The Reuters global sports blog
The “dark arts’ of rugby’s front row have long-suppposed to be a mystery for all bar the hulking props and hookers who face off in the “trenches” but it didn’t take an expert to figure out something significant was happening in the first half of South Africa’s defeat of the British and Irish Lions last weekend.
England World Cup winner and former captain Phil “Raging Bull” Vickery was taken apart by Springbok prop Tendai “The Beast” Mtawarira, a novice 10 years his junior and not previously noted for his scrummaging prowess.
This is just not supposed to happen. Who or what was to blame? Vickery? Skulduggery? New Zealand referee Bryce Lawrence? The rest of the Lions pack?
Below are a few explanations, and comments, from the British media:
“The referee allowed The Beast to squat low and fire Vickery through the roof of the scrum, something that is totally illegal.”
Stephen Jones of the Sunday Times tries to make more friends in the Southern Hemisphere.
All professional sportsmen talk about how important their supporters are but when it comes to the British and Irish Lions there really is a special bond.