With a disastrous tour in 2005 under the leadership of Clive Woodward, many British and Irish Lions fans will hope history do not repeat itself. With the whole tour in disarray from the first minute (draw against Argentina in Cardiff), the lost against the New Zealand Moari’s and not to mention the humongous tour squad where you had the test squad and the midweek squad, you would have been a fool to bet for a Lions Series win.
More bad news for the Lions fans was that Daniel Carter also announced himself to the world with sublime performances in the three tests, especially the second one in Wellington where he completely annihilated the Lions team. Injuries to key personnel also played a major role in the tour and the O’Driscoll incident (Umaga and Mealamu spear tackle) had a major effect on the teams’ morale for the rest of the tour, not only did they lose their captain but also the best outside centre the world has ever seen. The tour ended in a 38 – 19 demoralizing loss for the Lions and a three nil clean sweep for the All Blacks, and as Edmund Burke once said “Those who don’t know History are destined to repeat it”.
With no coach yet and only a decision only being made after the four Home Unions summer tours, it seems like history is going to repeat itself for The Lions tour of 2017. But by being an optimist, I believe the Lions can cause an upset and win the Series in New Zealand and here is the reasons why!
Even though the All Blacks are back-to-back World Cup winners, losing the quality of players such as Richie McCaw, Dan Carter, Ma’a Nonu, Conrad Smith, Kevin Mealamu and Tony Woodcock it will definitely have an effect on the All Blacks. Not only did they lose their Captain, but also players that know how to win under very difficult circumstances (just asked the Irish). Don’t get me wrong, they still have abundance of quality left in New Zealand, but unfortunately one cannot buy experience and a winning mentality, and that is being bred by quality players and leaders such as the mentioned above players.
The Lions will have one of the most completive sides in a long time barring injuries happening to key players. By watching this current of RBS 6 Nations, even though the rugby is a wee bit boring, the Home Unions still have individual star quality players with the likes of Dan Biggar, Sam Warburton and Jamie Heaslip. It is the utmost importance that whoever coach is that he can find a balance between youth and experience and select players whom is not afraid to get physical. We all know that if you can physically dominate the collision against the All Blacks, put their set-piece under pressure especially their line-outs, and play a controlled territory kicking game without any reckless kicking, you will be able to put the All Blacks under pressure and thus put yourself in a position to win the game.
I am a rugby fanatic (especially the Golden Lions and Springboks…Yes, I am a South African), enthusiast and a former player (only university level). I am a Director of Sport, Teacher and a big believer that rugby is the best sport on planet earth.