Can the Wallabies beat the Lions in 2013?

stillmissit Roar Guru

By stillmissit, stillmissit is a Roar Guru

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    With the British and Irish Lions visiting Australia in 2013, what do you think the Wallabies’ chances are of coming away with a win (or four)?

    Having watched the last Lions tour to Australia and our recent tour to Europe I am wondering if we will even win a game.

    The team seems to be so all over the place and unpredictable that combinations seem hard to come by.

    And because of that, victories might be even harder to come by.

    My gut feeling is that we have a less than 25 percent chance of winning the series but have a 50 percent chance of taking a game off them, most probably in Brisbane.

    England, Wales and Ireland offer some real quality players and Scotland has some youngsters who could be flyers in the team depending on how they go in the coming Six Nations tournament.

    The key to this for us Roarers is to watch the Northern Hemisphere games to try to guess who will step up and cement their place in the Lions side.

    It would be great if we could get this on free-to-air, however I think we will end up watching it on Foxtel with the rest of the rugby fans.

    It doesn’t get bigger than this in world rugby. A Rugby World Cup is against known opposition but the Lions are a different beast to just England or Wales.

    They will come at us totally focused on playing the game to the maximum intensity and I am wondering if our Wallabies are up to this level.

    What do you think? What chance to we have of pulling a game or two away from the Lions?

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    The Crowd Says (221)

    • Roar Rookie

      December 31st 2012 @ 1:46am
      Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:46am | ! Report

      Australia beat the Lions last time with a BOD, Robinson, Wilkinson, Johnson, Howley, Woods, Correy, Henderson, Quinell, all in their prime. Home ground advantage is a huge lift. After getting shocked in the first test the Australians really got lifted by the home support. I do not see what makes the Lions team more special this time around compared to last time. Australia got a lot of players coming back as well.

      • December 31st 2012 @ 5:59am
        Ben.S said | December 31st 2012 @ 5:59am | ! Report

        When was Henderson considered anything more than a solid Test player? He was behind Catt and Greenwood as pre-series favourite to start in the 12 jersey.

        Corry was an England fringe player too and Robinson and Wilkinson weren’t exactly in their prime.

        Basically that was no star-studded Lions squad. This potential Lions squad will be far, far superior to the 2001 version.

        • Roar Rookie

          December 31st 2012 @ 10:50am
          Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          You consider Catt a test player? He reminds me of Ballshaw. He is someones love child in the England setup. Wilkinson and Robinson were not in their prime?

          Jason Robinson we are talking about a guy here who was in the Super League dream team 98, 99, 2000. At 27 he was at the top of his game.
          For Wilkinson do you have to win a World Cup for your team first to be classed as in your prime? Was he the best 10 in the UK? Yes? No? I believe yes.
          In 2001 Wilkinson set an individual Six Nations Championship points scoring record with 35 points against Italy at Twickenham. Throwing a intercept to Joe Roff doesn’t make him “not at his best yet.
          Henderson in combo with BOD was deadly. Just ask Austin Healy if he was only just a solid player. Greenwood was class but really is he needed when you have BOD who is ten times more class? .

          • December 31st 2012 @ 11:53am
            Colin N said | December 31st 2012 @ 11:53am | ! Report

            Greenwood was an inside centre, just wore 13 as a superstition.

            • Roar Rookie

              December 31st 2012 @ 1:27pm
              Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

              I know he was a inside centre. But O Driscoll can do what he did 100 better why have two of the same type of players in the midfield or try a new centre combination?

              All I can say rugby is not played on paper but grass.
              Form not reputation *cough *cough New Zealand 2005 *cough *cough Clive Woodward

              • December 31st 2012 @ 2:00pm
                Colin N said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                In what sense? Greenwood was a playmaker really and has/had a better passing range than O’Driscoll. Completely different players.

                In fact, I rate Greenwood as one of the most underrated players of his generation.

                Was Greenwood injured in 2001 as that partnership with O’Driscoll would have been superb?

              • Roar Rookie

                January 1st 2013 @ 1:15am
                Neuen said | January 1st 2013 @ 1:15am | ! Report

                njuries denied him about three years of his career. He peaked in 2003. He was injured against Australia when the Lions toured. He was still no Guscott IMO

            • Roar Rookie

              December 31st 2012 @ 3:20pm
              Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 3:20pm | ! Report

              Yeah he was injured in 2001. he played vs NZ in 2005 replacing O’ Driscoll after 2 minutes. But he only hit form around 2003 IMO.

              • December 31st 2012 @ 10:42pm
                Colin N said | December 31st 2012 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

                Only hit form in 2003? That would have meant he only had one good year in Test rugby which isn’t true.

                He may have been at his peak then, but Greenwood was an outstanding player between 00 and 03.

                England have struggled to replace him since and are still looking for that type of playmaking centre. Perhaps Billy Twelvetrees can be that man?

          • January 1st 2013 @ 1:45am
            Ben.S said | January 1st 2013 @ 1:45am | ! Report

            If you watched England during their golden period then it would be obvious to you that Catt was utterly vital. If you watched England after 2003 then you’d also note how vital he was to England then. I’d remind you to look at his influence on the 2003 QF against Wales. As soon as Catt departed from the England scene so did England’s attacking game, and Wilkinson was half the player. It’s no coincidence that Brian Ashton made him captain, and it’s no coincidence that he’s coaching England right now. Regardless, he went into the 2001 Lions tour as favourite to start at 12, and that’s that.

            How many union games had Robinson played by the Lions tour? His experiences in Super League are totally irrelevant, as proven by so many other league plauers.

            I didn’t mention the intercept pass, and kicking a lot of points in a 6N when England were rampant against a host of poor sides is again pretty irrelevant and pretty disingenuous. His kicking game on the Lions tour was erratic, and he was quite simply an inferior player to the 2003 model, so clearly he wasn’t in his prime. Likewise was Wood better in 2001 than he was in 1997? Debatable.

            Henderson played well on the Lions tour, but was he more than a solid/good Test player? No. No he wasn’t. You’re just chucking out names and big statements here.


            • January 1st 2013 @ 12:26pm
              Jaredsbro said | January 1st 2013 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

              Not true. Most people regard Robinson as the greatest ever dual-international as defined by success in trophies/win percentage etc. Granted there hasn’t been a huge number who have done excellently since Rugby went pro, but then again you clearly don’t share the opinion that he was the greatest to go between the rugbies, so we could argue about that all day…one on one, but when enough people think it…well that’s called democracy 😉

              • January 1st 2013 @ 12:33pm
                Jerry said | January 1st 2013 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

                Well, Brad Thorn is the greatest ever dual international but ANYWAY…

                Robinson was a great union player, but was still in his rugby infancy on that tour – he’d only played 3 tests prior to that series. He had some great moments, sure, but wasn’t yet the player he’d become.

              • January 2nd 2013 @ 4:04am
                Ben.S said | January 2nd 2013 @ 4:04am | ! Report

                I’m confused? I haven’t stated that Robinson wasn’t the greatest, although that is up for debate re Thorn and Williams, what I have stated, quite clearly, is that at the beginning of the Lions tour in 2001 he was not in his rugby union prime.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 2nd 2013 @ 1:31pm
                Neuen said | January 2nd 2013 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

                He was 27 that time. And what is rugby infancy? He played league wing or fullback. Rugby the same. He been playing league for 9 years nothing infancy about it. He scored two tries in that test series one of them he sidestepped Latham. Nothing infant about that. He was in the prime of his career.

              • January 2nd 2013 @ 1:41pm
                Jerry said | January 2nd 2013 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

                He’d been playing Union for less than a year and had played only 3 tests. He wasn’t in the prime of his union career in any shape or form.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 3rd 2013 @ 2:44pm
                Neuen said | January 3rd 2013 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

                Jerry that sidestep of Latham suggested otherwise. It is not that hard to adapt from League to union. Mat Rogers, Lote Tuqiri, Wendell Sailor, Sonny Bill Williams, Scott Gibbs all showed it is just rugby in the end. Both codes. The concept is the same.

