Thursday 27 July 2017

New Zealand v Lions: Here are the player ratings on a tough day for the Irish contingent

Conor Murray of the British & Irish Lions
Conor Murray of the British & Irish Lions

There were some spectacular performances for the All Blacks in their 30-15 victory over the Lions. Here is how the two teams rated in Eden Park.

LIONS

LIAM WILLIAMS: Several rapier breaks stunned the All Blacks, but he misread one high ball to gift Rieko Ioane a try. 7 (out of 10)

ANTHONY WATSON: A constant threat when he could get on the ball, a serious danger to the hosts. 7

JONATHAN DAVIES: A major force in this blitzkrieg attacking game the Lions produced. 8

BEN TE'O: Did all he could to shut down Sonny Bill Williams in a bullish performance. 8

ELLIOT DALY: Should have scored early on and the Lions always rued that missed opportunity. 6

OWEN FARRELL: Solid enough effort but unable to drive the tourists anywhere close to victory. 6

CONOR MURRAY: Kicked well enough but lacked some of his usual zip. 6

MAKO VUNIPOLA: A muted performance by his lofty standards as the All Blacks wrestled control up front. 6

JAMIE GEORGE: Wholehearted showing but still struggled at the lineout. 5

TADHG FURLONG: Caught out at the scrum and in the tight in several instances, unusual for him. 6

ALUN WYN JONES: A horrid night for the Wales talisman and one to forget, just never hit the pace of the game. 4

GEORGE KRUIS: Bested at the lineout by Sam Whitelock and Brodie Retallick. 5

PETER O'MAHONY (capt): Put himself about in a typically-physical showing but unable to galvanise his pack. 5

SEAN O'BRIEN: Some strong carries early on and finished the try well. 6

TAULUPE FALETAU: Unable to provide the poise he has shown all tour without the platform from the tight five. 5

Replacements

Ken Owens (for George, 67): A couple of errors in a frustrating cameo. 5

Jack McGrath (for Vunipola, 51): Was bullied off the pivotal scrum as the Lions folded in the tight. 5

Kyle Sinckler (for Furlong, 58): Looked busy on the ball and smart in handling too. 6

Maro Itoje (for Jones, 47): Threw himself into his cameo but was unable to alter the outcome. 5

Sam Warburton (for O'Mahony, 53): Just could not do anything to slow down the All Blacks' quick ruck ball. 5

Rhys Webb (for Murray, 67): Stole a sniper's try at the death. 6

Johnny Sexton (for Te'o, 57): Struggled to hit the pace of the encounter, a difficult showing. 5

Leigh Halfpenny (for Williams, 71): Had precious little time to impact the night. 5

 

NEW ZEALAND

BEN SMITH: One of New Zealand's most exciting talents lasted just 27 minutes before a head injury saw him depart the action. 6 (out of 10)

ISRAEL DAGG: Denied Elliot Daly an early try through some superb defensive work, and relished the contest throughout. 7

RYAN CROTTY: Did not make half-time, as a leg injury forced him off before he could make any real impact. 6

SONNY BILL WILLIAMS: Offered a considerable presence in New Zealand's midfield, making a tireless contribution. 7

RIEKO IOANE: Scored two tries on his first Test match start, having also touched down earlier in the Lions tour for the Blues. 7

BEAUDEN BARRETT: Spectacular display by the All Blacks playmaker, who dazzled in attack and kicked majestically. 9

AARON SMITH: A typically high-class contribution from probably the world's best scrum-half. 8

JOE MOODY: A solid contribution, especially in the scrums, where New Zealand gained dominance. 6

CODIE TAYLOR: Scored a try as the result of a brilliant pick-up off the ground, and ran himself to a standstill. 7

OWEN FRANKS: Showed all the experience of his 92 All Blacks caps, and the Lions could not get any change out of him in the scrum. 7

BRODIE RETALLICK: A memorable all-round display from the workaholic lock, who also possesses the handling skills of a threequarter. 8

SAM WHITELOCK: Strong and committed in the engine room of New Zealand's scrum. Fine performance. 7

JEROME KAINO: Departed early in the second period as New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen made a first tactical substitution. Hard-working as ever. 7

SAM CANE: Gave as good as he got, and was a consistent presence at the breakdown. 7

KIERAN READ: Brilliant performance by the All Blacks captain on his first appearance since breaking his thumb eight weeks ago. Magnificent. 9

Replacements

Aaron Cruden: Took over from Ben Smith early in the action. 6

Anton Lienert-Brown: Went on for Crotty to resume his midfield partnership with Sonny Bill Wiliams. 6

Ardie Savea: Joined the action early in the second-half. 6

Wyatt Crockett: Went on to reinforce New Zealand's scrum dominance after 54 minutes. 7

Charlie Faumuina: Joined Crockett in giving the Lions scrum more to worry about. 7

TJ Perenara: Took over from Aaron Smith during the final quarter. 6

Nathan Harris: Replaced the impressive Taylor 14 minutes from time. 6

Scott Barrett: Gained a late run instead of Read. 6

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