellington – forecast to be wet and windy, so this will be an influence. It could be a leveller. Or one team could handle the conditions better – the ABs will have more local knowledge so could benefit from that, but they may not be able to play such a fast paced game so may be disadvantaged from that.

There could be a number of tries again, or it could be very tight like a World Cup final or Lions v Crusaders, in which case it could swing on one crucial mistake or one flash of brilliance.

For me again there is more anticipation than for the average test. Really looking forward to see how this plays out tonight.

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38 Comments

  1. Coldish here Welly, not raining heavy out my way

    Will be interesting to see how the Lions approach the game – I am expecting niggle to be frank. They have tried it on a few times on tour without it really boiling over but I suspect with everything on the line it could get very spicy.

    In addition I see them bombing midfield and box kicking the wings a lot. We have seen talk of opening it up but I don’t see that happening – more kick/chase, look for mistakes and turnovers and then sure hands through the double pivot of Sexton/Farrell to create try opportunities off that quick turn over ball.

    I see the Ref being the real key. If he lets the game flow as per last week – All Blacks by 20-25 points. If he whistles a lot and penalises the AB’s particularly at scrum time then it could go the Lions way or be a very tight AB win.

    Lions have to do everything right – going set piece to set piece at slow pace, AB’s need to be below their best in terms of skill execution AND the ref needs to favour Red for a Lions win, but its a 10% chance maybe 15% chance of happening

    I’m favouring AB’s by 8-12 points as I think the Ref is going to play a larger than necessary role…

    Big Brodie $5.50 to score a try – get on the big man perfect day for forward try scorers…

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  July 1, 2017

      Good man. πŸ‘

      Have to watch delayed coverage on Prime, Freeview. No hottie on sofa this time. Can’t be drifting off into the Land of Nod like last time. Il pleut chez moi. Steady drizzle. Hope that favours the local lads. Hard to say. Sadly no breeze to make goal kicking doubly entertaining.

      Go the AB’s❗️ πŸ‰ πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ•΄πŸ‘

      Reply
  2. 9-9 at half time, all penalties.

    The wet conditions have played a part, handling has been difficult, but the rain has stopped part way through the half.

    For only the 3rd time in history an All Black has been ordered off, SB Williams got a red card for a shoulder charge to the head, very silly, dangerous, no option but to red card him. That was at about 25 minutes do the ABs will have to play nearly three quarters of the game with 14 players.

    Reply
    • First time in New Zealand.

      Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  July 1, 2017

    Get rid of SBW a Muslim interested in MONEY

    Reply
    • patupaiarehe

       /  July 1, 2017

      Surely you aren’t prejudiced, Lurch… πŸ˜€

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  July 2, 2017

        If he was only interested in money, he could be making a lot more elsewhere and he wouldn’t be damaging his reputation and risking the game in this way. It may have been sheer carelessness, but he should be aware of the risks by now.

        Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  July 1, 2017

    Barrett had a bit of a shocker with his kicking tonight, not just his goal kicking either.

    Reply
  5. Lions 24, All Blacks 21, deserved win to the Lions. The All Blacks looked flat in the last 20 minutes, the Lions scored two tries to our none, you can’t argue against that, the better team won.

    Some odd tactics and lack of passion and accuracy from the ABs.

    This sets up next week’s third and final test very well.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  July 1, 2017

      Yes, the last 20 were poor from the All Blacks – or good from the Lions. Naholo was concussed by a forearm blow to the head that wasn’t penalised?

      Reply
      • Swinging arm Al as Naholo was tackled to the ground – second or third man in does it, clearly shown on the replay. Should be a citing for that but probably won’t be

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  July 1, 2017

          Yep, that’s what I thought too, dave. Surprised the commentators didn’t pick it up – it seemed quite clear and blatant.

          Reply
        • High Flying Duck

           /  July 1, 2017

          I saw that as well. Not sure it was deliberate at all though.
          Also AB’s had a couple of calls go their way as well… like Cody Taylor late hit on Farrell after a kick.
          A fair result I think and makes next week fear more interesting.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 1, 2017

            Looked pretty deliberate to me. Noholo was just about to hit the ground and the forearm was driven into his head gratuitously.

            Reply
          • Reckless possibly HFD….. but the Lions have played like this all tour. Been niggly and trying to suck opponents in to the confrontation….. good luck to them it has worked and they have a test win and a chance at the series to show for the tactics

            Reply
            • High Flying Duck

               /  July 1, 2017

              Agreed – not that a northern journalist would see things that way.
              I would hope it will be looked at by the citing commissioner to see if the judiciary is warranted. SBW certainly won’t be there next week though.

      • Wasn’t seen by the officials, should go to the judiciary.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  July 2, 2017

          Herald reporting it has been cited now. Good. It seemed a more deliberate attempt to harm than SBW.

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  July 2, 2017

            And no citing for Mako Vunipola. Obviously he was deemed to have been dealt with fairly on the field with the yellow card.
            It will be interesting how the judiciary sees it.

            Reply
  6. Have to say – 10 penalties award to AB’s on attack that we opted to kick at goal. The definition of repeated infringement [offside, illegal ruck play to slow ball down] and no hint of a yellow card from the referee for a Lions player for that deliberate illegal play. Anti rugby wins when refs don’t severely penalise repeated tactics like the Lions were using.

    Still Lions played the ref and conditions better, took chances and finally used the extra man to advantage when it mattered. So a deserved Lions win – we didn’t score a try and therefore in my mind didn’t do enough.

