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Kiwi kings confused in Christchurch

Loveni Roar Rookie

By Loveni, Loveni is a Roar Rookie New author!


129 Have your say

    An interesting result in Christchurch with the Lions confounding all the overly confident Kiwi fans who thought the Crusaders were going to thrash the northerners.

    Instead it was a clear points victory to Lions coach Warren Gatland over his local counterpart Scott Robertson.

    The confused fans must be asking themselves what happened.

    For many, the referee ‘happened’ as they just could not understand the calls from the French whistler who picked up on things like the scrum infringements, hands on the ground in the rucks and the general offside play.

    It’s a pity the same referee wasn’t there for the Chiefs and Highlanders matches against the most favoured team in Super Rugby, or there could have been very different results.

    But that’s water under the bridge.

    What really happened was that the Lions did what few teams have managed this year. They put the Crusaders under pressure and, because they are not used to being under pressure, they made mistakes.

    Therein lies the basis for any rugby match. Figure out ways to put the opposition under pressure and see how well they handle it.

    ‘Not good enough’, was the answer for the Crusaders tonight.

    The basis for the win was what most Kiwis would recognise as ugly rugby, dominating the set piece, winning the collisions, and kicking, kicking, kicking.

    It was not the prettiest, but it was effective.

    Is that all they’ve got? I think they are still holding back, knowing that it is in the first Test where they’ll have to unleash all their weapons – or it will be adios amigo.

    On the selection side, the Lions have got some interesting questions to answer.

    Did the best ball-playing loose-head prop in the world, Mako Vunipola, do enough in the scrum to secure his Test place?

    Did Tagh Furlong play his way out?

    Has Taulupe Faletau got enough mongrel to really bother the All Blacks?

    Has someone, who has mongrel to spare, Sean O’Brien, played his way into the Test team? Did Anthony Watson do the same at fullback?

    And what to do in the backs with Jonathon Sexton and Owen Farrell? That to me is an easy one with Farrell needing to be the sole boss as Sexton’s need to share the limelight could put the great one off. Sexton was noticeably better with Farrell’s calming influence.

    As for the All Blacks, you would think they will not be overly worried – not yet anyway.

    First they would like to see how the strong Lions’ defence plays against an All Blacks team that will get much more possession than the Crusaders did tonight.

    Plus they will be interested to see how the red jerseys go against the likes of Ben Smith, Julian Savea and the Barrett brothers.

    If the visitors should pass that Test too, then, and only then, maybe, the Kiwi fans will start to worry.

    Just a little bit.

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    The Crowd Says (129)

    • June 13th 2017 @ 6:49am
      Zero Gain said | June 13th 2017 @ 6:49am | ! Report

      Confused all right. It’s the referee, it was an ambush, the Lions can’t score tries though bro! Ramblings of the confused Kiwi rugby fan mind.

      • June 13th 2017 @ 8:20am
        Kane said | June 13th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

        It’s a pity the same referee wasn’t there for the Chiefs and Highlanders matches against the most favoured team in Super Rugby, or there could have been very different results.

        I’m a Highlanders fan and the referee was not responsible for the Chiefs or Highlanders losing.

        The reason was that the Crusaders played better than the opposition, something they failed to do on Saturday.

        • June 13th 2017 @ 10:00am
          ClarkeG said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

          I was looking for the author to back that statement up….but he didn’t.

      • June 13th 2017 @ 8:29am
        Andy said | June 13th 2017 @ 8:29am | ! Report

        Well done zero! You’re taking much delight in the lions win, but getting on your high horse about red blaming is a bridge too far, reading this website every week Australian super team losses are blamed on the referee. The lions played better they played better tactics in the conditions and won end of story.

        • June 13th 2017 @ 10:46am
          taylorman said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

          ha ha yes, every week its home town ref, home town ref that, never mind the 22 straight losses.

          oh, and by the way Zero, what do the Lions and SA Super sides have in common?