              • January 3rd 2013 @ 3:00pm
                Jerry said | January 3rd 2013 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                Like I said, he had his moments but wasn’t the player he’d become. One on one attacking moments are one thing, but in terms of defensive positioning, support play, reading the game etc there’s no way he was in his prime.

                As for those other guys you mention, none were in their prime within a year of switching, most took 2 or 3 (also Scott Gibbs was a Union player who switched to League then back again).

              • Roar Rookie

                January 3rd 2013 @ 3:28pm
                Neuen said | January 3rd 2013 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

                So when will you say was he in his prime? 2003 WC? Where he defensive positioning were still the same especially when Tuqiri scored the try. A lot of rugby league players make a switch to rugby union towards the end of their career Andy Farrell and Jason Robinson are two examples. When they have achieved almost everything possible in league and are looking for a new challenge

              • January 3rd 2013 @ 4:12pm
                Jerry said | January 3rd 2013 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

                “A lot of rugby league players make a switch to rugby union towards the end of their career Andy Farrell and Jason Robinson are two examples. When they have achieved almost everything possible in league and are looking for a new challenge”

                So? That doesn’t mean they automatically pick up Union with no learning curve. The fact that Andy Farrell wasn’t exactly a roaring success in Union kind of ruins the point you’re trying to make.

                As for Robinson’s defensive positioning in the RWC final, no amount of nous or defensive positioning can make up for the fact that Tuqiri is about 8 inches taller than him. But yeah, he was a better player in 03 than he was in 01.

            • Roar Rookie

              January 4th 2013 @ 2:05am
              Neuen said | January 4th 2013 @ 2:05am | ! Report

              Jerry in 2001 he played 10 games. 7 he started scoring 6 tries. Jason Robinson was targerted by Sir Clive Woodward when he started as one of the the 3 rugby league players England must get over to union where they plashed out the cash to get two of the three over. Robinson was on top of his game when he came over and he continued to that into the Lions tour. He might have done better later because his favorite position is fullback and not wing. When they moved him to fullback he looked much a better player. Not because his form were better because he was playing in his favorite position.

              Really unfair on Farrel to say he turned out a flop or into nothing as he had a lot of injury problems to show what he can really do. Time ran basically out for him.

              As for the taller player I do not think that always decides who comes out on top in a air dual. Michael Jordan wasn’t the tallest yet he manged to get a lot of air. Robinson was caught out of position the 10 noticed it and pumped a cross kick. If it was the case that there was nothing he could do for being shorter then they would have pumped those cross kicks at him the whole day. If I not mistaken Robinson could play only on the left wing.

              • January 4th 2013 @ 5:53am
                Jerry said | January 4th 2013 @ 5:53am | ! Report

                Michael Jordan regularly got out-rebounded by taller players. Robinson was in position to take the kick, but Tuqiri was simply a taller player and better in the air – good big man vs good small man.

                I’m bored of this discussion, frankly I think your assertion is absurd.

          • January 4th 2013 @ 2:38am
            Rowdy said | January 4th 2013 @ 2:38am | ! Report

            Neuen, that clip fair brought tears to my eyes. Thanks, old boy.

        • December 31st 2012 @ 1:14pm
          Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

          I agree with Ben.s. This Lions team will (should) be the best I have ever seen.

      • December 31st 2012 @ 11:15am
        Jerry said | December 31st 2012 @ 11:15am | ! Report

        “I do not see what makes the Lions team more special this time around compared to last time. Australia got a lot of players coming back as well.”

        Equally, that was an Australian side that had won the RWC in dominant fashion and beaten NZ 2-0 in the Tri-Nations that year. The Lions may or may not be more special this time round, but there is little to suggest Australia will be as good as 2001.

        • Roar Rookie

          December 31st 2012 @ 1:38pm
          Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:38pm | ! Report

          Not saying anything about the current Australian side beingg as good as any xxx previous side. Not at all. I am saying that 2001 Lions squad was better than the current one. Wales conquered the six nations then lost 3 – 0 to Australia.

          Sure Lions can go over with a huge pack. They did the same thing last time in 2001 were dragged out all over the park and they were running on empty after 40 minutes almost. Australia then took control of the game and never looked back.

          • December 31st 2012 @ 1:53pm
            Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

            This Lions is much better imo.

            • Roar Rookie

              January 1st 2013 @ 5:35am
              Neuen said | January 1st 2013 @ 5:35am | ! Report

              Not better. Just the Australian side looks weaker. It took a great Aussie side to beat the 2001 Lions and it was a close contest

          • January 2nd 2013 @ 4:05am
            Ben.S said | January 2nd 2013 @ 4:05am | ! Report

            Wales conquered the 6N… I see.

            • Roar Rookie

              January 2nd 2013 @ 1:32pm
              Neuen said | January 2nd 2013 @ 1:32pm | ! Report

              With the same coach

              • January 3rd 2013 @ 1:20am
                ScotandProud said | January 3rd 2013 @ 1:20am | ! Report

                Greenwood was class then, back, hill, excellent players throughout. That was the tour that Robinson announced himself to the world as the world class player that he was. Sure he may have got better but he was special on that lions tour, Henderson like wallace at prop in 97 was a journeyman who stepped up when he heard the call. I thought he was a bit limited to be honest. The Lions had a class squad on paper but alot of players didn’t turn up Scott Murray, Balshaw etc. that may have been down to relations within the squad.

              • January 7th 2013 @ 6:35am
                Ben.S said | January 7th 2013 @ 6:35am | ! Report

                The point is that Wales aren’t a particularly good side. As a rule of thumb most 6N tournaments following a WC are poor affairs due to retirements and new coaches. It was only SH fans/Roarers who presumed Wales were that good a side following the 6N.

              • January 7th 2013 @ 6:36am
                Ben.S said | January 7th 2013 @ 6:36am | ! Report

                Murray was just out of form. The year prior he and Grimes were in excellent form. Considering the selection of Davidson too it was a bizarre locking group picked by Henry.

          • Roar Guru

            January 4th 2013 @ 2:20am
            Poth Ale said | January 4th 2013 @ 2:20am | ! Report

            There isn’t a current Lions squad. It hasn’t been selected yet. And won’t be until post Six Nations 2013. That’ll be the squad to make comparisons with, and whoever the 6N champions are.

    • Roar Guru

      December 31st 2012 @ 1:54am
      biltongbek said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:54am | ! Report

      I think Australia has as good a chance to win as the Lions do.

      • December 31st 2012 @ 2:57am
        Billy Bob said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:57am | ! Report

        Nice.sentiments, gents, but I lean towards SMI on this one.
        The next test that the Wallabies will play is versus the Lions.
        The only chance that the Wallabies have will be based on combinations developed in S15 or at Wallaby camp. A big ask.
        I watched an interview with Brian O’Driscoll this week speaking about his possibility of touring. And his experience as captain for 2 minutes on the NZ tour before he was successfully ‘cleaned out’ by Kevin and Tana. I found myself wishing a lions victory for his sake.
        But on paper, the Lions won’t need my support. The Wallabies will need something extremely special that we haven’t seen for a couple of years to win the first test. The second test, after some team bonding is their better chance (just like last time) but our best chance will be in the third as a dead rubber.
        Competition for key positions, especially front and back row, 10, 12 and 15 may produce some diamonds in SR ( it may also injure key contenders.) That seems to be the only avenue for improvement that we have ATM, and we definitely need to improve.
        Happy to be proved wrong, as many of us were at Rosario and Twickenham, but Sharpe won’t be there this time to weld the resolve.
        Selections and tactics developed in the period after the first test will be the most crucial for Australia’s series chances.
        At the very least this will make Super rugby super interesting in 2013.

