NWR 2021 Lions

What a frustrating game. The tactic from the start was clear, but a game that involves kicking for territory doesn't work if you knock it on everytime you contest it. I'd love to see the statistics on how many high balls we actually caught, both offensively and defensively. Butter fingers all around.

A part of me wants to be grumpy for the disallowed Robbie Henshaw try *and* the reluctance to look at the no-arms tackle off scrum from De Klerk, but I suspect RSA fans would fairly point at similar issues from the 1st test.

In truth, RSA have grown into this game and deserve the win. The Lions will have to bring something different to the 3rd test. Trying to beat a South African team at an arm-wrestle, once they're up to match condition, is a very bad idea.
16th man Rassie has done his job. A fair few calls could easily have gone the other way. Did the best team win though? Yes.
Not having Liam Williams on the bench was a very costly mistake indeed. Hogg was as poor under the high ball as he sometimes can be when scrutinised by good kickers - and Daly coming on would not materially have improved matters!
It was a game won by the better side but some highly questionable refereeing decisions. Gatland has been very diplomatic post match thus far. He’s absolutely right that the sport can’t afford to go down the route Erasmus has started to take.
I can think of three maybe four players who probably will get cited and might well be banned. The two from SA will be a lot less dispensable than the two Lions!!
I can think of three maybe four players who probably will get cited and might well be banned. The two from SA will be less indispensable than the two Lions!!
Well I got that very wrong - just Sinckler cited! I guess there has already been so much bad publicity around this match the authorities felt it better not to add to it?!
That was a very disappointing performance from the lions.
The second test remained the only chance to win the series in my opinion.
The forwards just didn’t seem to have the edge this week ,despite a great performance from Tom Curry
Murray managed to naturally slow the game down which was unhelpful.Sutherland struggled.
I think Daley,Hogg and Conan need to be rested.The rest just need to step up the intensity and perform.
id be tempted to play beirne at 8
Poor leadership, dumb decisions, indifferent coaching. Score board pressure always counts in tight games. The game was the Lions for taking. Wyn Jones back on after half time and obviously injured = instant scrum penalty and 3 points. AWJ poor decisions in the 1st half and he only looked half fit, walking around. They gave it away. French referee had a good game.
I thought the Lions should have been well clear by halftime. Williams messed up a straightforward two on one, which would have put us 12pts up with the kick to come, plus squandered two more penalties. I thought Russell was outstanding; amazing handling, and kicked well. A shame, as it feels like a missed opportunity.
Also thought the refs were good in all three Tests – no nonsense, no daft decisions, clear explanations.
I think we were coached to a loss of the series. It was there for the taking and I don’t think the SA squad were that comfortable together. Russell mixing things up was about the most exciting thing that happened but it was too little too late.

Ball was in play for just 26 minutes on Saturday. Even a WC final is on average 35 minutes. Tactically clever but very dull stuff by SA. I am getting very tired of Rassie’s approach to the game. It’s just not fun to watch.

Am I right in thinking this is Gatland’s last Lions tour? I think it’s about time for a change. Jones would probably be quite interesting as he often has a big short term impact with new squads. Or a wild card - what’s Steve Hansen upto these days?
Julian, Gatland is now talking about possibly staying in for Australia 2025 (unfortunately in my and I suspect your view too).
It’s worrying that SA have got away with some frankly highly unsavoury tactics on and off the field. Will this set a precedent for others to follow thereby permanently damaging the sport?
I agree with the apparent majority view that we gifted the third test. I feel for Liam W - but test rugby requires the highest standards and he, like Tom Curry whose stupidity in probably ensuring the Lions didn’t score a second rolling maul try, had me screaming in frustration!
As a tour it was pretty grim . I love the Lions as a sporting concept. But the ever growing determination of opponents to win, by for example sending out weakened provincial teams, allied with increasingly tight preparation time and Rassie type behaviour, is seriously loading the scales against the Lions.
You’d have thought that hosting nations would want to ensure the continuation of the Lions’ appeal, if only for mercenary reasons.
This should have been the Lions tour that I finally got to travel, taking in the bush and the wine farms and catching up with so many good friends from the past 25 years. I would have been very disappointed to have been there for the lack of spectacle that was on offer however. The cynical use of the Lions to generate income for the SH and home unions has been well documented and the players have put their bodies on the line with insufficient warmup matches as usual sadly. Combined with Rassie’s undermining of the refereeing, it has made this feel like a watershed for the Lions - they are an anachronistic throwback to the amateur days in many ways but they are are loved as much for the nostalgia one suspects as well as the touring bonhomie. If they were to shut up shop it would feel like the goose laying golden eggs had been taken out but maybe that is better than what we have been served up here. Hope no NH club employs Rassie in future.
I don't know, Peter, I think with crowds it would have been fairly different. Touring support has always been a big part of the Lions. Just imagine the booing from the saffer water carries coming on at every opportunity? It has a surprising effect on refs and play. To that end, the pandemic has had a pretty devastating effect on the tournement so perhaps we should cut this particular tour a bit of slack.

I think the idea of the Lions will stick around - it's a rare event versus other sports. As you say, a lot of money in it, and clearly an important goal for many players. It's not my favourite tournament by far, but I think that's largely down to the playing style that Gatland has presided over for so many years.

World Rugby need to set a marker in the ground for Erasmus now though - what he did was so unsporting and it should not be a door left open inviting more to do the same. I doubt many coaches will sink to that level but regardless, a statement regarding what we deem acceptable behaviour is a must.

If you are right regarding Gatland, Jonathan, then my interest in the Lions will probably continue to wane.