I have been enjoying the coverage of the 2005 Lions Tour on Sky's Pop Up Channel. Kudos to Sky (almost compensates for their failure to show replays of all the recent 6 Nations matches in time slots that would suit New Zealanders so that we can all assess the candidates for Lions selection). If they do throw those 6N matches onto their Lions pop-up channel I might have to pay for some pay-per-view events to show my appreciation. I'd also love to see the matches from the '93 tour, although I imagine Sky haven't got them on archive.
Anyway, here are some of my thoughts from the 2005 games that they've replayed so far, would be interested to hear other people's thoughts/memories/expectations for this tour and from the last.
First of all, a digression about the actual coverage:
Its weird to see test matches recorded in standard definition, and some that aren't even wide-screen, I've become so used to wide-screen HD its hard to believe that we didn't have it back in '05 (can't remember what year everything went HD).
It's also strange that Sky are replaying some of the matches with no match graphics on - tuning in halfway through a game it is impossible to tell what the state of the match is. It's also frustrating when they interview a player and you're digging through the memory banks to remember a guy's name. I would've thought that even if they haven't kept recordings of the matches with graphics on, or if there are sponsorship issues associated with replaying games with graphics on, that they could have re-added graphics to the games prior to re-screening them?
Finally it was good to hear John Drake in commentary again - Maybe I just have rose-tinted glasses on, but he seemed very measured compared with today's crowd, and didn't ramble, misidentify players, throw in witticisms, judgements or hyperbole.
Well, enough digression about the coverage. On the one hand it was great that the NZ provinces played the Lions in 2005 - it's far easier for a crowd to back their side when the team represents their province rather than just an arbitrary franchise in my opinion. And all the provincial unions have such a long history of great clashes with the British and Irish Lions - even the opening titles of the replayed matches gave you that nostalgic feeling of an old-time rugby tour - and showed an appreciation of that history. On the other hand, nobody really expected (nor received) competitive mid-week tour matches due to the gulf in class between provincial sides and a pro-team of NH stars (even back in '05), so having the Super franchises play the midweek matches should give us more competitive games this time around. Whether the matches are all sold out will show us whether there is the same passion for franchise rugby.
Injuries and cards played an enormous part on the tour. I think we can all expect the same this time around, especially if the midweek clashes are played with greater intensity due to the Super franchise involvement, and with greater penalties for foul-play these days.
The loss of Dallaglio in the opening stanza of the first tour match against BoP was enormous to Lions hopes. I think his influence should not be underestimated. And so was the much written-about near-death experience that saw O'Driscoll out of the tour. It's hard to quantify exactly how much these incidents throw the best-laid plans into disarray, so I won't dwell on them, except to state that we could expect a similar injury toll to either team this side around, so flexibility in the face of injuries will be of critical importance to both squads.
Some observations specifically from the 1st test in Christchurch:
The conditions were absolutely abysmal. Torrential sleet and hail with frigid temperatures. Not at all conducive to running rugby and yet we still saw some excellent attack and handling by both teams. The break for Sivi's try was as good as you could expect to see in ideal match conditions, let alone in a blizzard.
In the first 10 minutes of the match there were enough high tackles, tip tackles, off-the-ball incidents, tackling the player in the air in the lineout and other generally-frowned-upon play that 4 or 5 players would have been in the bin had it been played with today's refereeing emphasis.
There were a number of occasions where players passed back into their 22 and then kicked out on the full (glad this isn't allowed any more, and am struggling to remember exactly which year the law change was introduced)
Both teams took a lot longer to clear rucks than we see today (also something the law changes have improved)
There seemed to be impunity for players protecting the ball at the ruck with squeeze-ball tactics, something I don't imagine players would get away with easily today. Was there a specific law change on this, or was it just a stricter application around rolling away and immediate release?
Most significantly, the first test saw the most complete meltdown of a lineout in a match that I can remember. Reportedly the Lions changed their calls prior to the first test in case their code had been cracked. If true, that turned out to be a very bad decision. It was also exacerbated by Paul O'Connell being yellow carded for the worst case of offside I think I've ever seen by a pro rugby player.
The scrums weren't dominated by the Lions (which shows that my memory has played tricks on me).
