The British and Irish Lions continued their perfect start to their 2013 tour with a 10-try rout of a Combined Country XV.
Following the 64-0 victory at Hunter Stadium, we bring you all the best of the action, reaction and opinion.
The Lions feast on Combined XV
The British and Irish Lions ran in 10 tries to beat a Combined Country XV 64-0 and maintain their unbeaten run. George North scored two of the Lions' six first-half tries during a free-running display from the back division as Stuart Hogg pulled the strings from fly-half. There were also tries for Alex Cuthbert, Richard Hibbard, Conor Murray, skipper Brian O'Driscoll, Sean O'Brien, Hogg, Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Davies. Hogg booted four conversions and Halfpenny three.
How the Lions rated
The British and Irish Lions continued their unbeaten start to their 2013 tour with a convincing 64-0 win over the Combined Country XV in Newcastle. The result means the Lions have now won all four of their matches so far, following previous wins over the Barbarians, the Western Force and the Reds. After the victory at Hunter Stadium, we assess how the tourists fared in their latest build up towards the three-Test series.
Howley pleased with Hogg
Lions assistant coach Rob Howley hailed Stuart Hogg's performance against the Combined Country XV and said he will get further opportunities at fly-half. "Stuart has got natural talent," said Howley. "He's a great footballer, he's got great feet and hasn't a bad kicking game either. I thought he facilitated our centres and backline particularly well. He played nice and flat and gave opportunities to Jamie (Roberts), Brian O'Driscoll and the outside backs."
O'Driscoll satisfied with win
Brian O'Driscoll was pleased with the British and Irish Lions' defence during the 64-0 win over Combined Countries XV. Stand-in captain O'Driscoll scored in the second half during the 10-try win. "It was a good outing," said the Ireland centre. "We didn't know what to expect with the opposition but they certainly gave it the full 80 and tested us at times. I think one of the most pleasing factors is that we kept them scoreless. We put a lot of emphasis on our defence so I'm pleased with that aspect today."
Gatland: Lions in a good place
Head coach Warren Gatland says the mood in the Lions camp is very positive after they racked up their fourth successive victory against Combined Country XV. The Lions breezed to a 64-0 win and despite the one-sided victory, Gatland felt that the game "was a lot of use". He said: "There is great harmony within the squad. We are undefeated, so if we can win the next two games we will arrive in Brisbane undefeated. We will be in a good positive frame of mind."
Hogg revels in fly-half role
Stuart Hogg admitted he was nervous ahead of his rare outing at fly-half but was pleased with his overall performance. "The last time I played at fly-half was in 2009 for my club, Hawick," said Hogg. "I enjoyed stepping up there though. When you've got the likes of O'Driscoll and Roberts outside you it's going to make your job a lot easier. I was a bit nervous coming into this game having not played 10 for a long time but I settled in pretty well and enjoyed it, which is the main thing."
The Sky Sports panel give their verdict on the 64-0 victory over the Combined Country XV in Newcastle. Sky Sports expert Stuart Barnes said: "The line-out was a slight concern tonight but the Lions are going to wrap up their line-out in cotton wool until the first Test. Ditto with the scrums. We cannot see what Australia are doing; they are locked up in their camp, while they can watch every game the Lions play. They are not going to give a lot away. Ian Evans went very well today."
Combined Country 0 British and Irish Lions 64 - As it happened
Relive the British and Irish Lions' victory against the Combined Country XV in Newcastle with our commentary from the match. Click here for the game as it happened, or click here for the best of the images.
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