Well, yes Stuart, we get the point

Gatland’s conservative tactics failed and a series that should have been won was lost. The record doesn’t look anywhere near as impressive. As for style, Gatland gave up on it. He believed the hype about the green South African defensive wall and kicked the series away. Only Finn Russell reminded us that a skilled professional can find ways to unearth chinks in any defence.

This is, in fact, a replay of the mid 80s thing with Rob Andrew.

Andrew was told to play conservatively, kick a lot, he did so. He got the caps. Barnes was more intuitive, much more fun and didn’t get the caps (only 10 I believe).

The argument being made now is the same as it was then.

It might be an argument as old as the game itself.

8 thoughts on “Well, yes Stuart, we get the point”

  1. The tactic worked with Andrew and we would have won RWC 1991 with it, if only we hadn’t risen to the Campese bait and tried to throw it around.

    I doubt the Jaapies would change tack due to jibes and their gamesmanship game leaves Deano et al way behind.

    However, while Chubby Barnes is a bit of a stuck record, Warrenball was never going to work against the Boks because it is their game and they have better personnel for it. And Russell is easily the best 10 in the home nations.

    It looks to me like Gatland didn’t have a lot of confidence in the players he had to choose from. AWJ is past his best as a player, arguably the weakest lock on the tour, but Gatland clearly didn’t believe anyone in the squad could step up as captain. He had very little choice at 9 and not much more at 10. He never seemed to know what he wanted from the backs.

    The whole tour was a mess. The refereeing wasn’t great, but I would cheerfully tolerate errors if they just got the fuck on with it, rather than endless TMO referrals and lectures explaining the decisions.
    I have to say I am going right off rugby at the mo.

  2. @gunker – actually probably not from Barnes. He is at least consistent. And I have to say, a lot of my mates who are keen on rugby thought the matches were all pretty dire. The final test had atmosphere and tension, but not much rugby.

    I suspect Lions fans would have been much less enthusiastic about a victory than you might expect.

  3. Its the box kicking i don’t really like. I presume its a statistical thing, that if you do it right you’re likely to gain more yards in possession than if you run it on foot with 4 or 5 breakdowns, with the additional benefit you’re committing the full back so it’s on if the toin coss comes out for you. But most of the time it doesn’t, overkicked, posession lost or its knocked on.

  4. The difference in Barnes’s day is that England did have the alternative of Andrews. Now Russell is the only seriously good fly-half available, until – perhaps – young Smith has a bit more experience.

  5. Bloke in North Dorset

    It wasn’t just the dire rugby, it was the stop start nature of the game. It’s amazing how Boks had injuries at strategic moments so that Rassie could come on and give instructions and their pack could get a breather.

    Between that and Mental Eddie’s efforts with England I’m done with international rugby.

    I just hope that the clubs don’t follow them down that style of rugby route, although I don’t think Wasps, Quins and Brizzle will be tempted.

  6. MC
    Underwood dropped a perfectly good pass from Guscott when in for a certain try. I was there. Mind you, an Aussie (6?) dropped the pill a yard from the try line so it evened out I suppose.

    Dunno how much sleep Curry and Williams got on Saturday night.

  7. A kick to then corner and line out drive isn’t going to work often against the Springboks so I was surprised when having gotten away with it once they didn’t kick the penalties to extend the lead rather than go for another try.
    Agree overall it was pretty dull rugby the entire series

Leave a Reply

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