Lions head home with heads held high

The British and Irish Lions ended their tour on a high note with a Test victory over the World Champions, ending their run of seven straight defeats and hopefully ending all talk of their lack of future.

The 28-9 win is no more than they deserved after coming so close to clinching the Second Test to keep the series alive. But whilst this result should be celebrated, it does enhance the pain at having come so close to a series win.

The 2009 Lions Tour is now over, and sadly we have to wait another four years to see them in action again. Having avoided a series whitewash, optimism is now high that 2013 will see the next series victory in Australia.

We’ll be bringing you more reactions and reflections on what has been a great tour, but for now, let us have your thoughts on the Third Test result and the tour in general.

7 thoughts on “Lions head home with heads held high

  1. Now I know what it is like to eat ‘Humble Pie’.

    Firstly, I would like to congratulate the BIL on their win. Say what you may, the Lions played as a cohesive unit, displayed excellent ball handling skills and were focus on playing rugby.

    The Boks on the other hand played very poor rugby. Their play was fragmented and there seemed to be absolutely no game plan. On paper the team wasn’t too bad but lacked enough test caps to bring needed experience onto the field to take on the Lions. Misplaced aggression was also their undoing.

    Let’s sum up the Bok downfall;
    PDV called far too many changes for the final test
    I blame PDV and the captain for new caps showing misplaced aggression on the field and not concentrating on the goal of winning.
    Boks lacked discipline.
    The Boks are coached by a ‘Clown’. PDV is a raving lunatic who is allowed to wear Springbok colours!

    Well done to the Lions.

  2. Any South Africans out there, I’d be interested to hear your views on this.

    Have SARFU backed themselves into a corner by appointing De Villiers who was patently underqualified for the role, particularly with the likes of Heyneke Meyer and Dick Muir around, not to mention Nick Mallett and Jake White? You have fantastic players and potentially a truly outstanding team but (disagree with this point if you will) they were outplayed by the Lions for 4 of the 6 halves of rugby in the test series.

    If it came down to it, he seems to me to be the sort of chap who would not go quietly, would continue to shoot his mouth off and would be perfectly prepared to play the ‘race’ card if it came down to it. You now have 3 black players in your starting XV on merit with several others in the picture. It is a fantastic achievement that the game which was such a symbol of Apartheid has been opened up and embraces and is embraced by the whole spectrum of the population now.

    PDV has shown little indication of being up to the job. If he is fired and kicks up a fuss, does it not promise to open up many of the old divisions and undo much of the good work which has been done over the past 2 decades? It seems to me to have been a short-sighted appointment, not just because he is not good enough, but because appointing him could do more harm than good in the long term. This very often happens when someone is appointed above their station in a move which smacks of positive discrimination (see Jacqui Smith as British Home Secretary).

    SARFU seem to me to have tied one hand behind their back and it could be damaging not just for the Springboks in the short term but for South African rugby as a whole in the long term. Or am I overstating the case here?

  3. Welcome to Africa Stuart.

    Affirmative action is a reality in S. Africa.
    BEE is enforced in all businesses. Comply or you can’t tender for contracts.
    Sadly this means that a lot of top jobs are given to incompetent people.

    The same applies in rugby. The quota system is in place in sport and selection is not based solely on merit alone. Make no mistake, there are a lot of players of colour that deserve their place in the national squad, but the opposite is also true.

    Kevin Peterson openly stated that he decided to move to the UK because he didn’t believe he would on merit alone. Why do you think that so many of our national and provincal players are taking lucratic contracts to play sport overseas? They know that they will be overlooked when it comes to national selection.

    The fan has this strong urge to support the national team even when they know that the strongest possible side isn’t taking to the field. They wills the team to do well and are bitterly disappointed when they lose. PDV falls into this catagory. No ways was he the best man for the job. He got the post nevertheless and will probably see his full term through. Everyone one down in this neck of the woods are waiting for the ‘gravy train’ to pass. If it stops, then they climb aboard.

    I expect to get a few nasty replies for calling a spade what it is.

