Monday 25 September 2017

Top marks for seven Irishmen - Lions player ratings following win over Crusaders

CJ Stander, left, and Conor Murray
CJ Stander, left, and Conor Murray

Nick Purewal

Four started while three were used as substitutes and all seven Irishmen played a vital role in the Lions' impressive win over Crusaders. Here is how Warren Gatland's men rated.

15 STUART HOGG - A bloody nose for running into Conor Murray's elbow ended his night prematurely. 5/10

14 GEORGE NORTH - The powerful Wales winger offered a solid night's work to advance his Test match claims. 6

13 JONATHAN DAVIES - The teak-tough centre showed exactly why he will be front-runner to start the All Blacks Tests with a bullish performance. 7

12 BEN TE'O - England's crash-ball specialist showed again he has the subtlety required to thrive on this tour. 7

11 LIAM WILLIAMS - Another patchy showing from the Wales wing who badly needs to hit the fine form we all know he can produce. 5

10 OWEN FARRELL - The best player on the pitch, a key Lion and a key Test series cog. 9

9 CONOR MURRAY - The Ireland scrum-half's box kicking kept the Crusaders pinned down all night. 8

1 MAKO VUNIPOLA - The Saracens prop offered a huge amount in both loose and tight. 7

2 JAMIE GEORGE - Surely the Test match hooker after a storming performance in all areas. 8

3 TADHG FURLONG - A gritty competitor, powerful scrummager and constant thorn in the hosts' side. 8

4 ALUN WYN JONES - A huge offering from the captain on the night, who has probably nailed a Test shirt. 8

5 GEORGE KRUIS - The hard-grafting lock will be in pole position to start against the All Blacks now. 8

6 PETER O'MAHONY - A fine extra lineout option and a big game that propels him back into the Test reckoning. 8

7 SEAN O'BRIEN - Proved his fitness and proved his ability to threaten with ball in hand once again. 7

8 TAULUPE FALETAU - Another massive effort from the Wales back-rower. 8

REPLACEMENTS:

16 KEN OWENS (for George, 65) - Much improved and a decent cameo. 7

17 JACK McGRATH (for Vunipola, 61) - Sustained the scrum pressure. 7

18 DAN COLE (for Furlong, 65) - Tidy enough outing for the England man. 7

19 MARO ITOJE (for Kruis, 61) - Put himself about in fine style, another good showing. 7

20 CJ STANDER (for O'Brien, 55) - Bullish ball-carrying once again. 7

22 JOHNNY SEXTON (for Davies, 28) - A much-needed hike in performance from Ireland's gritty operator. 8

23 ANTHONY WATSON (for Hogg, 20) - A serious Test match option purely because of his speed of feet and thought. 8

UNUSED: Rhys Webb.

Press Association

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport