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How the Lions rated in their 3rd Test victory over Australia

It took them a while, but the Lions finally played some rugby in the second half of this 16-41 victory.

Image: INPHO

Leigh Halfpenny – 9

It’s easy to take goal-kicking for granted when the the bar is maintained so high by the fullback.

Added some attacking threat to his game today and picked a gorgeous line to set up Jonathan Sexton’s try and his hand in George North’s score wasn’t too shabby either.

Tommy Bowe – 7

Bright start, invading space that led to opening try and had an important part the second too, setting up Halfpenny. A big-game player who hasn’t put a foot wrong.

Jonathan Davies – 8

Justified his selection after what must have been a pressurised week for him. Looked much happier wearing the number 13 shirt throughout, particulary when kicking. His left foot a valuable commodity in managing the game.

Jamie Roberts – 6

For all the talk of needing him last week, the big midfielder was clearly still short of match fitness and had a very limited role until scoring with the game already done and dusted.

George North – 7

Scored his try to cap off a memorable tour, despite close attention from gold shirts. His sheer physicality in early stages helped ensure Australia had to work extremely hard for anything and once his direct opponent Israel Folau went off his role became easier.

Jonathan Sexton – 7

Has slipped a long way short of his dazzling best in this series, yet still did just enough to prod and probe a route to victory. Missed tackle on O’Connor’s try was the low point, but that is happily traded against a superb support line on Halfpenny’s break to score the try that sealed the victory. Rightfully disgusted at being withdrawn so early.

Mike Phillips – 5

Looked more like his old self, quick-tapping early penalty to bring about crucial try in opening minutes. Struggled as the game progressed and was replaced by Conor Murray, who suddenly turned the Lions into a potent force.

Alex Corbisiero – 9

Expected to make the difference at the scrum, but first made his presence felt on the scoreboard after lending his weight to the opening attack. Got back to his day job after that and helped the set-piece to total dominance in the first half. Got on the right side of Romaine Poite and made Ben Alexander’s night a short and difficult one.

Richard Hibbard – 6

Put in the hit that shook George Smith. With the flanker wobbling at the time and Hibbard collapsing minutes later, neither should have played beyond that, but Hibbard ploughed on into the second half after getting away with some crooked throws at the line-out.

Adam Jones – 7

Made serious hay while Corbisiero brought the sunshine, drawing penalties from Benn Robinson to set the tone early on and proved the difference until he was forced off before the hour.

Alun Wyn Jones – 8

As anyone who has seen him play with the Ospreys expected, he took to his captaincy duty with little fuss. Quietly, assuredly leading the Lions around the field and wrestling control of the breakdown.

Geoff Parling – 7

Showed his athleticism with terrific full-stretch tackle to trip up Jessie Mogg to keep the Lions on top. Another solid display made dominant by the foundation laid by the front row.

Dan Lydiate – 7

Guilty of giving away needless penalty to help Australia edge back into contention, but as ever, his workrate was enormous and the expert tackler kept Australia at bay.

Sean O’Brien – 8

Showed his credentials as an openside and had a huge say in the flow of the opening 40 where his tackle count in double figures. Capitalised on Smith being worse for wear. his effort at the breakdown made his absence in the opening Tests look very strange indeed.

Toby Faletau – 8

Started the game superbly, and gave the back row a fluidity. Crucial turnover in his own 22 when Australia were within six points.

Snapshot: Jamie Heaslip fell asleep* while watching the Lions game today

As it happened: Lions v Australia, Third Test – 2013 Tour

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