Overall an excellent win and performance.
Lions players very determined to make an impression and they most certainly did. Their attitude was spot on and it seemed like there was excellent camaraderie amongst the players. No feeling sorry for themselves as the potential ‘ midweekers’ but a very wholehearted and committed performance, with places still on offer for the latter tests, even if not the first.
Ball in hand for most players early on in the match which massively helps and builds confidence.
Well on top up front with a hugely dominant line out and scrum. Good Lions line press yet again and strong in the tackle. Very determined not to concede a try.
Too many silly mistakes early on though and missed too many chances too when close to the Chiefs line. However, the longer the match went on, confidence flowed through the team especially in the second half. They really capitalised when the Chiefs were down to 14 men and scored 2 tries in that period. However, a note of caution, The Chiefs are minus 10-11 first choice players and were really there for the taking.
Marks out of 10
Liam Williams 8 A good match. Smooth running and passing. At last showed what he can do especially with his handling for the 3rd try and break for the 4th try. Really came into his own in the second half when the match opened up with his broken play running and counter attacking. Has taken his chances. He won’t get in the first test but has put his hands up for later in the series.
Nowell 9 Always looking for work, popping up on both wings and wanting to get involved. Back to his best. Seems as though he was burdened with pressure early on in the tour and struggled with it, but now playing with freedom and did himself justice which he will be massively pleased about. Played as though he had nothing to lose and the shackles were released. Two very good tries, showed his predatory instincts and eye for the try line for the first and even better for the second try where he did what he does best with his eye for the gap. Had little defensive work to do but tackled well when he had to. It is extremely unlikely that he will be involved in the first test but has most definitely put down a marker for the latter tests.
Payne 6 Not quite working for him. Tackled well but did little as an attacking force. A bit harsh but some might say that he had more influence as a flanker than a centre !
Henshaw 6 Like Payne, lots of effort but very little impression. The pitch tends to get very clogged in the centre so there is often little opportunity for the centres to shine. Stupid kick straight out when in an attacking position early in the second half.
Daly 8 Good kick chase and like Nowell, went looking for work and looked dangerous, popping up all over the place. Clearly wanted to make an impression but needed to make sure that he didn’t try and do too much himself but let the ball do the work, which is what he did in the second half with brilliant pace and inside pass for the third try. Interesting that he was replaced with 20 mins to go, which indicates that he will be involved in the first test. Will he get the nod above North on the left wing or is it just a place on the bench ?
Biggar 8 Another splendid match. Playing with confidence and very assured, showing variety in his game and also strong defensively. Well in credit. However, let’s not forget he was playing in front of a dominant pack.
Laidlaw 6 Often takes too many steps before passing. Has to be quicker with clearing kicks. A bit too slow and pedestrian, albeit one good break in second half. Also on one occasion he kicked the ball away when close to the try line and can only do that when much higher chance of success
Marler 6 Part of a strong dominant front row and made lots of good carries but loses marks for stupid off the ball tackle in the first half when yellow carded.
Best 6 Like Marler, part of a dominant front row but loses marks for 2 poor line out throws at start of 2nd half. You can’t do that and concede good field position and then he conceded a silly penalty too.
Cole 8 Immense performance. Good turnover early in second half when Lions were under the cosh and kept going for 80 minutes, arguably getting stronger as the match went on with another turnover late on and strong in the tackle throughout. Part of dominant front row.
Henderson 7 A decent match and an honest wholehearted performance but not really pushing for a test place in view of the competition for his place.
Lawes 9 An excellent early line out steel and from there he went from strength to strength. Always put pressure on Chiefs line out ball and dominant on our own. Very prominent around the pitch often making good ground with ball in hand. The only worry was another HIA and clearly there may be an issue there. Only other slight negative was dropping a ball in an important attacking position in the first half.
Haskell 8 Started well with some early drives over gain line making good ground and he continued in similar vein. Was very prominent and top tackler. His best match all season.
Tipuric 8 Good early turnover and had an excellent match in all respects, top tackler with Haskell. A classic 7 and never lets anyone down
CJ Stander 8 Very strong with ball in hand and back to his best. Excellent turnover when Chiefs attacking early on and was very dominant throughout.
It was interesting that only one of the six new boys came on for a short period, when usually all subs come on. Maybe Gatland felt a little guilty about all the furore concerning his additional selections and so wanted to make a point by not playing them
Dell Excellent first scrum as replacement but not on for long enough to get a mark
AWJ. A brief appearance when he showed his worth as usual, but not on for long enough to get a mark
Seymour 6. Showed up well with a good line break towards the end but butchered the golden opportunity that he’d created with a terrible pass. Not good enough.