Newcastle - A ruthless British and Irish Lions side ran in 10 tries to overwhelm a
willing but outgunned semi-professional Combined Queensland/New South Wales Country side 64-0 and
maintain their unbeaten start to the tour of Australia on Tuesday.
George North confirmed his rich form with two of the tourists' six
first-half tries but captain Brian O'Driscoll will be disappointed that
his try was one of only four after the break.
With Warren Gatland
planning to play a majority of his test side against the Waratahs on Saturday, the Lions had no motivation to go easy on the
invitational side, which included a carpenter, plumber and a medical
The Lions were superior in every department and the only
surprise was that they failed to challenge their record victory of
116-10 against Western Australia in 2001, when O'Driscoll made his Lions
Such has been the quality of the Lions' place-kicking on
the tour, that the failure of Scotland fullback Stuart Hogg, playing his
first senior game at flyhalf, to convert his own try from in front of
the posts was a blot on his copy book.
Otherwise, though, he had a
solid game at number 10, which will be reassuring for the Lions who
have only Jonny Sexton and Owen Farrell as specialist flyhalves in the
The Lions played excellent running rugby and a handsome
victory looked assured from the eighth minute when winger Alex Cuthbert
sprinted across the line to open the scoring, to be followed over in the
next five minutes by scrumhalf Conor Murray and Hogg.
Flank Justin Tipuric did enough to make it clear that tour captain Sam
Warburton would have to fight for the number seven shirt for the three Tests against Australia.
The pick of the tries was North's first,
which finished off a brilliant move that ran the length of the pitch
after a turnover on their own line.
The Lions took 10 minutes
after the break to add to their six tries in the first half before
O'Driscoll crossed and Halfpenny converted his own try after 56 minutes
to bring up the half century.
Props Alex Corbisiero and Ryan Grant
both got playing time after joining the squad over the weekend as
replacements for the injured Cian Healy and Gethin Jenkins.
tourists were so dominant in the set piece, however, that referee Steve
Walsh was negotiating with the Lions frontrow as early as the first
half about just how much scrummaging practice they wanted.
The Australians in the 20,071 crowd cheered every decision that went the Combined XV's way, including the put-in at the scrums.
wing Dale Ahwang, a furniture remover, crossed for the Country side
in the second half but was called back for a knock-on and his team could
at least take pride in limiting the Lions to fewer points than Super
Rugby's Force, who lost 69-17 to the visitors last week.Scorers:
British and Irish Lions:
Tries: Alex Cuthbert, Conor Murray, Stuart Hogg, George North (2), Richard Hibbard, Brian O'Driscoll, Leigh Halfpenny, Sean O'Brien and Jonathan Davies.
Conversions: Stuart Hogg (4), Leigh Halfpenny (3)
Combined Queensland/NSW Country:
15 Nathan Trist, 14 Alex Gibbon, 13 Lewie Catt, 12 Tareta-Junior Siakisini, 11 Tom Cox, 10 Angus Roberts, 9 Michael Snowden, 8 Tim Davidson (captain), 7 Jarrad Butler, 6 Richard Stanford, 5 Blake Enever, 4 Phoenix Battye, 3 Tim Metcher, 2 Josh Mann-Rae, 1 Haydn Hirsimaki.
Substitutes: 16 Tom Kearney, 17 Dylan Evans, 18 Rikki Abraham, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Trent Dyer, 21 Adam McCormack, 22 Shaun McCarthy, 23 Dale Ahwang.
British and Irish Lions:
15 Sean Maitland, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Stuart Hogg, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sean O'Brien, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Richie Gray, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Substitutes: 16 Rory Best, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Matt Stevens, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Toby Faletau, 21 Mike Phillips, 22 Jonathan Davies, 23 Leigh Halfpenny.