Lions v Baa Baas
Last Updated: 03/06/13 7:03am
The British and Irish Lions kicked off their 2013 tour in impressive style, with a comprehensive rout of the Barbarians.
Following the 59-8 victory at the Hong Kong Stadium, we bring you all the best of the action, reaction and opinion.
Lions overwhelm Baa Baas
Mike Phillips scored two tries
The British and Irish Lions got their tour to Australia up and running in impressive fashion as they ran in eight tries during a dominant 59-8 win over the Barbarians in Hong Kong. While victory had never really been in question, the manner of the success will have pleased Warren Gatland and his coaching staff as his side wore down their opposition in clinical style before demonstrating their attacking weapons with some eye-catching scores. Skipper Paul O'Connell, Mike Phillips (2), Jonathan Davies, Alex Cuthbert (2), Dan Lydiate and Alun Wyn Jones all touched down as the Lions ran out comprehensive winners.
How the Lions rated
Paul O'Connell skippered the side in Hong Kong
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. Following the victory, we assess how the tourists fared in the searing heat at Hong Kong Stadium.
Paul O'Connell pin-pointed strong work at the set-piece as the cornerstone of the British & Irish Lions' comprehensive 59-8 victory over the Barbarians in Hong Kong. O'Connell told Sky Sports: "I'm delighted to get the win and win really well. The conditions, that was the big worry for everybody, but we wore them down in the first half and the points came fairly easily in the second half. Set-piece is such a massive part of the game. If you turn over the line out you get possession back. If you turn over the scrum you get a penalty, three points for 50m, so set-piece and the scrum set a massive platform for us."
Lions head coach Warren Gatland was delighted with his side's 59-8 victory over the Barbarians in the opening game of their 10-match tour. Gatland told Sky Sports: "I am absolutely delighted with the start. For the last couple of tours - 2005 and 2009 - they were ropey starts and a little bit rusty, so to kick it off like that is great for the momentum. And the nice thing is that it will put some pressure on those players for the game against the Force. The conditions were really tough and we found in the first half that we missed three or four opportunities with a bit of eagerness and getting a bit flat."
Wallabies not worried
It may have been a comprehensive win for the British and Irish Lions in their first match against the Barbarians but Australia head coach Robbie Deans remains unconcerned by the result.
The Wallabies, though, have had to make three changes to their 25-man training squad ahead of the three-Test series. Nick Phipps, Kane Douglas and Ben McCalman have all been called up after injury ruled out Sitaleki Timani, Scott Higginbotham and Digby Ioane.
On cloud nine
The Sky Sports Rugby panel of Paul Wallace, Dean Ryan and Scott Quinnell were impressed with what they saw from the British and Irish Lions at the Hong Kong Stadium. In particular, our team of experts were struck by the performances of the rival No 9s Mike Phillips and Connor Murray.
Phillips scored two tries in a man-of-the-match display against the Barbarians, while Murray came off the bench and caught the eye.
The Sky Sports experts
All eyes were on the Hong Kong Stadium to see exactly what the Lions could deliver as they faced the Barbarians for only the second time in their history. The Sky Sports panel of experts had plenty of thoughts after an impressive tour opener, albeit with plenty of tougher tests to come. Stuart Barnes said: "23 guys were given their opportunity to make their first mark and most of them have done it very well. We talked about shapes, structures and patterns and they did so well on all of those. But the overall feeling is that this was a very Welsh performance with a little bit added."
Barbarians 8 British and Irish Lions 59 - As it happened
Relive the opening victory of the British and Irish Lions tour against the Barbarians in Hong Kong with our commentary from the match. Click here