x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Rugby union: Hits and misses against the Waratahs

Who is hot and who is not on the British & Irish Lions tour

Jonathan Davies of the Lions.
Jonathan Davies of the Lions.


Jonathan Davies, Lions

Majestic. If Brian O'Driscoll, his rival for the No 13 Test shirt, is satnav, then Davies is Google Maps. He knows where everyone is, evidenced by the fact he played the final pass for the first three Lions tries, made the interception for the fourth and scored the fifth.

Simon Zebo, Lions

Almost the dream start to his Lions career as he seemed to have scored after 38 seconds. Touchline chalk on his left boot denied him but the Irishman was unbowed. His late arrival on tour means he has to make up time and he was clearly in a rush to do so.

Paul O'Connell, Lions

Injury deprived the 2009 captain of action during the Six Nations but he seems to be benefiting from the break. The lock was colossal, stealing turnovers and even throwing passes in his own 22 to start attacks.


Drew Mitchell, Waratahs

Once the coming man of Australian rugby, the second half of Mitchell's career has been undermined by injuries. Now on the outside looking in on the Wallabies squad he failed to press his case for a recall, most notably as a wonky kick that led to the opening Lions try.

Jamie Roberts, Lions

Under pressure after a poor display in midweek against the Combined Country XV, his problems have now been exacerbated by injury. Fortunately for the tourists, their player of the series from 2009 may not be missed thanks to the form of Davies in midfield.

John Ulugia, Waratahs

The hooker threw away possession at crucial two Waratahs line outs and he cynically body-checked Lions winger Zebo as he chased a kick with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.