The lions were playing Jones at 10 and Wilkinson at 12, but who was in charge? Seemed like a case of trying to cram all your stars into the one side, but I think that affected the balance of the side and the decision-making. Wilkinson had a poor night with the boot for him, and seemed out of position defensively at times.
The All Blacks seemed to play with more pace in bad conditions than the Lions. I imagine the gap in speed of execution between NZ players and the British and Irish players may have closed in the intervening 12 years (time will tell).
Coming back from 1 nil down in a 3 test series with only a week between matches is such a huge ask, so the pressure on the Lions to win test number 1 (and keep their strategic cards close to their chests in all the matches prior to test 1) cannot be underestimated. A happy camp that doesn't feel the pressure quite so markedly has an enormous advantage. The challenge for both Hansen and Gatland will be to ensure their teams can play cohesively, while allowing their players to express themselves without being too loose, and to manage pressure, expectation, and egos.
The Lions scrambling defence in Christchurch was superb, and no one could criticise the players for lack of effort. Individual moments from players showed they clearly had the skills even if the team's cohesion was lacking a bit.
The All Black team of 2005 had a lot of young-ish players just approaching their peak. Although not selected yet, this year's selection pool seems to have a slightly different balance, maybe with more experience, but possibly less youthful exuberance and X-Factor?
Thanks to Sky for creating this pop-up channel. I'm looking forward to re-watching the Wellington Test tonight, my abiding memory of which is it being the "Daniel Carter show".
I wonder who will lay down their name in the history books when the tests happen later this year?
|Crusaders v Force||Christchurch||24-Mar||7:35 PM|
David Havili, Digby Ioane, Tim Bateman, Ryan Crotty, George Bridge, Mitchell Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Jordan Taufua, Matt Todd, Scott Barrett, Sam Whitelock (c) , Luke Romano, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett
Reserves: Ben Funnell, Tim Perry, Mike Alaalatoa, Mitchell Dunshea, Pete Samu, Bryn Hall, Marty McKenzie, Manasa Mataele
Luke Morahan, Alex Newsome, Curtis Rona, Marcel Brache, Chance Peni, Jono Lance (c), Ryan Louwrens, Richard Hardwick, Kane Koteka, Isi Naisarani, Matt Philip, Ross Haylett-Petty, Jermaine Ainsley, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Ben Daley
Reserves: Heath Tessmann, Pek Cowan, Tetera Faulkner, Richie Arnold, Matt Hodgson, Michael Ruru, Ian Prior, Robbie Coleman
|Rebels v Waratahs||Melbourne||24-Mar||9:45 PM|
Jack Debreczeni, Sefa Naivalu, Tom English, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Nic Stirzaker (c), Amanaki Mafi, Colby Fainga’a, Jordy Reid, Steve Cummins, Culum Retallick, Laurie Weeks, James Hanson, Fereti Sa’aga
Reserves: (from) Pat Leafa, Tom Moloney, Tyrel Lomax, Dominic Day, Lopeti Timani, Jake Schatz, Ben Meehan, Mitch Inman, Ben Volavola
Israel Folau, Reece Robinson, Rob Horne, David Horwitz, Andrew Kellaway, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper (c), Ned Hanigan, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson
Reserves: Damien Fitzpatrick, Paddy Ryan, David Lolohea, David McDuling, Michael Wells, Nick Phipps, Cam Clark, Taqele Naiyaravoro
|Blues v Bulls||Albany||25-Mar||7:35 PM|
1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons (C), 3 Charlie Faumuina or Sione Mafileo, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 7 Blake Gibson, 8 Jerome Kaino; 9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 12 George Moala, 13 Rieko Ioane, 14 Matt Duffie, 15 Michael Collins
Reserves: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi or Sam Prattley, 18 Sione Mafileo or Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane
15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Travis Ismaiel, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Jamba Ulengo, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Nick de Jager, 6 Ruan Steenkamp, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboko
Reserves: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Pierre Schoeman, 18 RG Snyman, 19 Jannes Kirsten, 20 Rudy Paige, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Burger Odendaal, 23 John-Roy Jenkinson
|Brumbies v Highlanders||Canberra||25-Mar||9:45 PM|
Aidan Toua, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, James Dargaville, Wharenui Hawera, Joe Powell, Jordan Smiler, Chris Alcock, Scott Fardy, Sam Carter, Blake Enever, Allan Alaalatoa, Robbie Abel, Nic Mayhew
Reserves: Saia Fainga’a, Scott Sio, Ben Alexander, Rory Arnold, Tom Staniforth, Lolo Fakaosilea, De Wet Roos, Jordan Jackson-Hope
