Sorry, 8 games. With that said I may not be the best person to answer your final numbers question which I think is just one of those traditional things that started off in error and now can't be changed. Remembering as well that SA (for a number of reasons) have not been always present in intl rugby so their quirk was probably not pointed out!The beauty of a forum is that we dont have to agree Ozzyian. Ive no issue with that.
I largely agree with your comment regarding his effectiveness as a lions coach.
However, the record books show Gats has not lost a lions series as head coach (8 games to date, he was assistant the series before). Thats his reputation. He'll want to protect that.
When push comes to shove he'll do it his way.
My biggest concern with the team for Saturday remains vdM. I think Gats is trying to play him in the North role. Not sure he has the experience though. He's not come infield looking for work and getting across the gain line.
Interesting stat from last weeks game. The combined number of passes made by the two starting 13s was a grand total of 2.
As an asside, does anyone know why SAs opensides wear 6 and blind sides 7?
The only team I've seen do it.
In the last game the outside backs basically received no ball (except from above) I don't necessarily disagree about VDM, he was reasonably instrumental in the first test and I think that there are much bigger problems to fix (whether they can be or not is highly debateable)
I think that in modern professional team coaching the real trick is identifying the opportunities before signing up . Gatland has been the beneficiary of 8 or 9 seriously good players in key positions who came through to prominence during his tenure. I certainly don't think he's a dud but his Wales record relied on that group of players that could win big games doing it his way - he needed those players though. I don't think he's done a very good job for the Lions. I think he has generally put his teams together without really appreciating what he had available. Thats probably unfair - we were always to get a version of Warrenball, that's his thing.