In their final midweek game of the tour, the Lions faced the reigning Super Rugby champions the Hurricanes.
Despite only featuring four New Zealand internationals, the least of all the Super Rugby sides the Lions played, the Hurricanes squad featured some of the most exciting players in Super Rugby.
The Lions went back to their normal midweek squad with this being the last chance any of them had to stake a claim for the test side. Fringe players such as Courtney Lawes and George North needed to deliver if they wanted to run out with the side on Saturday.
After a tries from Tommy Seymour and George North, in addition to penalties from Dan Biggar, and a Hurricanes reply from Callum Gibbons, the Lions led 23-7 at halftime.
The Lions were far superior but early in the second half we got an indication that the Hurricanes had come out with a new motivation and would give the Lions a challenge.
The second half started perfectly for the home side with Ngani Laumape scoring with barely a minute on the clock. Seymour then crossed for his second and the Lions lead extended to 17-31. Depsite controlling the game, the Lions found themselves on the ropes when tries from Wes Goosen and Vaea Fifita tied the game at 31-31. The game ended when a Biggar drop goal landed just under the crossbar and this classic finished in a draw.
Arguably the best game on tour and with all that considered, let’s look at how the Lions rated:
1. Joe Marler - 6
This wasn’t a set-piece -6 game so he wasn’t involved too much.
2. Rory Best
Similar to Marler but Best was good at the breakdown.
3. Dan Cole - 6
Put in a few big carries and tackles.
4. Iain Henderson - 7
Would have gotten a higher rating after a very good performance but his yellow card killed the Lions’ momentum.
5. Courtney Lawes - 6
Made a superb lineout steal in the first half but was quiet elsewhere.
6. James Haskell - 6
Like most of the forward pack, Haskell had a quiet game.
7. Justin Tipuric - 7
Always challenging for the ball at the ruck and seemed to be everywhere.
8. CJ Stander - 6
His performance summed up his tour; a bit flat.
9. Greig Laidlaw - 6
A little bit slow at the breakdown but excellently set up Seymour’s first try.
10. Dan Biggar - 6
Had a good variety of kicking and was unfortunate with his late drop goal attempt.
11. George North - 8
Surprisingly benefitted from a move to 12, maybe a future position for him?
12. Robbie Henshaw - 5
Didn’t stay on long enough to make an impact.
13. Jonathan Joseph - 5
Didn’t make an impact anywhere, very unlikely to feature in any tests.
14. Tommy Seymour - 8
His best performance on tour capped off with two tries.
15. Jack Nowell - 6
Unfortunately quiet when he moved over to the wing.
Sparingly used like in the previous warm up game. Leigh Halfpenny played most of the game and made a postive impact.