So, the British and Irish Lions have finally returned home with a draw..which I feel is certainly a win in many ways. Taking on the consecutive world champions New Zealand, the Lions came away in the 3rd test with a strong performance that ended with a lucky win…how Warburton convinced the ref to reverse the accidental off side decision I’ll never know, however if Russia ever invades Wales, Warburton needs to be top choice for sorting out diplomatic relations.
Sonny Bill Williams will long remember the series for “what could of been”, however I felt the red card was due in that incidence and well done to the ref for following through and showing him the card…a massive thing to do in NZ against the All Blacks.
Gatlands tactic of playing dual playmakers is straight out of the Eddie Jones coaching manual, with Ford replaced by Sexton. Farrell plays far better at 12, where he tackling and sniping runs can have more effect that when he’s at 10. Murray at 9 was a revelation, and I would go as far as saying he was probably one of the best scrum halves ever to don the red jersey (excusing Sir Gareth at No1).
Itoje was immense and surely staking a claim to captain a few years time for England, while Williams must surely come in from the wing at Wales and secure the 15 spot. Sinckler also showed he’s got what it takes to compete at this level and given another few injury free years could be one of the most outstanding mobile forwards in the world. Faletau was also immense and basically cast his reputation in bronze for the next 12 months…epic performance.
Notable players who failed to live up to the hype were few and far between, however North really only secured his spot on reputation alone and didn’t deserve the spot over more eage and on form players. In the All Blacks, although his running game was immense, I can’t understand why Barrett retains the kicking duties for the majority of the match…it’s pure crossed your fingers and hope kicking. How the All Blacks have let themselves allow this wonderful running player achieve the heights of a famous number 10 jersey with such a poor kicking game I simply can’t fathom,
Gatland, maybe a clown, but by the end of the tour I’d say he’d done enough for a pat on the back…and maybe in a few years we will see him leading the Lions against the Boks in South Africa.
Tonga qualified for the Rugby World Cup in Japan and I’m delighted. Not only will England get to play one of the most admired teams from the Pacific Islands, but I’m pleased for the Tongans, who are an incredibly proud and honourable people…they deserve to be at a major world festival like this. Well done Tonga.
Finally, sorry for the delay in recent blogs…I’ve moved house which interrupted not only my internet, but also my free time…I never want to see a cardboard box again. So, the house is sorted, I’ve put some money away for the world cup, however I’m still looking for sponsors to help me make it all the way, so if you have a company interested in marketing exposure whilst on the Trans Siberian Express, in Japan or at the Rugby World Cup, drop me a message.