Ben Smith (c), Patelesio Tomkinson, Malakai Fekitoa, Richard Buckman, Patrick Osborne, Fletcher Smith, Aaron Smith, Luke Whitelock, Dillon Hunt, Elliot Dixon, Tom Franklin, Alex Ainley, Siate Tokolahi, Liam Coltman, Daniel Lienert-Brown
Reserves: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Aki Seiuli, Siosiua Halanukonuka, Joe Wheeler, Gareth Evans, Kayne Hammington, Marty Banks, Matt Faddes
|Sunwolves v Stormers||Singapore||25-Mar||11:55 PM|
Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 14 Shota Emi, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Jumpei Ogura, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shokei Kin, 6 Ed Quirk (captain), 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Heiichiro Ito, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto
***Reserves:***16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Uwe Helu, 20 Shumei Matsuhashi, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Hayden Cripps, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka
Dillyn Leyds, Bjorn Basson, EW Viljoen, Dan Kriel, Seabelo Senatla, Robert du Preez, Dewaldt Duvenage, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Siya Kolisi (c), Rynhardt Elstadt, JD Shickerling, Chris van Zyl, Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, JC Janse van Rensburg
Reserves: Ramone Samuels, Caylib Oosthuizen, Oli Kebble, Jan de Klerk, Cobus Wiese, Godlen Masimla, Kurt Coleman, Dan du Plessis
|Kings v Lions||Port Elizabeth||26-Mar||2:05 AM|
15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 Makazole Mapimpi, 13 Berton Klaasen, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Lionel Cronje (captain), 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Andisa Ntsila, 6 Chris Cloete, 5 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 4 Irne Herbst, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Kurt Haupt, 1 Schalk van der Merwe
Reserves: 16 Michael Willemse, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Justin Forwood, 19 Tyler Paul, 20 Stefan Willemse, 21 Johan Steyn, 22 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 23 Luzuko Vulindlu
15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Madosh Tambwe, 13 Harold Vorster, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Ruan Ackermann, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Ruan Dreyer, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Jacques van Rooyen
Reserves: 16 Akker van der Merwe, 17 Sti Sitole, 18 Hencus van Wyk, 19 Lourens Erasmus, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Dillon Smit, 22 Jacques Nel, 23 Sylvian Mahuza
|Cheetahs v Sharks||Bloemfontein||26-Mar||4:15 AM|
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche
Reserves: 16 Elandre Huggett, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Niel Marais, 23 Rayno Benjamin/Clinton Swart
15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu (captain), 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Reserves: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Stephan Lewies, 20 Daniel du Preez, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Garth April
|Jaguares v Reds||Buenos Aires||26-Mar||10:40 AM|
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Bautista Ezcurra, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Lucas Noguera Paz
***Reserves:***16 Roberto Tejerizo, 17 Santiago García Botta, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Guido Petti, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Nicolás Sánchez, 23 Emiliano Boffelli
15 Karmichael Hunt, 14 Izaia Perese, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia'aua, 11 Eto Nabuli, 10 Jake McIntyre, 9 James Tuttle, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Leroy Houston, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Sam Talakai, 2 Stephen Moore (captain), 1 Markus Vanzati
***Reserves:***16 Andrew Ready, 17 Kirwan Sanday, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Lukhan Tui, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Nick Frisby, 22 Lachie Maranta, 23 Chris Kuridrani
|Crusaders v Blues||Christchurch||17-Mar||7:35 PM|
1 Joe Moody, 2 Codie Taylor, 3 Owen Franks, 4 Scott Barrett, 5 Sam Whitelock (c), 6 Jordan Taufua, 7 Jed Brown, 8 Whetu Douglas
9 Bryn Hall, 10 Mitch Hunt, 11 George Bridge, 12 Ryan Crotty (vc), 13 Jack Goodhue, 14 Manasa Mataele, 15 David Havili
Reserves: 16 Ben Funnell, 17 Wyatt Crockett, 18 Michael Alaalatoa, 19 Luke Romano, 20 Pete Samu, 21 Mitchell Drummond, 22 Marty McKenzie, 23 Sean Wainui
1 Pauliasi Manu, 2 James Parsons (C), 3 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 5 Patrick Tuipulotu, 6 Jimmy Tupou, 7 Blake Gibson, 8 Jerome Kaino, 9 Augustine Pulu, 10 Piers Francis, 11 Melani Nanai, 12 George Moala, 13 Rieko Ioane, 14 Matt Duffie, 15 Michael Collins.