  4. Two wrongs don’t make a right. I can’t speak to South Africa but in America affermative action tries to fix racist actions of the past with a racist policy now.

  5. The best player should play in sport end of story .I suspect that affirmative policies strengthen racist attitudes rather than the other way around.

    Anyway DV seems to be a sadly misguided individual with his comments and choosing to join his team in that ridiculously over the top justice armband protest. It all smacks of a man who knows he’s going to stay in the job no matter what.

    Looking back on the Lions they had all the luck and breaks and most of the refereeing decisions in the last match -would they have got those last two penalties from the refs in the first two games , didn’t the Boks non-try look more like a try than the one ruled in their favour in the second game , Just reverse those try decisions and the series goes the other way,and it was that close.

    Pleasingly the Lions appeared to be getting better with every game whilst the Boks stood still at best so McGeechan’s call for more preparation time is of course spot on.This should be combined with more meaningfuul warm up matches by insisiting the Aussies play their first choice players for them.

    Anyway here’s too 2013 !

  6. One of my favouirte parts has been the fact whenever anyone has questioned and opened up to discussion issues such as: the standard of refereeing, foul play, team selections etc etc, nearly every SA has been quick to refer to us as “whinging poms”. Well if you want to talk about “whinging”, what the hell was that disgusting display of “justice for bakkies” about? My god, SA should be disqualified from rugby as a sport for at least year. They have brought the game into such disrespute and showed such a lack of respect for the laws, governing body and disciplinary processes. PDV’s comments about eye gouging being part of the sport is disgusting!!! Bakkies clear out had no malice in it, but it was dangerous – Shaws knee to the back of Du Preez was the same, no malice, but yet dangerous and he got the same as Bakkie. You don’t see anyone from any of our countries saying “its part of the game” or “he was victimised” do you. No. Thats because we question and we discuss but we do not believe ourselves to be above the laws of the game. Yes SA will receive a fine, but come on, thats a joke.

    Before the third test match, I also noticed how many SA’s commented on how disrepectful it was to change the team, but yet all were in agreement that that was more like the team you would have liked to be fielded. Well looked what happened then – you didn’t lose by a few points (like the BIL’s in the first 2 tests), you got a good kicking from a scratch team. The try that was disallowed was closer to being a try than the one allowed in the 2nd test (which won the series for you) The beast was picked up time and again for turning into the scrum against vickery (which won you the first test) You had no discipline and no game plan. You thought you had done enough to enrage us to the point that all we would want to do is fight, which in turn may make you look more innocent in the eyes of the supporters and the IRB with your lack of respect for the game, but instead the BILs came out and played rugby, to which you had no answer.

    Someone commented on here the other week that we should “wear the jersey with pride”. Well here’s my response – we did, you didn’t. BILs may have lost the test series, but they won the hearts, minds and souls of all rugby fans all over the world. What did SA achieve – a series win through questionable discussions and total disgust from all rugby fans all over the world. Congratulations

  7. tomy i’m afraid that does come across as being something of a poor loser.

    10 days after we lost the series it’s time to dust ourselves down, accept the result and get on with things. that’s what the team did on saturday, just seven days after pretoria. and what the south africans had to do in 1997 in spite of bossing the series but being beaten.

    what do SA have to be ashamed of? not as much as you’d think. the eye-gouging incident, yes, that’s had plenty of air-time and rightly so; the coach IS a clown, that’s hard to argue against; and whoever set the itinerary and fixed ticket prices deserves a slap. oh, and the childish ‘justice 4’ protest. but overall they beat what was put in front of them, albeit narrowly, just as they did in paris in oct 07.

    we also need to look in our own backyard, with a list of issues including making more space for the lions, failure to finish try-scoring opportunities in durban, poor selection and use of the bench in pretoria, ronan o’gara’s howler etc etc

    but the tour was nevertheless an affirmation of the spirit of the lions. halfway through the tour when we played another warm-up game in a half-empty stadium i was worried about three test thrashings and the whole future of the lions, now i am more confident as long as the lessons are learned. ‘geech’ may not coach another tour but his insights and experience should be harnessed in some form of consultant role.

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