The British & Irish Lions were given a good test by the Queensland Reds but came up winners 12-22.
Sam Warburton and his team found themselves stretched by Quade Cooper and his Reds team-mates. The first half and in drizzle most times the ball stuck and the home side ran some good plays. The second half and in steady rain the skill set form both sides was not so good in contact producing plenty of spilled ball. All in all a good test for the Lions and some players advanced their cause for the test slots. Quade Cooper and Luke Morahan did for the Wallabies.
For the Lions here are our thoughts on individuals or collectives. The front five had a powerful start and certainly Vunipola looked strong and had a high work rate. Richie Grey was all over the park. Both Richard Hibbard and Paul O’Connell made an impact from the bench. The much vaunted back row from Wales got out played by the Reds until they lost Beau Robinson and this must be a concern given the tests, in Warburtons defence it was his first game back but on this showing Heaslip has the edge over Faletau.
The backs had problems with Quade and his variety of plays in defence and taken individually, Ben Youngs had a good game and probably edged Murray but not Phillips. Farrell was OK but not to the standard of Sexton and this showed when Sexton came on. The Centres went OK but George North again brought and extra something when he came on. Tommy Bowe looked sharp and Cuthbert looked pedestrian doing himself no favours. Hogg although under a fair amount of pressure did OK. All in all a great test for the squad and yet again things to work on before the next test on Tuesday
Reds: Ben Lucas, Rod Davies, Ben Tapuai, Anthony Fainga’a, Luke Morahan, Quade Cooper, Nick Frisby; Ben Daley, James Hanson, Greg Holmes, Ed O’Donoghue, Adam Wallace-Harrison, Eddie Quirk, Beau Robinson, Jake Schatz.
Replacements: Albert Anae (for Daley, 24), Sam Denny, Jono Owen (for Holmes, blood 36-40, 69), Jarrad Butler (for Robinson, 55), Radike Samo (blood, for O’Donoghue, 12-19, for Wallace-Harrison, 55), Jono Lance (for Frisby, 68, Frisby for Lucas, 70), Mike Harris (for Fainga’a, 53), Dom Shipperley (for Morahan, 44).
Lions: Stuart Hogg; Alex Cuthbert, Manu Tuilagi, Jonathan Davies, Tommy Bowe, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Matt Stevens, Richie Gray, Geoff Parling, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton, Toby Faletau.
Replacements: Richard Hibbard (for T Youngs, 64, Dan Cole (for Vunipola, 64), Adam Jones (for Stevens, 64), Paul O’Connell (for Gray, 64), Justin Tipuric (for Warburton, 74), Conor Murray, Jonathan Sexton (for Bowe, 46), George North (for Tuilagi, 20).
Referee: Jermoe Garces (Fra)