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Just under five weeks to the first Test in Christchurch. How do you see the series going?

I think it is going to be very close, but I just fancy the Lions to do it 2-1.

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Just under five weeks to the first Test in Christchurch. How do you see the series going?

I think it is going to be very close, but I just fancy the Lions to do it 2-1.

well i would rethink that if i was you after today:

ARGENTINA 25 – 25 British and Irish Lions

My prediction is that the All Black will take the series 2-1

My provincial predictions are:

Bay of Plenty – Lions winners: Lions

Taranaki – Lions winners: Lions

NZ Maori – Lions winners: NZ Maori

Wellington – Lions winners: Wellington

Otago – Lions winners: Otago

Southland – Lions winners: Lions

Manawatu – Lions winners: Lions

Auckland – Lions winners: Auckland

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My prediction is that the All Black will take the series 2-1

My provincial predictions are:

Bay of Plenty – Lions winners: Lions

Taranaki – Lions winners: Lions

NZ Maori – Lions winners: NZ Maori

Wellington – Lions winners: Wellington

Otago – Lions winners: Otago

Southland – Lions winners: Lions

Manawatu – Lions winners: Lions

Auckland – Lions winners: Auckland

Yeah a good result,  although the NZ Maori game will make the Lions management front up a full strength team, and as with 1993, treated it as a fourth test. Still the boys will give it a bloody good go.  Same with the BOP match, the Lions will still be jet lagged.

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Just under five weeks to the first Test in Christchurch. How do you see the series going?

I think it is going to be very close, but I just fancy the Lions to do it 2-1.

well i would rethink that if i was you after today:

ARGENTINA 25 – 25 British and Irish Lions

My prediction is that the All Black will take the series 2-1

My provincial predictions are:

Bay of Plenty – Lions winners: Lions

Taranaki – Lions winners: Lions

NZ Maori – Lions winners: NZ Maori

Wellington – Lions winners: Wellington

Otago – Lions winners: Otago

Southland – Lions winners: Lions

Manawatu – Lions winners: Lions

Auckland – Lions winners: Auckland

So basically, you've got the Lions losing to each of the Super 12 sides and to the Maoris

If the Lions put on something close to what turned up yesterday against the Pumas, maybe ... but if they have something closer to the test side, then no way!

I watched the Canterbury-Wellington game on ESPN the other night, and it was the worst advert for NZ rugby I've seen in years. No continuity, loads of turnovers, crap set-pieces (especially in the lineouts - if you lose Chris Jack, you don't have another decent jumper), everyone trying to offload in the tackle regardless of the support.

In saying that, the Lions team is not the strongest either

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And the second row is one of our strongest areas.

Let's be realistic - last night's performance wasn't great but we're not going to panic and nobody should get too worked up about it. If it was a week before the first Test I would be worried, but it's not. The team that takes the field in Christchurch on June 25 will be very different from that which faced Argentina.

And if all else fails, we've got the best goalkicker in the world back.

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And if all else fails, we've got the best goalkicker in the world back.

:D Don't you mean "As all else will fail?" :P

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So basically, you've got the Lions losing to each of the Super 12 sides and to the Maoris

If the Lions put on something close to what turned up yesterday against the Pumas, maybe ... but if they have something closer to the test side, then no way!

I watched the Canterbury-Wellington game on ESPN the other night, and it was the worst advert for NZ rugby I've seen in years. No continuity, loads of turnovers, crap set-pieces (especially in the lineouts - if you lose Chris Jack, you don't have another decent jumper), everyone trying to offload in the tackle regardless of the support.

In saying that, the Lions team is not the strongest either

Ok, i well rephrase it. i believe that the Wellington, Otago, Auckland and the Maori have a strong chance of giving the lion a run for their money, especially the NZ Maori with have first call on players. Also the lions will be playing the NPC teams, not the super 12 teams.

I’m not saying that NZ is going to white wash the lions, it going to be bloody hard to over come the loins. I agree that the Hurricanes – Crusaders match wasn’t the best, performance wise, from both teams but over all, some NZ teams have done outstanding this super 12 like the Crusaders and especially the Highlanders (which is the best  i have ever seen them play).

The lions are going to a different team from the one that we saw yesterday but it is, no doubt, a huge confidence booster for us.

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the lions are here and i reckon that the all blacks will win each test and win the series 3-0.

3-0?! If it's 15 man rugby, then you could be right

But if the Lions keep the ball in the forwards - where the ABs have maybe 3 really world class players (McCaw, Jack, maybe Collins, for my money) - then it could be a different story. Horribly dull, English-style rugby with Wilkinson kicking all afternoon, but it could win

Best chance for the Lions is early on ... if a few from the starting test team get injured, then the cover is not great, especially in the front row and the wings

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the lions are here and i reckon that the all blacks will win each test and win the series 3-0.

I just love the fact that everyone in New Zealand seems to be writing us off. You carry on.

I also think the potential flair of the Lions backs is being underestimated. With guys like O'Driscoll, Henson and Robinson in our back division, do we really need to play 10-man rugby to win? I'm not so sure.

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:) Just back from the North Habour training session.  There were only about 5000 people there (mostly school children)because the weather was SOOOOOOOO cold.  They had a running commentary going and the big screen operating as if it were a match.  The Lions were only out on the ground for 45 or so minutes before the weather got the better of them and they retreated to the sidelines to a signing session (I don't blame them)brrrrr.

They can bring their Balmy Army but they didn't need to bring their weather!!!

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the lions are here and i reckon that the all blacks will win each test and win the series 3-0.

I just love the fact that everyone in New Zealand seems to be writing us off. You carry on.