        • Roar Guru

          December 31st 2012 @ 3:09am
          biltongbek said | December 31st 2012 @ 3:09am | ! Report

          The Lions might edge it in tight five, but backrow the Wallabies have as many talented players as the Lions will have, if Genia is back, and Quade can set aside his off field antics, they will have the edge in the half back pairing.

          The Lions does not have as good a half back pairing as the wallabies. Their best flyhalves are Sexton, Farrell and Wilkinson, probably in that order.

          Hald Backs, Maybe Care, maybe Phillips, as a combination Genia and Coooper should outplay their counterparts on most days.

          Back line, Australia has the talent to match anything the Lions can throw at them, if you look at a poosible Lions backline of 12. Roberts, 13 Tuilagi, 11 North, 14 Bowe (perhaps Cuthbert) and 15 Kearney, they are good ball runners, but not creative runners.

          The OZzies are much more creative.

          Expect to see the Wallabies play it fast and open, there should be plenty of tries, and a well matched competition.

          • December 31st 2012 @ 6:02am
            Ben.S said | December 31st 2012 @ 6:02am | ! Report

            Danny Care and Ben Youngs have proven just as much at Test level as Genia has, and where in reality is Quade Cooper or Beale capable of matching Sexton?

            Likewise the Australian backline: when was the last time the Wallabies resembled a side with creativity? When did the Wallabies last play it fast and open?

            Kearney and Bowe not creative runners?

            • Roar Guru

              December 31st 2012 @ 7:26am
              biltongbek said | December 31st 2012 @ 7:26am | ! Report

              Ben, when was the last time Australia had their best backline in a game?

              • December 31st 2012 @ 8:58am
                Darwin stubby said | December 31st 2012 @ 8:58am | ! Report

                The w-cup and Deans decided to change the gameplan which has continued on

                The tight 5 should win it for the lions however the problem is Gatland hasn’t shown he knows how to out coach the average Deans

              • January 1st 2013 @ 1:46am
                Ben.S said | January 1st 2013 @ 1:46am | ! Report

                In the WC, and they were awful… Australian flair is a myth that relies on individual players like O’Connor.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 1st 2013 @ 5:44am
                Neuen said | January 1st 2013 @ 5:44am | ! Report

                I think Australia called it artful running of lines. That is a player carries the ball forward his team-mates, with little or no chance of receiving a pass, take runs that, without colliding with defenders, , are effectively blocking their route to the tackle. There is your Australia flair IMO

            • December 31st 2012 @ 9:16am
              Ben said | December 31st 2012 @ 9:16am | ! Report

              I doubt there is anyone that would pick care or youngs over Genia

          • December 31st 2012 @ 1:12pm
            Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:12pm | ! Report

            The Lions backrow isnt as good?
            Surely you jest?
            Heaslip, Morgan, Denton, Robshaw, O’Brien, Ferris, Wood, Warburton, Lydiate, Rennie, Croft, Armitage?
            Imo the Lions have a clear adantage in depth and talent and when assembled will be the best back row in the world.
            Sexton is a better 10 than Cooper who is in and out of the Aust team and hasnt played really well for Aust in 2 years. When Cooper isnt always being dropped and actually starts playing well for Aust I will buy the Quade kool aid. Nobody is as good as Genia, so I agree there.
            The Ausies being more creative may be true but its debatable.
            The Lions may not be as creative but their scrum should be the best in the world, thats a really big problem for Aust, their lineout should be better than Australias, their tactical kicking should be better, they will be far better under the high ball, they will more bigger and more physical, their defence should be better, their ball carry should be better and their depth is massive. If Aust has injuries to a couple of its best forwards and a couple of its best backs…

            • December 31st 2012 @ 2:09pm
              Colin N said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

              I suppose if you want to make a simplistic comparison; will this Lions squad be better than the one that toured South Africa? Yes. Is that South Africa side better than the current Australian one? Definitely yes!!

              Of course, things probably won’t pan out as expected, but I would have thought that it’s a series the Lions expect to win.

            • Roar Rookie

              December 31st 2012 @ 2:45pm
              Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

              Who is going to be the 10? Sexton running game is good but his kicking game can sometimes be his Achilles heel. Farrel and his tactical kicking was directly responsible for one of NZ tries.

            • January 1st 2013 @ 12:37pm
              Jaredsbro said | January 1st 2013 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

              Man that sounds like you’re idealising the Lions there a bit…saying they’re the best at everything, which we should all know is a bollicks comment to make.

              Equally you’re also villifying the Wallabies by saying they’re worse at everything than the Lions. Unfortunately until I’m convinced otherwise the Lions will always be underachievers given their composite strength. History not only suggests it but strongly suggests you aren’t looking at things trough this very important lense.

        • January 1st 2013 @ 12:31pm
          Jaredsbro said | January 1st 2013 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          Super Rugby…not interesting you in normal years! Well that’s a shame isn’t it? Why without Super Rugby we’d all be playing a glorified club comp which would be ever so interesting (and original), wouldn’t it?

          • Roar Guru

            January 2nd 2013 @ 10:51pm
            Poth Ale said | January 2nd 2013 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

            Super Rugby is a glorified club competition – that’s what makes it “super”.

            • January 3rd 2013 @ 11:42am
              Jaredsbro said | January 3rd 2013 @ 11:42am | ! Report

              Well actually we’re talking about supposed provinces, which doesn’t mean a thing in Australia. But provinces are ever-changing concepts because they don’t really exist on paper…they’re more spectrums, like Auckland blurs into Counties Manukau which blurs even more into Waikato etc to use a NZ example.

              States exist on paper as identities, but this is absolutely no guide as to where to place another team if you want to have more than one per state which is likely where Rugby is going in Australia, thus provinces is a much more helpful concepts, though as a starting point the teams as state teams has a strong history in Australia.

              • Roar Guru

                January 3rd 2013 @ 11:24pm
                Poth Ale said | January 3rd 2013 @ 11:24pm | ! Report

                Perhaps, regions might be a better descriptor for many of the Australasian teams, JB, if they are regularly changing.

                Provinces do exist on paper and within the taxonomic structure of countries. South Africa has more distinct and historical provinces, as does Ireland to name two.

    • December 31st 2012 @ 3:07am
      Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 3:07am | ! Report

      The Lions SHOULD win 3-0 on paper.
      The Lions should dominate the lineout, the scrum, the physicality and be just as strong if not stronger than Aust in the backs. Also they have FAR more depth than Aust.
      Here is my latest incarnation of who I would pick to tour for the Lions. I have picked a mixture of youth and experience but have selected mainly on the basis of trying to dominate set piece and physicality first and then a suitable backline yo compliment.

      1) A.Sheridan ENG
      2) D.Hartley ENG
      3) D.Cole ENG
      4) R.Gray SCO
      5) A.Wyn Jones WAL
      6) S.Ferris IRE
      7) S.Warburton WAL
      8) B.Morgan ENG
      9) B.Youngs ENG
      10) J.Sexton IRE
      11) T.Visser SCO
      12) J.Davies WAL
      13) M.Tuilagi ENG
      14) G.North WAL
      15) R.Kearney IRE

      16) C.Healy IRE
      17) R.Best IRE
      18) A.Jones WAL
      19) J.Launchbury ENG
      20) S.O’brien IRE
      21) D.Care ENG
      22) F.Burns ENG
      23) S.Hogg SCO

      24) A.Corbisiero ENG
      25) T.Youngs ENG
      26) E.Murray SCO
      27) C.Lawes ENG
      28) D.Ryan IRE
      29) D.Lydiate WAL
      30) S.Armitage ENG
      31) D.Denton SCO
      32) C.Murray IRE
      33) O.Farrell ENG
      34) T.Bowe IRE
      35) J.Roberts WAL
      36) B.O’driscoll IRE
      37) A.Cuthbert WAL
      38) L.Halfpenny WAL

      • December 31st 2012 @ 8:42am
        Mark said | December 31st 2012 @ 8:42am | ! Report

        Not a bad squad. I doubt BOD will be anything but captain and I think Ross rennie the best open side in Europe and so he will be in the squad. Other than that its hard to argue this won’t be the squad.

