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Lions ratings: Itoje puts in phenomenal performance with Henshaw also producing immense showing as Lions edge first Test


THE BRITISH and Irish Lions came from behind in spectacular fashion to edge the first Test 22-17 against South Africa in Cape Town.

Warren Gatland’s side found themselves 12-3 down at half-time but battled back to win thanks to 14 points from Dan Biggar, Luke Cowan-Dickie’s try and a late Owen Farrell penalty.

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Maro Itoje put in a near-perfect performance for the Lions in Cape Town[/caption]

The on-field celebrations were muted after the match as the Lions seemed to know they got out of jail.

But the history books will note it as a win which is all that matters.

Here’s what SunSport’s man in Cape Town – Jonny Fordham – thought of the Lions’ individual performances.

STUART HOGG – 8

Waited eight years, started badly, but finished like a superstar.

ANTHONY WATSON – 7

Competed hard in the air, would have wanted more ball in hand, though.

ELLIOT DALY – 7

Smoked by Am early on. Fell just short with a long-range pen.

ROBBIE HENSHAW – 9

Immense, only error was dropping the ball when through.

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Robbie Henshaw was seriously impressive as Warren Gatland’s side came from behind to win[/caption]

DUHAN VAN DER MERWE – 8

Almost scored, earned his spot. Shut up the doubters.

DAN BIGGAR – 8

Shanked early kicks before recovering. Emptied the tank.

ALI PRICE – 9

Not one missed kick and kept the pace up. Superb debut.

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Ali Price was superb on his Lions debut[/caption]

RORY SUTHERLAND – 7

Late call-up for Wyn Jones, but did the job before Vunipola finished it.

LUKE COWAN-DICKIE – 8

A dream debut try in his first Test. Superb scenes.

TADHG FURLONG – 7

More impact needed in the loose against the green giants.

Sportsfile

Tadhg Furlong will hope to have more of an impact next time out[/caption]

MARO ITOJE – 10 – STAR MAN

Snaffled a key turnover in his own 22. Phenomenal. A Machine.

ALUN WYN JONES (C) – 7

Played the full 80 less than a month after a dislocated shoulder.

COURTNEY LAWES – 8

What a warrior. Always stood up. A titanic display.

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Courtney Lawes put in a solid display of his own[/caption]

TOM CURRY – 7

Done for a late hit on De Klerk, but nailed Kwagga Smith to set-up first try.

JACK CONAN – 8

Showed his neat feet in the second half.

LIONS REPLACEMENTS

Owens 7 (on for Cowan-Dickie, 57), Vunipola 7 (on for Sutherland, 57), Sinckler 8 (on for Furlong, 67), Beirne 6 (on for Lawes, 73).

H Watson 6 (on for Curry, 57), Murray 7 (on for Price, 64), Farrell 8 (on for Daly, 66), Williams 8 (on for Van Der Merwe, 71).

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Owen Farrell came off the bench and kicked the final points[/caption]


SOUTH AFRICA

Le Roux 7, Kolbe 6, Am 7, De Allende 8, Mapimpi 6, Pollard 8, De Klerk 7; Nche 8, Mbonambi 7, Nyakane 8, Etzebeth 7, Mostert 6, Kolisi 7 (c), Du Toit 8, Smith 4.

SOUTH AFRICA REPLACEMENTS

Marx 5 (on for Mbonambi, 41), Kitshoff 5 (on for Nche, 41), Malherbe 4 (on for Nyakane 41), De Jager 5 (on for Mostert, 64).

Elstadt 5 (on for Smith, 64), H Jantjies, E Jantjies 6 (on for Pollard, 71), Willemse 6 (on for Le Roux, 67).

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