British & Irish Lions
Player ratings: Guts and glory
Sat, 06 Jul 2013 12:35
Saved their best performance of the tour for their crucial last match
The British and Irish Lions secured their first series victory in 16 years with a polished 41-16 victory over the Wallabies in Sydney.
The tourists saved their best performance of the tour for their crucial last match, after the opening two Tests had been close nailbiters.
The Lions bolted out of the blocks and absorbed the inevitable backlash from their hosts before pulling away in the final stages.
The victory was built on a fearsome scrummaging effort which laid the platform for their backs to express themselves and punish the Wallabies late in the game.
We rate the British and Irish Lions:
15 Leigh Halfpenny:
Showed his undoubted class with an almost flawless performance. His positional play was spot-on, he only missed one kick at goal, and joined the line with devastating effect - setting up both Jonathan Sexton and George North for late tries.
14 Tommy Bowe:
Got involved early when he took a quick tap which led to the opening try and looked dangerous in space throughout. Was fairly solid under the high ball, but also knocked on with players outside him.
13 Jonathan Davies:
Justified Warren Gatland's faith in him with a good all-round game. His left boot came in handy and he created Sexton's try with a great run and offload.
12 Jamie Roberts:
Hit the line hard with some powerful crash balls as is expected from him, but was kept fairly quiet until he broke clean through to score his try near the end.
11 George North:
Had limited opportunities as he was marked closely, but did well under the high ball and showed his great finishing ability to score his try.
10 Jonathan Sexton:
Attacked the line well in a composed display, creating valuable for those outside him and also did some good work in the tackle.
9 Mike Phillips:
Played with good urgency with his quick tap setting up the opening try and provided good service in his time on the pitch.
8 Toby Faletau:
Made ground consistently whenever he got his hands on the ball and also showed his value at the breakdown by making a crucial turnover in his own 22.
7 Sean O'Brien:
A hard-working performance from the powerful flank who slipped in some deft offloads with his usual strong carries and huge tackles, although he was blown up for a high tackle.
6 Dan Lydiate:
Made some big hits, and managed to keep the Wallabies loose trio on the back foot. Did some good work in the tight phases as well.
5 Geoff Parling:
Solid on defence, coming up with a crucial ankle-tap on Jesse Mogg, but the Lions line-out was put under pressure and he got exposed in this area at times.
4 Alun Wyn Jones:
Led from the front well, providing plenty of grunt. Came close to scoring at the start before Corbisiero crashed over and also offloaded well in the tackle.
3 Adam Jones:
Signed off on his Lions career with an immense performance. A colossal display at scrum-time where he gave Benn Robinson a serious working over.
2 Richard Hibbard:
Provided plenty of power up front, but let himself down with a few errors in loose play - throwing a poor pass to Bowe and obstructing Faletau, whilst he also went offside at a maul.
1 Alex Corbisiero:
Great all-round game from the loosehead who used his power to force his way over for the opening try, and bossed Ben Alexander in the scrums.
16 Tom Youngs (On for Hibbard 47 mins):
Got around park well when he got on, and provided some crucial energy in the final stages of the match.
17 Mako Vunipola (On for Corbisiero, 67 min):
Solid in the few opportunities he got on the field.
18 Dan Cole (On for Jones, 55 mins):
Made some big tackles when he came on and was solid in the scrums.
19 Richie Gray (On for Parling, 67 mins):
Limited opportunities in his time on the park, but worked hard.
20 Justin Tipuric (On for Faletau, 55 mins):
Showed plenty of enthusiasm and hit the breakdown hard.
21 Conor Murray (on for Phillips, 51 mins):
Provided quick service and his pass for Roberts' try was timed to perfection.
22 Owen Farrell (On for Sexton, 63 mins):
Some good tactical kicking when he came on, and steered the ship well in the closing stages as the Lions ran away with it.
23 Manu Tuilagi (On for Roberts, 69 min):
Not enough time to be rated
By Michael de Vries
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