Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Lions vs Springboks Match Preview (Live Podcast)

Ali Price
2021 British & Irish Lions Tour To South Africa British & Irish Lions Gym Session and Squad Training, South Africa 1/7/2021 Mandatory credit ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

Live podcast previewing British & Irish Lions vs Springboks. Live on Youtube @ 8:30pm

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The Scottish Rugby Podcast brings you the best in informal chat and discussion about Scottish Rugby. Each week during the season we put out a 40 minute podcast suitable for all listeners, covering all the latest news and key analysis of the big matches. 

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69 Responses

    1. Annoying isn’t it. I think Warburtons inane moronic three-brain-celled drone is involved too.

      VDM having a game already.

  1. Connor Murray is just too slow to the breakdown so often. Gave them 3 points there.

    1. Agree with this, absent or slow. It’s not control it’s being pedestrian.

      1. Murray’s box kicking, the thing he was brought in for, has been poor, nothing contestable.

      1. Hogg , @29, still can’t catch a high ball…or tackle.

        Peaked 4yrs ago….honestly often looks a liability at the top level. We overate him in Scotland.

    1. Off for who? The back three replacement is Elliot Daly, another player i get nervous about under high ball.

    1. As much as I’m pleased with the number of Scots involved, the turgid rugby on show points directly to Garland. He’s a terrible choice of coach for such a showpiece series regardless of results.

      1. It’s a battle second test with everything riding on it. What did you expect??

    2. Lions are being beaten up front here. Not sure who can come in for the third test to beef this up.

  2. Hogg started poorly but had a better second half. Anthony Watson has taken the heat off Hogg by being even worse under the high ball and will surely drop out next week for Liam Williams or Adams.

    Replacing Mish with test match animal Faletau worked out well. AWJ isn’t even an option at the lineout – an area where the Lions got pounded in the second half.

    1. What are the chances Watson will get anything said though? He was terrible under high balls and way out of position for the first try.

      VDM dropped a few and badly timed the kick which got his yellow card.

      Hogg missed a few early on but was the only stability in the second half.

      Suspect Watson and VDM will get dropped.

    2. Hogg seems to be getting pelters in some forums but I thought he was ok under the high ball in the second half. Possibly about the only Lion who was.

      Forwards just don’t look hard enough and without a decent platform next week it’s hard to see how Finn and Ali can turn this around as the kick everything approach is doomed to failure.

      1. Really? He was poor all game. Even when he caught the ball, it was only a matter of time before it was contrived to be lost, not all his fault but others deserve a chance.

      2. TRF is full of Scot hating trolls – especially when it comes to Hogg and Finn.

      3. The problem is that UK and Ireland dont have a great FB to pick from…they are all flawed.

        As far as Hogg goes…he just doesn’t seem like he has anything outstanding in his locker now…his pace has regressed and he just doesn’t seem as agile. His tackling is atrocious ..Finn Russell is a far better tackler and is built like a stick.
        Hogg’s best opportunity was 4 years ago…now time is a ticking.

      4. Watch a replay and see if that really does stand out. He failed to tackle Mpimpe as well , in the second half. I suppose someone will say the game was lost by then… Yawn

      1. Biting opponents now, you could not make this stuff up. I have just reconsidered, I do want to see Hogg play the next test.

    3. Poor basic skills missing today, obviously the Scots are to blame. Tactics abysmal. Hogg and Sutherland blew their chances more than once, won’t be involved T3. DVDM to bench. Harris fantastic first hit, solid thereafter. Price did nothing wrong. Commentary appalling.

      1. I don’t see VDM on the bench if he only covers wing. He starts or drops out of the 23 IMO.

      2. I think it would be a mistake to drop DVDM the wingers got absolutely no good ball the whole match. He was clearly also running a feud with a few boks during the game and lost his focus a bit…. Id select DVDM, Adams and Williams at FB next week….or Hogg at FB with Williams on bench to cover both. Rees Zamitt cant be far off a shot tho…

    4. Can see all welsh back 3 coming in next week…and its hard to argue.

      Russell surely at least on the bench if not starting. Biggar and Farrell far too predictable at 10.

      Curry hasn’t done anything to show he is a better option than Watson at 7.

      Lawes had a very good 1st match but average at 6 today…kept thinking Jamie Ritchie would have done much better at either 6 or 7 today. Sam Simmonds deserves a shot at 8 too.

  3. Hogg will probably be dropped. He’s done very little. I expect Adams and Williams to start next week- no DVDM or Hogg.

