Wow, wow wow!!! 39 v 3 against Natal. That is a great score line but what was the game like?
Well from K.O the Lions came out dominating. Possession, territory, lines outs they were amazing. The pressure for the first 20 minutes on the Sharks was solid, however the score line was not! after 20 minutes the Lions has nothing on the board, which was a disappointing aspect to their game. The lacked the clinical precision required to convert 80% possession into a single point.
Jenkins struggled in the scrum, only due to the referee being a complete muppet and not spotting the opposition pulling down the scrum every time. Quick ball out the rucks was a problem too in the first half, with the Sharks defense standing solid. Hooker Lee Mears was the only player to break through for a try in the first half, with the Sharks scoring a penalty before the break to go 3 v 7 into half time.
The second half saw the same passion and drive, but an inch more of urgency from the Lions. Phillips scored a cracker straight after the break, with a great side step to open the scoring again.
O'Driscoll and Fitzgerald linked up to run down the blind side, with BOD holding off 3 defenders to pop the pass to Luke. Amazing vision from BOD, throughout the game has shown that no one else can threaten the no13 jersey.
12 minutes before the end O'Driscoll again fed Byrne on a missed pass, and with his acceleration and power, score a cracker of a try. The match was finished off with Heaslip charging over the line from a tap penalty who deserved his rewards after a solid game at no.8.
A great performance to be honest, great match to watch. Improving all the time, but still missing the precision that is needed against the Boks! The test team is definitly showing themselves now and claimed their shirts, a few names we think are in are:
O'gara did not impress at all, kicking away too many balls, so Jones should have no.10 no doubt. Shane Williams hasn't shown any magic this tour yet so not sure about him. 2 more games before the first test, there are still a lot of places up for grabs!
Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts have been selected against the formidable Sharks for Wednesday game in Durban.
With only Martin Williams out on injury, this will be a great test for the Lions.
O'Connell survives after Saturdays shocking performance, but some interesting combinations will show the leading test match players raising their hands up against a very dangerous team.
Tour manager Gerald Davies said: "We are now halfway through the provincial matches prior to the First Test and the important factor is that the Lions are unbeaten."
"We also have new starting partnerships in the back three, the halfbacks and in the front row.
Jamie Heaslip, David Wallace and Tom Croft also played together against Golden Lions."
The team looks good. Quite close to what a test team would be, with the forwards being experimented with more than the back line. The centres are solid, we believe the best we have. Probably Jones would replace O'Gara for the test match, but this a strong Lions team, wanting to send a message to the Boks, the Lions can beat one of the Super 14's best!
O'Connell needs to raise his game as player and as the captain. With O'Driscoll on the pitch, the back line will be in order but what about the forwards?
Fluety is back on the bench and will be wanting some pitch time, and Shane Williams will want to show that he can score tries with the right players around him.
The Natal Sharks won't make this match easy, so expect a fast and hard hitting game! Common Lions!!! Score predictions.. SHARKS 23 V 34 Lions