The crucial third test for the British and Irish Lions in South Africa “has massive implications for the coming of rugby,” says three-time tourist Ronan O’Gara.
a The second test is slow He criticized the playing style of both sides, with little rugby flowing from either side.
O’Gara says quality matching is needed “in order for this series to be preserved”.
The Lions aired their frustration with the use of a South African television match official prior to their inaugural triumph, and South Africa’s rugby manager Erasmus responded with an unprecedented video criticizing the refereeing in the first Test.
The first 40 minutes of defeating the second Test took 62 minutes to conclude due to the time taken to make official decisions and O’Gara believes it was “worse watching” than the opening match.
“Series 1-1 and I don’t feel any positive or excitement about this weekend, which starts when you think about who’s playing and what’s at stake,” said La Rochelle’s coach. Rugby Union Weekly.
“It is very simple to understand the complaints of the fans because unfortunately there has been very little positive action on the pitch.
“It is very disappointing because you are talking about the best of the British and Irish Lions against South Africa.
“There was ridicule, anger and frustration. Rugby has to be really powerful on the weekend for this series to be saved.”
Playing like South Africa ‘ends up with something ugly’
Lions coach Warren Gatland has recognized the need for change following final weekend 9-27 defeat He brought in six unused players in the fifteenth start.
Hawker Ken Owens, prop Wayne Jones, half Ali Price, Bundy Aki, winger Josh Adams and linebacker Liam Williams enter the fray as Gatland’s 23 most experienced lions are cut off.
Taulupe Faletau, Anthony Watson and Owen Farrell – who O’Gara said would have been “the key to the chain” – were all disqualified for the decision.
Fly-half Finland’s Russell is off the bench following recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, and number eight Sam Symonds is another attacking substitute as he prepares for his Lions Test debut.
The world champion will be absent from the spells Fave de Klerk and Peter-Steve de Toit, as Cobus Reinach starts at nine and Franco Mostert moves to the back row.
Lood de Jager starts locking and there is 37-year-old Morne Steyn’s half fly — who sealed the 2009 series with a lengthy-range penalty — on the bench.
South Africa was forced to protect its playing style following the second test which was dominated by body fights up fore and heavy reliance on kicking.
The Lions have tried and failed to match the Springboks in both regions and O’Jara says the team selection suggests more of the alike could come from Gatland’s side.
“South Africa is building,” he explained.
“They would definitely be better while the lions suddenly became a divided personality – who are we?
“Shall we change our philosophy now, change our approach and try to take advantage of the space that definitely exists?
“Or are we doubling down on the considerate of play we’ve seen? I think that’s what Gatland did in his pick.
“Finn Russell aside, it suggests he thinks he can cross the playing streak that way and I don’t think it’s the smartest way to get a score, but maybe it’s on the final test.
When you try to play like this [South Africa] You play and you don’t get results, you end up ugly.”
“The top level has a problem” if no more attempts
O’Gara says players “get possessed” when they wear a black jersey and if the current crop can deliver a performance similar to the one that led to winning the legendary 1997 series in South Africa, this tour could end on a lofty.
The Lions scored only one attempt in their first two Tests, with Luke Cowan-Dickie crossing in on an onslaught to aid them triumph. 22-17 triumph in the opening game.
A whole of four attempts in the series have been logged so far and O’Gara says that if there is no more excitement in the final test, the game is “in danger” as it seeks to triumph unused fans.
“We’re looking at Lions scoring one over-hit drive attempt in Test rugby which means the game at the top level has a problem,” he said.
The previous Irish half-volley said the Lions need a “spark” if they are to have any hope of a series triumph.
“From an offensive point of view, they don’t knock on the door,” he added.
“There is a kick policy in place but you have to have multiple threats at that level if you want to cause problems.
“You can’t triumph big games without trying to score.”
Alternatives: Cowan Dickey, Vonipola, Sinclair, Baird, Symonds, Murray, Russell, Daly.
Alternatives: Marks, Niakan, Koch, Van Staden, Smith, Gantz, Stein, Willems.