          Theyve both beaten kiwi Super sides… 🙂

      • June 13th 2017 @ 9:20am
        Dave said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:20am | ! Report

        Another nothing post from Zero Brain

        • June 13th 2017 @ 3:54pm
          Marto said | June 13th 2017 @ 3:54pm | ! Report

          Choice eh bro..Need tries to win eh bro.. haha .. Ya mudcake ..,Lions strangled the top UN ZUD TEAM..

          • June 13th 2017 @ 4:16pm
            Jacko said | June 13th 2017 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

            Strangling is illegal on and off the field. On the field its a RED

            • June 13th 2017 @ 7:26pm
              Jibba Jabba said | June 13th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

              But it was my favourite technigue, we called it the choker hold..

          • June 13th 2017 @ 4:23pm
            gumboot said | June 13th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

            @Marto. Great observation and you’re right, the Lions did strangle the Saders with ‘rush’ defence but having said that…..the Saders are known more for front foot ball (cliche, I know) but non the less true and less known for their back play esp without Crotty playing. The Saders crippled the Lions forward domination front ball but more than that…..the Lions ‘back’ foot play hence the score with penalties and Farrell/Sexton were found wanting.

            The Lions just showed their hand.

      • June 13th 2017 @ 9:55am
        ClarkeG said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

        You’re a funny guy Zero.

      • June 13th 2017 @ 7:30pm
        Jumbo said | June 13th 2017 @ 7:30pm | ! Report

        Please forgive zg, he hasn’t had alot to smile about this year, so he jumps on any win against a kiwi that he can. Stick to nrc boyo.

    • June 13th 2017 @ 7:09am
      richard said | June 13th 2017 @ 7:09am | ! Report

      The Crusaders had the dominant scrum and were pinged off the park.The Lions rush defence was offside all night,yet wasn’t picked up.But ,that’s okay because apparently the referee did a great job.

    • June 13th 2017 @ 7:24am
      Loveni said | June 13th 2017 @ 7:24am | ! Report

      But nor could the Crusaders, so it was enough on the night.

      • June 13th 2017 @ 10:19am
        Jibba Jabba said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

        You have love in your name – but not in your heart..

    • Roar Guru

      June 13th 2017 @ 7:25am
      biltongbek said | June 13th 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

      Lions confounding all, confused fans, referee “happened”

      Loveni, sorry mate your intro sounds more like click bait than anything else.

      I don’t recall anyone saying the Crusaders are going to thrash the Lions, I do not agree the Lions “confounded” anyone.

      On the night the Crusaders were penalised more than usual on their set piece (I am not going to debate whether it was correctly refereed or not) which put them on the back foot, they failed to exploit the space behind the rush defence, which is uncharacteristic of them.

      The Lions got a much needed win, however for their sake I hope they can improve on their attacking skills, three pointers alone don’t win many test matches.

      • Roar Guru

        June 13th 2017 @ 8:51am
        Carlos the Argie said | June 13th 2017 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        This is basically how I saw it. Just a few different calls by the referee would have made a big difference. Just a few uncharacteristic errors by the CRU would have made it different. That melee under the BIL posts at the end of the half, where the CRU player tried to go over the top instead of like a missile to the base of the post, and it would have been different.

        But this is sport, and those things happen. The BIL did enough to win.

        I would like the BIL to score tries though. According the Harry the Guru of Statistics Jones, to beat the ABs you need to score lots of points. And with penalties alone it becomes very hard.

        • Roar Guru

          June 13th 2017 @ 9:22am
          biltongbek said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

          Agree Carlos.

        • June 13th 2017 @ 9:30am
          Fionn said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          Brilliantly put, mate. Cheers Carlos.

        • Roar Guru

          June 13th 2017 @ 9:45am
          Wal said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

          Even as a One Eyed Crusaders fan this is exactly how I saw it as well.
          It was a tight hard fought close match, had the refs calls gone the other way the Cru might have gotten up but then the Lions fans would have felt hard done by, isn’t that just Rugby?

          • June 13th 2017 @ 10:22am
            Jibba Jabba said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:22am | ! Report

            Yep, it was a win the world needed, bit like the 95 World Cup… the world needed it more than the ABs and suzie ensured that happened,
            In this case the Lions Tour and their supporters needed it more than the Crusaders – and the ref ensured that happened.

