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The big winners and losers from the Lions' thrashing of the Barbarians

It was BaaBaas to the slaughter in Hong Kong.

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan


The oh-niners

WITH NERVOUS HANDS trying to navigate through difficult conditions and famous opponents it fell to the men who had done it all before in the red jersey.

The stars of 2009 picked up from where they had left off. Adam Jones ensured a solid foundation, Mike Phillips picked off two tries typical of him and Jamie Roberts looked a class apart in midfield.

Chief among them all, however, was the second row who once again led the side. Paul O’Connell has looked like a new man since returning from back injury and he set the tone within seconds off kick-off in Hong Kong, stealing the ball from the grasp of Marco Wentzl.

The Munster man carried well and committed himself to more than his fair share of works. Fitting, then, that he scored the try that set the Lions on their way.

The Jonathans

There are bigger names and bigger characters in competition with Jonathan Davies for a Test jersey at centre. But, thanks in part to his existing partnership with Roberts, he looked completely at home in this side.

Jonathan Sexton didn’t need to put of boot on the field to improve his chances of taking a starting jersey, but he did so anyway. A few wayward conversions won’t matter, his kicking will come right again when he has reached Australian soil and Owen Farrell proved that he cannot be left to shoulder the responsibility against Australia.


Owen Farrell

Taking a punch in the face from Saracens team-mate Schalk Brits is the headline of the young Englishman’s day, but that only came about as Brits could see he was already rattled and took a punt on sending him over the edge.


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Farrell mis-placed two early kicks for territory (the first dropped right into the path of Jared Payne at full tilt) and he looked more comfortable offering the ball to Stuart Hogg when a kick down-field was called for.

His shark’s grin and applause as Brits walked to the bin was classless. So was the punch, obviously, but Andy Farrell will be asked to have a word in  his young lad’s ear before lights out tonight.

Sean Maitland

The ex-Canterbury Crusader started well and came close to opening the Lions’ try-scoring account with a slide to the line. Yet playing on the opposite wing to where he is most accomplished, he struggled more than most with the greasy conditions and failed to adapt his game.

Lions Tour begins with a bang as Brits punches club-mate Farrell in the face

As it happened: Lions v Barbarians, 2013 tour opener

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Sean Farrell

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