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.