            • June 13th 2017 @ 3:34pm
              gumboot said | June 13th 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

              Uh ohh, you’ve done it now Jibba……..”Yep, it was a win the world needed, bit like the 95 World Cup… the world needed it more than the ABs and suzie ensured that happened…….”

              That’s a can of worms that needs to be kept closed, although you and Rory Steyn are right, let’s just acknowledge the fact that we (New Zealanders) played our integral part in the formation of the ‘great’ new found ‘rainbow’ nation and we all lived happily ever after.

              And yep, the powers that be in World Rugby (IRB) needed the Lions to beat the Saders for prosperity and to keep the series alive.

              I 100% agree with your sentiments Jibba

              • June 13th 2017 @ 7:27pm
                Jibba Jabba said | June 13th 2017 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

                Except sadly the rainbow nation aint so happy, but then they now have the autonomy to sort it out themselves… 🙂

        • June 13th 2017 @ 11:07am
          Perthstayer said | June 13th 2017 @ 11:07am | ! Report

          Carlos – Nice.

          Numerous Lions scoring opportunities failed at final pass where passer under big pressure at a time he was passing to a guys he met last month.

          Kruis & AWJ, O’Brien was not a shoe-in pre tour, Watson doesn’t play FB for England yet worked well behind Lions. North’s form better than club form. Farrell proving unflustered. Murray world class. Te’O coming good.

          All this in only month.

          Tries are coming. Prob not tonight with many fresh combos. But rest assured Lions in camp will not be overly worried.

          • June 13th 2017 @ 11:51am
            ClarkeG said | June 13th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

            Stander was under no pressure when he dropped the ball cold.

            Farrell blew certain try when he threw the long pass to North. No pressure there – simply poor decision.

            • June 13th 2017 @ 3:46pm
              Perthstayer said | June 13th 2017 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

              ClarkeG – I did not say it was the recipient was under pressure.

              Pass to Stander went to just below his neck.

              Davies pass to Williams in opening minute looked like he threw a pack of mince.

              Teo to Williams was just terrible.

              Fair point that some of the passers were under less pressure than others.

              • June 13th 2017 @ 4:32pm
                Bakkies said | June 13th 2017 @ 4:32pm | ! Report

                Pass to CJ was thing he had one arm up to call for the ball instead of having his hands out in front. I’ve never seen him do that calling for a pass and it wasn’t like he met Sexton a few weeks back

        • June 13th 2017 @ 12:42pm
          Zero Gain said | June 13th 2017 @ 12:42pm | ! Report

          No way. The Lions dominated that match. Open your eyes. They controlled the game, it was not a ‘few different plays’. They strangled the Crusaders, not easy to do.
          Their problem in the tests will be the ABs ability to score from turnover ball. Saders tried, but couldn’t get through. It was a good old fashioned game of rugby from the Lions.

          • June 13th 2017 @ 4:23pm
            Jacko said | June 13th 2017 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

            So strange how ONLY you and MARTO are using the word Strangled…Knowing its illegal would help both (lol) of you a lot.

            Also I agree
            No way the Lions dominated that match…..

          • Roar Guru

            June 14th 2017 @ 1:18am
            Carlos the Argie said | June 14th 2017 @ 1:18am | ! Report

            Maybe the Lions dominated possession and territory. However, the try opportunities were similar for both sides. Dominating possession and territory and still not scoring is not very good or useful.

            At 3 minutes or so in the second half, the CRU missed a great try chance too, one that in normal circumstances they would have scored. Again, a few calls or plays here or there would have changed the game.

            • June 16th 2017 @ 11:43pm
              double agent said | June 16th 2017 @ 11:43pm | ! Report

              Agree. Wallabies have often dominated territory and possession and never look like winning.

