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News article – Style D 2075

3rd June 2005 By Munster Rugby

News article – Style D 2075

Opening game of the 2005 Lions tour against a Bay Of Plenty side who will be steaming from the kick-off but the passion and commitment the home side will show should still not be enough

Previous Meetings: 1959 – Bay of Plenty/Thames Valley 24-26 Lions; 1966 – Bay of Plenty 6-6 Lions; 1971 – Bay of Plenty 14-20 Lions; 1977 – Bay of Plenty 16-23 Lions; 1983 – Bay of Plenty 16-34 Lions.

Opening game of the 2005 Lions tour against a Bay Of Plenty side who will be steaming from the kick-off but the passion and commitment the home side will undoubtedly show should still not be enough to stop the tourists from getting off to a winning start.

The home side, in front of a full partisan house, will start off at ninety miles an hour and the Lions will do well to avoid some of those early hits but when all is said and done it is a team of semi-professionals and part-timers against perhaps the most most professionally organised side in the history of northern hemisphere rugby.

Nine of the Steamers side have Super 12 experience but they take on a combination whose between them have amassed over 600 international caps. Throw in the sprinkling who have ‘previous’ in Lions terms and then you’re looking at the likes of Richard Hill, Lawrence Dallaglio, Ronan O’Gara and the mercurial Brian O’Driscoll and you realise exactly what BoP are up against.

Not that they will be at all phased by stats or expectations. They’ll bring a level of intensity that will rock the Lions and their captain Wayne Ormond set out their stall when he said, “There’s going to be a big contest up front and we can’t afford to take a backward step. We won’t be turning the other cheek. If the Lions step out of line, we will dish it straight back. We’ve been waiting for this game for a long time.”

Forewarned is foreamed we’re led to believe and if Dallaglio and Co can survive the early furious exchanges they’ll be motoring come the final quarter and it’s then they might overturn Captain Ormond’s carefully laid out stall.

Lions: J Lewsey (London Wasps, England); M Cueto (Sale Sharks, England), B O’Driscoll (Leinster, Ireland), G Henson (Neath Swansea Ospreys, Wales), T Shanklin (Cardiff Blues, Wales); R O’Gara (Munster, Ireland), D Peel (Llanelli Scarlets, Wales); G Jenkins (Cardiff Blues, Wales), G Bulloch (Glasgow, Scotland), M Stevens (Bath, England), P O’Connell (Munster, Ireland), B Kay (Leicester Tigers, England), R Hill (Saracens, England), M Williams (Cardiff Blues, Wales), L Dallaglio (London Wasps). Replacements: S Thompson (Northampton Saints, England), A Sheridan (Sale Sharks, England), D O’Callaghan (Munster, Ireland), M Corry (Leicester Tigers, England), M Dawson (London Wasps, England), C Hodgson (Sale Sharks, England), G D’Arcy (Leinster, Ireland).

Bay Of Plenty: A Cashmore; F Bolavucu, A Bunting, G McQuoid, A Tahana; M Williams, K Senio; S Davison, A Lutui, B Castle, M Sorenson, B Upton, W Ormond (capt), N Latu, C Bourke. Replacements: J Pareanga, T Filise, P Tupai, W Smith, C Hubbard, R Moon, A Stewart.

Referee: Paul Honiss (New Zealand).


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