Connect with us


Lions Tour: Upping the tempo

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: After two relatively straightforward workouts – against the Barbarians in Hong Kong and the Western Force in Perth, the Lions encountered their first real test at the Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, the setting for the first Test on June 22.

Against the Barbarians, the heat had been enervating, with Welsh prop Adam Jones declaring it “like nothing I have ever encountered before.”

Nonetheless, the team had registered a crushing 59-8 win. The first triumph on Australian soil, against Western Force in Perth, was just as conclusive, with the home team paying the price for fielding an inexperienced side with seven players new to Super 15 experience. The result? A 69 to 17 drubbing.

Queensland Reds, on the other hand, were at full strength, with coach Robert Howley enthusing: “It’s great to see the Reds have selected the strongest side possible.”

Indeed, this game, dubbed the fourth Test by some pundits, was certainly played at a high level of intensity, a bruising encounter which the touring side did well to win 22-12. Not without cost. Having already lost props Gethin Jenkins and Cian Healy to injury, the encounter saw the outstanding Ulster wing Tommy Bowe off with a broken finger which may end his tour, and a shoulder injury to possible Test starter Manu Tuilagi.

Having been superior in all departments against the Force, with Halfpenny converting an astonishing eleven out of eleven kicks, and Brian O’Driscoll scoring two trademark tries, the tourists found the Reds a very different kettle of fish.

Playing at a hectic pace, and prompted by Wallaby fly-half discard Quade Cooper, they initially moved the ball better and made more line-breaks, exploiting a perceived lack of pace in the Lions’ backs. But despite a wonderful solo try from winger Luke Morahan, the Reds were second best at scrum, line-out and ruck. Gray and Parling did their test prospects no harm with four stolen line-out balls, and George North, on for the injured Tuilagi, and a certain test selection, created havoc with the ball in hand. Dan Lydiate topped the tackle count with thirteen and Ben Youngs, who scored the only try, had an assured game. Farrell kicked five penalties and apart from a direct kick to touch with a five man overlap, did little wrong.

Captain Warburton, who played the full eighty minutes, made no bones about his ambition to win every game: “There is so much class out there. It is definitely achievable.”

The last “easy” outing of the tour, against a Combined Country Fifteen, saw the Lions win comprehensively by 64 points to nil. The stats tell the story: ten tries without reply and a massive 739 yards gained to the scratch team’s 69. Stuart Hogg, in an unaccustomed role at fly-half, played with flair, and possibly edged ahead of Owen Farrell. Justin Tipuric had a big game at open-side. But the second half display, especially the line-out work, was sloppy: the team needs to concentrate for the full eighty minutes. If players take their foot off the pedal against the Wallabies, they will be punished. Two tough encounters await before the ultimate Test.

The Lions play the Waratahs today (June 15) at 4:30pm, followed by a match against the Brumbies on June 18 also at 4:30pm.

— Patrick Campbell


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Hua Hin1 hour ago

Elephant that broke into Hua Hin kitchen now in memes and ads

Tourism2 hours ago

Phuket governer reviews rules, new details for July 1 arrivals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Shipment of 2 million Sinovac vaccines arrive from China

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Autopsy requested for young policeman with vaccine

Thailand6 hours ago

Despite corruption allegations, street lamp project continues in Samut Prakan

Thailand6 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sandbox is GO, vaccine cocktails, US warning on Thai travel | June 23

Best of7 hours ago

Top 5 Provinces to visit near Bangkok

Tourism7 hours ago

CCSA gives details on “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” travel schemes

Best of7 hours ago

Top 5 Cities to visit in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)7 hours ago

Gap between AstraZeneca vaccines cut from 16 to 12 to 8 weeks

Best of7 hours ago

Top 5 Steakhouses in Bangkok

Best of8 hours ago

Top 5 Pubs in Bangkok

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Daily death count hits record high; provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

US is “unable” to provide Covid-19 vaccines to Americans who live overseas

Tourism10 hours ago

Sandbox could be revised, cancelled if Covid-19 outbreaks occur

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8