Rate the Match: Maori All Blacks v Lions


Tell us what you thought of the game between the Maori All Blacks and the Lions in Rotorua today.

Which players performed well? Did anyone play themselves into or out of the Test side for next week?

Give the match a rating out of ten and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Rate the Match: Maori All Blacks v Lions

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18 thoughts on “Rate the Match: Maori All Blacks v Lions

  1. Going up:
    POM, SOB, MI, JG, LH, BT, JD
    Staying put: JS, GK, MV, TF, TF, AW, CM
    Going down: GN (no confidence in attack – too tentative – big mistake in giving away a try, trying to pop the ball up from a sliding retreating position before he had control of the ball.) With HP kicking and playing soundly, ED must be breathing down Norths neck

    1. 1. Mako
      2. George
      3. Furlong
      4. Itoje
      5. Kruis
      6. SOB
      7. POM
      8. Faletau
      9. Murray
      10. Farrell (if fit)
      11. Daly
      12. Teo
      13. Davies
      14. Watson
      15. Halfpenny

      Reps: Sinkler, McGrath, Owens, Henderson (if Lawes unfit) (improving each appearance) Stander, Webb, Sexton, L Williams

      1. Excellent team mate. Maybe AWJ is level with Henderson (obviously both behind a fit Lawes), Henshaw potentially unlucky, but it Gatland isn’t playing Sexton & Farrell I can’t see a better 23.

    1. And AWJ too. None of whom warrant a place in the starting 15 let alone the match day squad.
      North was taken on past experience, he hasn’t improved his performances enough to warrant a test start. Poor defensively, lacking in attack and offers nothing in the air which will be essential against the likes of Smith and Dagg. Watson and Daly both have what it takes for the test.
      Also after tonight’s performance there is no doubt in my mind that itoje and kruis should start the test.

  2. A lot of kiwi’s saying the Maori’s gave a poor showing. Do you think this is was the case or lions were just extremely good at stifling attack?

    1. No doubt the MAB were poor however their forward pack were so out-muscled they never got an opportunity, especially in the conditions, to maintain any possession, phase play or attacking rugby. They also kicked ball away a lot more than any opposition so far. I think the Lions defence (as against the crusaders) is fast and stifling however is vulnerable when in broken play or the opposition are running back loose kicks.
      One disappointing note: on each of the 3 occasions the lions had penalty advantage (in front of the sticks) they threw away the chance for 7 with immediate speculative kicks which basically a “we’ll take the three”

  3. Forwards were excellent today, again. I do not see what ED has done to merit the demand for his selection, but then again non of the back three players have been that good which leads me to think that the midfield is the main issue.

    I am starting to think that OF in the center is the way to go. We need to get better quality ball going to the wingers in order to judge them.

    1. Ronnie: a fair point.
      I personally just feel that ED makes the best of whatever situation (attack or defence) he finds himself in and has a wider amd deeper skill-set than his opponents for the shirt. He is a very classy operator and has shown physical strength is tricky situations.

  4. Didn’t watch the game but sounds like progress made but still a lot work in attack required! Sounds like, despite meriting the places more one or both of Itoje and SOB will not get a starting spot to make way for a Welsh captain be that Warbs or AWJ.

    On that subject I can’t begin to explain how little respect I have for Garland after his latest call ups. It’s absolutely disgraceful, disrespectful and devaluing to the Lions brand and the players left behind. He could easily have called up players like Healy and Launch last week and they would be over jet lag and ready to go. I for one am furious

  5. So the big question is does Gatland have the balls to pick the same pack for the first test and leave his beloved Welsh forwards on the bench or out of the 23 altogether? I doubt it.

    Both T’eo and Davies made breaks but they’re not working as a combination. T’eo and Daly would be better. Having Daly at 13 would get more ball out wide for the wingers. It’s what he does so well for Wasps and should be given the opportunity to show it for the Lions. It means North will be more involved in the game and that’s what he needs.