Reserves: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Sam Prattley, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Akira Ioane, 20 Murphy Taramai, 21 Billy Guyton, 22 Ihaia West, 23 TJ Faiane
|Rebels v Chiefs||Melbourne||17-Mar||9:45 PM|
15 Jack Debreczeni, 14 Sefa Naivalu, 13 Tom English, 12 Reece Hodge, 11 Marika Koroibete, 10 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 9 Nic Stirzaker (captain), 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Colby Fainga’a, 6 Jordy Reid, 5 Steve Cummins, 4 Culum Retallick, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 James Hanson, 1 Fereti Sa’aga
Reserves: 16 Pat Leafa, 17 Cruze Ah-Nau, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Murray Douglas, 20 Jake Schatz, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Sione Tuipulotu, 23 Ben Volavola
Shaun Stevenson, Toni Pulu, Anton Lienert-Brown, Stephen Donald, Solomon Alaimalo, Damian McKenzie, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Liam Messam, Sam Cane (c), Tom Sanders, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Nepo Laulala, Sabastian Siataga, Kane Hames
Reserves: Hika Elliot, Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, Atu Moli, Mitchell Brown, Mitchell Karpik, Finlay Christie, Aaron Cruden, Johnny Faauli
|Bulls v Sunwolves||Pretoria||18-Mar||6:00 AM|
Warrick Gelant, Travis Ismaiel, Jan Serfontein, Burger Odendaal, Jamba Ulengo, Handre Pollard (c), Piet van Zyl, Hanro Liebenberg, Renaldo Bothma, Ruan Steenkamp, Lood de Jager, Jason Jenkins, Trevor Nyakane, Edgar Marutlulle, Pierre Schoeman
Reserves: Adriaan Strauss, Lizo Gqoboko, Jacobie Adriaanse, RG Snyman, Jannes Kirsten, Ivan van Zyl, Tian Schoeman, Jesse Kriel
15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi, 12 Timothy Lafaele, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shumei Matsuhashi, 6 Ed Quirk (captain), 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Sam Wykes, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto
Reserves: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Liaki Moli, 20 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Ryohei Yamanaka
|Hurricanes v Highlanders||Wellington||18-Mar||7:35 PM|
Jordie Barrett, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (vc), Ardie Savea, Callum Gibbins, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, Mark Abbott, Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, Dane Coles (c), Chris Eves
Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Ben May, Mike Kainga, Sam Lousi, Reed Prinsep, Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi, Otere Black, Wes Goosen
1 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2 Liam Coltman, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 4 Joe Wheeler, 5 Tom Franklin, 6 Elliot Dixon, 7 Dillon Hunt, 8 Luke Whitelock, 9 Aaron Smith, 10 Fletcher Smith, 11 Tevita Li, 12 Rob Thompson, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 14 Richard Buckman, 15 Ben Smith (c)
Reserves: Sekonia Pole, Aki Seiuli, Guy Millar, Jackson Hemopo, Gareth Evans, Kayne Hammington, Marty Banks, Matt Faddes
|Waratahs v Brumbies||Sydney||18-Mar||9:45 PM|
Andrew Kellaway, Reece Robinson, Israel Folau, Irae Simone, Rob Horne, Bernard Foley/Bryce Hegarty, Nick Phipps, Jed Holloway, Michael Hooper (c), Jack Dempsey, Will Skelton, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson
Reserves: Hugh Roach, Paddy Ryan, David Lolohea, David McDuling, Ned Hanigan, Michael Wells, Jake Gordon, Hegarty/David Horwitz
Aidan Toua, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Kyle Godwin, Nigel Ah Wong, Wharenui Hawera, Joe Powell, Jordan Smiler, Lolo Fakaosilea, Scott Fardy, Sam Carter (c), Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Josh Mann-Rea, Ben Alexander
Reserves: Robbie Abel, Nic Mayhew, Leslie Leulua’iali’i-Makin, Blake Enever, Ben Hyne, De Wet Roos, Jordan Jackson-Hope, Andrew Smith
|Lions v Reds||Johannesburg||19-Mar||4:15 AM|
Andries Coetzee, Madosh Tambwe, Lionel Mapoe, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley (capt), Ruan Ackermann, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mostert, Andries Ferreira, Ruan Dreyer, Malcolm Marx, Jacques van Rooyen.
