Momentum starts to build as Lions harpoon the Sharks

After a couple of days of counting the wounded with Stephen Ferris and Leigh Halfpenny being invalided back to Blighty, the Lions turned in their second consecutive impressive midweek performance, defeating the Natal Sharks 39-3. The midweek teams have been anything but dirt-trackers so far, generally looking stronger than the Saturday teams, as demonstrated by a marked difference in the scorelines.

The brevity of this tour dictates that there really is no differentiation between the two but the likes of O’Connell, Roberts, O’Driscoll and Phillips, racing certainties for the test team, have been handed Wednesday starts thus far. It will be interesting to see how the squad will be managed over the next week, whether they maintain the spirit of giving everyone a crack or start to wrap the key men in cotton wool.

The win was achieved through tries from Lee Mears, Mike Phillips, Luke Fitzgerald,  Lee Byrne and Jamie Heaslip to go with 14 points from the boots of Ronan O’Gara and James Hook. With the possession enjoyed by the Lions it really could and should have been more and they will have to develop a ruthlessness over the next 10 days.

Still, it was a convincing win, if not punctuated by fireworks. It was the win of a team with burgeoning confidence and a few more building blocks fell into place. However, there remain plenty of areas for improvement and plenty of questions regarding test selection still to be answered. A fuller report will go up later in the day but in the meantime, share your thoughts on the latest Lions victory below.

2 thoughts on “Momentum starts to build as Lions harpoon the Sharks

  1. a reasonable result in the end, altho a few reservations and the breakdown remains difficult. assuming we can’t wheel out richard hill or peter winterbottom, is martyn williams the man who can crack this?

    didn’t seem right to have all the boks sitting in the stand while many of our test team flogged away. i know the boks could be undercooked, but we could lose some of our top boys. roberts was clearly hurt, hope it’s not serious…

    i would say mears and heaslip did enough last night to join the ‘certs’ list for june 20 – founder members POC, BOD, philips, roberts, byrne. is there anything to be gained by playing them again before 20th?

    another half-empty stadium last night – a sad sight…

    simon shaw was possessed when he came on – eg first to arrive after 50-metre kick ahead, showed the frustration of limited opportunity.

    shane williams – has he now left the last chance saloon, picked up and thrown through the door by a large south african flanker?

    replacements were mentioned yesterday, i think the latecomers will have to expect limited chances, but don’t know why halfpenny not replaced. a couple more injuries and you might end up having to put a test player on the bench next tues, which would be crazy…

  2. Correct me if I am wrong, but winning when you aren’t playing particularly well is one of the major signs of s good team? And winning by 36 points and not playing that well, it think is a very positive sign.

    I agree with dead certs list and i am certain Lee Mears is not a dead cert too.

    Shaw was a surprise last night, if he has that sort of impact off the bench again he might just push himself onto the teat bench?

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