15. Leigh Halfpenny: 8.5
No more needs be said about his kicking – 100% from all corners of the pitch speaks for itself. Will never have the explosiveness that Hogg does, but did show some lovely touches in attack when joining the line.
14. Tommy Bowe: 7.5
Grabbed a try and looked menacing every time he got the ball. Great to see him threatening again like that, given his lack of game time over the past year.
13: Brian O’Driscoll: 8
Can anyone still claiming he is past his best stop now please? Scored two tries, the first involving a beautiful exchange of hands with George North and the second needing intelligent and well-timed support play to follow Tuilagi through a hole.
12. Manu Tuilagi: 7.5
Was kept reasonably quiet, but look how much space that opened up for the men around him. His partnership with O’Driscoll, if given time to gel, could become one of the most devastating ever seen. Beautifully soft hands after a typically barnstorming break sent the captain over for his try – this is a combo everyone wants to see more of.
11. George North: 8
Really relishes playing under Gatland, who loves to get him into the game as much as possible. And why not? He may not have scored a try but a series of crashing carries and outrageous offloads proved what a weapon he can be. Slowly inking his name onto the test team sheet.
10. Johnny Sexton: 7.5
Got the back line into the game well and waltzed through a huge gap for his try. Has a propensity to go for the crossfield kicks a bit too often, but it was nice to see him working some wrap-arounds with Tuilagi, who looked comfortable outside him. Still ahead of Farrell for the test jersey.
9. Conor Murray: 6
Solid but unspectacular. Ben Youngs looked much nippier, but it must be said he was running at tired legs. Murray needs to add more strings to his bow if he is to avoid the label of a poor man’s Mike Phillips.
1. Cian Healy: 5
Desperately unfortunate to be stretchered off early with an ankle injury. Did concede a couple of scrum penalties before that, however, but there wasn’t long enough for a proper judgment to be made.
2. Rory Best: 5
Line-out creaked at times, and he certainly didn’t convince the naysayers that he has rectified this area of his game since the Six Nations. Still looking like third choice hooker.
3. Dan Cole: 6
Another to go solidly without heaping pressure on the man in front of him for the test shirt. Didn’t dominate the scrum as he would have liked.
4. Alun-Wyn Jones: 6.5
Got through his usual mountain of work with 11 tackles, but was not as successful with ball in hand as he would have liked. Will need another big performance before test selection comes around in what is a fiercely competitive area.
5. Ian Evans: 6
Similar to Jones in that he wasn’t as conspicuous with ball in hand has he could have been. Did everything else relatively well, but nothing special.
6. Tom Croft: 7
Stumbled over the line for an easy try and was pleasantly combative in the tight. Didn’t get the chance to stretch his legs as we all know he can.
7. Sean O’Brien: 8
Warburton must be looking on increasingly nervously as O’Brien, just like Tipuric before him, put in a titanic shift on the open-side. Consistently got himself over the gain-line and also showed some lovely hands in the link-man role – a strategy that is looking like a good one. Some strong turnovers early on, as well.
8. Jamie Heaslip: 9
Where was this player in the Six Nations? Heaslip seems to shift up a gear in a Lions shirt, and perhaps unburdened by the captaincy he can concentrate solely on his game. Carried with purpose and presence, and thoroughly deserved his try after making the initial break. Made 118 metres from 16 carries and put in 12 tackles. Comfortably MOTM for us.
Mako Vunipola made another huge contribution, ploughing consistently over the gain-line and throwing offloads most centres would be proud of. Tom Youngs is a great impact player, Geoff Parling took his try well and Toby Faletau was another who showed some nice hands. Ben Youngs was very nippy when on the pitch and looks a good shout to come off the bench and run at tired legs, while it was impressive to see Owen Farrell bounce back with a well-taken try.
By Jamie Hosie
Follow Jamie on Twitter: @jhosie43