Hat-trick demons top our full Lions ratings after emphatic win 3 months ago

Hat-trick demons top our full Lions ratings after emphatic win

SHARKS 7-54 LIONS

Away from all the off-field dramas, the British & Irish Lions are destroying what meagre opposition they meet. Our Lions ratings reflect well on two backline demons.

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The Lions, for the third game in succession, got off to a flying start. They were soon 14-0 up when Josh Adams and Duhan van der Merwe crossed the whitewash.

A lovely Owen Farrell grubber teed up van der Merwe for his second try and Bundee Aki crashed over for a converted score, just before the break, that made it 26-0.

Duhan van der Merwe of the British and Irish Lions goes over to score their side's second try against the Cell C Sharks in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

The second half saw the Sharks finally land a blow, with James Venter getting over for a try, but Josh Adams inspired an emphatic response - scoring his second try and setting up Louis Rees-Zammit for his second try in two games.

A dominant Lions performance, even with late changes to the team, was rounded off with van der Merwe and Adams bagging their hat-trick tries.

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Here's how we rated Warren Gatland's Lions:

Josh Adams - 9

Only took the try-scoring demon six minutes to open the scoring. After coming straight into the team at fullback, he acquitted himself well and looks well set for a Test jersey. Pounced on a loose ball to get a second try, on 58 minutes, after hacking on. Sucked in defence and released Rees-Zammit for his try.

Louis Rees-Zammit - 7

Pace to burn. Nice offloaded assist for Adams' try. Another that was drafted into the starting XV. Good kicks out of hand, when called on. Ran in a fine try in the second half.

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Elliot Daly - 6

Made a heap of metres on his carries and looked dangerous when the play became unstructured. Missed a couple of tackles in defence. Acquitted himself well, overall.

Bundee Aki - 7

Another pressing his Test claims with each game he plays. Very aggressive and purposeful in attack. Effective around the breakdown, in defence, and showed nice power for his try. Started his second half with a breakdown steal.

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Duhan van der Merwe - 9

Could well be the likes of Adam and van der Merwe that start on either win in the Tests. Both men have an eye for the tryline. Ran in a hat-trick with the ease of a lad popping out for a light jog.

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Owen Farrell - 8

Drafted in to start at 10, he controlled the game superbly. Nice offload in the lead-up to Adams' opener and his grubber through for van der Merwe was excellent.

Ali Price - 7

Has grasped his chance well. One lovely kick to the touchline that gained his team 50 metres. Won a crucial turnover in his 22 to get the Lions off the hook. Knock-on near the end, but can be very happy with his outing.

Mako Vunipola - 6

Had one slip in the scrum, that gave up a penalty, but recovered well as the first half wore on. Won his side a scrum penalty inside their 22, late in the half.

Luke Cowan-Dickie - 7

A good first start for the Exeter man. Carried with intent and the most mobile of the Lions' three hookers.

Zander Fagerson - 6

Held up his end of the scrum, but it was more a case of parity than dominance.

Iain Henderson - 7

Looked a bit jaded out there, especially during broken play, but you could see why. Topped the tackle count [14] when he was out there, was fierce around the fringes, won a turnover and led his disrupted side well.

Adam Beard - 8

Good hands for a big man. Lineout option, at the back, a couple of times. Played the full 80 minutes - the only forward not to get a break - but never lagged and finished with 14 tackles. Had two turnovers, the second of which led to van der Merwe's hat-trick.

Tom Curry - 7

Was melting Sharks players with ferocious tackles in the first half. Hitting Sharks left, right and centre. Coughed up a god try-scoring chance with a knock-on.

Josh Navidi - 8

As per usual, Navidi gets through a mountain of work - slowing down ball, clearing out rucks, double figures+ for tackles and even blocked a clearing kick. Denied a score after running try from 40 metres out when Aki was unfortunate to be called offside. Top tackler on 16 for the Lions.

Sam Simmonds - 7

Sweet, long pass for van der Merwe's first try. Made a few dominant carries and will be pleased with his performance. Line breaks and defenders beaten in droves. Was beaten on the outside by Venter for his try.

REPLACEMENTS

Rory Sutherland (for Vunipola '51) - 6

Tadhg Furlong (for Fagerson '51) - 6

Made an important tackle to help prevent a try after Werner Kok's line break. Missed a couple of tackles in the final minutes but a good blow-oit.

Finn Russell (for Farrell '51) - 7

Tackled and kicked well off the bench.

Ken Owens (for Cowan-Dickie '54) - 6

Got turned over just after coming on, but ended up working out well for his side, thanks to Josh Adams.

Toby Faletau (for Curry '62) - 6

Jack Conan (for Simmonds '62) - 7

Some lusty tackles when he came on.

Maro Itoje (for Henderson '67) - 6

Hamish Watson (for Navidi '72) N/A