        I could argue a few starting xv selections but I think the nucleus of your xv is about right.

        U obv follow European rugby which is a good thing

    • December 31st 2012 @ 5:35am
      richard said | December 31st 2012 @ 5:35am | ! Report

      When you look at Hightackle’s squad, it is up front where the BL’s have a clear advantage.All the lions have to do is play ten man rugby and they will take this series.Australia have to be able to bring their backline into play, but looking at their pack,I just can’t see oz being able to do it.

      The one chance Australia do have is if you get a repeat of the 2001 oz tour where cliques undermined the team.If the English or Welsh contingent do this, the wb’s will win the series, if not the Lions.I don’t believe it will come down to the respective coaches, as I don’t rate either of them- it will be how either squad is managed that will decide the outcome.

      • Roar Guru

        December 31st 2012 @ 8:07am
        stillmissit said | December 31st 2012 @ 8:07am | ! Report

        richard: Interesting and I agree it is up front and in the row where we have issues. We are lacking in authority up front and experience in the row with Horwill being the exception assuming he is fit, pity really as we have some real talent coming through. The back row is good apart from a specialist 6 and I do not rate Higginbotham or Dave Dennis in this role maybe someone else will put their hand up but it is a big call to pull someone up from S15 into a Lions game with no international experience.

        Didn’t realise the 2001 tour was underminded nothing like a bunch of pommies playing politics it could guarantee a total balls up in the air?

        • December 31st 2012 @ 12:51pm
          Handles said | December 31st 2012 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

          The team disharmony was centred around Graham Henry. He didn’t gel with many of the non-Welsh squad members. Amongst the players, there were only two cliques, which were:

          Everybody who hated Austin Healy, and

          Austin Healy.

          There is a great story from the 2001 tour about Austin seeking a sparring partner, and winding up with Brian O”Driscoll. Apparently Austin was the only one who didn’t know that BOD was a junior boxing champion. Nobody told him.

          • December 31st 2012 @ 1:17pm
            richard said | December 31st 2012 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

            Wrong Handles,it’s well documented that the English faction were disgruntled with Woodward not getting the job, so virtually undermined Henry from the start.Also,they didn’t like Henry’s training methods apparently – it’s in his bio- and acted like petulant children when he wouldn’t ease off.

            My guess, as to why Gatland has gone for an English back-up crew is this very reason- to avoid the teams chances in oz being undermined(though the poms will have to prove it by winning the up-coming 6N).

            • December 31st 2012 @ 2:14pm
              Colin N said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

              The thing is that the England team in 2001 were the best of the four nations at the time.

              The 2013 version – even taking into account Wales’ poor recent results – will probably see three equally matched teams coming together.

              I think the English players probably felt the ’01 team should have been built around them considering they knew how to beat Australia.

              • December 31st 2012 @ 2:24pm
                richard said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

                True,but even if that was the case, the decision had been made and they should have just lived with it.That’s what a professional would do.

                It seems to me like certain players within that squad wanted Henry to fail,so it could back up their prejudices i.e that Henry shouldn’t have got the job.

              • December 31st 2012 @ 10:48pm
                Colin N said | December 31st 2012 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

                You’re probably right richard, but I doubt there’ll be that sort of arrogance in 2013.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 12:44pm
                Jaredsbro said | January 1st 2013 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                Yeah it was around then that England finally professionalised their jurisdiction of the code, the last of the five nations to do it. I think Italy came later and Argentina the most recent (if you count the Pumas in the Vodacom Cup).

                Before the turn of the century the England authorities really were lucky that Rugby League didn’t strip our code down to the buttocks the way they went about pretty much everything since the formation of the FA (1865 for those playing at home)

            • December 31st 2012 @ 2:58pm
              Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

              With all due respect Richard, reading GHs side of the story is not exactly the best way to go about it. Thats his opinion as to why there was discontent.
              There are at least 2 sides to this story and 1 involves complaints of being treated like children, over training, no team bonding, lack of the basic recovery supplements, being yelled at, being singled out, the wrong sort of training, favoritism etc.
              It wasnt just the English either.
              Imo GH is the most overrated coach in the world. He is a very good coach but, like most coaches, he gets credited with the ABs success despite the team before and after his tenure having better statistics.
              I am not blaming Henry but I wouldnt blame half of the players either.

              • December 31st 2012 @ 3:15pm
                richard said | December 31st 2012 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                Hightackle, you are of course entitled to your opinion,but it’s interesting to note that the ab’s didn’t seem to have a problem with his methods.But maybe,that’s just a nz thing.

                As for your views on GH’s coaching ability,well we couldn’t be further apart.Considering this “overrated’ coach had a winning record in the late 80’s over an 8 year period, would tell me he was pretty useful in my book.And I don’t want to hear how a chimp could coach the ab’s or any of the other lame excuses used to downplay his record.

                The only coach comparable to Henry in the WC era is McQueen( and his winning record is inferior to Henry’s – albeit over a shorter period) IMO.

              • December 31st 2012 @ 4:19pm
                Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 4:19pm | ! Report

                GH won 85%?
                I knew the ALL BLACKS won 85% but GH did it by himself aswell?!!
                GH did NOT WIN 85%!
                Now understand this becuz it is mind boggling that people cant grasp this fact, the All Blacks won 85% not GH. Under Mitchell they lost less, scored more, and had a bigger points diff. Likewise under Hansen. This is a clear indication that it is not Henry.
                Under Henry the Lions lost their first ever tour of Aust.
                Under Henry Wales suffered consectutive record losses to Ireland and he in turn quit the job.
                Under Henrys guidence the Arg team had the worst defence in the top 10 of 2012 and they attack was also one of the worst. They suffered record losses to NZ and Ire.
                Auckland was successful before and after his stint there, as was NZ.
                FFS! If Henry coached Zimbabwe they would not have won a WC or had an 85% win rate. It is no coincedence that when he coached the best team in the world, if not ever, that they were successful. As shown by the 2 coaches either side of him having BETTER STATS.
                I said Henry was a very good coach but overrated, you demostrated why.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 31st 2012 @ 5:43pm
                Neuen said | December 31st 2012 @ 5:43pm | ! Report


                Graham Henry was a consultant and part of the deal was he can not perform that role when NZ and Argentina met as he is still under contract with the NZ rugby union. So no a tired look Los Pumas team did not lose to NZ due to him playing part in it or he didn’t play a role in it at all. Further he was a consultant for the TRC. The end of year tour had no input whatso ever. Also we had a agreement with French and English rugby clubs not to play some players in the two games in a row. So we had a weakened squad.

                But Henry’s input we did draw 16 all with SA and almost beat them for the first time. We played very well against Australia in fact we were leading when some skulduggery by Australia created a try for them.

                Worse defense in the top 10? I like to know how you got to that conclusion? We beat France with a “B” team. In fact it was players from our B and C team.. The first game vs SA we were still a bit rusty as the players were not on the same page yet. That flat pass of Hernandez to no one was a good example of it. When he gets on the same page as the rest of the back line we offered much more.

                We played 15 matches this year. We won 6 and lost 8 draw one but we have a +65 aggregate in points difference. We scored a total of 51 tries. Yes 51 tries. In case you forgot

                We shut them out no tries

                We lost 23-5 in NZ. More than what Australia could achieve in NZ.

