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John Drake

Sat 26 Oct: Lions Tour: Tongan Invitational XIII v Great Britain (BBC)

Who will win?  

69 members have voted

This poll is closed to new votes
  1. 1. Who will win?

    • Tongan Invitational XIII by 13 points or more
      0
    • Tongan Invitational XIII by 7 to 12 points
      8
    • Tongan Invitational XIII by 1 to 6 points
      3
    • Great Britain by 1 to 6 points
      8
    • Great Britain by 7 to 12 points
      27
    • Great Britain by 13 points or more
      23

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  • Poll closed on 26/10/19 at 06:30

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Very disappointing . Pretty average at best there . Defensively quite sound for all the tackling we did , but with the ball , geez , just clunky . Plan A seemed to be we’ve got a big pack so we’re gonna bash you with one out drive after one out drive , but these guys handle that week in week out . Then off that was just too much ponderous lateral passing that was easy to read . We just never asked enough questions, coughed up to much ball  and seemed totally blunt and disjointed for long spells . The halves struggled to gain a grip , Hodgson’s execution was poor and our ends to sets wasn’t putting any squeeze on them at all. The first half especially we barely got a foothold , and they looked far more fluent for most of that . We need to be a lot sharper and play more rugby to beat NZ , second phase was pretty non existent . We can’t be that conservative or clunky . I’m not sure graham at 13 worked - maybe 5 or 10 years ago but we need a bit more , and throughout the spine it never really clicked . Well deserved from Tonga , best side in the main , but just far too frayed and far too clunky , error strewn , poor in last play execution and one dimensional from us for a lot of that . Need more in attack , much more or it’ll be the same . There just seems a disconnect between our pack which bashes away , and what we have and produce behind that . 

Edited by DavidM
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1 hour ago, dkw said:

Bennets "tactics" really are brain numbingly boring, they aren't suited to modern rl at all and we need shot of him. 

I said this a couple of years ago before the final of the WC and have continued to say it, I get shot down every time, he just isn't the man for the job and like McNamara before him have wasted the talent pool we've had/got.

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Hall suddenly looks very pedestrian and we need some zip badly. When we were coming out of our own half in the later stages we never looked capable of a long range try.

Defence was okay but we thought just being patient was enough to overpower Tonga. It wasn't. Great win for them and GB need to be much better next week.

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2 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Hall suddenly looks very pedestrian and we need some zip badly. When we were coming out of our own half in the later stages we never looked capable of a long range try.

Need to make a break to score a long range try; Tonga’s kicking game and follow up defence was excellent. Not sure any other wingers available to us would have made any difference on that front. 

Edited by GeordieSaint

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Just now, Oliver Clothesoff said:

We’re the 2nd best country on the planet, we haven’t played Australia in a non-WC game for years so it’s a bit unfair to judge us off that. 

We will see if we are when we play the Kiwis. 

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Oh god. GB league lose to Tonga, England union beat the All Blacks to get to the World Cup final. Could it get any worse? Glad I’m not living in England and don’t have to put up with the fawning media and the plastic union fans 😆😆

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23 minutes ago, bar red said:

At the end we had 4 half backs, 0 centres and 2 old wingers,  how could we possibly hope to come from behind.

The questions about winger and centers need asking Hardacres looked for all the world like ...... the selection and coaching does need an examination and it doesn't look like Ian Watson was involved to be honest.

Too many things worked together today for GB to make their mark as well as they  should have.

Edited by Oxford

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1 minute ago, DiH68 said:

Oh god. GB league lose to Tonga, England union beat the All Blacks to get to the World Cup final. Could it get any worse? Glad I’m not living in England and don’t have to put up with the fawning media and the plastic union fans 😆😆

I think you have got it wrong. Rugby League fans here are actually pleased the All Blacks aren't in the final next week as it clashes directly with the Eden Park game! We are a strange bunch 🙂 

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5 minutes ago, bar red said:

At the end we had 4 half backs, 0 centres and 2 old wingers,  how could we possibly hope to come from behind.

And a pack of mostly props. It's a shocking team selection. 

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I think Bennetts squad selection is all over the place but we are still capable of better than that.

I would have had Grace in the squad as we are lacking some speed and We need another option at centre became se Hardaker has never been any good at centre.

Clarke or roby will suit Hastings far better than hodgson who plays too much like a half back which hampers our actual halfbacks.

Hill shouldn’t be near the squad or team.

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Just now, GeordieSaint said:

We are obsessed by them; I actually think it hinders our judgement and development.

If that is the case we should stop so many of them coming over to play and coach in the SL and give more homegrown talent a chance.

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41 minutes ago, Industria ditat said:

We need more than one game plan. We play as though we are always going to be quite dominant up front, but playing against physical teams like Tonga, we will struggle to match them and need to find a different way of playing. Despite all his experience and success, I'm not sure Bennett will do this, he is single minded to the point of stubbornness when it comes to the way he sets his teams up.

There was a game plan? I didn't see one, Bennett's 'game plan' makes Lee Radford look like Bill Bellichick by comparison.