  6. For me the 23 is looking like this:

    1- Vunipola
    2- George
    3- Furlong
    4- Itoje
    5- Kruis
    6- O’Mahoney
    7- O’Brien
    8- Falatau
    9- Murray
    10- Kruis
    11- Seymour
    12- Teo
    13- Joseph
    14- Watson
    15- Halfpenny

    16- Owens
    17- McGrath
    18- Sinckler
    19- Lawes
    20- Stander
    21- Webb
    22- Russell (please)
    23- Daly

    1. I agree with almost all of your starting XV except for Joseph. Based on the performances this tour it has to be JD.

      Both players have been prominent in attack, but defensively Joseph was so so poor in his last game – something that we know will never be an issue with JD. And with Te’o making himself such a nuisance going forward, I just don’t think we should give up our defensive advantage for Joseph’s attacking qualities.

      In regard to Seymour, he wouldn’t be my pick but you could argue just as good a case for him over any of the others! (North, Daly, Williams et al).

    2. Is it just me, or do you have Kruis playing at 10?! That would certainly be a surprise for the All Blacks. Get the backs doing line-out moves too – playing to our strengths!

  7. Cc I agree with your 22 but who do u see as captain o mahony? I’d image we will either see Warburton as captain at 7 or if gatts does drop him we will have alyn winjones in the 2nd row instead of itoje and he will be captain. Don’t agree with it but just what I think gatts will do

  8. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching the various Kiwi papers and blog commenters rowing rapidly backwards after this result.

    Having told us all this was the ‘fourth test’ and that the Maori were basically the All Blacks second team and would tear the Lions a new one after the Highlanders result, the noise of reverse ferreting is deafening.

    Now its all ‘they are only a scratch team’ and my personal favourite – ‘the Lions may have won but it was really boring’ showing that:
    A: You never really beat the Kiwis, just score more points than them
    B. Anyone who thinks an important match in the teeming rain is the time to be flinging the ball around doesn’t really understand rugby

    I’d also note that we hardly saw a scintillating attacking perfomance from the Maori. When they did get the ball they either hoofed the leather off it or McKenzie (who we’d been previously assured was the second coming of Christian Cullen) was playing so far back he may as well have been in the stands.

    As for the lack of tries, well we’d have seen a few more had it not been for the constant stream of desperate penalties being given away by the Maoris. The match should have seen them given another 2 or 3 yellow cards.

    The Lions played the perfect wet weather game and although I still don’t think they’ll have enough to beat the ABs (particularly if Gatland selects AWJ or Warburton) nor do I think it will be a walkover.

  9. Well, I haven’t read any Kiwi blogs, press, so can’t comment on same. The Lions dominated c. 70/30, but only scored 2 tries to 1 & 1 of those via grunt. The Maoris, whom were & have always been a scratch team, only ever get together once in a blue moon. On Sat they possessed NO current 1st pick AB’s (with the poss potential exception of M-Skudder ?.. & prev, Messam?) & the game’s real turning point only came when they were yellowed. They’re NOT the AB’s whom the Lions WILL face nxt Sat. Whether the Lions’ win over the Maoris is any more of a barometer than the AB’s’ blow out agin Samoa, is debatable. Both games gave their probable test line ups a run together, which is likely of some benefit, but not definitive in terms of nxt Sat outcome. I also wonder why Umaga played Lowe, a winger who ALWAYS runs & NEVER kicks, @ f/back, did nothing but KICK & almost NEVER ran it. Eh? Also why would he play McKenzie, a f/back, @ 1st 5? Could it be that Hansen, who has opined that he wonders as to whether Gatland has anything up his sleeve other than his arm & who, via the NZ Union, controls the NZ game, wants the Lions to play to their perceived strengths? I.e. set piece, kicking game & defence. The glaring ? is about their ability to score via their back line attack. I’d guess that Hansen will be happy for the Lions to run @ them all day as they’ve dealt with this for yrs from the Saffas. They can bomb Dagg & Smith till the cows come home, but unless they can get their runners to arrive @ exactly the right time, the AB’s will punish seek to them. As for the vaunted Lions’ power up front, well statistically, NZ only need 40/60 possession in order to profit. Are the Lions going to get them down to 30/60, which what they will probably need to do in order to win, this w/end? We’ll see.

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