              • December 31st 2012 @ 6:41pm
                Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

                Well I came to the conclusion that Arg had the worst defence becuz they let in the highest ave of points per game in 2012. 30!
                Also if you credit Henry with the 16 all, you will also credit him with Args highest ever defeat at home to NZ. Henry was a consultant when France put 49 on Arg but both were B teams. Arg played 12 and won 3 dude. A win % of 25%. Arg scored 19 tries and had a points diff of -11 per game. Your stats are from football perhaps? Or is your imagination getting away on you?

                Look its simple a teams winning % under a coach does not mean that it is entirely the coaches %. That is ridiculous.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 1st 2013 @ 5:18am
                Neuen said | January 1st 2013 @ 5:18am | ! Report


                No I know how many matches my country plays because we have a thing called a South American Championship where we take our C team and let them play in the Championship. The IRB register it as a full International games unfortunately. So no according to the record books and to the IRB and the Internationals that are played Los Pumas have played 15

                and here

                As for Graham Henry. Henry’s role is offering the UAR’s High Performance team and its coaches an insight into what is required to create a national programme that will ultimately lead to a more competitive international team,

                And again. Henry was not part of the coaching setup when we played NZ in Wellington nor when we played NZ in in Buenos Aires. He is still under contract with the NZRU and it will be a conflict of interest.

                He was part of the coaching staff with the games against South Africa and Australia..

                As for worse defense in the top 10 really? What if you got on the wrong side of the referees interpretation and got penalized a lot? SA scored 31 points against NZ some years ago where they scored only 1 try. Does it say NZ defense was bad?

                In the first game vs SAwe were missing 1 in 9 tackle attempts, or every 87 secs where we missed a total of 13. Compared to SA Missing 1 in 11 tackle attempts, or every 120 secs 9 in total.
                That was the first game the team actually played together as I stated we did not use our best XV for the French and Italian games

                In the 2nd game vs SA it was 10 (Missing 1 in 11 tackle attempts, or every 99 secs) compared to SA 18 (Missing 1 in 5 tackle attempts, or every 57 secs)

                Vs Australia 26 (Missing 1 in 5 tackle attempts, or every 47 secs) compared to Aus 16 (Missing 1 in 4 tackle attempts, or every 46 secs)

                vs NZ 30 (Missing 1 in 5 tackle attempts, or every 42 secs) NZ 7 (Missing 1 in 9 tackle attempts, or every 118 secs)

                You will nopte that in some games those times are close to each other. Reason for that is that we had much less possession than the other teams and if you even it up it will read basically the same as Aus and NZ.

                Our problem were never our defense. We have one of the top defenses in World Rugby. Our main problem is that we can not defend for 80 minutes and offer nothing much going forward. That is what we are looking to change and don’t know if you noticed that we started to improve in that aspect. Although the defense was still our foundation we are at least doing something going forward now and we are going to try and build on that.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 10:10am
                Jerry said | January 1st 2013 @ 10:10am | ! Report

                “Auckland was successful before and after his stint there”

                Not really successful after, to be fair. Auckland have won the NPC a few times, but nothing like the same consistency (and the NPC isn’t remotely the same competition). The Blues have generally languished, with the only time they’ve won anything being when Henry was back onboard.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 12:03pm
                Hightackle said | January 1st 2013 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                Well according to to pick n go its 12.
                Also Henry DID NOT stop advising for any matches he just didnt sit in the coaches box. He was advising them the whole time. He thought it was best that he didnt sit there out of respect.
                So yes Argentinas A team had the worst defence of any top ten side according to the stats.
                I apologise, the results against the other SA powerhouses by your C team were not on Pick n Go and neither should they be, becuz it was a different team. Henry did advise during the time Arg played NZ and it is all over the net. So perhaps you were not as aware of what your team was doing as you thought.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 6:07pm
                Hightackle said | January 1st 2013 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

                Jerry Henry coached Auckland from 92-97 and won 4 titles in 6 years. In the 6 years previous they won 4 titles. In the 6 years after they won 3. So yeah REALLY.
                The Abs before and after Henry (42 games under Hansen and Mitchell) had a losing % of about 10•5, ave points scored of about 36 and a points diff of about +25. With Henry it was a losing % of 14•5, an ave points of 35 and a points diff of +20. So it seems neither team was greatly boosted by Sir Henry. I dont say this out of a dislike for Henry, I say this becuz it is obvious to me that coaches get both credit and blame for things that they didnt do. They even say this but people just think they are being modest or avoiding blame and so they resign themselves to the fact that they will be held responsable.

                Neuen Arg had the worst defence statistically out of any top 10 side. You know as well as I do that games, where none of your first choice players play, against teams ranked as low as 33 in the world should not count. Also Im sure if the other top 10 sides all played teams like that, Arg would again have the worst stats.
                They started the year in 8th and finished in 8th. They had 1 win over a team that is now ranked above them and that was when both Fra and Arg used understrength sides.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 6:27pm
                Jerry said | January 1st 2013 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

                I note you’ve ignored the Blues…you’re big on FACTS, Hightackle, but you’re quite willing to ignore FACTS that don’t back up your hypothesis.

                I do actually agree with you in part – coaches get too much and too little credit, but regardless it’s pretty clear that Henry is a good coach and partially responsible for the AB’s wining % during his tenure.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 7:32pm
                Hightackle said | January 1st 2013 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

                Oh yes I take into account the super rugby.
                Deans is 2•5 x better than Henry right?
                Oh but wait…Deans has not been able to make Aust #1 like he did with the Saders. Its almost like the players have got a lot to do with it or something.
                Trust me I take everything into account. Im sure if you kill enough first born sons each year, eventually you will have a harvest but that doesnt make it the reason for the bumper crop or something that you should use to prove your hypothisis that doing it doesnt work.

                Like I said, it doesnt work that way. Thats another FACT for you.
                Its not a hypothesis either, its a fact that is ignored.
                A teams percentage is not an indication of how good the coach is, the physio, the hooker, the openside or the tighthead is. The only indication you can get from it isof how good a TEAM is relative to its opposition. The team includes the coach but the coach is not the team or even close to it.
                Hansen with Wales 35%. Hansen with ABs 86%.
                McKenzie with Stade Fancais was sacked for poor results. McKenzie with the Reds wins super rugby.
                Its not rocket science Jerry. Its obvious.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 8:14pm
                Jerry said | January 1st 2013 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

                Never mind, pointless argument.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 8:52pm
                Hightackle said | January 1st 2013 @ 8:52pm | ! Report

                The Blues won 2 with Henry as coach. The 3rd was when he was breifly an advisor in 2003.
                The Saders won 7 titles whilst Deans was with the Saders. 2 when he was manager and 5 when he was coach.
                That does not mean either coach was better or responsible.

                Im not saying he cant say he was part of the team or that he is not worthy of some credit. What I am saying is that its not his 85%.
                The ABs may have won 85% without Andrew Hore but that does not mean he cant take a bit of credit.
                Here is another example.
                Nick Mallett is SAs “most successfull” pro era coach with 71%.
                Nick Mallett was one of Italys least successfull pro era coaches with 19%.
                The difference is the team, not the coach.
                Coaches make a difference but you cant judge a coach on their win % alone, if at all.

              • January 2nd 2013 @ 4:08am
                Ben.S said | January 2nd 2013 @ 4:08am | ! Report

                ‘Hightackle, you are of course entitled to your opinion,but it’s interesting to note that the ab’s didn’t seem to have a problem with his methods.But maybe,that’s just a nz thing.’

                So Graham Henry didn’t change in any single way after the Lions tour, and used exactly the same methods that he used with the Lions as with the All Blacks…

              • Roar Rookie

                January 2nd 2013 @ 1:13pm
                Neuen said | January 2nd 2013 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

                Hightackle your statements contain pure speculation. Speculating that Henry would do something unethical and provide information against his employers is just wrong.

