Gatland’s Lions

This is a good line, from an article on Warren Gatland and the Lions:

But sport is about guff and myth-making: it’s why Manchester United are criticised for not playing attacking football even as they grimly gather up trophies, like body collectors trudging through a medieval village.

And this:

Gatland has seen all this before. Dropping Brian O’Driscoll for the final test in 2013 was transformed from a tough but logical selection decision into a rugby version of the killing of Bambi’s mother.

Mostly this was because of the embarrassing Irish reaction, the dangerous mix of Liveline and sporting controversy once again leaving us in an irrational heap; but there was also some blather about the essence of the Lions being disrespected by treating a former captain so callously.

Of course, he was only trying to win a Test series, which he duly did.

I watched that final test when I was in Melbourne in a pub full of Irishmen. They were moaning from start to finish, and even when I pointed out that O’Driscoll’s replacement, the Welshman Jonathan Davies, had set up a crucial try in their 41-16 drubbing of the Australians they still stuck to the line of “Ah, but he should have kept him in, all the same.” They still complain about it to this day.

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10 thoughts on “Gatland’s Lions

  1. Dropping O’Driscoll was a good decision. Otherwise you end up with a Wayne Rooney fiasco.

  2. Alun wyn-Jones better have a stormer this weekend or he’ll find himself in the BOD position.

  3. Alun wyn-Jones better have a stormer this weekend or he’ll find himself in the BOD position.

    Yes, it was a tough call between him and Itoje. Personally I’d have gone for Itoje, but AWJ has heaps of experience and trickery which might come in handy.

  4. Stop me if I’ve remarked on this before, but
    The top three coaches in the world (Jones, Hnasen, Gatland) are all ex front row. Taking time to get their heads out their arses in the scrum and rejoining the game.
    Meanwhile, with the honourable exception of Sir Clive, caoches from the backs, and even from back five of the scrum, are a bit pants.

    Curious.

  5. Interesting point. How about the chap who did such a good recent job with Scotland, Vern Cotter?

  6. By the way, as a former pack leader I can say that the forwards always seemed more interested in tactics than the backs. Maybe low cunning is a bigger part of the forward game.

  7. The top three coaches in the world (Jones, Hnasen, Gatland) are all ex front row. Taking time to get their heads out their arses in the scrum and rejoining the game.

    Interesting!

  8. They were only practising today. They’ll be ready for the next one.

    That’s what I’m afraid of. 🙁

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