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British & Irish Lions players rated after 71-31 win against the Sharks

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The British & Irish Lions overcame spirited opposition to beat the Sharks 71-31 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Saturday and win the third match on their South African tour in a 16-try extravaganza

Anthony Watson lay down a marker for starting Test jersey

Anthony Watson lay down a marker for starting Test jersey

The Lions scored 11 tries against the Sharks in their 71-31 win, but who stuck up their hand for a Test berth?

Once again Duhan van der Merwe impressed for the Lions, while Anthony Watson, Tadhg Beirne and Jamie George also did their Test ambitions a world of good.

After two easy wins, the Lions were given a first-half examination by a Sharks side playing them for the second time in four days, and were held 26-26 at half-time.

But after Sharks scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse was needlessly sent off early in the second half, the tourists ran away to a handsome 71-31 win, scoring 11 tries to five in the third-highest scoring match in Lions history.

With only two more warm-up games before the first Test match against the Springboks, we look at how the Lions rated…

Liam Williams: 7/10

Scarlets full-back was unable to add to his try tally but assisted Duhan van der Merwe and Elliot Daly in impressive fashion. One of the Lions’ better performers during a tough first half and another 80 minutes in the bank.

Anthony Watson: 8

Inauspicious for the early part of his first start on tour before he come alive after the interval when he was no longer starved of possession. Bath wing helped himself to a try double and assisted England colleague Tom Curry late on to remind Warren Gatland of his class.

Elliot Daly: 6

Like many of the backs, struggled during the first 40 and at fault for an early try due to poor handling. Hefty collision from Werner Kok also seemed to affect the Saracens ace, but he bounced back to cross over in his new outside centre position.

Chris Harris: 7

Harris scored the opening try for the Lions Harris scored the opening try for the Lions

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Early try was not a sign of what was to come for the Lions after being given a real test by the Sharks. Three missed tackles was an unwelcome statistic on an otherwise decent showing.

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Duhan van der Merwe: 8

The South African-born Scotland wing is giving Gatland a selection headache before the first Test after another outstanding night. He made 128 metres, crossed over again and also assisted the opener for Harris to continue his excellent tour so far.

Dan Biggar: 8

Successful with eight of his 11 conversions and made key final passes for two of his team-mates’ tries. Partly at fault for the Sharks’ fourth score but largely impressive from a defensive point of view while typically strong with ball in hand.

Gareth Davies: 6

A difficult first start for the scrum-half, who was at fault for the Sharks’ third try after his pass was intercepted. Busy at the breakdown but withdrawn after 47 minutes for captain Conor Murray with more control required by the Lions.

Rory Sutherland on the charge for the Lions Rory Sutherland on the charge for the Lions

Rory Sutherland: 7

Only on for 56 minutes but a good evening’s work for the Scot who carried well and fronted up to the Sharks during back and forth first half.

Jamie George: 8

Sky Sports Captain Jamie George says his British and Irish Lions team can learn a lot from their hard fought victory over the Sharks.

Captain for the night led from the front with two tries including one soon after the Lions had gone behind in the first half. Saracens hooker made the most tackles and helped his side dominant at the line-out despite an indifferent start with a high tackle early on.

Tadhg Furlong: 7

The Leinster prop played a big role in helping the Lions withstand a momentum shift when Sharks had their tails up during the opening 40 minutes and made plenty of carries.

Courtney Lawes: 7

Typical all-action display from the Northampton Saints forward who showed good skill with ball in hand. 7

Jonny Hill: 6

Not vintage from the England international with three missed tackles an example of that but strong at the line-out.

Tadhg Beirne: 8

Tadhg Beirne Tadhg Beirne

Another forward to grab a brace of tries and carried the ball well throughout at Loftus Versfeld. Impressive in the air and Munster man has made a strong claim to start first Test.

Hamish Watson: 7

Scottish back row stood up to physicality of the Sharks after a testing opening 40 and worked his way into the match.

Jack Conan: 7

Leinster number eight grabbed his first try for the Lions during a fine performance where he made plenty of metres and was strong in both defence and attack.

Replacements: 7

Captain Connor Murray was called upon after 47 minutes by Gatland but saw his box kick charged down for a try and was sin-binned before full-time. Tom Curry made another positive impression against the Sharks with a try late on.

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