    Our back line was severely hampered by SBW’s stupid act. Personally I wouldn’t mind that being his last game in a black jersey – Laumape, ALB, Jack Goodhue are the future and SBW is the past.

    And I am puzzled why we didn’t put the ball in the corner and try line out drives when 6 points up instead of kicking at goal [thinking at 15-9 scoreline in 2nd half]. 14 men need a bigger buffer to defend in the last 5 minutes than 3-6 points and hence you need tries to inflate the score. Keiran Read is a good player but as a captain I think he is too timid
    3rd test is now huge pressure cooker for AB’s – the need to start strong, be accurate and not get sucked in by the lions infringing to allow the game to go at a slow pace for 80 minutes

    Reply
    • High Flying Duck

       /  July 1, 2017

      Tough to attack with 14 as well though. Both teams had discipline issues.
      Ref had a good game I thought.
      But a good summary of the game. Lions played well and defended well. In the last 20 they took control.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  July 2, 2017

        I have just found out that the score doesn’t mean goals made and that there is no goalkeeper in rugby.

        I have never watched a game and can’t see myself ever doing so .

        Reply
  7. High Flying Duck

     /  July 1, 2017

    That was a great game.
    SBW had a brain explosion for sure but it was a tough gritty game in terrible weather and was in the balance til the end.
    Faletau’s try was superb and 2 tries to nil suggests the right team won. Although that last penalty, while a correct call, was a shocker.
    Next week is suddenly a must watch game and it’s good to see the AB’s out under pressure and have some genuine opposition.

    Reply
    • Brown

       /  July 2, 2017

      The term “brain explosion” implies a brain to begin with. I watched the replay at the pub and believe SBW’s actions were malicious (watch his face) and that probably cost us the game. I suspect the team will be pissed off with him but it serves the AB’s right for selecting him. The sooner this show pony is relegated to rugby history the better in my opinion. We have plenty of less controversial talent in the wings.

      I think the AB’s ran out of puff a bit compensating for being a man down and found themselves under real pressure which generally leads to mistakes. The Lions scored two good tries, one while down to 14 men.

      I’ve met quite a few Lions fans over the last couple of days and have found them to be great with all enjoying NZ. They did perceive they were being gouged on prices for camp sites in Wellington in the middle of winter but were resigned to that.

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  July 2, 2017

        If it was indeed malicious, it was very stupid as it could well have lost the game for the All Blacks…I really don’t think that he’s that stupid.

        Reply
  8. Gezza

     /  July 1, 2017

    Excellent result! Makes the next one a gripping prospect.

    Reply
  9. Zedd

     /  July 2, 2017

    I agree Gezza.. the 3rd one is now, worth a watch !

    btw; many seem to think the ABs have to win at all costs, but when I played Rugby/sport (many moons ago now).. there was a saying ‘Its not whether you win or lose, its how you play the GAME’
    I think the Lions win showed that; 2 Trys to 0.. ABs 21 points was all from kicking penalties.

    methinks; Its actually good to see the ‘underdogs’ get up.. that’s SPORT πŸ™‚

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  July 2, 2017

      πŸ‘β—οΈ Damn straight, Zedd ! Good post.

      Reply
      • Zedd

         /  July 2, 2017

        πŸ™‚ cheers G

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  July 2, 2017

          ‘For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name/He marks-not that you won or lost-but how you played the game.’

          Grantland Rice

          Reply
  10. duperez

     /  July 2, 2017

    It was destined to be a raffle after the evidence of the first couple of minutes. The referee wanted to make his mark, stamp his authority, and he did that at 6:05 on the video. Play it frame by frame and normal speed and see Aaron Smith “not rolling away” to the satisfaction of the ref.

    Do the same a bit earlier where he could have made his mark. (and his assistant.) From 4:30 watch Maro Itoje in the lineout. Lions are yelling “Get it in” and Itoje moves to upset the throw. The thrower moves down a little a couple of times because of the movement of Lions players, he won’t throw it in because the lines aren’t settled, he doesn’t want to be penalised for delaying. He mucks it up, the pressure told. That’s good coaching, and that tactic has happened all tour. Good play by the players and poor refereeing. The refs made their mark right there, stamped the authority on the game: the authority of ‘this is raffle time.’

    Have frequent comments by Gatland about illegalities distracted from the cheating his team is coached to do? Our lot, the team and the media, try to not mention that in a ‘bad winners, sore loser’ sort of mode and expect that the riposte is to merely keep winning.

    Reply
    • I thought that penalty against Aaron Smith was tough at the time. Especially given how much Lions players loiter after tackles.

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  July 2, 2017

      In my editing I missed a part out which was meant to be the ending: The All Blacks did not deserve to win because they could not execute the basic skill of accurately kicking for goal.

      Reply
      • lurcher1948

         /  July 2, 2017

        hows your kicking when you are playing your heart out????

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  July 2, 2017

          Should I have put “could not execute the basic skill of accurately kicking for goal when he (B Barrett) was playing his heart out? He missed one after 15 minutes of playing his heart out and got one after 65 minutes of playing his heart out. Maybe playing ones heart out is not a major measure.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  July 2, 2017

            I agree his kicking was sub par but the conditions were poor and he was laid out in late tackles twice. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have got up from either. But if he was damaged the coaches needed to do something about it. His kicking cost the game in the end and a poor clearance let in the second try.

            Reply
  11. lurcher1948

     /  July 2, 2017

    Sunni Bill Williams AKA known as money bill let NZ, his team,down

    Reply

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