Lions ratings

Following the Lions' opening tour match against the Barbarians, we assess how the players fared in Hong Kong.

By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC.   Last Updated: 01/06/13 4:10pm

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The opening salvo has been fired in the British and Irish Lions tour - with Warren Gatland's side registering a 59-8 win over the Barbarians in Hong Kong.

Paul O'Connell, man-of-the-match Mike Phillips (2), Jonathan Davies, Alex Cuthbert (2), Dan Lydiate and Alun-Wyn Jones all scored tries as the Baa Baas were brushed aside at the Hong Kong Stadium, while Owen Farrell slotted over 15 points with the boot and Johnny Sexton added two conversions.

It was a performance that pleased the Lions staff and the pundits alike, with the tourists well set for the nine remaining matches on the tour.

Following the victory, we assess how the tourists fared in the searing heat at Hong Kong Stadium.

15 Stuart Hogg

A really encouraging display from the youngest member of the touring party. He picked some lovely running lines and attacked with promise. He knows, though, he faces a battle to move ahead of Leigh Halfpenny and Rob Kearney. 8

14 Alex Cuthbert

He had a quiet first half, but came alive after the break as the Lions shifted their focus. He took his chances brilliantly and ran with purpose. He was also impressive in defence and looks a strong bet for the Test time. 8

13 Jonathan Davies

A cultured display from the Wales centre. He did the basics right and was rewarded with a try. He combined brilliantly with Roberts, picked his lines well and offered that little bit extra with the ball in hand. 7

12 Jamie Roberts

This was a performance from Roberts circa 2009. He was relentless in attack and hammered away at the Barbarians defence, despite attempts to shackle him. Linked well with Davies with the duo complimenting each other 8

11 Sean Maitland

Signs of promise from the New Zealand-born winger although it didn't quite happen for him. Had a couple of chances to get that first try for the Lions but just missed out. Put in a solid shift, though. 6

10 Owen Farrell

A real mixed bag from the England fly-half. His kicking from the tee was good and he showed one or two bright moments linking with Phillips and Roberts. His temperament was tested while his handling wasn't great. 6

9 Mike Phillips

A superb display from Phillips - Ben Youngs and Conor Murray have it all to do if they are to oust him from the Test team. He scored two well-taken tries and was a menace to the Baa Baas defence throughout. Man of the match. 9

1 Mako Vunipola

A slow start in the loose from the England prop but soon got to grip with the occasion. Made some good yards with the ball in hand and was a real powerhouse in the scrum in difficult conditions. 7

2 Richard Hibbard

Understandably struggled at times with the lineout but showed no fear in looking for the back jumpers. He scrummed well and put in a lively shift in the loose, was a willing runner. 7

3 Adam Jones

Cleverly was able to profit at scrum time in a similar way to Wales' victory over England. He lived up to his billing as a world-class tighthead but he also proved his value at the breakdown. 7

4 Richie Gray

This was a really encouraging display from the Scotland lock and one that has done his Test hopes no harm at all. He made good yards in the loose, pressurised the Barbarians lineout and tackled hard. 8

5 Paul O'Connell

So close to being the man-of-the-match in my eyes, the Ireland lock led from the front. He hit every ruck like his life depended on it and tackled anything near him. He carried well, too, with the tourists following him everywhere. 9

6 Dan Lydiate

A good run-out for the Wales flanker, who had been out of the international picture for so long due to injury. He did plenty of the unheralded work on the deck and deservedly popped up for a try at the end. 8

7 Justin Tipuric

Another who put in a strong claim for the man-of-the-match award. He seemingly covered every blade of grass as he threw down a marker for the No 7 shirt. He ran well with the ball in hand, while he was able to disrupt the breakdown. 8

8 Toby Faletau

There was nothing flashy about Faletau's display, however he did everything that was asked off him. He was a willing runner - making 18 carriers - as he continually looked at breaking through the Baa Baas defence. 7


16 Tom Youngs (Some nervy moments at the lineout but carried well)
17 Cian Healy (Some lovely breaks and didn't put a foot wrong)
18 Matt Stevens (Solid enough display off the bench
19 Alun Wyn Jones (A try scoring appearance as he rose to the challenge thrown down by Gray)
20 Jamie Heaslip (Made some good yards and like Faletau he stuck to getting the basics right)
21 Conor Murray (Lively performance and helped keep the tempo high)
22 Johnny Sexton (Couple of sticky moments going for goal but looked more composed with the ball in hand)
23 George North (A real powerhouse runner, made a big impact going forward)

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