Gatland the brave got his selections right again
The Rugby Paper|July 25, 2021
JUST as Lukhanyo Am made a huge statement in the first minute with his bone-crunching hit on Elliot Daly, the Lions made their own mark with that unstoppable driving maul at the start of the second half which swung momentum.
JEREMY GUSCOTT

They hadn’t shown their mauling hand before yesterday, and it worked a dream – it didn’t look like being stopped. The message for next week should be: keep it simple because they don’t need to get to the wide channels when they can win the game by being smart.

The first-half tactics of trying to get around the edge of the South African defense didn’t work and thankfully it was a decision they changed in the second half. The Lions gave away too many penalties and made too many errors which gifted South Africa territory and momentum.

Right from the off when Am smashed Daly, that was their statement saying, ‘you’re not going around us’. And the Lions didn’t really threaten out wide, save for a couple of sniffs that didn’t go anywhere. I wish the team had made the change themselves rather than waiting for the half-time talk, but it gave Gatland ten minutes to tell them what they needed to do and how to change tactics.

After half-time, the kicking became even better. It sounds simple but you have to win territory against the South Africans and the simple thing to do is kick. And don’t be afraid to keep on kicking and be boring.

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