The real winner last night was of course the word “maul” which is now experiencing something of a resurgence throughout the press. Here at Scottish Rugby Blog we do of course buck against the trend, thereby creating the headline above that makes very little sense and sounds like it is coming from the typewriter of someone trying to sell you Chinese erection drugs.
In case you failed to catch it, the British and Irish Lions bounced back from a rusty start in Rustenburg with a ten-try demolition of Super 14 tail-enders the Golden Lions. Despite the fact their hosts for the most part failed to turn up, the British and Irish Lions scored tries almost at will and it was almost too good a performance to start talking about individuals. There were still plenty of errors at the breakdown, but the way the Lions held on to possession was very encouraging. Big Nathan had a strong start – with the excellent Tom Croft and Alun Wyn Jones present he was largely unused as a jumper but instead featured heavily at the maul (oops, I said it) and breakdown. Of course he also gave away a cheeky penalty too with a bit of niggle, but that’s our Nathan and this offloading style will suit him. Murray and Ford’s first scrum off the bench was a stormer too, hopefully there will be a chance for more of the same from them on Saturday against the Cheetahs (the next rung up the ladder) where they could pair up with Sheridan.
It would have been nice to see Mike Blair getting the rollercoaster ride that Phillips had, but no doubting the big Welshman is now the front runner for the 9 shirt, with Bowe enhancing his credentials considerably – sorry for writing you off, Tommy. Injuries aside, who would bet against Roberts and O’Driscoll being the test centres?
What a joy it was to support a team that scored tries, and played with pace and vision. Now they are over the jet lag, the altitude and the poor attendances (which will grow with every match), the British and Irish Lions have arrived.