    For me Price has to start, Murray is far to slow to keep SA guessing. He’s fine if you are in control. Biggar- yikes. Farrell- yikes, once good kick could see him starting. Dare I say you can’t beat SA by playing them at their game?? Crazy gang time- Price, Russell, Henshaw and Daly?!?

    Pack got mullered. AWJ was poor and back row got demolished. Some hard decisions to be made in the pack. Surely Mish deserves a shot as Curry has been average.

    1. Hogg was iffy in the first half but much more solid in the second. Watson was dreadful all game.

      If Watson isn’t dropped and the other 2 are it is a joke.

      Can’t see them changing all 3 so would keep Hogg and change the 2 wingers.

      1. Fraser; That is ridiculous. Hogg was dire,Terrible in the air and could have stopped the try if he could tackle. Hogg really was poor.

      2. Nonsense – he took several high balls in a row in the second half where Watson dropped everything. Yes, he didn’t make the tackle for the first try, but I doubt many would have and Watson was miles away from his man.

        I don’t think Hogg had a good game by any means, but Watson was worse by some distance.

      3. Fraser: Watch it again. Nonsense , that is a bit strong , but I would accept it from someone who is deluded. I never seen much of Watson but I was covering my eyes when Hogg got close. When he got the ball in attack , he made no progress and got pinged in the ensuing ruck.

    2. Daly? The man’s a liability: can’t tackle, flaky under the high ball and lacks pace.

      He is, however, versatile – he underwhelms in a variety of positions…

    3. that 6,7,8 combo that played today is nowhere near the best 6,7,8 that could be selected from UK & Ire…imo

  4. Team for next week.

    Stuart Hogg – Josh Adams – Robbie Henshaw – Bundi Aki – Duhan Van Der Merwe – Finn Russell – Ali Price – Taulupe Faletau – Hamish Watson – Tadhg Beirne – Maro Itoje – Courtney Lawes – Kyle Sinkler – Jamie George – Wyn Jones

    Liam Williams – Dan Biggar – Connor Murray – Tom Curry – Alun Wyn Jones – Tadhg Furlong – Luke Cowan Dickie – Mako Vunipola

    Need a strong bench with experience, the springboks just got stronger the longer the game went on.

    Need a fly-half who is able to challenge the boks rush defence, only Russell can do this.

    Thought all the back-three were poor under the highball in both attack and defence. In attack this was due to poor box kicking from Murray. Adams in for Watson due to my Scots bias. Williams on the bench for either Hogg or Van Der Merwe if they make mistakes again.

    Breakdown was poor, you need Watson and Beirne in.

    Switch up the commentary team also, woeful.

  5. Absolutely brutal game. Lions bullied up front in the second half and well beaten in the air.

    Need a few changes for next week – Russell is desperately needed to have any chance of breaking the SA defence – would keep Henshaw/Harris in midfield though. Hope Watson and Beirne get a start. Switch out Watson/VDM for Adams and Williams. Murray also adds very little so would start Price.

    Starting front 5 did fine so wouldn’t change that. Sutherland will be out if Jones is fit, Owens also needs dropped. Maybe we will see Zander even!

    SA lucky not to see red but hopefully no ridiculous moaning like SA have done all week and just get on with it.

    Really enjoyed the game despite the result – proper old school niggle.

    1. Disappointed in Sutherland…thought he would do well…instead.. he has not justified his squad selection never mind the 23.

      1. Wyn Jones to start next week with Mako on the bench. Mako is a better finisher than he is starter.

      2. Have to agree, pretty dismal. Gutted for him and Hogg but they can’t have any complaints. Being proud professionals, I expect they will learn from this and use it to their advantage next season and will become better players.

      3. It was a tough game out there , they were just outplayed, no sense in trying to hide it , our lads were as dire as the next, we just expected more from our top performers.

      4. Sutherland played fine last week and justified his selection in the first game – albeit he probably shouldn’t be head of the queue for a test start. But yes hasn’t played that well as I think he can. SA just very strong though. Everyone was useless yesterday though and the whole pack overrun so he shouldn’t be singled out.

        Hogg on the other hand I’m mourning. Again thought he was better than most non scouts are giving him credit for. He’s had literally nothing to work with and not the worst back. The pack getting destroyed is where the game was lost IMO as it mean zero attack phase ball for the backs

  6. Biggar and Farrell don’t have enough guile and vision – the ability to see space. Kicking at goal is fine but ball from hand play is restricted to up and unders. Finn would pin them back more and get the ball out wide more quickly.

