Highlanders 23 The Lions 22 13 June 2017 Marks Out of 10 and Summary

Excellent match. Brilliant atmosphere and fantastic ground and conditions.

Gripping yet ultimately very disappointing for the Lions to lose, especially when 9 points ahead. Gave away far too many penalties. Rugby matches are often won or lost on fine margins and if Farrell or Daly had kicked one of those penalties…….

I think this match showed why so many of these players won’t make the test side. Many did some really good things and then backed it up with something daft or poor.

Marks out of 10

Payne 5  Not good enough. Made a couple of good tackles but missed a few too. Dropped it and did little in attack.

Nowell 6  Better and tried hard but never really had an opportunity to impose himself with ball in hand. Miles away from the test team

Joseph 6/7  Just managed a 6/7 because in attack he scored a decent try and asked questions, albeit he dropped an important ball at the very end. Defensively he was poor and missed several tackles. The AB’s will find him out defensively and I don’t see him getting in the test side.

Henshaw 6  Average. Did some reasonable things and good defensively but doesn’t add much from an attacking perspective.

Seymour 6  Got lucky with his try albeit he took it very well. Defensively weak and very poor in the air. Not much of a threat in attack and really he should have scored when he was adjudged just short

Biggar 8 played very well, ball in hand, distribution, kicking, catching and defensively. The only blot on his copybook was missing touch from a penalty early in the second half when he went for too much distance

Webb 8  Has pace and very lively. Is a real attacking threat, Kicking was much better but it still lets him down on occasions and needs to be more consistent. I think replaced so early really to preserve him for future matches

Marler 6 Did all that was asked of him and reasonably prominent as usual

Best 7  Line out was good. Won a very good turnover close to our own line close to the end of the first half and was prominent around the pitch. A good performance and in credit.

Sinckler 6/7 Yet again strong and prominent. He sure makes a difference and has to be on the bench for the test team.  Must stop giving away silly penalties though

Lawes 7  Looking good before injury sadly saw him off. Good in the lineout off both our and their ball, and prominent around the pitch

Henderson 6 Much better. Kept going all match, was reasonably prominent

Haskell 5  Tackle count improved in the second half but hardly saw the ball in hand and was largely anonymous

Warburton 7  Like Haskell did nothing in the first half but really came alive in the second half, prominent and took his try very well. Encouraging that he came good and I think he has to play again against the Maoris on Saturday

CJ Stander 6  A real curate’s egg of a performance. In the first half he was very poor other than his involvement in the try, but he missed tackles, got pushed back as he drove too high but improved in the second half and made more of a difference


Owens 6 Line out fine but the new front row got pulverised in the scrum

McGrath 5 New scrum pulverised and pushed back

Cole 5 Ditto McGrath

AWJ  7 Hardly ever has a bad game. Good in the line out, prominent around the pitch, wins turnovers. A real trooper.

Tupiric  6 Lively as always and a contender for the test squad.

Laidlaw 5  Adds very little and has no pace. Kicking was off the mark too.

Farrell 6  Disappointing penalty kick miss would have won the game for the Lions. Good with ball in hand and tries to make things happen

Daly 6 Lively, especially with ball in hand and looked a potential threat. Maybe full back could be his position in the long term. But got lucky with a charge down yet unlucky with his potential match winning kick.

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