Lions ratings

The British and Irish Lions fell agonisingly short in Melbourne as Australia recorded a 16-15 victory in the second Test.

Last Updated: 29/06/13 at 15:02 Post Comment

The trusted boot of Leigh Halfpenny landed all the points for the Lions, however his long-range effort in injury-time fell just short.

The result means the Lions will now head to Sydney for a mouth-watering series decider next Saturday.

With plenty of selection issues looming for Warren Gatland after the narrow loss at the Etihad Stadium, we assess how the tourists fared.

15 Leigh Halfpenny

The Lions full-back can't be blamed for missing a last-minute penalty which was outside his range. He was solid under the high ball, scored all 15 points for the Lions and made one try-saving tackle on Israel Folau. 7

14 Tommy Bowe

He was forced to live off scraps on his return to the side, making just four carries. He defended stoically, however the Lions will need to look at a way to utilise his attacking potential. 6

13 Brian O'Driscoll

Desperately tried to find a way through the Wallabies defence with a few tricks but was well-marshalled. He was immense in defence, with some huge hits, and only Vunipola made more tackles. 7

12 Jonathan Davies

It just didn't happen for the Wales centre as he struggled to make in-roads in attack. A poor attempted grubber summed up his night, while he missed the crucial tackle on Adam Ashley-Cooper. His place must be under threat from Jamie Roberts and Manu Tuilagi. 5

11 George North

Like wing colleague Bowe, North was forced to go hunting the ball. He showed a few bright moments, including an eye-catching run while carrying Folau and he made a couple of timely interventions. 6

10 Jonny Sexton

The Irishman did everything he could to get the Lions going forward and he ended the match as the top carrier. He also used the up and under to good effect and didn't miss a tackle. 8

9 Ben Youngs

Brought into the the side to speed up the game, he did what he could but was replaced as the Lions attempted to up the physicality. He did little wrong in his battle with Will Genia but he could struggle to keep his place. 6

1 Mako Vunipola

I could write a thesis on his display. Four penalties at scrum time will stand out in people's minds, however he rallied well and won a couple back. He was also the top tackler, carried more than anyone else and gave his all until the final whistle. 6

2 Tom Youngs

The England hooker failed to match the same levels as the first Test. He was not as dynamic in the loose and had a couple of wobbles at the lineout. He did make eight tackles before injury ended his involvement. 6

3 Adam Jones

The cornerstone of the Lions scrum, Jones attempted to hold things together and played his part in the front-row revival. Had nothing left in the tank when he was replaced in the second half. 6

4 Alun-Wyn Jones

With Paul O'Connell missing, the responsibility of leading the pack fell to Jones and he cannot be faulted for his work ethic. Tackled himself to a standstill but lacked the same impact with the ball in hand. 6

5 Geoff Parling

He had some pretty big boots to fill and he didn't let the Lions down. Like O'Driscoll, he weighed in with 14 tackles, while he was solid in the line. He also did his part to disrupt the Wallabies throw. 7

6 Dan Lydiate

The Wales flanker was brought in to shut down Genia and he certainly kept him under wraps for long periods. He kept the Wallabies from attacking around the fringes at the breakdown and was a nuisance on the deck. 7

7 Sam Warburton

The injury to Warburton will be a worry for the Lions after a captain's performance from the openside. His work at the breakdown was superb as he was able to slow Australian ball while he tackled superbly. 8

8 Jamie Heaslip

Wasn't able to get over the gainline anywhere near as much as the Lions would have liked. He made one scrambling save at the scrum and was a useful option in the lineout, though. 6

Replacements

16 Richard Hibbard (Has an impact in the scrum but missed his man with a crucial lineout)
17 Ryan Grant (Unused)
18 Dan Cole (Made an impression in defence and solid in the scrum)
19 Tom Croft (Little chance to make an impact with the Lions under pressure)
20 Sean O'Brien (Showed the Lions what they were missing with the second most yards made)
21 Conor Murray (Could have forced his way into the XV with lively display)
22 Owen Farrell (Unused)
23 Alex Cuthbert (Unused)

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Readers' Comments

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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