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  • This is a really interesting piece of analysis, shows that the complexity and nuance of rugby is very easily missed when watching with terrible TV producers who seem unable to provide useful replays, with a load of mates and after excessive drinking...🥴

    https://www.rugbypass.com/news/why-duhan­-van-der-merwe-keeps-getting-picked-for-­the-lions/

    I do think this whole 'play a wide/fast game, it's what SA struggle with' position is understandable but would be so high risk, coaching a modern, nuanced running game is much harder than coaching and aggressive defence and kick chase. For a scratch team to put that together in a cohesive way may be impossible - and certainly opens up the risk of a battering if a few pieces of your attack misfire. After keeping it tight and winning the first test the instinct to go again with the same strategy must have been impossible to ignore. It's also hard not to feel that Townsend and Gatland must have been having some very strong selection conversations as they're very different coaches. A real shame Finn wasn't fit and flying from the start of the tests, would have loved to have seen whether he was genuinely in WG's plans at all...

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