15: Leigh Halfpenny: 9
Another superb outing from Halfpenny, who has put to bed any lingering debate about whether or where he will start the first test – this is his shirt. Another 100% kicking display, as well as two tries that showed his clinical side.
14. Sean Maitland: 6
Has failed to stamp his authority on a position that he could have made his own, given the injury issues in the backline. Missed a couple of important tackles and was reasonably anonymous in attack.
13. Jonathan Davies: 9.5
Was this the performance of the tour so far? Probably. Davies was sublime in everything he did, making an astonishing 141 metres with ball in hand, laying on three assists as well as scoring one himself. A performance to convince the doubters that he will be fine should he be called into action for the first test.
12. Jamie Roberts: 7.5
Outshone by his centre partner, not for the first time on this tour, but it was a more encouraging performance from the big centre who carried hard and didn’t miss a tackle. With injury likely to rule him out of the first test, the Lions will have to reorganise their midfield defence in his absence.
11. Simon Zebo: 8
Was a blade of grass away from scoring with almost his first touch in a Lions shirt, and continued to look a threat every time he got the ball, despite not crossing the line himself.
10. Johnny Sexton: 8
Further confirmation, as if it was needed, that Sexton is vital to the Lions’ game plan. Crossed for a try of his own, while also standing admirably flat and attacking the gainline despite the unwanted attentions of several of the Waratahs’ pack.
9. Mike Phillips: 7
The Phillips/Sexton axis is starting to gel quite nicely, and although this wasn’t the headline-grabbing performance the scrum-half put in earlier in the tour, it was still a good one.
1. Mako Vunipola: 7
Scrummaging issues in the form of early engagements reared their head at the wrong time as we head into the first test. Was as destructive with ball in hand as ever, but will be under pressure from Corbisiero, who provides more stability at scrum time.
2. Tom Youngs: 8.5
10 tackles and an almost perfect day at the line-out mean he is pushing Hibbard very close for the starting test spot at hooker. Line-out demons seem all but banished.
3. Adam Jones: 7
Solid stuff from the shaggy-haired Welshman. Made his tackles and was never troubled at the scrum.
4. Alun-Wyn Jones: 9.5
Joint MOTM with Davies. Made a series of superb carries and tackled anything that moved. Has played his way past Parling and Gray into the test team with one incredible performance.
5. Paul O’Connell: 8.5
With a tackle count of 12, he made more than anyone else in the team – no mean feat for such a giant man. Physicality was back to its peak, and his partnership with Jones is one that the Lions should take into the first test.
6. Tom Croft: 9
This was the Croft performance we have been waiting for. Skinned the quickest man in the Waratahs squad for a try that no other blindside (or the majority of wingers) could have scored. Was also superb at the line-out, but we’re used to that by now too. Confessed after the game that he likes to (and is quite possibly told to) ‘hang out on the wing’, but when he score tries like that, who cares?!
7. Sam Warburton: 8.5
A collective sigh of relief went up around Lions fans worldwide after Warburton’s performance, as the Welshman had one of his best outings for some time. Confirmed that his partnership with Croft can be successful. Snaffled ball at the breakdown and made all of his tackles. Great stuff from the captain.
8. Jamie Heaslip: 7
Made some strong carries, as we know he can, but also missed four tackles – not a good stat. Against a combative Australian back-row, will Gatland plump for the more reliable Faletau? Quite possibly.
The brightest spark from the bench was probably Ben Youngs, whose speed and acceleration around the fringes was at time too much for tired Waratahs’ legs. With this likely to be the set-up against the Aussies too, it was encouraging. Corbisiero shored up the scrum and looks set for test inclusion against all the odds, while Richard Hibbard did nothing calamitous to ease Gatland’s selection headache at hooker.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43