Sat 17 Jul 2021 | 09:14

Player Ratings: Back on track

Player Ratings: Back on track
Sat 17 Jul 2021 | 09:14
Player Ratings: Back on track
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OPINION: An error-ridden first half and game opponents slowed down the Lions in the first half, but the Stormers eventually blew themselves out.

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Ian Cameron rates the British and Irish Lions:

15. STUART HOGG – 7.5
He brings an immediate bite to the Lions, with an ability to turn slow ball into an attacking opportunity within the space of three or four choppy strides. A couple of handling errors care of a greasy ball won’t help him in his bid to dislodge Liam Williams, who was sipping a beer in the stands. It’s a very tight call.

14. JOSH ADAMS – 7
The newly minted dad clattered himself early on when trying to field a high ball and coughed up a couple of turnovers in contact. Full of controlled aggression.

13. ELLIOT DALY – 7
A couple of unconvincing turns in defence, but his boot and ability to create continue to be his point of difference at 13. Gatland will be tempted.

12. ROBBIE HENSHAW – 7
Up against it to prove his form with so little game time on tour, Henshaw had a tidy first half, his short kicking in particular impressing. No real sign of ring rust, although he looked a little knackered coming off.

11. DUHAN VAN DER MERWE – 6.5
Didn’t see a huge amount of quality ball and was reasonably well marshalled when he did.

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10. MARCUS SMITH – 7
The Stormers clearly wanted to get under the debutant’s skin, forcing errors out of the young Harlequins’ tyro on occasion. Looked to play more and more as the game broke up, showcasing the unique running threat he offers at stand-off.

9. ALI PRICE – 7.5
A solid outing. He’s been the form nine on this tour and if he loses out to Conor Murray it won’t have been due to anything that has happened on the pitch in South Africa.

1. RORY SUTHERLAND – 7
It was a challenging day at the office at the setpiece for Sutherland, albeit against an oft illegal scrummager and slippy underfoot. Didn’t do his Test chances any damage though.

2. LUKE COWAN-DICKIE – 8.5
Harshly pinged for double movement for rolling toward the line for what looked like a good try. His ability to strip and pilfer ball is world-class and he was a huge problem in pretty much every facet of the game for the Stormers.

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3. TADHG FURLONG – 7
Popped up for a couple of big defensive hits and broke the Stormers line on more than one occasion. Like Sutherland, he was tested at scrum time.

4. ADAM BEARD – 8
A sumptuous line for his 27th-minute try, confounding critics of his loose play [this one included] and showed excellent catch and pass skills to put in his second-row teammate in a few minutes later. A spot on the replacements bench for the Test beckons.

5. JONNY HILL – 8
A big presence at the lineout, the hulking workhorse who has done very little wrong on tour and this was his best performance to date. Deserved his try.

6. TADHG BEIRNE – 8
Another strong game from the Munsterman who combines back row size, turnover threat and a nose for the try line. A couple of loose moments here and there but you fancy he might just edge Lawes, who has strained his neck.

7. HAMISH WATSON – 7.5
Dominated every contact he was involved in and is a relentless source of go-forward ball every time he plays for the Lions.

8. JACK CONAN – 7.5
Continues to be excellent in an understated sort of way and took his try well. Gatland really is spoilt for choice at No.8.

REPLACEMENTS:

16. JAMIE GEORGE – 7
A tough act to follow when coming on for LCD, who played a blinder.

17. MAKO VUNIPOLA – 7
Went some way to addressing some previously misfiring on this tour.

18. ZANDER FAGERSON – 7
You feel he has never quite shown his excellent Scotland form in South Africa but there were some bright moments here, not least his try.

19. ALUN WYN JONES – 6
It was a strange decision to not start him and you could tell he was incredibly eager to make an impact when he did come on. Hard to glean too much from this outing, with the game already won when he came on.

20. SAM SIMMONDS – 7
Hasn’t lived up to massive pre-tour hype around his selection. How could he? Some solid carrying here but the Lions game isn’t built around his abilities in the way it is in Exeter. Took his try well.

21. GARETH DAVIES – NA

22. CHRIS HARRIS – 7
Will Greenwood suggested Harris coming on for Henshaw might have been telling here. A solid outing for the find of the Lions tour.

23. LOUIS REES-ZAMMIT – 7
Took his try well after being put into space by Smith.

By Ian Cameron, @RugbyPass

PV: 68
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Player Ratings: Back on track | Rugby365