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Lions player ratings as the Springboks clinch the test series

Lions Springboks

The Springboks edged out the British and Irish Lions in the third test to take the series, in what was easily the best game of the three.

It wasn’t a bad performance from the Lions by any means, with a number of players standing out on an ultimately disappointing day for Warren Gatland’s side.

Check out our Lions player ratings below.

15. Liam Williams: 4

The experienced fullback did well in the air on a number of occasions but ultimately, he made two mistakes which proved crucial. Williams opted against setting Adams down the right wing unchallenged for a certain try, and missed a tackle on Kolbe which saw the Springboks take the lead for the first time.

14. Josh Adams: 6

The Welshman looked good with ball in hand when given the opportunity, but Adams wasn’t hugely involved in what was a much better match than the first two tests.

13. Robbie Henshaw: 9

The Irishman was excellent in defence as always, and did everything in his power to keep the Lions in the game late on. Henshaw made an excellent break to get his team deep in South African territory and won the ball from the final kickoff, but it wasn’t enough in the end.

12. Bundee Aki: 7

The Ireland centre did exactly what was asked of him, making strong carries into the heart of the South African’s defensive line. He was good in defence alongside his centre partner Henshaw, as Damian De Allende and Lukhanyo Am rarely threatened in attack.

11. Duhan van der Merwe: 7

The Scotland winger made some very powerful carries, and although he was rarely given much space, he never failed to make metres. Van der Merwe was solid in the air, and can be happy with his performance in the test series as a whole.

10. Dan Biggar: N/A

Missed an early kick for goal before coming off with a leg injury 11 minutes in. Not on long enough to rate.

9. Ali Price: 7

The Scotland international was very good in the first half and linked up well with his usual half back partner Russell to create a high tempo game which suited the Lions. However, he struggled to have much of an influence in the second half and was replaced after 59 minutes.

8. Jack Conan: 7

The Leinster man was quiet last week, but he responded well and was once again very busy in attack, and made the hardest of yards on a number of occasions. Conan wasn’t expected to be the Lions’ first-choice number eight, but he showed he was well deserving of the honour.


7. Tom Curry: 5

The young English flanker started all three tests, but he hasn’t been at his best in the series. Curry’s discipline again let him down, while he was quiet overall in open play.

6. Courtney Lawes: 7

Not many would have expected the Northampton Saints man to have started all three tests after an injury-riddled season, but he stepped up to the plate. He never quite reached the heights of the first test, but played well in all three games nonetheless.

5. Alun Wyn Jones: 7

The Welshman was the Lions’ best player in the second test, and while he wasn’t quite as busy, it was a decent shift from the Welshman. Jones made seven tackles and five carries in 60 minutes, and marshalled the lineout well.


4. Maro Itoje: 8

The Englishman was excellent again for the tourists, having made almost 30 metres from eight carries, as well nine tackles, more than any of his team mates. He also made one steal in a good but losing effort from the Lions.

3. Tadhg Furlong: 7

The Wexford man just about got the upper hand against Steven Kitshoff in the scrum and was fairly busy in the loose. He didn’t make many metres from his five carries but in fairness, he was always charging into a South African wall.

2. Ken Owens: 8

The Welshman did everything that was asked of him in his 55 minute stint. He threw well at the lineout, made plenty of tackles and carries in the loose and did well to take his try off the back of a rolling maul.

1. Wyn Jones: 6

The Welshman notably improved the Lions’ scrum in the first 30 minutes and seemed to get the better of Frans Malherbe. However, after injuring his lower back the Springboks got the upper hand at scrum time, and he probably should have been replaced straight away.


Notable replacement – Finn Russell: 9

While the game ended in disappointment for the Lions, the Scotsman was brilliant in his first test cap for the Lions. Russell improved the Lions’ attack immeasurably and kicked perfectly from the tee. Almost a fairytale story for the fly-half.

Replacements: 6

While the second half certainly wasn’t as bad as in the second test, the Lions’ replacements again came off second best to their South African equivalents. Luke Cowan-Dickie was good in the loose, but the scrum was well beaten in the closing stages of the match.

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