British and Irish Lions' Finn Russell goes up for the high ball during the third Test at Cape Town Stadium. Photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
British and Irish Lions' Finn Russell goes up for the high ball during the third Test at Cape Town Stadium. Photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

British and Irish Lions player ratings: Finn Russell brought a new dimension on attack

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Aug 7, 2021

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CAPE TOWN – It was a thrilling end to a fiercely contested tour, with the Springboks holding on for a 19-16 victory over the British and Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday to secure a 2-1 series triumph.

The Lions led 10-3 during the first half, but were unable to maintain their momentum in the second half in the face of a spirited Bok defensive effort.

This is how we rated the Lions…

Liam Williams: 5

Renowned for his ability to claim the high ball, the Welsh fullback caught his fair share, but didn’t win every Bok box-kick. And he allowed Kolbe to slip out of his clutches for the second-half try.

Josh Adams: 5

Was brought into the team to bring a ruthless attacking edge out wide, but was well-marked by opposite number Makazole Mapimpi.

Robbie Henshaw: 6

Ran hard in a massive head-to-head battle with Lukhanyo Am, and made some good metres up the middle.

Bundee Aki: 5

Had one or two half-breaks, but kept in check by Bok No 12 Damian de Allende for most of the night.

Duhan van der Merwe: 7

Had a much better game than in the second Test. Got more ball in space and was a threat every time he ran at the Bok defence. Tackled with great determination as well.

Dan Biggar (injured after 10 minutes): Not on long enough to be rated

Ali Price: 6

Got good height with his box-kicks and cleared the rucks quickly, but maybe could have tested the Bok defence around the fringes a bit more.

British and Irish Lions' scrum-half Ali Price puts the ball into the scrum during the third Test against the Springboks at Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town on Saturday. Photo: Phill Magakoe/AFP

Jack Conan: 5

Was a big presence as a ball-carrier in the first two Tests, but didn’t seem to be as effective this time around.

Tom Curry: 6

The English openside flank was always a nuisance around the collisions, whether he was carrying out the tackle or contesting the breakdowns.

Courtney Lawes: 5

Had a massive first Test as a ball-carrier, defender and lineout option, but while he tried hard, he was chased down by the likes of Siya Kolisi and Franco Mostert.

Alun Wyn Jones (captain): 5

The Welsh veteran was as busy in the tight-loose as he usually is, but didn’t dent the Bok attack and wasn’t able to influence the referee in a couple of crucial decisions.

Maro Itoje: 6

The England No 4 got stuck into the Bok forwards, and his duel with Eben Etzebeth was again memorable. He chased the last kickoff and got the ball back, but the Lions let it slip in the final scrum.

Tadhg Furlong: 5

Came to South Africa with a big scrumming reputation, but lost a few battles in the set-piece against Steven Kitshoff.

Ken Owens: 6

Was accurate with his lineout-throwing, and did well to finish off the maul by scoring the only Lions try.

Wyn Jones: 5

Had a fairly even scrum contest with Frans Malherbe.

Best Lions substitute – Finn Russell: 8

Replaced the injured Biggar within the first 11 minutes and brought a new dimension to the Lions attack with clever chips, grubbers and a variety of passes as he operated on the gain-line.

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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