The British and Irish Lions tour of South Africa has been labelled a “huge test” for the future of rugby by former Ireland captain Ronan O’Gara.
The British and Irish Lions v South Africa has ‘huge implications’, says Ronan O’Gara is a feature about the rugby match between the British and Irish Lions and South Africa.
The time required for refereeing decisions contributed to the second Test’s sluggish pace.
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The crucial third Test between the British and Irish Lions and South Africa’s Springboks “has enormous ramifications for the future of rugby,” according to three-time visitor Ronan O’Gara.
A slow-paced second Test, as well as both teams’ playing styles, attracted criticism, with little flowing rugby from either side.
“For this series to be salvaged,” O’Gara adds, a good match is required.
Before the Lions’ first victory, they expressed dissatisfaction with the deployment of a South African television match official, and South Africa director of rugby Erasmus retaliated with an unprecedented video criticizing the first Test officiating.
Because of the time required to make officiating judgments, the opening 40 minutes of the second-Test loss took 62 minutes to complete, and O’Gara thinks it was “worse watching” than the opener.
“The series is 1-1, and I don’t have any optimism or excitement about this weekend,” the La Rochelle head coach stated on Rugby Union Weekly. “This is surprising when you consider who is playing and what’s at stake.”
“It’s simple to understand fans’ dissatisfaction since, regrettably, there have been few good acts on the field.”
“It’s extremely frustrating because you’re pitting the finest of the British and Irish Lions against the best of the South African Lions.
“Cynicism, rage, and dissatisfaction have all been expressed. For this series to be salvaged, the rugby must be at its best this Saturday.”
South Africa’s style of play ‘ends up nasty.’
The suffocating physicality of South Africa helped them win the World Cup in 2019.
After last weekend’s 27-9 loss, Lions head coach Warren Gatland saw the need for change and has introduced six new players to his starting XV.
Hooker As a handful of Gatland’s more experienced Lions are dropped from the 23-man squad, Ken Owens, prop Wyn Jones, scrum-half Ali Price, centre Bundee Aki, wing Josh Adams, and full-back Liam Williams join the fight.
Taulupe Faletau, Anthony Watson, and Owen Farrell, all of whom O’Gara believes might have been “vital to the series,” have been left out of the final.
Fly-half After recuperating from an Achilles injury, Finn Russell is on the bench, and number eight As he prepares for his Lions Test debut, Sam Simmonds is another offensive substitute.
The world champions will be without talismans Faf de Klerk and Pieter-Steph du Toit, who will be replaced by Cobus Reinach at nine and Franco Mostert in the back row.
Lood de Jager starts at lock, while Morne Steyn, the 37-year-old fly-half who won the 2009 series with a long-range penalty, is on the bench.
After a second Test characterized by physical confrontations up front and a strong emphasis on kicking, South Africa was compelled to defend their playing style.
The Lions tried and failed to equal the Springboks in all areas, and O’Gara believes Gatland’s roster pick indicates that more of the same is on the way.
“South Africa is developing,” he said.
“They’ll always be better, while the Lions have become almost a divided personality – who are we?”
“Do we now alter our philosophy, our approach, and attempt to take advantage of the space that will undoubtedly exist?”
“Or do we go all-in on the play we’ve seen so far?” That, I believe, is what Gatland has done with his choice.
“Putting Finn Russell aside, it suggests to me that he believes he can go over the line playing that style, and although I don’t believe that’s the best approach to achieve a result, it may be in the final Test.”
“It becomes very nasty when you attempt to play like they [South Africa] do and don’t get results.”
If there aren’t any more attempts, ‘top level has a problem.’
When players put on a Lions shirt, according to O’Gara, they “get possessed,” and if the current crop can put on a show like the ones that contributed to the famous 1997 series victory in South Africa, this trip may still finish on a high note.
In the first two Tests, the Lions only scored one try, with Luke Cowan-Dickie scoring in a maul to help them win 22-17 in the opener.
So far, four tries have been scored in the series, and O’Gara believes that if the final Test does not provide more excitement, the game will be “in danger” of attracting new followers.
“We’re looking at the Lions getting one try in Test rugby from a drive over maul, which indicates that the game at the highest level has a problem,” he added.
The Lions, according to the former Ireland fly-half, need a “spark” if they are to win the series.
“They aren’t banging on the door from an offensive standpoint,” he added.
“There is a kick policy in place, but if you want to create issues at this level, you need several threats.”
“You don’t win huge games until you score tries,” says the coach.
Williams; Adams, Henshaw, Aki, Van der Merwe; Biggar, Price; Jones, Owens, Furlong, Itoje, A Wyn Jones (c), Lawes, Curry, Conan; Biggar, Price; Jones, Owens, Furlong, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje, Itoje
Cowan-Dickie, Vunipola, Sinckler, Beard, Simmonds, Murray, Russell, and Daly are the replacements.
South Africa: Le Roux; Kolbe, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi; Pollard, Reinach; Kitshoff, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, De Jager, Kolisi (c), Mostert, Wiese; Kitshoff, Mbonambi, Malherbe, Etzebeth, De Jager, Kolisi (c), Mostert, Wiese
Marx, Nyakane, Koch, Van Staden, Smith, Jantjies, Steyn, and Willemse are the replacements.
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