5 Reasons Australia will win the series

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The Folau Factor

One man has lit up the domestic rugby world in Australia this year more than any other – Israel Folau. Throughout the season he has been winning games for the Waratahs almost single-handedly, with his combination of power and speed creating the perfect nightmare for the opposition. Even the Lions squad have admitted that they fear him – Adam Jones recently said during an interview on the BBC website that Folau presents the biggest threat to them, saying he could be “pretty dangerous” and that they’ll “have to watch out for him”. There’s no doubting that if Folau fires, the rest of the team will respond and raise their game. One moment of brilliance can change a game, and he could well be the man to provide this moment.

Are the Welsh too weak?

Saying that the Welsh could be the weak link might be an odd thing to say, especially when they have been dominant in the last two Six Nations and boast some excellent players in their ranks. The fact is though that nearly half the Lions squad is made up of Welshmen, and the Welsh haven’t had a good time against Australia in recent years with the Aussies coming on top in their last nine encounters. That also means that Lions leader Sam Warburton has never tasted success against the Wallabies.

This recent history of failure could be the difference between the teams, as the Welsh contingent step onto the field with doubts in their minds and memories of the painful defeats they’ve suffered – including a heart-wrenching 14-12 last minute defeat last year in Cardiff.

The question is, what could the Lions have done differently? The Welsh deserve their places in the team and to have dropped them for lesser Irish, English or Scottish players would have been dangerous. So, the strongest team the Lions have is the one they must go with, and only time will tell if the Welsh contingent are able to psychologically overcome so many previous losses.

Australia have the mental edge

When playing the constituent Lions nations during 2012, Australia undoubtedly had the upper hand. Throughout the year, they played 6 matches, winning 5 of them and only losing once, in a shock defeat to a poor Scottish team – a result that was a freak, not the norm. Therefore, Australia have already proved themselves perfectly able to handle almost any combination of Lions players thrown at them. Of course, when the best of these four teams are combined they create a much more potent force, but 2012 results show that the Aussies shouldn’t need to be concerned about individual players within the mix. The question is – will the Lions have enough time to gel and show that the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts?

Home ground advantage

It doesn’t matter what sport you look at: playing at home always gives a team a massive advantage. They know the pitch, are used to the conditions and, perhaps most importantly, have a huge throng of cheering fans all around them, playing the part of an extra player. All of the stadiums are large – especially Stadium Australia – therefore the Lions will feel the full force of a hostile Aussie crowd. Subconsciously, this will intimidate and force mistakes at some pivotal points. True, the Lions will bring their own army, buoyed by the tag of favourites, but their voices will fade into the background once the Aussie faithful get their vocal chords warmed up.

Aussie Teams Dominate the Super 15

The Super 15 is currently being dominated by Aussie teams, proving the strength of the players from this proud rugby nation. The Brumbies currently rank atop the standings, while the Reds are in 4th place. While domestic performances don’t always translate into international success – just ask the French rugby team – it is certainly a good sign. What’s more, some of the key players for the Wallabies are having storming seasons, and if just a couple of them bring their form forward to the international games, the Lions will have a massive task on their hands. In contrast, teams from Ireland and the UK didn’t fare so well domestically this year, with an all-French Heineken Cup Final pointing to Gallic dominance.

Disagree? Check out our five reasons why the Lions will win the series

By Ilan Hurwitz

Ilan runs the Australian web site Football Jerseys Online where you can purchase Jerseys from the most popular teams including the British & Irish Lions and the Wallabies.

Photo by: Patrick Khachfe / Onside Images

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23 comments on “5 Reasons Australia will win the series

  1. As previous Lions tours have shown the Aussie indifference to RU in general will mean the games feel more like Lions home matches than Aussie ones.

    Welsh mental weakness … bored of it now. We were outskilled over 80 mins, we need to get better, not mentally tougher. We are getting better and will continue to do so.

    If these are the Aus’ best reasons then the Lions will be v happy as only one of them mentions having a better player.

    • I’m bored with this the Welsh have lost six on the bounce business too . Smacks of sour grapes because some ones favourite isn’t playing/on tour . Every team gets a run of results against a particular side and those runs all eventually get broken doesn’t mean a jot when you take the field.

      What is does prove is that the Aussies are lethal right to the death or that run of games could have been 3 all so I’d like to see the Lions 2 scores clear with 5 mins to go .

