Friday, June 26, 2009
The Lions - a Progress Report
Don't be fooled by how close the Lions got in the First Test. South Africa took their foor off the pedal and replaced some key personnel. Also, the Lions were appreciably fitter due largely to having had more competitive action. South Africa will be fitter and forewarned for the next Test. They have two key advantages, their forwards are more powerful and more evil, and they are better at kicking for position. Stephen Jones is past his best. His distribution is sluggish compared to O'Gara's and he can't kick as long as Hook. This is a fatal flaw in the team. The South African forwards will dominate the Second Test and the Lions backs will live on scraps. This brings us to another fundemental flaw in the Lions team, Paul O'Connell should not be captain. He is no Martin Johnson, he's not mean enough. He is an NCO rather than an officer. It's clear that McGeechan made a mistake in not making O'Driscoll captain. He has that mean streak (yanking at Gavin Henson's expensively coiffured hair and snapping: "How do you like that, you cocky little fucker.")and that fanatical will to win that eludes O'Connell. I'm not sure that it would affect the overall result but it would have brought the Lions closer to SA.