King Shark

Lions watch: Round 1. The Backs.


Written by Andre Liebenberg (King Shark)

Posted in :Six Nations, Wallabies on 5 Feb 2013 at 14:07
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , ,

With the first round of the Six Nations behind us, it is perhaps a good time to start speculating on the composition of the team that will take on the Aussies later this year. I base my selection on this past weekend’s performance only, so bear that in mind before you start baying for my blood!

15. Rob Kearney and Stuart Hogg both put up their hands this weekend with strong displays but I reckon that Leigh Halfpenny is still the top fullback in the northern hemisphere. Solid in defence, safe under the high ball, good on the counter attack and he can kick out of hand and off the tee.

14. Although he featured on the other side, I pick Simon Zebo for the right wing. He has the potential to become the next Shane Williams / Bryan Habana like player. With Chris Ashton, Alex Cuthbert, Craig Gilroy and Sean Maitland in the mix, the Lions have plenty to choose from in the wing department.

13. BOD is back. There other candidates of whom Brad Barritt is probably the strongest but I reckon he will carry bags on the tour, whilst Brian O’Driscoll will feature in the tests.

12. The introduction of Billy Twelvetrees have neatly upset the inside centre position. He has the skill, size and speed to match Frans Steyn, Sonny Bill Williams or Jamie Roberts in the 12 channel. Manu Tuilagi was always in contention and I was looking forward to seeing Jamie Roberts in a repeat performance inside BOD but based on this weekend’s performance the 12 jersey goes to Billy Twelvetrees.

11. It is a strange world where the northerners suddenly boast a number of exciting outside backs. Despite being exciting players, Tim Visser and George North have, in my opinion, been edged by Mike Brown. A good turn of pace, and eye for the gap and sound defence characterised his performance against the Scots. I have always been a fan of wingers and fullbacks that can cover the other position too, which adds to Brown’s appeal.

10. Probably the toughest call amongst the backs with both Johnny Sexton and Owen Farrell putting in big performances. I have to go with Owen Farrell purely because of his man of the match performance.

9. I am a big Mike Phillips fan, if only for what he does on-field. He is the closest Joost-like scrumhalf I have seen in action since the man himself retired. He is unfortunately prone to indiscipline and tends to be a divisive force off the field. Greig Laidlaw and Connor Murray were adequate in my opinion but in the end I have to go with the steady performance of Ben Youngs.

I am sure you all have your opinions on who should make the BIL squad, so feel free to share!



19 Comments

  • very nicely done, King Shark…. got to say, though, my man Brad is a sure bet at 12, for my money, even though he didn’t play there against Scotland.

    Twelvetrees is a talent, sure, but is he ready for a starting Lions berth after just one test?

  • Comment 1, posted at 05.02.13 14:09:10 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 1) : True. If I can move Zebo to the other side of the field, I suppose I could have moved Brad to 12. Not a bad call, Rob.

    Brad is definitely going to tour if he stays injury free.

  • Comment 2, posted at 05.02.13 14:19:03 by King Shark Reply
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    King SharkVodacom Cup player
     
  • @King Shark (Comment 2) : I think so too. Although I am a bit biased :)

  • Comment 3, posted at 05.02.13 14:22:52 by robdylan Reply
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  • Well written arti King Shark!!!

  • Comment 4, posted at 05.02.13 14:47:08 by Viking Reply
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  • Funny how George North is not living up to initial expectation. 2 years ago he was tipped as the next Lomu but never really made it past the first 20 meters of the 100meter sprint?

  • Comment 5, posted at 05.02.13 14:48:44 by Viking Reply
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  • You might as well also write Owen Farrel’s name in ink for the tour considering daddy is one of the coaches :roll:

  • Comment 6, posted at 05.02.13 14:49:49 by Viking Reply
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  • @Viking (Comment 6) : I don’t think he needs daddy to make the squad though. He is really playing well. It is between him and Sexton. I also rate Freddie Burns, although Stuart Lancaster seems to favour Toby Flood.

    I do not think that Wales or Scotland will be contributing players to the flyhalf stocks.

  • Comment 7, posted at 05.02.13 14:55:11 by King Shark Reply
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  • @Viking (Comment 5) : I remember working on an article called “Rise of the North Star”. Glad I did not post it – I would have looked as stupid as that dwarf who tipped Wales to win this year’s 6N! ;-)

  • Comment 8, posted at 05.02.13 14:56:47 by King Shark Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 8) : Unbelievable that Wales has won the Six Nations last year compared to what they achieved during the end of last year. I really do like the team and hope they can find they mojo soon.

  • Comment 9, posted at 05.02.13 15:04:44 by Viking Reply
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  • @Viking (Comment 9) : Injuries played its part but it is clear that their caretaker couch, Rob Howley, is not up to Warren Gatland’s standards.

  • Comment 10, posted at 05.02.13 15:06:20 by King Shark Reply
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    King SharkVodacom Cup player
     
  • @King Shark (Comment 7) : Yeah but it doesn’t hurt to have daddy on the coaching staff ;-)
    Besides, he was nominated as player of the year last year above players like Bryan Habana :lol: That has got to mean something.

  • Comment 11, posted at 05.02.13 15:06:28 by Viking Reply
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  • @King Shark (Comment 10) : Well I guess we will see how they perform at the end of the six nations and the impact Gatland will have when he comes back next year. Kind of how Jake White has proved his coaching abaility for a second time with the brumbies last year. He has really shown that he can make a big difference as coach.

  • Comment 12, posted at 05.02.13 15:08:43 by Viking Reply
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  • Besides this last England game, has Barrit ever played 13?
    He’s an out and out 12 and shouldnt even be considered as a 13 for the Lions.

    Im sure he’ll go on tour, most probably as backup to Roberts.

  • Comment 13, posted at 05.02.13 15:43:11 by John Galt Reply

    John GaltVodacom Cup player
     
  • Barritt played 13 on the weekend if im not mistaken.

    As for Farrell, the kid is 21 and already has 13 caps for England and 50 odd caps for Sarries.

    He doesnt need daddy to keep his England place.

    The best part is that, like daddy, he is a pretty physical player. Only difference is he can also kick. He’d nailed something like 42 kicks in a row until a couple of weeks ago.

    He’s England’s Frans Steyn; an absolute prodigy with a very bright future.

    As for the Lions team; I expect it’ll be loaded with Welshmen if I know Gatland, despite them playing abysmal rugby at present.

  • Comment 14, posted at 05.02.13 18:06:37 by VinChainSaw Reply
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  • Youngs Farrel Barrit Tuilangi

  • Comment 15, posted at 06.02.13 10:15:16 by Talent Reply
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  • And making out the twelvetrees was a huge center ,standing side by side one can see Brad is much more muscular :lol: but he has a cool name ,give it to him :lol: :lol:

  • Comment 16, posted at 06.02.13 10:20:40 by Talent Reply
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  • 15. Foden? maybe ,Halfpenny is as boring as they come

  • Comment 17, posted at 06.02.13 10:21:57 by Talent Reply
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  • @Talent (Comment 17) : can’t agree with you on Leigh, he’s for me the best fullback in the 6 Nations, with Kearney a very close 2nd, I like the look of 20 year old Scottish fullback, Stuart Hogg, shows real promise. Odd how he played SA u20 for England in June, then come November he was capped with Scotland

  • Comment 18, posted at 06.02.13 10:40:38 by Ludz Reply

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  • @Talent (Comment 16) : I would also just give him a spot based on his name :cool:

  • Comment 19, posted at 06.02.13 12:27:16 by Viking Reply
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