Ronan O’Gara was critical of Dan Biggar after the British and Irish Lions’ second win against the Sharks, arguing that he kicked the ball away unnecessarily.
Biggar is currently the favourite to start for the Lions against the Springboks in the first test, and has been named at 10 by Warren Gatland for Wednesday’s game against a surprisingly stacked South Africa ‘A’ side.
However, O’Gara argued on Sky Sports that Biggar’s rival Owen Farrell has a better ability to see gaps in opposition defences, and suggested that the Englishman should play a more crucial role for the Lions.
It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for…It’s our Play of the Day with @jameshaskell ?
He’s gone with Dan Biggar’s basketball style offload from last night’s match
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) July 11, 2021
‘He kicked away the ball unnecessarily twice.’
“I would base my test team around Conor Murray and Owen Farrell. I was disappointed with Dan Biggar,” Ronan O’Gara admitted.
“I thought he kicked the ball away unnecessarily twice, and it’s his capacity to see space. I think Farrell sees the space better.
“To back up that argument, when Biggar passes inside to Anthony Watson late on (for Tom Curry’s try), there’s 50 or 60 metres of space with no defenders on the left-hand side. But that’s being very harsh.”
Ronan O’Gara on the Lions’ options at centre.
While the former Ireland fly-half seems to have his mind made up on who Gatland should pick at nine and 10, he was less certain about the Lions’ combination at centre.
Before the tour began, Robbie Henshaw was seen as the favourite to play at either 12 or 13, but the Irishman’s hamstring injury has severely hampered his preparation for the test series.
Henshaw’s fellow centres Bundee Aki, Chris Farrell and Elliot Daly have all played well when given the opportunity, but O’Gara was unable to select an outstanding candidate at outside centre.
“There’s debate around number 12 and number 13 with probably a big meeting needed there.I think the big challenge at the minute is who to pick at 13. I don’t see a striking candidate,” O’Gara commented.
“Robbie Henshaw probably would have been favoured until he got a hamstring injury, which creates a cloud over him. And in the back of my mind, when he plays in the centre with Garry Ringrose for Ireland, Ringrose plays at 13.
“I like the combination of Bundee Aki at 12 and Henshaw at 13, but there are so many options with the quality of players they have on this tour.”