                Going o pick and go and use a avg score for and against and deciding who’s got the best or worse defense is so wrong in many ways. SA played NZ in 09 scored 32 points against them. Did NZ have a bad defense considering they conceded two tries, one which was a intercept, three monster Steyn penalties and a Steyn drop goal. Earlier the scored 31 points by scoring only 1 try against NZ? Bad defense?

              • January 2nd 2013 @ 1:58pm
                ohtani's jacket said | January 2nd 2013 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

                If you think Mitchell or Hansen’s All Blacks were better than Henry you ought to give yourself a high tackle.

              • January 3rd 2013 @ 2:04am
                ScotandProud said | January 3rd 2013 @ 2:04am | ! Report

                Theres 2 sides. Henry lost his squad with his man management style. He didnt care about morale just so long as he did what he thought would guarantee results. It was partly cultural as in NZ a coach like Henry could just say “do it again” under in his breath a 1000 times and each time the players would be busting a gut to impress him. He is still respectedby many as they believe that the Lions played their best ever rugby of the modern era under him. He admitted later that he made alot of mistakes and learnt alot from his time in Europe. He didnt get the Lions ethos – for any coach to take all those players and identify a team and a strategy in a short period of time is touch and go to make it a winning strategy and a winning team is very hard and I think the nature of the task shocked him when combined with the politics in the camp. He didnt have much truck with it and he lost alot of players who basically went off tour when they realised that they were nowhere near the test team. He said at one point that it would be easier to pick a squad of 23 at the outset. train them up and go and play 3 tests over 3 weeks to a traditionalist that would be an anathema. The lions is supposedly about any player having a chance of impressing and coming through to be picked over the course of many games. i dont think he was that keen on another week another wednesday test against a countryside xv He lost players but then so did Andy Robinson, his communication style did not get through. Even the English players didnt respect Robinson. The other nations didnt like Steve Black either – they thought he was a bad trainer and that the Welsh were unfit as a direct result.
                He lost his own players as well as he told them before the tour that they were as good as any other nations players but push came to shove he picked others over them where it was clear he thought those players were miles ahead of the welsh, He still managed to pick a few like Daffyd James and Colin Charvis who werent good enough for the team and who were there because they were welsh. If there was a choice between average players the Welsh one would get the call.
                The english were notorious for wanting their own players in. In 97 Telfer wanted Back and Eric Miller in the 1st test XV back row as Miller was the form no 8 however Johnson insisted on the English triumvirate of Dallaglio Hill and Rodders. To be fair they won the test. A total BS story was put out that Miller had the ‘flu. I was in Wellington drinking the week before the 1st test and people there were doing their best to console a very pissed off Eric Miller. It was clear the Englsih didnt think much of some of the selections in 2001.
                Theres also the thing about class, the middle class English tend not to be liked by the working class welsh as a rule, the other nations find them stuck up and arrogant, unable to blend in as easily and some of the English carried on like divas – healey and Dawson anyone? then again it was just a really hard tour and alot of things went wrong even the camera crew wouldnt hear a no and pissed everyone off plus a terrible injury toll the team that took the field for the 3rd test wasnt fit to play, they were in such bad shape they had to call in people like andy Nicol who was out on holiday into the match day squad. i think there were alot of regrets after that tour.

            • January 4th 2013 @ 11:22am
              Handles said | January 4th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report


              I said “(Henry)…didn’t gel with the non-Welsh” players, and you said I was wrong, because “the English faction were disgruntled…and undermined Henry from the start”. And they didn’t like his training methods.

              You are drawing a distinction that is too fine for me to see.

              • January 4th 2013 @ 11:59am
                richard said | January 4th 2013 @ 11:59am | ! Report

                My mistake – sorry.You are quite correct,how the hell did I miss that?

    • Roar Guru

      December 31st 2012 @ 7:10am
      Hoy said | December 31st 2012 @ 7:10am | ! Report

      Truth is, based on how they played late 2011/all 2012, no. But if they rekindle a bit of form from 2010, early 2011, then yes they can beat the Lions.

      • December 31st 2012 @ 6:24pm
        richard said | December 31st 2012 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

        Hightackle @2.58pm; yes, it was the ab’s that won 85%, but it is the selection and tactics of the coach that ultimately decides how a team will perform.As for Mitchell’s record, irrelevant in my book.His time was over 2 years,not 8.I would have liked to see how he would have gone over a prolonged period of time, but like Deans,I believe he would have floundered.Mitchell, like Deans (and Hansen), don’t have the tactical or technical expertise to sustain a successful, prolonged coaching stint.This has already been borne out with Deans, and the same will happen to Hansen.

        As for his record with other teams other than the ab’s, try these gems-

        coached the Auckland Blues to 2 Super 12 titles in 1996 and 97.

        Numerous NPC titles with Auckland.

        Coached Wales to 11/12 wins in a row,including a first ever win v South Africa

        That’s just a few examples. And it would seem Neuen agrees with me.

        • December 31st 2012 @ 6:51pm
          Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

          You are not listening and Nuean has quoted stats that are completely wrong.
          Mitchell and Hansen add up to about 45 games. Thats not nothing unless you are just being difficult. Yes Auck won with Henry, they also won before and after him, just like the ABs.
          I find it really frustrating that a coach gets credit for success and all of the failures of his teams are dismissed.
          Henry quit as Wales coach after record losses, fact.
          Henry failed as Lions coach, fact.
          The ABs were successful before and after Henry, fact.
          Auck were successful before and after Henry, fact.
          The ABs won a WC with Henry but they also had their worst WC result with Henry, fact.
          The ABs lost less under Mitchell and Hansen combined, fact.
          The ABs scored more under Hansen and Mitchell, fact.
          Henry gets credit for things he didnt do, fact.

          • December 31st 2012 @ 7:02pm
            richard said | December 31st 2012 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

            We could be chasing our tails here.Let’s just say I don’t believe his record will be beaten for some considerable time,if ever.

            As a curiosity, who do you rate?

            • December 31st 2012 @ 7:13pm
              Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 7:13pm | ! Report

              I rate Henry Richard. I just dont think he should be credited with the team success when the team of the last 13 years has been incredible. I mean McCaw and Carter surrounded by guys like Hayman, Umaga, Jane and Dagg?! What a golden period.
              I rate a lot of coaches like Jake White, Vern Cotter, Henry, Plumtree, Blackadder but I will admitt it is very hard to understand how good they are or if it is just a matter of what coach suits what group of players and good and bad is not really the relevant.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 3:43pm
                richard said | January 1st 2013 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

                HT,I’m with you on Jake White,Cotter and Plumtree.Don’t rate Blackadder.

                Personally, the next outstanding coach of the ab’s – if he gets the gig- is Dave Rennie.His provincial record with Manawatu, taking them to the first division in the NPC,as well as winning 3 JWC titles.And all this backed up by a title in his first year in SR, merely confirmed how good a coach he is.I see shades of G.Henry in him,and believe he will be a roaring success if he ever gets the top job.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 4:02pm
                Jerry said | January 1st 2013 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

                Rennie also coached Wellington to their only NPC win in the last 25 years. He’s been successful pretty much wherever he’s been.

          • Roar Rookie

            January 3rd 2013 @ 2:37pm
            Neuen said | January 3rd 2013 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

            No Hightackle your stats is completely wrong.

