Let the TESTs begin – The Lions in Australia 2013 is just about to ramp up a notch!!!!!!!

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.



UPDATE – 23/06/2013

Well what a match in Brisbane – I at least correctly predicted the number of points the Lions would get 😀
The Lions survive and take a 1-0 lead in the series, but if the Australians had a kicker of Leigh Halfpenny’s quality they would have won comfortably, but that’s part of the game and luckily for the Northern Hemisphere raiders they didn’t – PHEW from my point of view anyways.
Lessons will need to be learned by both teams for test number two in Melbourne next Saturday.
The Lions nearly blew it whenever they were in control they then allowed Australia back in it through serious lacks of concentration. I texted my mate @evster69 throughout the match and at times I had to blather on about how the Lions kept giving away silly penalties and allowing a team who had lost a  number of players through injury continually back into the game. New Zealand and South Africa would have finished them off but unfortunately Northern Hemisphere sides seem to struggle against their southern counterparts when it comes to sealing the deal comfortably – even when elements which are part of the game go for you.
Despite the defeat Australia know that even with less possession and territory they were essentially just one kick away from victory. Now for a team who had no warm up game they acquitted themselves well, even with a number of injuries throughout the match. They must play better which bodes well in their attempts to square the series in Melbourne, especially as somehow their captain has avoided a ban for a bit of stamping – some southern hemisphere dodgy dealing there in my opinion – see Mealumu and Umanga 2005 and burger 2009 – grrrrrrr
So who will win in the capital of the State of Victoria – well I ain’t guessing this time – but one thing is for sure – ITS GONNA BE CLOSE!!!!!!!
ps and for those peeps (mainly aussies’) who think that Robbie Deans is an agent for New Zealand here some facts – the ref and (video ref) on Sat were from New Zealand and favoured Australia in my opinion and guess where the judicial offcer for the James Horwill case was from – yes you’ve guessed it NEW ZEALAND!!!!!!! – southern hemisphere sticking together again and its Mr Joubert on Saturday – hmmm – your thoughts gratefully received.

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