      The imponderable is that there is no run of international form to go on so no one knows what will happen really . The Lions click and it could be a hammering for the Aussies ,if they don’t then it could easily be the other way .

  2. Thought that section might get you going Brighty! Written by an actual Aussie who must not be familiar with your feelings…

      • NO PLEASE GOD, NOT THE MODERATOR! I’ll only stop when you stop acting like a jerk and running down articles that are very well written or referring to games as irrelevent and trying to get reactions out of people like an immature football fan.

        If you’ve not got anything good to say, don’t say it at all.

  3. All pretty valid.

    How about: apart from a statistical anomaly in 2003, the northern hemisphere has been consistently poorer than the southern hemisphere in the professional era.

    • England going 12 from 12 against tri-nations opposition 2000-2003, beating each team home and away, is hardly an anomaly

      But most importantly we aren’t playing the southern hemisphere, we are playing Australia:
      – Who haven’t made it to the top of the IRB rankings in over a decade
      – Suffered, in recent times, home defeats to Samoa and Scotland.
      – Went on a 10 game losing streak to New Zealand

      Nothing to fear!

  4. Trevor you are a tool , it’s going to be a humdinger . Lion`s still lacking firepower . Midfielder BOD`s past it now , wingers not convincing enough . Wallabies by 10 or more i suspect

  5. Ilan you need to sort that website out too judging by the number of Aussies who tried to buy my Lions shirt of my back when I went to the Hong Kong races .

  6. Trevor. The joke was funny for a while.

    Interesting to think that 6 weeks ago the Lions were nailed on favourites and now it’s much more even stevens (fortunately not Matt Stevens!). We should have more possession, so how we use it will be key. Am relatively happy that the Lions are game ready and think they will edge the first game, but then again I thought that we had a chance in Cardiff. Stop chuckling Brighty…

    Anyway tomorrow, I will be sat in my local, next to a proud Welshman and we’ll both be cheering on the same team which hasn’t happened for 4 years. Looking forward to it!

    • Sorry last post was from me. Mis did my name. Note to Hutch/Jamie etc. My name and email details used to appear automatically but now I have to redo them every time I post. Is there any way of fixing that? I noticed that Brighty posted as Bright the other day……

      • Hhhmmm I’m not sure. One for Hutch, but he’s off on his hols at the moment. It might have something to do with some settings we had to change when someone was trying to attack the site (for the life of me I still can’t fathom what they were hoping to gain from that). I’ll have a word with him when he’s back!

    • :-)

      Seriously though, who didn’t think you had a chance in Cardiff? I was happy there was a game there and with some breaks it could swing our way (8 points was surmountable) but nobody saw that coming.

      • Strangely neutral on that one – I couldn’t decide who I wanted to win. Which is quite pleasant as you can sit back and enjoy the game for what it is. Actually when England/Lions aren’t playing I normally go for the underdog in a strange masochistic sort of way. Teams like Samoa for instance……….!

  7. I was cheering for Wales. Mind you, I’ll support anyone against Les Frogs :-)

    I’m not buying this thing about Aussie indifference to Rugby Union though. England, France, Scotland (even arguably Wales) are all countries where soccer is massively dominant, and yet there is enough talent and support here to develop World-class teams who could all take Australia on a good day.

    You’re also underestimating the Aussie love of sport in general – especially when they are playing an “old” home nation. Most Aussies I know would turn out to see Eng V Aus at tiddlywinks..!

    • They won’t be indifferent if they win! They seem to be ‘indifferent’ about cricket now they don’t win at that any more. Not too much support for the swimmers now they aren’t setting of the metal detectors at the airport either.

      • Mind you doesn’t that apply to all of us to a certain extent!

        Wouldn’t have watched the final of Queens Tennis if the British number one hadn’t been playing, and didn’t really pay much attention to the French Open as the Scottish number one was injured….

        • To a degree of course we all like to win, but we are loyal fans when we don’t.
          – The England cricket team have been well supported (even when abysmal)
          – The annual Tim Henman Wimbledom campaign.
          – Murrayfield and Lansdowne/Aviva are full of excitement and expectation when the All Blacks roll into town regardless of it being a fixture they have never won.

          We’ll stick by our losers through thick and thin as well as our winners! For some Aussies you wonder if it’s the winning, or the ability to gloat about winning that’s more important.