        • December 31st 2012 @ 7:06pm
          Hightackle said | December 31st 2012 @ 7:06pm | ! Report

          Also Hansens Wales were 35%. Do you understand? Its the team, not the coach.
          McCaw, Nonu, Carter, Thorn, Williams, Hore, Mealamu, Mauger, Merthens, Jane, Sivi, Rokacoko, Howlett, Hayman, Woodcock, Cruden, Marshall, Kelleher, Umaga, C.Smith, Kahui, Dagg, Mils and many others are the reason it was 85% and Henry did his bit too but I am 100% sure that the 85% is not an indication whatsoever of Henry’s coaching ability.
          How many coaches of Italy, Scotland and a few other teams have coached whilst the team had a win % over 50%? Not many if any. That does not mean that none were good coaches. The best coach that ever coached a rugby team could lose to the worst, depending on the team they coach. This is a fact and a sure indication that win % is not a fair indication of how good a coach is. Coaches even say this but accept that is how they will be judged.

          • December 31st 2012 @ 7:34pm
            richard said | December 31st 2012 @ 7:34pm | ! Report

            Okay,using your rationale, there has never been a “great’ coach in rugby.I don’t dispute that list of players made Henry’s job easier, and you can have a pantheon of great players, but they still have to be moulded into a team.That takes coaching skills.Whilst it is conjecture,I put it to you that under Mitchell or Deans this team wouldn’t have had as much success.
            As for Hansen, I don’t rate him,he has merely inherited a great team that is staring to slide.This will become more pronounced next year when the team starts to lose with more regularity.

            • January 1st 2013 @ 1:01pm
              Jaredsbro said | January 1st 2013 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

              But hang on a moment, with the current crop that will take longer than your saying to start genuinely declining. I actually think it’s rather important at this point to realise that most probably International Rugby has never been this uncompetitive…with an almost case-like hierarchy of NZ>South Africa>Australia>France>England>Wales etc,

              Whereas in 1999 you had a genuinely fluid hierarchy, with The South Hemisphere teams generally on top…but more there by tradition/adaptation to professionalism than being miles ahead in ability. It may become more competitve with the Sevens in the Olympics, but I think we might have seen Test Rugby’s gloriest days already!

              • January 1st 2013 @ 3:29pm
                richard said | January 1st 2013 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                Not so sure I agree with you there,Jaredsbro.Many of the key players are in the twilight of their careers – the hookers,Woodcock,McCsw,Carter and the two centres.And frankly,the replacements are for the most part not in the same league.
                As for the weakness in the modern game,well I would apply it to both 1999 and 2003.I n the McQueen era, outside oz,I didn’t rate any of the teams – the ab’s were in a state of flux with poor coaching and a weak team with a host of retirements at the end of 1997 (Z and R.Brooke,I.Jones,S.Fitzpatrick and F.Bunce- four greats we were unable to replace).It took us until 2002 before we started to come right.SA had one good year 1998,and England and France were a joke.It was Aussies greatest team, but their opposition across the board was weak,IMO just as weak as the ab’s opponents are today.

                Jerry, totally agree with you.Amazing how people can’t see how good Henry was.

          • January 1st 2013 @ 10:15am
            Jerry said | January 1st 2013 @ 10:15am | ! Report

            Henry maintained the second best winning percentage of any AB coach over an 8 year period (a longer stint than any other AB coach) so surely it’s SOME indication of his coaching ability.

            • January 1st 2013 @ 6:22pm
              Hightackle said | January 1st 2013 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

              The All Blacks won, not Henry and no its not an indication of his coaching ability at all.
              Henry was a small part of a team made up of many parts including Wayne Smith and Steve Hansen, not to mention Carter, Mealamu, McCaw, Nonu, Mils, Umaga, Dagg and C.Smith.
              The Abs were the fastest car in the race by quite a way, Henry drove the fastest car whilst others changed gears and used the peddles for him. Whilst it took skill to win, it does not mean he was the best driver. This is shown by a driver change and the same results.
              Teams make coaches not the other way around and it is demonstrated time after time. When coaches say “I couldnt of done it without…” and “a lot of the credit must go to …” they are not being modest, just honest. G.Henry could not have got 85% with another team over that period and he knows it. However I think that the team could have got 85% without Henry.
              Like I always say, the best coach in the world could lose to the worst coach in the world depending on the teams they coach.

              • January 1st 2013 @ 7:10pm
                Jerry said | January 1st 2013 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

                Henry couldn’t have got 85% with another team, but I disagree that the AB’s would have achieved the same record without him in charge.

                I don’t agree that the comparison with Mitchell/Hanson and Henry proves your point, because their combined tenures are still less than half of his and because Henry sustained that winning percentage through rebuilding the team almost completely post 2007.

              • January 2nd 2013 @ 12:14am
                stillmatic1 said | January 2nd 2013 @ 12:14am | ! Report

                is this guy serious? so why have a coach, HT? just like any boss, his record is a reflection of his abilities aswell as those of his team. thats why he is the boss, for gods sake.
                so a ceo/boss works for one or two years and gets lucky, and that is more important than a long term ceo/boss getting almost similar success or this extended time? excuse me, but WTF?
                surely longevity of success is the most important factor in determining the value of a coach?
                for someone who claims to post “truth”, you fail yourself when you claim that henry couldnt have had success elsewhere or that the abs would have won the same amount of matches without him.
                to claim that henry is over-rated simply because he happened to coach “good” teams is absurd. should he be a good coach with a crap team?

                fact is, longevity and consistancy of results trumps all else, and this is where henry trumps both hansen and mitchell. why dont you bring up the many coaches before henry who only coached a handful of tests and thus had better records? henry coached over 3 times the amount of matches that mitchell did, ffs!! the man obviously knows what he is doing, so much so that the players were confident enough in him to continue to play to a high standard, match after match, for 8 years.

                and HT, please oh please dont reply with an obvious list of the players he had, nobody is disputing the calibre of the players.

              • January 5th 2013 @ 2:37am
                Malo said | January 5th 2013 @ 2:37am | ! Report

                Right in one regard. Eddie the Eagle could coach the ABs to a high winning record as long as the players had good unity, but the coach like MacQueen aides in the focus and guides direction. The two normally go hand in hand. The best coaches pretty much were around when they won there prospective world cups, though the teams were also strong, they do add something. Wrong about Argentina they had a great year and are the most improved sides in terms of style and matching it with the big boys. Stats HT mean nothing rather performance and great ticker by the Argies and a little bit of great coaching and direction have seen a great introduction into the southern hemisphere arena. Also played really well in World cup especially first half against ABs

              • Roar Rookie

                January 5th 2013 @ 5:02am
                Neuen said | January 5th 2013 @ 5:02am | ! Report

                Rod Macqueen’s rhino reference to the then Springbok coach Harry Viljoen. Macqueen and Viljoen are good mates and they were on a Safari outing when they saw Rhino. Macqueen said: ‘Look Harry there’s your team … big, strong and f**king dumb’. haha loved that one

        • January 2nd 2013 @ 6:15am
          richard said | January 2nd 2013 @ 6:15am | ! Report

          To BenS@4.08am, yeah,you’re probably right.Henry made the mistake of treating the English contingent with too much respect,and didn’t know he had to treat them with kid gloves because he might hurt their feelings.

          I’ll give you the tip mate,that wouldn’t be tolerated in nz rugby.Any group of players that acted that way here would kiss their career good-bye,regardless of the relative merits of the coach.They got away with it because they were poms, and the brit media had a ready made scapegoat in Henry when the team failed.Put it this way,it was always going to be a BRITISH victory if the Lions won,and the nzer’s fault if they lost.This will also apply to Gatland this year,I can almost feel sorry for him.

          • January 2nd 2013 @ 10:55am
            Ben.S said | January 2nd 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

            Henry’s man management skills were called into question, as was the fact that it was felt he was overtraining the squad, who by that point were utterly fatigued – certainly no element of kid gloves. The only English issues voiced were at the end of the tour from Dawson and Healey, two known extroverts, with Healey’s coming from an Eddie Butler written ghost column. Essentially the only real criticisms voiced (and not publicly) were with regard to the fact that the England players felt they were far fitter and more professional than the other national players. There was no issue at any point of there being a NZ scapegoat. Henry selected poorly and didn’t manage the tour well. I would imagine that’s beyond debate. He himself has stated how much he learnt from that tour as a coach.