Reserves: Robbie Coetzee, Dylan Smith, Johannes Jonker, Lourens Erasmus, Kwagga Smith, Ross Cronje, Jaco van der Walt, Harold Vorster
Karmichael Hunt, Izaia Perese, Samu Kerevi, Duncan Paia’aua, Eto Nabuli, Quade Cooper, Nick Frisby, Scott Higginbotham, George Smith, Hendrik Tui, Kane Douglas, Rob Simmons, Sam Talakai, Andrew Ready, James Slipper (c)
Reserves: Stephen Moore, Markus Vanzati, Taniela Tupou, Lukhan Tui, Adam Korczyk, James Tuttle, Jake McIntyre, Chris Kuridrani
|Sharks v Kings||Durban||19-Mar||6:30 AM|
Curwin Bosch, Kobus van Wyk, Lukhanyo Am, Andre Esterhuizen, Odwa Ndungane, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Cobus Reinach, Tera Mtembu (c), Jean-Luc du Preez, Jacques Vermeulen, Ruan Botha, Stephan Lewies, Lourens Adriaanse, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Thomas du Toit
Reserves: Stephan Coetzee, Juan Schoeman, John-Hubert Meyer, Etienne Oosthuizen, Daniel du Preez, Michael Claassens, Jeremy Ward, Garth April
Masixole Banda, Makazole Mapimpi, Berton Klaasen, Waylon Murray, Alshaun Bock, Lionel Cronje, Louis Schreuder, Ruaan Lerm, Andisa Ntsila, Chris Cloete, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Irne Herbst, Ross Geldenhuys, Michael Willemse, Schalk Ferreira (captain).
Reserves: Kurt Haupt, Schalk van der Merwe, Justin Forwood, Tyler Paul, Stefan Willemse, Johan Steyn, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Johann Tromp
|Jaguares v Cheetahs||Buenos Aires||19-Mar||8:40 AM|
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Juan Martín Hernández, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Marcos Kremer, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Santiago García Botta
Reserves: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Ramiro Herrera, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Ignacio Larrague, 21 Javier Ortega Desio, 22 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Santiago González Iglesias, 23 Bautista Ezcurra
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Michael van der Spuy, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Ruan van Rensburg, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Henco Venter, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Elandre Huggett, 1 Danie Mienie
Reserves: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Johan Coetzee, 19 Carl Wegner, 20 Paul Schoeman, 21 William Small-Smith/Boom Prinsloo, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Fred Zeilinga
|Chiefs v Hurricanes||Hamilton||10-Mar||7:35 PM|
Damian McKenzie, Toni, Pulu, Tim Nanai-Williams, Anton Lienert-Brown, James Lowe, Aaron Cruden (co-c), Tawera Kerr-Barlow; Michael Leitch, Sam Cane (co-c), Mitchell Brown, Brodie Retallick, Dominic Bird, Nepo Laulala, Hika Elliot, Kane Hames
Reserves: Sebastian Siataga, Siegfried Fisi'ihoi, Atu Moli, Taleni Seu, Lachlan Boshier, Jonathan Taumateine, Stephen Donald, Shaun Stevenson
Milner-Skudder, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara (vc), Reed Prinsep, Ardie Savea, Brad Shields, Michael Fatialofa, Mark Abbott, Jeffery To'omaga-Allen, Dane Coles (c), Loni Uhila
Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Chris Eves, Ben May, James Blackwell, Callum Gibbins, Chris Smylie, Otere Black, Jordie Barrett
|Brumbies v Force||Canberra||10-Mar||9:45 PM|
15 Aidan toua, 14 Henry Speight, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 James Dargaville, 10 Wharenui Hawera, 9 Joe Powell, 8 Jordan Smiler, 7 Chris Alcock, 6 Ben Hyne, 5 Sam Carter, 4 Rory Arnold, 3 Allan Alaalatoa, 2 Josh Mann-Rea, 1 Ben Alexander
