Lions vs Springbok II

Rightio, so a few thoughts.

Firstly, it was a match of two halves. Neither half will please the Lions fans.

Half one was every single thing that is wrong with modern rugby. It took 65 minutes, there was pretty much so no action, it was an absolute drudge fest. Fair play to the Lions for at least trying something here 'n there. Boks did nothing. It was 65 minutes of boof bash big guys into each other with a smattering of technical penalties in place. Utter utter dog shit. My children watched 4 matches of woman’s sevens in the morning and I couldn’t drag them away. They both lasted less than 3 minutes of the the biggest match of the last couple of years.

Lots of criticism of Ben O’Keefe and most of it is deserved, although I’m not sure it’s his way. Yes, he could have kept things moving a bit more, yes he could have kicked off the stream, the literal fucking stream, of trainers running up and down and then on the second there was a break in play. He could have followed up on his earlier threats, he could have carded more etc etc. But what the fuck is he supposed to do?

World Rugby is his boss, and I think he ref’d it almost exactly the way they want the game to be ref’d. The shit ness of the first 40 belongs with the players / coaches, not the refs. Pretty much so no skilll on offer.

Cards. I’ve watched little rugby the last 18 months, but I cannot for the life of me why Kolbe should have been a red. Is the law now that you MIUST jump to catch it? Or if you jump, then you have ALL the rights? Thats completely absurd. Kolbe had his eyes on the ball the entire time, just because Conor jumped two feet in the air, why should Kolbe then be SENT OFF? Ridiculous.

Right, the second half. Much much better all around. SA were on top and used their strength advantage to great effect. A couple of very well taken tries and a real dominance.

I’m sure Itoje’s line out steal though will ensure that UK writers still give him MOTM and use words like colossus to describe him. No doubt, the Bok’s brain trust spent the week watching him & Lawes and they had their number. Neither achieved anything in this match, other than looking like boys against the men of SA. Very reminiscent of the 2nd half of the 2019 WC Final.

This Bok team is really something when they play their game. IT’s just a shame it takes 40 minutes of boredom before it comes to the party. Although I guess if you are a supporter, you are probably ok with it …

Nigel Owens. Unequivocally the best ref of the last 20 years. But he doesn’t belong in a commentary box. He was so biased, and quite often, just so wrong. Did he ever make a call in SA favour? Even once? It was just terrible. A real shame. It’s a shame Warburton is such a boring sounding guy (very monotone, not much x-factor) as everything he says is astute, smart and makes a lot of sense. Hopefully he’ll grow into the role. Comes across as one of the game’s great brains.

So in summary, don’t bother catching a replay. Or if you must, start at half time. Next week is going to be interesting. Personally I think the Boys dealt a huge mental blow and the Lions won’t get within 10 points.

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