British & Irish Lions make light work of Rebels

British and Irish Lions finished their midweek matches against the five Super Rugby franchises in Australia by making light work of the Rebels beating them 0-35 in Melbourne.

The performance by the British and Irish Lions was a vastly superior one to the one put in against the Brumbies last week in Canberra when the Super Rugby leaders won 14-12.

Several players put their hands up for Test selection in the second Test against the Wallabies in Melbourne this weekend.

The mid-week team scored five tries and five conversions in outclassing the
Australian Super Rugby outfit to keep the tourists on a high ahead of their
potentially decisive Test match against the Wallabies.

The Lions won last weekend’s opening Test 21-23 in Brisbane and can clinch
their first series in 16 years with victory over the Wallabies this weekend.

It was the Lions 100th tour win in Australia and the result was never in doubt
after leading 14-0 at halftime and powering on with another three converted
tries in the second half.

Several Lions players pressed their claims for a place in this weekend’s match
with Irish flanker Sean O’Brien scoring a try and impressing in his 55 minutes
on the field before he was replaced.

Tries were also scored by Conor Murray, Sean Maitland and Ben Youngs, along
with a penalty try, while Owen Farrell kicked three conversions and Stuart Hogg

The under-strength Rebels were missing their three Wallabies, James O’Connor,
Kurtley Beale and Nick Phipps, while Scott Higginbotham was out injured.

The Lions dominated the opening stages and Ireland scrumhalf Murray scored
off a scrum push in the 16th minute with Farrell converting for a 7-0 lead.

England centre Manu Tuilagi, making his first appearance on tour since injuring
his shoulder against the Queensland Reds on June 8, charged through a couple
of tackles before Maitland and Toby Faletau took play close to the Rebels’ try-line.

From the next ruck, winger Simon Zebo was first receiver and put Maitland over
wide out for the winger’s first try for the Lions whilst Farrell’s conversion
made it 14-0 after 28 minutes.

But the Rebels finished the opening half the stronger and had a couple of scoring
opportunities as their Welsh skipper Gareth Delve elected to keep the pressure
up with lineouts.

However the Lions denied the Rebels by winning two of their lineouts in the final
minutes to weather the storm.

Despite their dominance it was a mistake-riddled opening half with Lions’ players
dropping the ball nine times and losing three lineouts.

The British and Irish players would also not have pleased coach Warren Gatland
with 14 missed tackles.

Irish openside flanker O’Brien was treated for a neck injury after coming off
worse in a tackle on Ged Robinson, but was over for a try shortly afterwards.

The Lions executed a well-worked move off a lineout win with skipper Dan Lydiate
putting O’Brien over in the 50th for a converted try and a 21-0 lead.

O’Brien was brought off minutes later among four tactical replacements made
by coach Gatland ahead of Saturday’s second Test.

New Zealand referee Glen Jackson awarded the Lions a penalty try and sent replacement
number eight Jordy Reid to the sin bin for bringing down a rolling maul close
to the Rebels’ try-line for a 28-0 lead.

Ben Youngs, a replacement for Murray, darted over from a lineout win, beating
two tackles, to score under the crossbar with seven minutes left to stretch
the tourists’ advantage to 35-0.

Tangaki Taulupe Faletau was named man of the match in Melbourne.

Final Score Rebels 0 (0) British and Irish Lions 35 (14)


Tries –
Pen –

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