Lions tour: How the Lions and Chiefs players rated at Waikato Stadium

It was a happy homecoming for Jared Payne, who was a strong performer at centre for the Lions.
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It was a happy homecoming for Jared Payne, who was a strong performer at centre for the Lions.

Who starred and who stumbled: our rugby writers rate the players from the Lions' 34-6 win over the Chiefs.

LIONS

Liam Williams 8: Class act. Ran great lines and dangerous from broken play, showing that these Lions can counter-attack too.

Jack Nowell of the Lions goes over to score his team's second try.
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Jack Nowell of the Lions goes over to score his team's second try.

Jack Nowell 8.5: Couldn't have done much more. Rushed across all parts of the field and finished brilliantly in a compelling message to Warren Gatland for the top side later in the tour.

Jared Payne 7: Led the outside-in defence which squeezed the life out of any Chiefs attack, and some deft touches bar one loopy hospital pass on his old home ground. Showed versatility by slotting ably into flanker.

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Lions wing Elliot Daly was excellent with limited chances.
PHOTOSPORT

Lions wing Elliot Daly was excellent with limited chances.

Robbie Henshaw 6: Solid on defence and attack; a bit blinkered at times with one or two questionable options.

Elliot Daly 7: Started wonderfully with a power tackle and electric burst down the flank. Didn't see nearly enough ball and had a key role in Nowell's try with pace and vision.

Dan Biggar 7.5: Lively, physical game and accurate goalkicking. Dream ride from his pack, took the ball to the line and controlled things well, bar a swinging arm and one or two blemishes.

Prop Joe Marler put his Lions team under needless pressure with a dangerous tackle for which he was yellow carded.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

Prop Joe Marler put his Lions team under needless pressure with a dangerous tackle for which he was yellow carded.

Greig Laidlaw 7: With the Chiefs' wonky scrum and lineout they rolled out the green carpet for Laidlaw who did what was expected in a tidy display.

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CJ Stander 8: A beast with ball in hand with many strong first half carries, and hit Chiefs attackers with ferocity to force turnovers.

Justin Tipuric 7: Solid night at the office, tackled well and imposed himself on his opposites. Got more involved with ball in hand as the match went on.

Lions captain Rory Best.
BRUCE LIM/PHOTOSPORT

Lions captain Rory Best.

James Haskell 6: In the thick of the action, before and after the whistle, and at the heart of some tough Lions defence. Limited ball player which halted some momentum.

Courtney Lawes 7: Lively game to continue his strong form in the midweek side. Physical presence on defence and at the breakdown, but his second concussion test in as many games is a worry.

Iain Henderson 7: Dominated in the air and like a brick all on defence, wrapping up Chiefs carriers strongly. Would have enjoyed his night's work in all facets.

Courtney Lawes of the Lions and Dominic Bird of the Chiefs contest the ball.
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Courtney Lawes of the Lions and Dominic Bird of the Chiefs contest the ball.

Dan Cole 8: Anchored a powerhouse Lions scrum against minimal resistance as the Chiefs backpedalled. Got more involved in general play as the game opened up. Impressive.

Rory Best 7: Typical busy game from the skipper and at the heart of Lions lineout drives as they steamrolled their opposites up front. Looked a happy man at the post-match.

Joe Marler 5: Brainless no-arms tackle on Nepo Laulala overshadowed any good work in the tight. Would have gained no points from coach Gatland for that yellow card.

It was a tough night for Chiefs captain Stephen Donald behind a beaten pack.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

It was a tough night for Chiefs captain Stephen Donald behind a beaten pack.

Reserves:

Allan Dell 6: Came on for one big scrum in Marler's absence.

Alan Wyn Jones 5: Brief cameo, involved in some push and shove.

Chase Tiatia of the Chiefs charges forward.
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Chase Tiatia of the Chiefs charges forward.

Tommy Seymour 5: Got involved late and could have set up a try but for a stray pass.

Not rated: Kristian Dacey, Tomas Francis, Cory Hill, Gareth Davies, Finn Russell. - MARK GEENTY

CHIEFS

Johnny Faauli of the Chiefs is tackled by Elliot Daly.
HANNAH PETERS/GETTY IMAGES

Johnny Faauli of the Chiefs is tackled by Elliot Daly.

Shaun Stevenson 5: Tried hardest to spark his backline, but just couldn't find the holes in the defence to work his magic. Harried into a couple of errors as well

Toni Pulu 4: Lasted just 11 minutes before went off injured. Made one nice run, but not enough time to stamp his mark.

Tim Nanai-Williams 5: Spent most of the night under pressure in the face of that rushing defence, and struggled to make his customary impact. Couple of isolated runs but not vintage TNW.

Siegfried Fisi'ihoi of the Chiefs makes a break.
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Siegfried Fisi'ihoi of the Chiefs makes a break.

Johnny Fa'auli 6: Put in some big hits on defence, and carried strongly, but also had no space to work with throughout.

Solomon Alaimalo 5: Promising sort who looks to have plenty of natural ability. But denied the chance to show it on this night.

Stephen Donald 5: Probably showed his best form in game-long discourse with the French ref. Struggled to come up with the tactical options to find the holes behind that quick line. But never stopped trying, and gave it plenty.

Finlay Christie 7: Might have been the best Chief on the park on a tricky night. Under pressure throughout but battled gamely, cleared well, made a few darts and looks like he might be handy when Tawera Kerr-Barlow departs.

Tom Sanders 5: Not the best of nights for the hard-working No 8. Found that big Lions pack a little too much to handle, and very little go-forward ball to work with

Lachlan Boshier 4: Also outplayed by an impressive Lions loose trio who owned the breakdown. Won one penalty over the ball, but minimal impact.

Mitch Brown 4: Has had better nights. Outplayed up front and gave up a yellow card in second half when brought down the Lions drive.

Michael Allardice 5: Would have learned a lot, but was at the heart of a pack well beaten in all facets.  

Dominic Bird 6: Probably the best of the home forwards. Stood up, battled hard but was a bit of a lone ranger. Not quite his usual dominant self at the lineout either.

Nepo Laulala 5: Scrum well beaten, pack outplayed, not a night for a big tighthead to show his best stuff.

Liam Polwart 4: Can't cop all the blame, but has to take some of it for a lineout that wobbled, then imploded. Another who will learn from this.

Siegfried Fisiihoi 6: The other Chiefs forward to at least leave his mark on the occasion. Some big defensive hits and a couple of nice carries. Busy.

Reserves: 

Hika Elliot 5: Made some impact in 21 minutes off the bench, but game gone when he came on.

Aidan Ross 4: A quarter of an hour, but little chance to impress.

Atu Moli 5: Tried hard as the game loosened up late.

Liam Messam 5: Mixed bag in 26 minutes off the bench. Two bad losses to the tourists in four days.

Mitch Karpik 5: Another to enjoy the looser last quarter.

Jonathan Taumateine 6: Cleared well in just over a quarter on the park for Christie.

Chase Tiatia 6: Played most of the match, and showed some nice touches and pace on debut for the franchise.

Not rated: Luteru Laulala. - MARC HINTON

 - Stuff

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