Reserves: 16 Robbie Abel, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, 19 Blake Enever, 20 Tom Staniforth, 21 Lolo Fakaosilea, 22 De Wet Roos, 23 Andrew Smith
Dane Haylett-Petty, Chance Peni, Curtis Rona, Billy Meakes, Luke Morahan, Jono Lance, Ryan Louwrens, Richard Hardwick, Kane Koteka, Brynard Stander, Matt Philip, Ross Haylett-Petty, Tetera Faulkner, Heath Tessman (c), Pek Cowan
Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Ben Daley, Jermaine Ainsley, Onehunga Havili Kaufusi, Isi Naisarani, Michael Ruru, Ian Prior, Robbie Coleman
|Blues v Highlanders||Auckland||11-Mar||7:35 PM|
Pauliasi Manu, James Parsons (C), Charlie Faumuina, Jimmy Tupou, Patrick Tuipulotu, Jerome Kaino, Blake Gibson, Murphy Taramai; Augustine Pulu, Ihaia West, Rene Ranger, George Moala, Rieko Ioane, Matt Duffie, Michael Collins
Reserves: Matt Moulds, Sam Prattley, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Akira Ioane, Billy Guyton, Piers Francis, Melani Nanai
1 Daniel Lienert-Brown, 2 Liam Coltman, 3 Siosuia Halanukonuka, 4 Alex Ainley, 5 Tom Franklin, 6 Gareth Evans, 7 Elliot Dixon (c), 8 Luke Whitelock, 9 Aaron Smith, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 11 Tevita Li, 12 Rob Thompson, 13 Malakai Fekitoa, 14 Waisake Naholo, 15 Richard Buckman
Reserves: 16 Sekonia Pole, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Siate Tokolahi, 19 Joe Wheeler, 20 Jackson Hemopo, 21 Dillon Hunt, 22 Kayne Hammington, 23 Marty Banks
|Reds v Crusaders||Brisbane||11-Mar||9:45 PM|
Karmichael Hunt, Izaia Perese, Samu Kerevi, Duncan Paia’aua, Eto Nabuli, Quade Cooper, Nick Frisby, Scott Higginbotham, George Smith, Hendrik Tui, Izack Rodda, Rob Simmons, Sam Talakai, Stephen Moore, James Slipper (c)
Reserves: Andrew Ready, Sef Fa’agase, Taniela Tupou, Kane Douglas, Adam Korczyk, James Tuttle, Jake McIntyre, Chris Kuridrani
Israel Dagg, Seta Tamanivalu, Jack Goodhue, Ryan Crotty, Digby Ioane, Mitchell Hunt, Mitchell Drummond, Whetu Douglas, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Pete Samu, Sam Whitelock (c) Scott Barrett, Michael Alaalatoa, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody
Reserves: Ben Funnell, Tim Perry, Oliver Jager, Luke Romano, Jordan Taufua, Bryn Hall, Marty McKenzie, George Bridge
|Kings v Stormers||Port Elizabeth||12-Mar||2:05 AM|
Masixole Banda, Makazole Mapimpi, Waylon Murray, Luzuko Vulindlu, Malcolm Jaer, Lionel Cronje, Ricky Schroeder, Ruaan Lerm, Thembelani Bholi, Chris Cloete, Irne Herbst, Tyler Paul, Ross Geldenhuys, Michael Willemse, Schalk Ferreira (c)
Reserves: Kurt Haupt, Schalk van der Merwe, Chris Heiberg, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Andisa Ntsila, Johan Steyn, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Berton Klaasen
SP Marais, Dillyn Leyds, EW Viljoen, Dan du Plessis, Bjorn Basson, Robert du Preez, Dewaldt Duvenage, Nizaam Carr, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Rynhardt Elstadt, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth (captain), Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Oli Kebble
Reserves: Ramone Samuels, JC Janse van Rensburg, Wilco Louw, Chris van Zyl, Jaco Coetzee, Justin Phillips, Kurt Coleman, Damian Willemse
|Cheetahs v Sunwolves||Bloemfontein||12-Mar||4:15 AM|
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Zee Mkhabela, 13 Rayno Benjamin, 12 Clinton Swart, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Niell Jordaan, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Charles Marais
Reserves: 16 Danie Mienie, 17 Elandre Huggett, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Henco Venter, 21 Niel Marais, 22 Ali Mgijima, 23 Ruan van Rensburg