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2 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

I think Bennetts squad selection is all over the place but we are still capable of better than that.

I would have had Grace in the squad as we are lacking some speed and We need another option at centre became se Hardaker has never been any good at centre.

Clarke or roby will suit Hastings far better than hodgson who plays too much like a half back which hampers our actual halfbacks.

Hill shouldn’t be near the squad or team.

All this.

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5 minutes ago, DiH68 said:

Oh god. GB league lose to Tonga, England union beat the All Blacks to get to the World Cup final. Could it get any worse? Glad I’m not living in England and don’t have to put up with the fawning media and the plastic union fans 😆😆

A few years ago I would have agreed with you but I think I’ve mellowed as I get older and we need to realise we need those ‘plastic’ fans who will support any team with an England or GB badge on the chest.

The good thing is having a team like Tonga being a string side should actually help our progress we need more decent international sides.

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1 hour ago, Rupert Prince said:

What a load of ignorant bigoted  garbage.  

lol 


sometimes you have to take a step backwards to move forward

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10 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Hall suddenly looks very pedestrian and we need some zip badly. When we were coming out of our own half in the later stages we never looked capable of a long range try.

Defence was okay but we thought just being patient was enough to overpower Tonga. It wasn't. Great win for them and GB need to be much better next week.

Hall is the least of our problems, I agree he's lost a step and made a few errors but was massively better than McGilvarry and a carlisle mile in front of the likes of Graham, Hill, Hodgson, Coote and plenty of others.

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Anyone pointing the finger at McGilvary and Hall bringing the ball away from their line constantly and picking fault in them is missing the point.  They had to do this because we lost the tactical kicking battle... giving away cheap 7 tackle sets with balls being caught in-goal or going dead.  If the end of a Tongan set resulted in a kick to the corer and the English wings returning the ball then that is the fault of us gifting them cheap ball and not containing their roll.  The wingers did what they had to do and with the exception of a couple of soft errors from McGilvary they did it well enough.

The reason why we don't see the Australian wingers are not constantly carrying the ball away from their own line is not because of the talent of the wingers but the talents of the halves/spine who exert pressure of their opponents in a way that Great Britain singularly failed to do today.

If we failed to exert the control through a poor kicking game then it was down to the middle forwards to try and contain the big Tongan pack.  The two middle forwards who matched the Tongans for power today were Tom Burgess (144 metres) and Walmsley (127 metres).  Graham and Hill with 52 running metres and 72 respectively struggled.  The loss of Thompson early was a big blow as he has the physical presence and engine to match the Tongans.

The root cause of todays loss though was a lack of control and creativity in the spine.  Look at the running game of Tedesco and Tuivasa-Sheck in the test yesterday.  They 181 and 157 metres and yet today we had Coote run for just 6 metres.  If he is not there for a running threat then he has to be more creative and execute and better kicking game than he did today.

Just as poor as Coote was Hodgson.  His distribution from dummy half was simply awful and then he gets into a mode where he tries too hard and again executes poor kicks to give away 7 tackle sets.

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We keep hearing we play a more open game , so I don’t know where that goes in international footy . The number of times we just drive it in and die with the ball . The top teams will comfortably defend what we produce 

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Let's put things in context.

Tonga are a well coached side packed with top line NRL players. These players are immensely powerful and skilful who can both play with discipline to a game plan or who can play instinctive off the cuff Rugby. With their hardened big match experience they can also deploy both legal and less legal game management....lying in ruck, hands in, pressure on ref , deliberate knock on's etc.

There is no doubt their win is a bonus for the wider International game.

GB were slow and dis-jointed primarily because the rarely got a stable foothold in the match. The only bonus was a very good collective defensive performance given the weight of first half pressure.

I know every Test match has to be won given the rarity of International Rugby, but realistically we have to build a strongly competitive team for the Aussies next year and the World Cup in 2 years.

Today we had a new full back, new half back pairing and a changing pack ... first time no SOL and SB in years.This tour is the first step in that rebuild. The likely fallers I suppose will be Hill, Hall, Graham as regards the WC.However we need their experience to help manage the transition.

We will be better for having a tough match and the combinations will get better.

Its no good moaning about Bennett. The longer benefit is the return of touring with no walk over results(PNG will be no walk over). Also the introduction of young Britsh coaches in the organisation is a massive boost.

If England win the RU World Cup next week, that should spur us on to achieve likewise in 2021.

 

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Blimey, that was a poor show from GB. Defence was ok, sure, although we should note that Tonga offered very little attacking threat for most of the game beyond big physical runners. 
 

Our attack, though, was shocking. Looked like we’d never trained together. And the discipline was unforgivable. Losing so much possession through bad PTBs was terrible. 

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3 minutes ago, Chrispmartha said:

I would have had Grace in the squad as we are lacking some speed.

I agree about pace; but Grace would have got murdered out there today. The Tongan kick defence was very good and would have eaten Grace’s returns up with ease. We created nothing on the edges so Grace would have been ineffective as Hall and McGilvary.

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