15. Stuart Hogg: 6
Looked solid in defence, including one try-saving tackle on Tapuai, but has yet to dazzle the way he did in a Scotland shirt in the Six Nations. Plenty more to come, you sense, but time is running out.
14. Alex Cuthbert: 6.5
Made 94 metres from nine carries, which is an impressive return, but would have been very disappointed not to have finished after Bowe’s superb break in the first half. Was also caught out rushing up in defence for Morahan’s try.
13. Manu Tuilagi: 5.5
Didn’t have sufficient time to influence proceedings before being forced off with a ‘stinger’ to the shoulder.
12. Jonathan Davies: 6.5
Looked comfortable at 12, where he made his tackles and distributed well. Didn’t do anything to really press his claims ahead of the other three contenders, however.
11. Tommy Bowe: 8
Bowe was simply sublime before suffering the cruelest of fates and being forced off not just the field but the tour itself with a broken bone in his hand. Looked so dangerous with ball in hand, and is a real blow to the Test team.
10. Owen Farrell: 7
Much better from Farrell, who managed to get flat and attack the opposition more than usual – four clean breaks is testament to this. It was great to see him cutting the sort of lines off Youngs that Flood has become renowned for – this speaks of a much better understanding between the pair.
9. Ben Youngs: 7.5
His first start of the tour and there was plenty on show to suggest he would push Phillips all the way for the test jersey. Sniping runs kept the Reds defence honest around the fringes of the contact area, while aggressive defence effectively forced the error that allowed him to pounce and score the crucial try. His box-kicking – an area that has come on hugely this season – was exemplary.
1. Mako Vunipola: 7.5
Vunipola is having an incredible tour – this was his third outing in a week, but you could not tell. More than solid in the scrum once again, if a little quieter in the loose than normal, it was another performance that would have filled Gatland with hope after losing his other two loose-heads to injury.
2. Tom Youngs: 7.5
100% at the line-out speaks for itself, and after Best struggled in that area during the week Youngs has confirmed himself as the only man likely to be challenging Hibbard for the test spot.
3. Matt Stevens: 7
More solid stuff from Stevens who continues to back-up Gatland’s controversial call to include him. Scrum looked good and there were a couple of nice touches with the ball too.
4. Richie Gray: 6
Still not finding the form that made a name for himself, and is running out of chances to do so. Gave away three penalties and was not as obvious in the loose as he should be with that shaggy blonde mane.
5. Geoff Parling: 8
The line-out master lived up to his name once again, as the tourists’ set piece was faultless and the Reds lost a third of theirs. Will push all the way for a test spot.
6. Dan Lydiate: 7
Almost the first 6.75 to be handed out, Lydiate’s performance was on the border of good and very good. Made an impressive 15 tackles and counter-rucked til his heart was content, but one metre made from six carries is pretty average. A completely different player to Croft or O’Brien, it will all come down to how Gatland wants his test team to play.
7. Sam Warburton: 7
A quietly impressive performance from the skipper, who did not set the world alight in the way that Tipuric and O’Brien had before him. He impressed with ball in hand, however, and was another to tackle his heart out.
8. Toby Faletau: 6.5
Before the tour Faletau was nailed on at eight, but after Heaslip’s heroics during the week it is now a much more closely-fought battle. Did not do anything special agains the Reds, but to be fair to him it was a different sort of game with the Lions not enjoying nearly the same kind of dominance.
George North: 9
Missed a quarter of the match but you cannot tell from his stats. Made 138 metres in just eight carries, and seemed to break tackles every time he got the ball. A complete performance is a bit of a cliché, but it is entirely apt here. Now, if you weren’t clichéd out already, he is one of the first names on the test team sheet.
The rest of the subs added impetus late in the game, and O’Connell’s experience was especially important in closing the match out. Dan Cole managed on the wrong side of the scrum very well, while in his preferred position Adam Jones was more obvious in the loose and at the breakdown than normal.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43