Okeley dokely – the so called phony war is over. The British and Irish Lions have amassed a win / loss record of 5 and 1. Now onto Brisbane and the first of three MASSIVE test matches.
So where are the teams at??????? Who are the favourites??????? and more importantly who is going to win??????? (guessing by the way)
Lets start with the Lions. They have performed very well over their six warm up games, showing a pace and power game across the park, with plenty of tries and a kicking record of a ridiculously high standard from all who have been required to take shots at the posts. Yes some of the opposition has been mediocre, but you can only play what is put in front of you and no one can doubt they have done what is required in five out of the six matches. The combinations have looked very good in my opinion and the team spirit (a key part of these Lions tours) is fantastic from what I have seen so far, especially with a number of additions to the squad. This brings me on to the one negative side, which is the injury count which seems to have skewed (badly) towards the backs. Tommy Bowe, Manu Tuilagi, Jamie Roberts, George North are just a few who have picked up knocks as the tour has gone on.
Now what about the Aussie’s. Well their under fire coach Robbie Deans (a Kiwi – so any excuse to have a pop in Australia I say) has had them in camp and opted to not play a warm up match. Some pundits think this is a big mistake, though it has also been felt that the reason for this is so the Lions have no idea what would be coming at them come kick off time in Brisbane. The Lions have looked vulnerable to the counter attack in their warm up games and its suspected Deans does not want them getting wind of any of their tactics. Obviously on the flip side there could a bit of rustiness as executing plays in training is one thing but in the heat of the battle of a test match is something else.
Now seeing that the Australians have had no game time and we have no idea what they are going to produce, despite being the away team – I personally feel the the Lions are the favourites (only just mind you) and should be able to go one up in the series come Saturday. However they will need to be clinical, which is my one criticism of them through this tour. They have created numerous try scoring chances but have on occasion failed to take them and against Australia they will have to as they are one of the most clinical sides in the world when they are at it.
My prediction for what its worth – well I reckon the Lions by 10-17 points (7-23 if you want numbers) – lets be honest its a complete lottery really. Your thoughts peeps – all gratefully received.
ps one more thing COME ON THE LIONS – ROARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
UPDATE – 23/06/2013