Posts Tagged ‘ Lions Tour 2013 ’

Ireland V Australia : To Dare Is To Do


It’s difficult to assess how Joe Schmidt is viewing his second test in charge of Ireland. The Wallabies are in town on Saturday evening and with them they bring a severe test of ability and character from the Irish players. The Australian forwards are as hard as Ayers Rock itself, their backs can make flamboyancy look like just a reasonable effort. They are an extremely talented side on their day, off their day, they are ordinary, mediocre even. England showed us that they can be beaten, Italy showed us what happens to teams that let the Aussies play.

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Ruthless Gatland Aims To Wrap Up The Series


The sporting capital of Australia this weekend see the second test of the Lions tour of Australia this year with the tourists looking to secure the series after limping over the line last weekend in Brisbane to take the first test. Memory cannot help thinking back 12 years ago to 2001 when the Lions found themselves in the same position entering the second test in Melbourne but two quick Joe Roff try’s in that game swung the series which the Wallabies went on to win 2-1. Continue reading

Hits, Slips And Missed Kicks Gift Lions A Win


Beale showed massive strength of character to be available for the test, but will rue two missed kicks

Whatever side of the fence you sit with regard to how good a game it was in the context of skill set, you can’t deny that was bloody entertaining. All the way towards this game in the run up, the Lions were firm favourites. Once the Australian side leaked however, the names on paper suddenly looked all the more intimidating. Gatland seemed to have a bit of a lapse in concentration too as he chose a bench that contained two players that had made no real case to usurp their rivals in camp and a third, Lydiate, who really should have started with Warburton making way for Tipuric or O’Brien. Continue reading

Lions Hoping For A Real Test Against The Reds


Having thumped the Barbarians in Hong Kong then routed the Western Force in Perth, the Lions are now in Brisbane to take on the Queensland Reds.

The Reds have encouragingly picked as strong as team as possible minus their seven Australian squad members Genia, Slipper, Horwill, Ioane, Gill, Simmons and Saia Faingaa. The Reds squad still has plenty of quality and brawn and will

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The Lions Have Landed: Can The Aussies Hear The Roar?

li17 days out from the 1st test in Brisbane we take at look at how the Wallabies are looking and the general feeling towards the tour down under. I spent over two years living in the sport-obsessed country and to say they don’t like to lose would be an understatement. AFL is the number one sport in Australia with cricket coming second, rugby league third and rugby union fourth. Don’t get me wrong even with its lower standing it is funded equally and followed religiously in certain corners of Queensland and New South Wales. Both these states are gripped by the yearly state of origin series, a best of 3 combat between the best Rugby League players representing their birth state. Continue reading

Lions Savage The Force, But Victory Comes At A Price


From a tactical perspective, yesterday’s  game against the Western Force was a bit of a mixed bag for the Lions. Whilst there was some strength shown in attack, they didn’t really have much opposition to go against. What’s worse, the Force scored mostly through shocking defence from the Lions. In the second game of the tour, the first “real” game, a lack of defensive cohesion can be forgiven. There is however the slight issue of Cian Healy’s tour likely being finished one way or another and this slightly pathetic fixture suddenly seems all the more pointless.

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Lions Ready To Break The Force


The Lions Tour to Australia officially kicked off last Saturday in Hong Kong as the Lions comprehensively defeated a lacklustre Barbarians side 59-8 in a match that fulfilled their commercial obligations en route to Oz. This was as far removed from a Test match as they will experience and the real opposition in the Ex-Pat citadel was the weather with temperatures as high as 30 degrees during the game and with unbearable humidity to boot. This was a training session conducted in extreme conditions – think literally the polar opposite of the cryotherapy chambers that the Welsh team have trained in previously under Lions Head Coach Warren Gatland to get some sort of idea of the extremity of it. Now that everyone seems to have come through unscathed and having run in a number of tries we can move onto the real business. After the Test series this chapter will either be lauded as great prep or pure madness; only hindsight really knows. Hong Kong was the prelude and with the Lions reaching Perth, the most Westerly city in the Australian continent and home to a booming mining industry, this much anticipated tour Down Under starts in earnest when they meet the Western Force this morning (11am kick off Irish time). Continue reading