            And all this talk of English discontent due to English players not being selected in the Test side is utter piffle as Greening, Luger, Catt and Greenwood were all injured on tour. Leonard, Vickery, Johnson, Grewcock, Hill, Back, Corry, Dawson, Wilkinson, Robinson and Perry all featured in the Tests.

            • January 2nd 2013 @ 1:41pm
              richard said | January 2nd 2013 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

              I never said G.Henry wouldn’t pick English players, the Lions team was predominantly based on English players- and on form,rightly so.

              What I said was that the English contingent (not all) resented Henry getting the Lions job over their man, Woodward.It is also well documented that both Healey and Dawson were trouble-makers on this tour.A reflection of Dawson’s character was revealed after England’s recent win over the ab’s- supposedly it was because the ab’s weren’t allowed to cheat.Ironic considering Dawson and his cohorts put considerable pressure on the Irish ref in the 2005 GS tour.A game that saw four ab’s sin-binned in the second half, for exactly the same offences the English committed in the first half.Of course,the poms weren’t punished

              You may have a point about Henry’s man management skills on THIS tour.I do recall him mentioning in an interview that he had to change his coaching philosophy from being a ranter when the players didn’t perform- although by all accounts, the ab’s did get a regular serve when they let their standards drop- to having to massage their egos in order to get the best out of them.

              • Roar Guru

                January 3rd 2013 @ 2:28am
                Poth Ale said | January 3rd 2013 @ 2:28am | ! Report

                “A game that saw four ab’s sin-binned in the second half, for exactly the same offences the English committed in the first half.Of course,the poms weren’t punished”

                There were three players sin-binned by Alan Lewis in the second half – Henry said he had no complaints about them afterwards. Admittedly NZ had won the game, so maybe he was feeling generous. I suspect that an English team supposedly putting pressure on an Irish ref like Lewis might have the opposite effect to the one desired.

              • January 3rd 2013 @ 7:51am
                richard said | January 3rd 2013 @ 7:51am | ! Report

                Actually,Pot Hale,I can recall after the game, G.Henry made the comment that he wished the referee had reffed both teams – the inference being that he was only watching one team- the ab’s.

                This was eagerly reported by the british press.What he said at a press conference doesn’t necessarily correlate with what he was really thinking.

                As an aside, in this game the poms prevented at least one,if not two tries by cynical play in the first half.All the ab’s got were penalties,when they could easily have warranted penalty tries – and a sin-binning.Contrast this refereeing performance with that of Alain Rolland a few years later, where four poms were put in the sinbin for foul play.The brit press whined about how the ref had been too harsh on them. Hypocrisy personified!

              • Roar Guru

                January 3rd 2013 @ 11:38pm
                Poth Ale said | January 3rd 2013 @ 11:38pm | ! Report

                “G.Henry made the comment that he wished the referee had reffed both teams – the inference being that he was only watching one team – the AB’s. This was eagerly reported by the british press.What he said at a press conference doesn’t necessarily correlate with what he was really thinking.”

                So if he made that comment about reffing both teams, then that doesn’t correlate with what he was really thinking, if I follow your logic.

                Every team has complaints about a ref being too lenient or too harsh – it’s standard fare these days in rugby, including from NZ. I don’t set any great store about one particularly team’s complaints over another.

                If anything, NZ were publicly thrilled at having beaten the current RWC champions at the time and said so in interviews.

              • January 4th 2013 @ 5:27am
                richard said | January 4th 2013 @ 5:27am | ! Report

                Pot Hale @11.38pm, yeah, my point with G.Henry is that he always took the PC line whenever dealing with the media, you know the kind -“we respect our opponents etc”- and seldom let down his guard to show his true character.This was one of those occasions when he was seen in his real persona,and not wearing his ‘game face” so to speak.

              • Roar Guru

                January 4th 2013 @ 6:11am
                Poth Ale said | January 4th 2013 @ 6:11am | ! Report

                Oh yeah, I know what you mean, Richard

                I remember a similar occasion after the game when his real persona emerged and he said he didn’t have a problem with the yellow cards and that they’d have to look at their discipline before the next match with Scotland.

                Good to see a coach being honest about his team and not blithering on with anodyne excuses or complaints about the opposition or referee.

    • December 31st 2012 @ 8:01am
      eagleJack said | December 31st 2012 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      “Having watched the last Lions tour to Australia and our recent tour to Europe I am wondering if we will even win a game”.

      I don’t really understand the logic behind this statement.

      Firstly, we won the last Lions series. If they had left our shores with a 3-0 victory then yes, your statement would have merit.

      And the recent tour of Europe resulted in Australia beating both England and Wales. No it wasn’t pretty. And yes the style of play left a lot to be desired. But don’t underestimate the importance of heart shown by a depleted squad to win both games away from home. Plenty of confidence will be taken from this tour.

      I don’t have a crystal ball so don’t bother trying to predict the outcome of an event 6 months from now. But claiming we have little chance of winning a game based on 2 separate events where we actually came out on top seems flawed to me.

      • Roar Guru

        December 31st 2012 @ 8:18am
        stillmissit said | December 31st 2012 @ 8:18am | ! Report

        Eaglejack: Don’t know if you watched the last Lions tour but I did and was there at the Melbourne game. That team was the best team Australia have ever put on the park with a real pack and hard running creative backs. Our current team is not even a shadow of that team.

        Graham Henry coached the Lions and the Sydney test was won by 2 Matt Burke penalties. This is not going to be a ‘we will be UP! for it’ situation. 2001 is the ONLY time we have beaten the Lions.

        I think your thoughts are based on ‘faith without facts’ which is fine but not for me……

        • December 31st 2012 @ 9:17am
          eagleJack said | December 31st 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          I won’t argue with your summation of the 2001 Wallabies being a phenomenal side. But this current side, while lacking some talent, has similar traits to the Eales-led side in that they can scrap for a win, and win when not the best side on the park. That is a very important characteristic to have. With key personnel returning from injury I am confident they will put up a fight against the touring Lions (who usually suffer from player crises and mismanagement)

          And yes I did watch the 2001 Lions. I rate that game as the 3rd best event I have attended at Homebush (after the Aloisi goal in 2005 and Manly winning in 2008!). I’m hoping the 2013 version will be just as good.

        • January 2nd 2013 @ 11:33am
          Markus said | January 2nd 2013 @ 11:33am | ! Report

          I’d argue the point of the 2001 Wallabies having a ‘real pack’.
          Their lineout would be far superior to the current squad, but their scrummaging and mauling – both attacking and defensive – were god awful. The Lions did not exploit this anywhere near as much as they could have.
          Alexander, Kepu, Moore and a fit Robinson make a stronger frontrow than Foley, Dyson and Stiles.

          The 2001 pack’s work at the ruck breakdown was fantastic, but as the Brumbies showed this season, committing numbers to secure quick ruckball is just a matter of coaching, not cattle.
          There is no reason why the current crop of Wallabies forwards should not be able to do the same.

          • Roar Guru

            January 4th 2013 @ 11:22am
            stillmissit said | January 4th 2013 @ 11:22am | ! Report

            Markus: Agree with your analysis although they could scrummage on occasion, particularly if they were close to opp goal line ie the ‘inspector’ gadget try.

            A real pack to me is one that can win ball at the breakdown and retain their own ball, winning ball at set piece is not so easy – at least it shouldn’t be, by and large the 2001 team could do that. Eales was consistently the best in the world or in the top 2 lineout specialists in the world.

    , ,