British & Irish Lions 2013
Player ratings: If only...
Sat, 29 Jun 2013 13:16
If only. That is the story of the British and Irish Lions, after going down by a single point to Australia.
If only Jonathan Davies made that crucial tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper. If only the Lions didn't lose that last line-out. If only..
They will get one last shot at glory in Sydney next Saturday, but the Lions were within grasping distance of their first series win since 1997.
The margins were small and the mistakes plenty.
Jan de Koning rates the British and Irish Lions!
15 Leigh Halfpenny:
His goal-kicking was again a prominent feature and he was solid under the high ball. Had a couple of decent run, but very little chance on attack.
14 Tommy Bowe:
Looked for work and was great in the air - with one very good chase late in the second half. Made almost all his tackles.
13 Brian O'Driscoll:
Big hit early on to halt a Wallaby move and was a monster on defence all day - producing one of the highest tackle counts of the match. Would have liked more ball-in-hand opportunities.
12 Jonathan Davies:
His options were very poor and conceded possession on attack a couple of times. Was a bit more effective after the break, but missed a crucial tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper inside the last five minutes which ended up being the match-winning score.
11 George North:
His chasing of those high kicks resulted in a turnover and a crucial penalty just before half-time. Was solid on defence, but missed one tackle - which fortunately did not amount to much.
10 Jonathan Sexton:
Found some holes in the Wallabies' No.10 channel, but some of his options were questionable and his hands let him down at times. Showed great composure in the final quarter and directed play well.
9 Ben Youngs:
Early knock as he tried to break from a line-out and then had the ball stripped from his hands at a ruck soon afterwards. Made all his tackles, but was little more than a link.
8 Jamie Heaslip:
Won a penalty turnover and did well to control difficult ball at the back of a retreating scrum. Worked hard on defence, slipped only one tackle and won some valuable line-out ball.
7 Sam Warburton:
Crucial early penalty turnover - which put down a marker. Was involved in plenty of the action at the breakdown and won another crucial penalty early in the second half. Some strong caries and his tackle count was into double figures. Will be a huge loss if injury rules him out of next week's decider.
6 Dan Lydiate:
Got caught offside when he became over-enthusiastic as the Wallabies started to threaten and his carries were not very effective. Worked very hard on defence, but slipped two tackles.
5 Geoff Parling:
Brought some line-out value and made plenty of tackles, the highest tackle count in the match. Just one silly penalty.
4 Alun Wyn Jones:
Worked hard and brought plenty of physicality, but got pinged in the line-out when his team was in a good position. Produced a huge tackle count, slipped just one and won a few line-outs.
3 Adam Jones:
He got the better of Benn Robinson, after the Wallabies had dominated the early scrums - that penalty in the 27th minute was a crucial play. Also worked hard at the breakdown and missed just one tackle.
2 Tom Youngs:
His line-out throwing was not always as accurate as his team would have wanted, but his work on defence was right up there - making all his tackles.
1 Makovina Vunipola:
Was under pressure in scrums and conceded a couple of penalties inside the first quarter. However, he did well to come back and put one over on Ben Alexander. Then got penalised at an early second half scrum and again fought his way back into it to win another scrum penalty. Enormous workrate on defence, although he slipped two tackles.
16 Richard Hibbard (on for Tom Youngs, 56):
He added solidity to the Lions' set pieces and made all his tackles.
17 Ryan Grant:
18 Dan Cole (on for Jones, 56):
The Lions scrums dominated after he came on and worked very hard on defence.
19 Tom Croft (on for Warburton, 67):
Not enough time to be rated.
20 Sean O'Brien (on for Heaslip , 62):
Had a few effective carries and made a number of good tackles.
21 Conor Murray (on for Ben Youngs, 53):
Won a crucial penalty turnover a minute after coming on. His box kicks put pressure on the Wallabies and made some crucial tackles.
22 Owen Farrell:
23 Alex Cuthbert:
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