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How the Lions rated: second Test

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Simon Austin | 16:33 UK time, Saturday, 27 June 2009

Rob Kearney - 9: An inspired performance that more than made up for the loss of Lee Byrne. Outstanding from the start, when he gathered a high ball before surging past a couple of defenders, to the finish, when he bravely broke from deep again. Showed strength, determination and a nice dummy to score his try.

Tommy Bowe - 6: Again unable to replicate the form of earlier in the tour but didn't let anyone down.

Brian O'Driscoll - 8: The midfield maestro once more. Clever with his running angles and passing and almost always seemed to pick the right option. The thumping challenge which forced Danie Roussow off was borderline, but it exemplified the Lions' absolute physical commitment and refusal to give the Boks an inch. A warrior who did not deserve to finish on the losing side.

Jamie Roberts - 6: Much quieter than last week, which was testament to the work the Boks had put into stopping him. Some strong ball carrying and tackling nonetheless.

Luke Fitzgerald - 7: Came off his wing to look for work and made some strong runs, most memorably after taking a lovely pop pass from O'Driscoll in the first half.

Stephen Jones - 8: Flawless with his goalkicking, which was vastly improved from the first Test. Converted from the touchline after Kearney's try and held his nerve to slot a penalty near the death. His understanding with O'Driscoll and Roberts has been one of the highlights of the tour.

Mike Phillips - 7: The Boks in general and Victor Matfield in particular seemed to target the scrum-half for some rough treatment. The Welshman stood up to it though and was again a threat around the fringes. Made one crucial tackle on Habana.

Jamie Heaslip - 7: More prominent than in Durban last week and once again shackled the dangerous Pierre Spies.

David Wallace: - 7 Lively from the start when he charged down a kick from Jean de Villiers. Part of a strong defensive effort in the second half.

Tom Croft - 7:
Always a good option in the line-out and a great work-rate. Not the tries or breaks of last week but again effective.

Paul O'Connell - 7: Constantly cajoled and encouraged his team-mates. Was massively fired up from the start and his force of will seemed to rub off on the rest of the side.

Simon Shaw - 9: Did exactly what the Lions coaching staff had hoped - provided ballast in the loose, strong in the line-out and bolstered the scrum. Never took a backward step and epitomised the fierce commitment of the entire team. Named man of the match.

Adam Jones - 8: Seemed to have conquered "The Beast" before being forced off early in the second half with a shoulder injury. The nervous anticipation among the Lions fans ahead of the first scrum was soon replaced by elation after the tourists got a good shove on. Minutes later the Boks conceded a penalty after again being forced backwards. Jones was the man receiving the congratulations of his team-mates and it was a big blow when he went off.

Matthew Rees - 8: Barely put a foot wrong with his line-out throwing, a key component of a vastly improved scrum and again prominent in the loose. If fit, seems certain to start again at Ellis Park for the third Test.

Gethin Jenkins - 7: Played his part in a resurgent front row and, as always, a presence in the loose. Forced off with injury early in the second half.


Andrew Sheridan - 6: Looked fired up when he came on and never took a backward step. Couldn't show his prowess in the scrums though, as they were uncontested.

Alun Wyn Jones - 6: A committed and hard-working performance.

Shane Williams - 6: Thumped backwards in the tackle shortly after coming on but did manage to stop Du Preez near the end.

Martyn Williams - 6: Unable to show the link-up skills he did as a replacement last week as the Lions hardly had the ball.

Ronan O'Gara - 5: Gave away the crucial penalty that led to South Africa's winning penalty at the end and looked understandably distraught.

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