How the British and Irish Lions rated in the defeat by South Africa A

The British and Irish Lions suffered their first defeat of the tour when the lost 17-13 to a strong South Africa A side.The Test series against the world champion Springboks is due to begin in just 10 days’ time so who impressed for the Lions in a bruising encounter at the Cape Town Stadium?

The British and Irish Lions look dejected as they leave the field after their defeat against South Africa A. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images
The British and Irish Lions look dejected as they leave the field after their defeat against South Africa A. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

15. Liam Williams

Lasted just 14 minutes and had to be replaced by Elliot Daly following a head injury assessment. 6/10

14. Anthony Watson

Chris Harris tries to burst through against the South African defence. Picture: Halden Krog/AP

Produced a try-saving tackle on S’bu Nkosi early on and prospered both under the high ball and in open play. 7

13. Chris Harris

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Like most of his colleagues, the Scotland centre saw little of the ball in attacking play during the early blitz, but was instrumental in a major improvement thereafter. 6

12. Bundee Aki

Punched his weight as the Lions tried to take the game to South Africa ‘A’ after a difficult start. 6

11. Louis Rees-Zammit

Agonisingly short of the line when stretching out to try to give his side the lead and pinned Cheslin Kolbe on his own try-line with the screw turning. 6

10. Owen Farrell

Kicked poorly out of hand in the early stages and was charged down by Eben Etzebeth for the opening try on a night when he took several big hits, but kept going. 5

9. Conor Murray

Struggled to establish a relationship with his half-back partner early on, but gradually worked his way into the game. 6

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Stuart Hogg back with the British and Irish Lions and will play against the Stor...

1. Wyn Jones

Forced an early scrum collapse from the South Africans and worked tirelessly in the loose, getting his rewards with a first Lions try before being forced off with a shoulder injury. 6

2. Ken Owens

Solid on his lineout throws and industrious in the forward battle to help the tourists claw their way back into the game. 6

3. Kyle Sinckler

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Gave no quarter in a brutal front row battle and was never found wanting as the Lions pack hammered away deep inside the South African 22. 6

4. Maro Itoje

A constant nuisance at the breakdown and dominant at the lineout, he drove the Lions forward throughout. 7

5. Iain Henderson

Helped to turn the tide as the Lions’ maul started to make an impact and earn them a greater share of the ball. 6

6. Josh Navidi

As busy as ever in the heat of the back row scrap and made a series of telling surges forward. 6

7. Tom Curry

A thorn in South Africa ‘A”s side throughout as he foraged for the ball and repeatedly exploited the space ahead of him with ball in hand, and also charged down a Faf De Klerk kick. 8

8. Taulupe Faletau

Grew into the game as the Lions fought back and was an increasing threat with the ball in hand. 6


An entirely new front row – including Scotland tighthead Zander Fagerson – freshened the Lions for the final assault, but it was Elliot Daly, who replaced the injured Williams early on, who caught the eye with a combination of committed defence, intelligent kicking and impressive line breaks.

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