It’s Nowell Good
Nowell was really not in his best form today. Despite being everywhere in attack, he failed to produce a safe defensive performance. This allowed his opposite number to dominate him. He did, however, manage to get Reiko Ioane’s foot out in a try saving tackle. It will be interesting to see if this performance will impact on his start in other Tests. He will be facing stiff competition from fellow English winger Anthony Watson (or Anthony Joshua as
It will be interesting to see if this performance will impact on his start in other Tests. He will be facing stiff competition from fellow English winger Anthony Watson (or Anthony Joshua as Indy Sport like to call him), George North, Elliot Daly, and Liam Williams. Hopefully, he gets another opportunity to show the Kiwi’s what he can do.
At the end, the Lions had the chance to win the game, with Sexton putting the ball 7 metres from the try line. The Lions had been dominate at the line-out (despite some penalties) and driving maul all game. You’d bet your house on the Lions using this as an opportunity to win the game!
Best, however, had other plans… He showed that under pressure he cannot cope, and threw an absolutely horrendous line-out, which ultimately ended the game on a Blues victory.
Ken Owens put in a good performance with domination at the scrum. Surely, this will give something for Gatland to think about when it comes to future selection, as you need someone who is reliable in those pressure moments.
Rob Howley stated that the Lions would be looking to play from touchline to touchline, and take on a reactive style. This wasn’t really evident at all. It was very slippery with rain beating down on Eden Park in the first half, which might be why the Lions often opted for the tight rather than wide option. In the second half, the Blues sped up their play and the Lions failed to do the same with theirs.
Positives to take from this test would be the performance of the forwards, with Itoje, Owens, Sinkler, and Tipuric putting in good performances, as well as Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb for the backs.
No need to be too Blue
Although, as a B & I Lions fan, a win would’ve been preferable, the team looked a lot better and more cohesive. I’m not going to make excuses about how they were tired, or haven’t had much bonding time. However, it will often take a few games to understand how each other plays. Gatland could be doing himself a disservice in the department as well by the constant changing of the teams.
Hopefully, this loss will teach more lessons than a win in the same situation would and allows the Lions to at least give NZ a bit of a challenge.