Rugby Union

British & Irish Lions: Final Test player ratings

The Lions sealed the series win with an emphatic victory. (©GettyImages)
The Lions sealed the series win with an emphatic victory. (©GettyImages).

The British and Irish lions beat Australia 41-16 to win the series 2-1 and put 16 years of hurt behind them. 

The Lions came out raring to go scoring within the first 90 seconds and going on to lead 19-3. However, a last minute first half try by James O'Connor brought the Wallabies to 10 and two penalty goals from Christian Lealiifano brought the score to 19-16. 

The Lions soon put an end to the contest with tries from Jonny Sexton, George North and Jamie Roberts. Here we rate each Lion out of ten after arguably their finest and final performance of the tour.

1. Alex Corbisiero - 9

The young prop was brought in to steady the scrum and ended up obliterating his opposite number. Of the first four scrums the Lions won two penalties and a further two free kicks prompting head coach Warren Gatland to single out Corbisiero as his man of the match.

2. Richard Hibbard - 8

Looked as if he would run through a brick wall for the red shirt in the opening exchanges throwing himself into rucks and tackles, epitomised by his thunderous clash with George Smith. Furthermore Hibbard was accurate at the lineout allowing the Lions to dominate the set piece.

3. Adam Jones - 8

The Welsh prop has been the fulcrum of the Lions front row. Jones will have been the first name on Gatland's team sheet throughout with a brutal display in the scrum as well as helping around the park in the loose.

4. Alun Wyn Jones - 9

The captain led by example chasing down every kick and carrying the ball more than any other player. As well as this he made 12 tackles and provided most of the grunt work that usually goes unnoticed in test matches of this calibre.

5. Geoff Parling - 8

Often criticised for lacking physicality, Parling silenced his doubters. He had six carries and 12 tackles including a incredible tap tackle on Jesse Mogg who was breaking through the heart of the Lions defence. As well as this Parling led the lineout as he does week in week out for club and country.

6. Dan Lydiate - 8

The Welsh flanker didn't make as many tackles as last week, but kept Will Genia quiet for the most part which deserves enormous credit.

7. Sean O'Brien - 9

O'Brien was prepared to risk injury for the Lions making 15 tackles throughout and wanting to play on despite limping heavily. Completely ran the breakdown and filled the gap left by Warburton after his fine performance last week.

8. Toby Faletau - 8

Stepped up from the midweek team and performed to the highest level. Carried like a bulldozer and turned over one vital ball when the Wallabies were on the attack deep in Lion territory.

9. Mike Phillips - 7

Started the game well marshalling the forwards but seemed to tire towards the end. Once again the scrum half seemed to take the ball on himself to often and got caught in heavy traffic.

10. Jonny Sexton - 8

Had a quiet first half but came to life in the second. His exquisite kick over the top for North to chase eventually turned into him scoring in the corner. As well as this seemed to be a key leader within the squad despite his young age.

11. George North - 8

Once again lifted Isreal Folau off the ground and that show of physicality set the tone for the rest of the match. Was safe under the high ball and once again showed his finishing prowess scoring well in the corner.

12. Jamie Roberts - 7

Roberts was brought in to crash the ball up over the gainline, and did so admirably. The player of the series from last time out signed off with a brilliant try to see the game off but would have liked to have the ball more in the first half.

13. Jonathon Davies - 8

Had huge expectations to live up to after the decision to drop Brian O'Driscoll, Davies quickly wronged his doubters. Showed his physicality, not missing a single tackle, as well as his skill set with a delightful chip to the corner in the first half.

14. Tommy Bowe - 7

Bowe had another quite match by his standards. Tried hard to get involved but often the ball didn't make it wide enough, he will be dissapointed with his knock on early in the match but will be relieved to leave Australia as a winner.

15. Leigh Halfpenny - 10

Showed why he deserved to be player of the series and firmly put his name in the hat for IRB player of the year. Played a role in both Sexton's and North's try as well as kicking 21 points with his boot. Arguably the best XV in world rugby.

It is rare that there is not a single player rated under a seven, but the Lions came out roaring and delivered the best performance by a Lions side in recent history.


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Topics:
British & Irish Lions
Rugby Union

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