British & Irish Lions Player Ratings v South Africa 'A'

British & Irish Lions Player Ratings v South Africa 'A'

The British and Irish Lions suffered a first defeat in eight matches as Warren Gatland's team came unstuck against South Africa A.

The British and Irish Lions suffered their first defeat of their tour of South Africa, going down 17-13 to a Springboks 'A' side in Cape Town.

Here is how we rated Gatland's charges. 

15. Liam Williams - n/a

Smashed early on by Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit and never recovered. Taken off after 15 minutes. Not long enough for a fair rating although he did take his high balls well. 

14. Louis Rees-Zammit - 6.5
Put under pressure by Cheslin Kolbe and while he did have some strong moments, he was outplayed by the Bok star. Almost grabbed a try. 
13. Chris Harris - 6
Grew into the game after Kolbe got the better of him but got one back on the star winger with a huge carry. Struggled to break through the South African defence with his carries.  
12. Bundee Aki - 6
A pest on defence for the Springboks as he powered into breakdowns looking to force turnovers. He ripped one off of Jasper Wiese and like his centre partner he grew into the game. 
11. Anthony Watson - 7.5
A good cover tackle on Sbu Nkosi to deny the winger a try in the opening five minutes. One of the most potent attackers and showed it. He almost scored a stunner early in the second half but was wonderfully tackled by Marx.
10. Owen Farrell - 5
His kick in the South African's half was charged by Etzebeth for the opening try which easily sums up his first half. His kicking was off the mark and was marked well by the South Africans. 
Sick during the week and probably shouldn't have played but Gatland had little choice after Biggar's injury.
9. Conor Murray - 5
Excuted far better in the second half. Like his halfback partner, he did not kick well in the opening half. 
A few terrible calls from penalties in the South African 22.
1. Wyn Jones - 8
Denied then scored a try. Dominated Nyakane in the scrums and was tireless around the park.
2. Ken Owens - 7
Best in the pack in the first half when the South Africans were on top. His darts at the lineout were sharp and was busy around the park.
3. Kyle Sinckler - 7
Even battle up front with Steven Kitshoff. He distributed well and was busy on either side of the ball. 
4. Maro Itoje - 8
His battle with Eben Etzebeth at the front of the lineout was excellent in itself with the pair trading blows. 
A nuisance at the breakdown and a real threat to the South African drive too. 
5. Iain Henderson - 6
Won a penalty and had a few strong moments in stalling the Springboks maul but Beard made a brighter impact off the bench.
6. Josh Navidi - 6
Unusually quiet in the first half. Tackled well and went close a few times in close to scoring. Replaced with 10 minutes to go. 
7. Tom Curry - 8
Topped the tackling count for the Lions with 11 tackles and was fantastic with ball in hand. Charged down Faf de Klerk well and won some good penalties on the deck. Made a strong case for test inclusion.
8. Taulupe Faletau - 7
Made good indents into the South African defence with over 40 metres. Replaced after 50 minutes. 

16. Luke Cowan-Dickie - 5: A few good hits on defence but not his best half hour.
17. Mako Vunipola - 7.5: Massive impact in all facets on the game. Battle with Koch was good at the scrum and he managed to drag Kolbe down. 
18. Zander Fagerson - 6: Solid impact. 
19. Adam Beard - .6.5: Got stuck into the South African pack particularly at the mauls. 
20. Tadhg Beirne - 5: Penalised in quick succesion. Not his best impact albeit a short one. 
21. Sam Simmonds - 6: Solid defensively but not quite getting over the advantage line as he would have liked or as well as Faletau.
22. Gareth Davies - N/A: Got just four minutes
23. Elliot Daly: 6- Some good hands, defence and speed. Had an up and down game overall. Few errors with his kicks as he didn't find touch or was tackled into touch. 


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