I also think the potential flair of the Lions backs is being underestimated. With guys like O'Driscoll, Henson and Robinson in our back division, do we really need to play 10-man rugby to win? I'm not so sure.

I don’t think that NZ are underestimating the Lions at all. We all know that is it going to be a really challenge to over come this team, it is the most well prepared Lions team in history. We all remember that if it wasn’t for that dodgy refereeing decision in 1993 you guy probably would have won the series. But of course we are going to be bias to the ABs. It’s going be great, I cant wait for the 3rd test (which im going to, it cost me a fortune but its all worth it)

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:) Going to the Mayoori... ??? ayhemm...Maori verses Lions match, looking forward to it.  The Maori side nearly beat the Lions in 1992 and in theory this should be an All Blacks test in disguise. Totally worth it and I'm predicting the Lions will have to really dig deap to win this match.

Mayoori??? :D  :wwww:  :P

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I also think the potential flair of the Lions backs is being underestimated. With guys like O'Driscoll, Henson and Robinson in our back division, do we really need to play 10-man rugby to win? I'm not so sure.

If Woodward can get BOD, Henson (or D'Arcy, if he's really fit), Robinson (on the wing, not at FB), Lewsey and Thomas out there for the tests and working well together, then the Lions can mix it with the ABs' backs ...

if not, then we're looking at match ups like Rhys Willimas vs Doug Hewlett or Shane Horgan vs Joe Rococococococococo, and I wouldn't fancy our chances.

And he's still to identify on a decent scrum-half ... and as a clue, neither of the welsh boys could match Marshall and Cusiter doesn't yet have the experience.

Sorry, I'm all for expansive rugby ... but against the ABs, I'm praying for rain and the pleasure of watching Paul O'Connell give the AB locks a lesson in lineouts.

Now if we can just get a referee who understands the laws of scrummaging ...

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I also think the potential flair of the Lions backs is being underestimated. With guys like O'Driscoll, Henson and Robinson in our back division, do we really need to play 10-man rugby to win? I'm not so sure.

If Woodward can get BOD, Henson (or D'Arcy, if he's really fit), Robinson (on the wing, not at FB), Lewsey and Thomas out there for the tests and working well together, then the Lions can mix it with the ABs' backs ...

if not, then we're looking at match ups like Rhys Willimas vs Doug Hewlett or Shane Horgan vs Joe Rococococococococo, and I wouldn't fancy our chances.

And he's still to identify on a decent scrum-half ... and as a clue, neither of the welsh boys could match Marshall and Cusiter doesn't yet have the experience.

Sorry, I'm all for expansive rugby ... but against the ABs, I'm praying for rain and the pleasure of watching Paul O'Connell give the AB locks a lesson in lineouts.

Now if we can just get a referee who understands the laws of scrummaging ...

I'd also chuck Will Greenwood into the centre mix, although my first choice pairing, fitness permitting, would be D'Arcy and O'Driscoll. I think your back three's about right (Lewsey on the left wing, Robinson at full-back and Thomas on the right). Maybe Mark Cueto and Geordan Murphy would also be pushing.

As for number nine, aren't you forgetting a guy by the name of Dawson? I don't think he's first choice at the moment, but how much more experience could you want?

I don't care how we do it as long as we beat them. If we have to bore them into submission, so be it. I just feel we've got enough flair to match the All Blacks in the backs.

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I don't care how we do it as long as we beat them. If we have to bore them into submission, so be it. I just feel we've got enough flair to match the All Blacks in the backs.

:) arwebb...we'll soon find out!!!

By the By, are there any GamesBidders out from the UK, supporting the Lions tour???

I would really like to know.

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I'd also chuck Will Greenwood into the centre mix, although my first choice pairing, fitness permitting, would be D'Arcy and O'Driscoll. I think your back three's about right (Lewsey on the left wing, Robinson at full-back and Thomas on the right). Maybe Mark Cueto and Geordan Murphy would also be pushing.

As for number nine, aren't you forgetting a guy by the name of Dawson? I don't think he's first choice at the moment, but how much more experience could you want?

Dawson?! Fair enough on the experience side, but he's not exactly in his first flush of youth. Of the four available he's by far the best ... just keep Cooper miles away from the no 9 jersey! But at least Stringer didn't get the nod ...some of his passes this year have been woeful ... poor  ROG!!!

Of the backs named ... Robinson (wing, not FB - he can't kick) is still in the UK as his wife is sick. Thomas is still in france waiting to Toulouse to release him. So neither will get much game time before the first test ... doesn't bode well.

Greenwood?! He has hardly played all year .. and he's probably past his best anyway ... on form he won't get past Henson at inside centre ... on class he won't get past Darce at outside ... and he's never going to replace BOD. Can't see him realistically pushing for the test side without there being injuries (and with Darce's hamstrings that's entirely possible), unless SCW just wants to name an entirely English side!

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:) Writing this post from Rotorua, it's mid morning (10AM,NZWT) and the city is awash with colour, Fans, and general happiness.  

Bay Of Plenty Fans and Lions Supporters already partying.

Nine Hours to kick off - Tickets safely tucked into wallet!!!

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I'd have settled for 34-20 at kick-off, but we really could have done without Lawrence Dallaglio getting injured. I don't think Ronan O'Gara will have done his chances much good missing four goal kicks.
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:( arwebb, it really was something when Dallaglio went down injured however this has not put a dampener on the tour.

All I can tell you is that the weather was freezing cold and I'm amazed that BOTH teams performed well in the conditions.  I'd say they would have ALL hit the hot pools when the match was over.

It brings up the question of night matches and the conditions the players must endure so all the fans back in UK and Ireland can watch at a resonable time of the morning.

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