        • June 13th 2017 @ 6:59pm
          Cuw said | June 13th 2017 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

          what i found funny was how the Cru kept on falling over their own feet.

          perhaps they did not wear the right boots – a la Beale and his penalty kick?|

          wont be the first time for razor tho – happened to lose a match at U20 against Irish (if i remember right) in poring rain trying to run from own 20 … DUH

      • June 13th 2017 @ 9:26am
        Shaun said | June 13th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        I agree.
        To be honest, i think the biggest difference between the Blues and the Crusaders was the mindset.
        The Blues went out there knowing that they were massive underdogs, and threw everything at the Lions knowing that if it didnt come off that it wouldnt matter too much.
        The Crusaders, after seeing the result of the previous game, went out there with the expectation that they should win the game. They looked nervous and afraid to try anything in fear of making mistakes.

      • June 13th 2017 @ 10:11am
        ClarkeG said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        Yes I don’t think many in NZ expected the Lions to be thrashed by the Crusaders and I honestly, other than a couple of scrum penalties/free kicks, I don’t think there was any confusion either.

    • June 13th 2017 @ 7:27am
      Loveni said | June 13th 2017 @ 7:27am | ! Report

      My problem is I tend to pay too much attention to the comments after the articles and there were plenty there on various sites promising a Crusaders’ hiding for the tourists.
      Seems to me the Crusaders were put under more pressure than they were able to handle.

      • June 13th 2017 @ 10:52am
        taylorman said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        Yes but you have no problem pointing the obvious afterwards. At least saders fans put their stake in the ground before the match.

        Didnt see you picking a Lions win. But chirp, chirp afterwards?

        poor form…

        • June 13th 2017 @ 1:10pm
          Wozza said | June 13th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

          Given the way you guys go on about Aussies talking themselves up I’m a bit confused as to why it’s poor form that an underperforming team isn’t talked up but as we all know, you can’t win with kiwi rugby fans

      • June 13th 2017 @ 10:59am
        Suzy Poison said | June 13th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        Worth noting that the Crusaders were solid favourites with the bookies. And yes considering that a good Lions result.

        • Roar Guru

          June 13th 2017 @ 11:16am
          taylorman said | June 13th 2017 @ 11:16am | ! Report

          Only on the basis of the first two results. Lions were warm favourites when they stepped off the plane. Blues were 3.80, Saders 2.90. Lions around 1.50 for both.
          Then the odds came in.

          • June 13th 2017 @ 2:09pm
            Suzy Poison said | June 13th 2017 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

            Fair enough. But we need to give the Lions some credit. The Crusaders have dominated the Super 18. They have been training for a year together. They pretty much also had most of the All Black pack. Let’s put it this way, I think that Crusaders team will easily beat the Boks. They would smack the Boks. Possibly give the Wallabies a real run for their money if they had to play them in Christchurch.

            The Lions have had a couple of weeks together, and still haven’t found the perfect team. So it’s a very good result for the Lions.

            Before the game, John Smit noted Gatland hadn’t played Owen Farrell.

            When Farrell played the Lions looked a lot better. I agree with Smit, The Lions have a chance.

          • June 13th 2017 @ 3:53pm
            Perthstayer said | June 13th 2017 @ 3:53pm | ! Report

            TMAN – Of course the odds came in. Bookies measured the contest on:

            An unbeaten side loaded with ABs vs 15 guys who had never played together before, and whose team-mates had just lost to the worst NZ SR side.

            • Roar Guru

              June 13th 2017 @ 5:28pm
              taylorman said | June 13th 2017 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

              Yes I know that, was making that point.

    • June 13th 2017 @ 8:25am
      Waxhead said | June 13th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      Well I’m aussie and I didn’t see any Kiwi’s claiming Crusaders would thrash Lion’s.

      And the referee was just rubbish – doesn’t matter where you come from.
      The missed 3 points from the Farrell goal was more than gifted back to them by the Ref imo.

      And Loveni – no reason to get excited about this close Lion’s win.
      All they did was squeak home against a provincial team on penalty kicks.
      Their defense, lineout and kicking was excellent as expected.

      But serious weaknesses confirmed in lack of attack & scrum time.
      ABs will unlock their defense imo so I’m still tipping a 3-0 black out.
      But at least looks like we’ll have a competitive series now.