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O'Brien to the fore as Rebels are routed

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Ben Youngs of the Lions breaks with the ball to score a try during against the Melbourne Rebels. Photo: David Rogers/Getty

Ben Youngs of the Lions breaks with the ball to score a try during against the Melbourne Rebels. Photo: David Rogers/Getty

Sean O'Brien of the Lions dives over for a try against the Melbourne Rebels.  Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

Sean O'Brien of the Lions dives over for a try against the Melbourne Rebels. Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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Ben Youngs of the Lions breaks with the ball to score a try during against the Melbourne Rebels. Photo: David Rogers/Getty

AFTER the bruising encounter against the Wallabies at the weekend, the British and Irish Lions B team notched up a comfortable win in their final midweek game on tour.

Scrum-half Conor Murray and flanker Sean O'Brien were amongst the try-scorers in the 35-0 victory over the Melbourne Rebels.

The Lions took a comfortable lead into half-time following tries from Murray and Sean Maitland.

Maitland's try could take star billing on a highlights reel of the tour with a host of players involved in a top-class score that thrilled a sold out AAMI Park.

Manu Tuilagi was fully involved in the opening 10 minutes, carrying the ball into the heart of the Rebels' midfield on two occasions to suggest he was feeling few ill-effects from his shoulder problem.

The Lions' set-piece was proving a mixed bag as they lost the first two line-outs on their own throw, but shunted the hosts back at a scrum.

Tuilagi, hoping to play his way onto the bench for Saturday's second Test against Australia, skipped through two tackles to help set up a strong field position.

A strong shove at a five-metre scrum saw the Rebels crack, with a spinning Conor Murray able to touch down. Owen Farrell converted.

Tuilagi improved his chances of selection against the Wallabies by making the initial run that led to possibly the Lions' best try on tour.

Brushing aside two tackles, he offloaded to Sean Maitland who ran inside and found Toby Faletau only for the Wales number eight to slip just short of the line.

The ball was quickly recycled, however, and found its way via Brad Barritt and Simon Zebo to Maitland who touched down with Farrell adding the extras.

Score

In the second period, the Lions continued where they left off and added a score after nine minutes.

The tourists kicked a penalty to the corner and managed to win the line-out. The Lions attacked around the front, with Dan Lydiate feeding O'Brien and the flanker displayed all his strength to step inside one man and then take another Rebel over the line with him to score.

Farrell easily added the conversion, one of his last actions before being replaced by Stuart Hogg. O'Brien was also taken off after delivering a sterling performance.

Rob Kearney was also replaced, with Hogg switching to full-back and Billy Twelvetrees coming on at 10 as Irish prop Tom Court made his Lions debut.

In the 62nd minute, the Lions were awarded a penalty try which the ref appeared to give for the pulling down of the maul as the Lions looked to rumble over from a line-out. However, Jordy Reid was also blatantly offside to play the ball carrier at the back of the maul, and he was duly sin-binned.

Hogg added the extras to go with the try.

Tom Croft combined with his England team-mate Ben Youngs to add a fifth try in the 73rd minute.

Croft won clean ball at the tail, feeding Youngs, who dummied, raced through a gap, out-pacing Jarrod Saffy and eluding Jason Woodward to score a cracking solo try, which he then converted from in front of the sticks.


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