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British & Irish Lions player ratings vs Sigma Lions | 2021 Lions series

By Ian Cameron

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The British & Irish Lions player ratings, brought to you by The Famous Grouse

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On paper, the British and Irish Lions faced maybe the weakest opposition of the tour to South Africa when they clashed with the Sigma Lions in Johannesburg. Still, the game was there to be won and it was a positive performance from the touring side.

LIONS PLAYER RATINGS: 
15. STUART HOGG – 8
A big moment for Hogg after his selection issues at Exeter and he didn’t come up short, leading by example. His 50-metre chase tackle on Sibusiso Sangweni stood out, but it was an excellent all round effort from Hogg.

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14. LOUIS REES-ZAMMIT – 7.5
The phenom didn’t need to be asked twice when the opportunity to grab his first Lions try arose. Still want to see the ball in his hands more often.

13. CHRIS HARRIS – 8
Took him minutes to show there is far more to his attack than the one-dimensional, one-out runner, with a deft kick putting Louis Rees-Zammit away. The rangy Scot did a lot to silence his selection critics here.

12. OWEN FARRELL – 7
A lower-key performance from the England superstar but he had a hand in everything. His work rate in defence was remarkable, especially given the altitude, and his pairing with Russell definitely showed promise. His place kicking did it’s own talking and could prove a deciding factor for his selection.

11. JOSH ADAMS – 8.5
After a relatively quiet first half Adams showed his strike running abilities in the second half, beating two defenders off a tidy set-piece to score his first of the night. Three more tries followed for the arch finisher, who must surely now be involved in the Tests?

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Lions player ratings

Josh Adams /PA

10. FINN RUSSELL – 8
Excellent decision making in the opening half, alternating between keeping the Sigma Lions’ honest in defence and putting width on the ball when it was warranted.  Part of a collective Lions defensive brainfart to let the home side in for their second try of the match in the 44th minute. His kick pass to Adams was top draw, his duffed touch finder a few minutes later not so much, but it only stood out in the context of the overall excellence of his performance.

9. ALI PRICE – 7.5
A convincing outing from Price, who could be forgiven for presuming Conor Murray has the nine spot already sewn up. Took his try well.

1. WYN JONES – 7
Unlucky not to score after a blunder from Lawes in the lead-up to his crossing the line. The Sigma Lions were no pushovers in the scrum, if you’ll excuse the pun, but Jones and co were up to the challenge.

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2. JAMIE GEORGE – 7
A brilliant lineout throw to the back to Farrell set up Ali Price for his first Lions try. Will have nightmares about the try that went begging, with the Saracens front rower left snatching at the ball after an awkward bounce with the line seemingly at his mercy.

3. KYLE SINCKLER – 7.5
Sinckler’s ability to win collision after collision in defence stood out, even if the Lions will face more mountainous opposition. He may be a late call-up but he’s already pushing Furlong hard.

4. MARO ITOJE – 8
If you got a pound for every time Itoje had a poor game, you’d barely be able to afford a bag of chips. Stalked South African halfbacks all day and must have been a misery to have to play against.

5. JONNY HILL – 6
The intent was there but he had a few sloppy moments with ball in hand. Will want to make more of an impact if he is to challenge for a Test spot, as he didn’t quite put his hand up here.

6.COURTNEY LAWES – 8.5
Everywhere today – happily beating defenders with ball in hand or putting teammates into space with the softest of hands (7 passes in total, the highest of any Lions forward). His tussle for the six jersey with Tadhg Beirne is maybe the Lions’ most enthralling selection deadlocks.

7. HAMISH WATSON – 8
Branded a Hobbit in the SA press, the Edinburgh man Bilbo-bounced his way over the line within minutes, swotting aside defenders and the size-queens in the press. Could be forgiven for his unnecessary 58th-minute offload attempt such was the venom of his intent. All piss and vinegar.

8. TAULUPE FALETAU – 6
Trucked a tonne of ball, even if his performance edged towards the workmanlike. An economical performance.

REPLACEMENTS:
20. SAM SIMMONDS – 5 Maybe guilty of trying too hard, and could easily have been carded for a clumsy clearout. 21.GARETH DAVIES – 7.5 Took his try well, impressive given the tightness of his jersey. Safe to say he’s discarded his Geography Six tag 23. ELLIOT DALY – 7.5 He was selected as an outside back but it’s in the centre where he did the most damage. His passing game was near immaculate. Could he ultimately end up at 13?

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The partnership builds on more than 30 years of heritage with the sport of rugby as the whisky looks to continue to drive engagement with rugby fans across the UK & Ireland.

The Famous Grouse shares many similarities with the sport such as skill, craft and an unwavering dedication to be the best of the best. The Scotch whisky brand will celebrate such common values through its Spirit of Rugby campaign, leveraging its relationship with The British & Irish Lions to engage with fans and embody the sport’s unparalleled sportsmanship and camaraderie.

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British & Irish Lions player ratings vs Sigma Lions | 2021 Lions series

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