15 Shota Emi, 14 Takaaki Nakazuru, 13 William Tupou, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Hayden Cripps, 9 Keisuke Uchida, 8 Willie Britz, 7 Shumei Matsuhashi, 6 Ed Quirk (captain), 5 Uwe Hela, 4 Liaki Moli, 3 Yasuo Yamaji, 2 Yusuke Niwai, 1 Koki Yamamoto
Reserves: 16 Atsushi Sakate, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Sam Wykes, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Jumpei Ogura, 23 Jamie-Jerry Taulagi
|Sharks v Waratahs||Durban||12-Mar||6:30 AM|
15 Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Patrick Lambie (captain), 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Tera Mtembu, 7 Jean-Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Stephan Lewies, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Franco Marais, 1 Beast Mtawarira
Reserves: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Lourens Adriaanse, 19 Jean Droste, 20 Jacques Vermeulen, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Curwin Bosch
Andrew Kellaway, Reece Robinson, Israel Folau, Irae Simone, Rob Horne, Bryce Hegarty, Nick Phipps, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper (c), Jack Dempsey, David McDuling, Dean Mumm, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Tom Robertson
Reserves: Hugh Roach, Paddy Ryan, David Lolohea, Senio Toleafoa, Maclean Jones, Matt Lucas, David Horwitz, Cameron Clark
|Jaguares v Lions||Buenos Aires||12-Mar||8:40 AM|
15 Joaquín Tuculet, 14 Ramiro Moyano, 13 Matías Orlando, 12 Jerónimo de la Fuente, 11 Santiago Cordero, 10 Nicolás Sánchez, 9 Gonzalo Bertranou, 8 Leonardo Senatore, 7 Tomás Lezana, 6 Pablo Matera, 5 Matías Alemanno, 4 Guido Petti, 3 Felipe Arregui, 2 Agustín Creevy (captain), 1 Santiago García Botta
Reserves: 16 Julián Montoya, 17 Lucas Noguera Paz, 18 Cristian Bartoloni, 19 Marcos Kremer, 20 Javier Ortega Desio, 21 Felipe Ezcurra, 22 Juan Martín Hernández, 23 Matías Moroni
15 Jaco van der Walt, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Jacques Nel, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Shaun Reynolds, 9 Ross Cronje, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Cyle Brink, 6 Kwagga Smith, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Johannes Jonker, 2 Robbie Coetzee, 1 Dylan Smith
Reserves: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 jacques van Rooyen, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Louren Erasmus, 20 Jaco Kriel, 21 Faf de Klerk, 22 Andries Coetzee, 23 Sylvian Mahuza
It's that time of the year again. I know you've all been waiting for it!!
The 12th (Usually*) Annual The Silver Fern Dot Com Team of the Year !!
Nomination threads are set up in the TSF Competitions Forum http://www.thesilverfern.com/category/8/tsf-competitions coz I don't know where the Team of the Year forum went.
Rules are pretty much the same as usual:
Nominate players by position. Include your reasons for doing so. Only in the odd minority of cases will nominations be accepted without supporting argument (i.e., Beauden Barrett).
This is your opportunity to argue against other nominations as well. Feel free to pile in.
Nominated players must have played at least one test match this year. Regardless of that form in competitions below international level is still admissible as evidence in support of a nominee.
The Judging Committee (me) reserves the right to accept, reject or laugh hysterically at any or all nominations.
Any situation not covered by the above rules will be dealt with by making up further rules on the spot.
A full* list of TSF ToTYs since 2005 follows (edit: in a later post ... this one takes up too much room).
- except for 2014 which inexplicably I did not summarise and publish. D'oh.