Hurricanes 31 Lions 31 – Lions player ratings

Iain Henderson was magnificent. If he doesn’t make the test 23 it’ll be a disgrace

Iain Henderson of the Lions charges into Brad Shields and Mark Abbott of the Hurricanes. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

Iain Henderson of the Lions charges into Brad Shields and Mark Abbott of the Hurricanes. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images

 

Jack Nowell: He was making an eloquent case for his footballing ability as a fullback when then forced to switch to wing – where he didn’t have quite as much influence, but a solid performance. Rating: 7

Tommy Seymour: His two tries make him the leading try scorer for the Lions (with three in total); tracked well for the first and the second was a run-in. This was his best performance and properly represented his ability. Rating: 7

Jonathan Joseph: Worked extremely hard in defence throughout the game without much opportunity to showcase his ability going forward. It was a decent shift. Rating: 6

Robbie Henshaw: Left the pitch after 18 minutes clutching his arm/shoulder with an injury that looked tour ending and will also concern Leinster supporters too. Rating: 5

George North: Struggling as a wing on this tour, he had much more of an input and impact when he switched to centre following Robbie Henshaw’s departure that included a try. He did concede two penalties and loses a mark for that. Rating: 6

Dan Biggar: His attitude and performances on this tour have been top class, not to mention his bravery in defence. Another quality display in every aspect of the game, albeit marginally less influential after his head knock. Rating: 8

Greg Laidlaw: Great intercept for the first try but the weaknesses in his game, ponderous decision-making and passing, missed tackles, box-kicking too long were still prevalent. Rating: 5

Joe Marler separates Hurricanes’ Brad Shields and Callum Gibbins. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.
Joe Marler separates Hurricanes’ Brad Shields and Callum Gibbins. Photograph: David Davies/PA Wire.

Joe Marler: A remarkable aerobic display apart from anything else, lasting 80-minutes in a match of that physical intensity. No player grafted harder and he was wonderfully abrasive on both sides of the ball. Rating: 7

Rory Best (capt): Superb leadership and all-round game, he had one turnover, carried with purpose and helped to slow down Hurricanes ball. He should be in Saturday’s test 23. Rating: 8

Dan Cole: He conceded a free kick and a penalty at scrum time and another penalty at a maul, but like Marler deserves massive credit for lasting the course and for his work-rate in every aspect of the game. Rating: 6

Iain Henderson: He was magnificent, carrying, turnovers (two), tackling, just a wonderful all round performance. He was unlucky with the yellow card in that unknown to him, Joseph lifted Barrett’s leg at the same time. Correct decision and he loses a mark but if he doesn’t make the test 23 it’ll be a disgrace. Rating: 9

Courtney Lawes: Given the fact that he was replaced after 53 minutes he’s in pole position to start on Saturday and few would begrudge him that chance. He’s been excellent but better than Henderson? I think not. Rating: 8

James Haskell: Another who worked tirelessly on behalf of his team, particularly in defence, and then his side were trying to cling on in those final minutes. No real impact going forward. Rating: 6

Justin Tipuric: A phenomenal physical effort from the Welsh flanker in terms of his tackle count, while going forward his ability to accelerate and get the ball away in the tackle makes him stand out. Rating: 8

CJ Stander: He was part of a backrow that worked so hard on behalf of the team. He made his usual amount of carries and supplemented this with a massive appetite in defence. Rating: 7

Replacements: Leigh Halfpenny had a solid game at fullback when introduced early on, Finn Russell’s cameo was dominated by a couple of errors, while George Kruis bought into the work ethic without being as effective as the starting secondrow pairing. Rating: 6

Warren Gatland’s decision not to bring on any of the ‘late call-ups’ to the Lions squad, other than when forced by a HIA, beggared belief. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images
Warren Gatland’s decision not to bring on any of the ‘late call-ups’ to the Lions squad, other than when forced by a HIA, beggared belief. Photograph: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Coach: Warren Gatland’s decision not to bring on any of the ‘late call-ups’ to the Lions squad, other than when forced by a HIA, beggared belief when weighed against the needs of a team that were out on their feet and down to 14-players in that last 20-minutes. He doesn’t want history to look unkindly at the original folly of bringing in players to the squad based on geography. Rating: 2

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