Lions Player Ratings: The tourists narrowly avoided a shock defeat

The New Zealand Provincial Barbarians almost pulled off a huge upset

BY Simon Maguire 14:32 Saturday 3 June 2017, 14:32 3 Jun 2017

Lions' Alun Wyn Jones speaks to the players after the game. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

The British and Irish Lions narrowly avoided a shock defeat in their opening match of the tour after a sluggish 13-7 win over the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians on Saturday.

Anthony Watson scored the tourist's only try as they struggled for cohesion throughout the match. 

Afterwards, captain Sam Warburton said he was happy to get the tour up-and-running but admitted there was plenty to work on.

Here's how we rated Warren Gatland's men:

Stuart Hogg - 4

Struggled from the off and tried to force things. Error strewn display which included a poor pass to Watson to butcher a simple 2-on-1. 

Anthony Watson - 6

Saw little of the ball but looked a threat whenever he got it. Scored the tourist's only try and could have had another had it not been for Hogg's poor pass.  

Jonathan Joseph - 5

Didn't appear 'in-sync' with his international teammate Teo. Struggled to break through a resilient Barbarians' defence.  

Ben Teo - 7

Did exactly what was expected of him. Ran straight lines throughout and broke the gain-line continuously. 

Lions' Ben Te'o. Image: ©INPHO/Photosport/Andrew Cornaga

Tommy Seymour - 5

Didn't see much of the ball so his impact was limited. Did little wrong either. 

Jonathan Sexton - 5

Struggled to get his backline going but received slow ball from Laidlaw all game long. Missed an early kick he would have been expected to convert.

Greg Laidlaw - 4

Slowed the game down unnecessarily. No zip to his passes and his lethargic display affected those around him. 

Joe Marler - 5

Anonymous around the park but scrummaged well. 

Rory Best - 5

Not his best game and had problems at line-out time. Under pressure already to up his game. 

Kyle Sinckler - 6

Dynamic display from the off and clearly wanted to make his presence felt. Took a needless quick penalty though when field position or points were clearly the better options. 

Lion's Kyle Sinckler tackled by Josh Goodhue and Jack Stratton of Barbarians
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Alun Wyn-Jones - 5

Solid outing if not spectacular. Shipped a huge hit but competed gamely throughout.  

Iain Henderson - 5  

Like Jones, did little out of the ordinary but made few errors as well. Will have to up his game after Kruis' impact from the bench. 

Ross Moriarty - 6

Game performance from the blindside as he went looking for work all evening.

Sam Warburton - 5

Off the pace but to be expected after only returning from injury. Will be better for the run-out as the tour progresses.  

Taulupe Faletau - 8 

Dynamic from the off. Incredible try-saving tackle to turn Finau and hold him up over the line.   

Lions' Taulupe Faletau with Lachlan Boshier of Barbarians. Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Bench - 7

The substitutes ultimately got the tourists over the line with Farrell, Webb and Kruis upping the tempo in particular.


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