    If Gatland picks a similar 23 with the same game plan then the Boks will win next week.

    1. It can’t just be the players though it must also be strategy. I’ve heard it repeatedly on other forums that it is impossible to beat the boks with a ‘running game’ and the only approach is hoofball. I think this test showed how shallow that position is as we never came close to threatening their line or wresting control of this match. Even when we were leading, we’d marginally better share of a game dictated to be at a pace and style that suited our opponents. I just can’t fathom how being extremely predictable and conservative is an approach that suits us.

  7. Hogg poor in the air, especially in the first half. Lions haven’t really looked to play a style of rugby that suits Hogg’s attacking abilities,so his selection ahead of Liam Williams doesn’t add up

  8. Lions pack utterly beasted second half and it was awful to watch.
    In fact the whole game as a smash- and kick-fest was awful to watch.
    Hogg did probably just enough in the second half to keep his place next week even if it’s off the bench.
    There’s little any back three can do when your pack is going backwards and the oppo are free to keep hoisting it up at you time after time.
    That’s a shockingly bad turn round from last week’s performance up front, especially in the second half. Entirely possible that AWJ will be dropped from the decider in favour of Beard or Henderson.
    Gatland needs a good look at his back row combinations. Parity first half and shambles second half.
    Coaches need to get right into how you’re pretty much 60/40 first half and deserve a half time lead then get nilled to 21 second half.

  9. Next week’s back three have to be the Lions best options under the high ball. It’s not the kind of game to play fast flowing rugby. Williams, Adams and Hogg probably scrapes in because of his second half display.

  10. think Lions will struggle playing that sort of game as SA are better at it when at their best. Need something more expansive – would like to see Finn there. Sadly Hogg was a bit too unreliable under high ball so think he will have to give way to Liam Williams. Might Hamish Watson have a chance

  11. I think the Lions are in trouble next Saturday. The Boks must be close to being match fit and are no longer undercooked. Their scrum looks much better especially in the second half and their forwards were dominant. I can see Gatland reverting to his trusted players for the decider and it not paying off. Expect to see a big Welsh contingent in the 23 plus Murray and Farrell. The fruits of Toonie’s labour as attack coach is basically to box kick or kick up and unders. I’m surprised they haven’t tried the same kicking game that worked well against England and France in the 6N – pinning them back in their own 22. The almost try from Henshaw shows that deft kicks over the top can work but Biggar and Farrell can’t execute those as well as Finn.

    1. That was one dreary, dull spectacle. I’m surprised too that the Lions didn’t kick for territory especially when their line-out was working. The endless in-field kicks were just returned with interest by the Boks.

      Predictably, the English, Welsh and Irish press are screaming for Hogg and VDM to be dropped next week, and Hogg may have a “Gnashergate” incident to deal with, so it won’t be a surprise to see them dropped. Mind you, Watson was just as bad.

      Harris should keep his place, and Price should start too, I really can’t see that Murray offered much yesterday.

      1. Funny how Watson is never mentioned in back 3 disaster! But if he had been a Scot …….

  12. Williams and Adams will start next Saturday, probably at the expense of Hogg and VdM (albeit I think Anthony Watson should be the one to make way for Adams).

    Harris will probably drop out of the 23. I expect Aki will come in to form the starting midfield pairing with Henshaw, with the hapless (but seemingly undroppable) Daly waiting in the wings. How they could do with an in-form Shug Jones.

    Price should start but I won’t be surprised if he’s on the replacements bench. Curry has been anonymous but he too seems to exert a magical hold on Gatland’s affections. Objectively, Mish should start but I suspect that he won’t even make the 23.

    Sutherland won’t make the 23 either, but he doesn’t deserve to on the strength of his performances.

    Which brings us to Finn. He’s the Lions’ best half-back when it comes to opening up defences. However, I can’t see Gatland dropping Biggar, and I suspect he feels that Farrell can cover more positions from the bench than Finn. I therefore suspect that Finn will assume his customary role as seat warmer. In truth, it may be a blessing in disguise, for if the Lions pack gets mullered like they did in the 2nd half yesterday then the half-backs will be fed a diet of retreating ball and scraps.

    As for the Test, my prediction is for the Saffers by 10 or more.

    1. I think, if the saffers are serious, it will be a lot more than 10. That was the most abject performance I’ve ever witnessed by a Lions side. I don’t see the tactics changing, but Gatland will hope Williams and Adams catch a few.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion