Sky Sports brings you all the best of the action, reaction and opinion from Patersons Stadium.
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC
Last Updated: 05/06/13 5:28pm
Following the 69-17 victory at Patersons Stadium, we bring you all the best of the action, reaction and opinion.
Rampant Lions overpower Force
The British and Irish Lions crushed Super Rugby side Western Force 69-17 in their second tour match in Perth. The Lions ran in nine tries - through Jonny Sexton, Brian O'Driscoll (2), Tom Croft, Jamie Heaslip, Mako Vunipola, Tommy Bowe, Owen Farrell and Geoff Parling - against an under-strength Force side. There was some impressive link play in the backs and the expected power up front, but this was far from a flawless performance and the concession of two close-range tries will cause some concern among the Lions coaching staff.
How the Lions rated
The British and Irish Lions continued their impressive start to their 10-match tour Down Under with a 69-17 victory over the Western Force. Jonny Sexton, captain Brian O'Driscoll (2), Tom Croft, Jamie Heaslip, Mako Vunipola, Tommy Bowe, Owen Farrell and Geoff Parling all scored tries as a weakened Force side were brushed aside in Perth in impressive fashion. Lions full-back Leigh Halfpenny was simply faultless with the boot as he landed 11 from 11 attempts. Following the victory, we assess how the tourists fared on Australian soil for the first time since 2001.
O'Driscoll targets improvement
Brian O'Driscoll was content with the Lions' performance against the Force but says there is room for improvement. Captaining the side in the absence of Sam Warburton, O'Driscoll scored two of the tourists' nine tries in the 69-17 win in Perth as they easily overcame an understrength Force outfit. And O'Driscoll said: "It's always nice to get on the end of good moves. I've George (North) and Manu (Tuilagi) to thank for some nice offloads. We're relatively pleased with the performance. There's plenty to work on, particularly in defence, but we scored some good tries."
Gatland: We need a challenge
Lions coach Warren Gatland admits the strength of opponents is a cause for concern. The Lions built on last weekend's win over the Barbarians by running in nine tries in Perth, but Gatland was disappointed that the Force fielded a weakened team. "You always want to play against stronger sides," said Gatland. "That's a concern for us at the moment. If we're not getting it on the field, we've got to make sure we replicate it in training. That was the big lesson from 2009 in South Africa. We arrived at the first Test and hadn't played a strong enough side."
Halfpenny hails Jenkins
Leigh Halfpenny credited kicking coach Neil Jenkins for his faultless display with the boot against Western Force. Halfpenny was on target with all 11 of his attempts at goal in Perth as the Lions cruised to a comprehensive 69-17 victory. "I'm pretty pleased with that," said Halfpenny. "I've been continuing with the work I do day-in day-out, going through my routine. Jenks has given me a couple of pointers and reminds me of what I'm good at, such as striking the ball. I was pretty pleased with how I struck it today."
Anxious wait on Healy
Warren Gatland is anxiously awaiting further news on Cian Healy's ankle injury. The prop was carried off and taken to hospital for an X-ray. His ankle is not broken, but there are fears he has suffered ligament damage which could mean the end of his tour. Gatland said: "They've just said it is not broken but they think it is ligament damage, so we will just have to wait for 24-48 hours and see what happens. He went for an X-ray and it wasn't broken. We just assume it is ligament damage. He may need to have a scan to further delve into the potential of the injury."
Talking point - Heaslip impresses
The Sky Sports panel were full of praise of the British and Irish Lions No 8 Jamie Heaslip. The Ireland captain scored a try and impressed throughout in Perth and Ieuan Evans said: "He attacked those wide open channels and particularly when the Lions got their game plan right and their attacking discipline right it created those little openings for Heaslip to punch his way through. By doing the basics well, and Heaslip did that, with very few errors, while he carried effectively and he looked to offload."
All eyes were on Patersons Stadium to see whether the Lions could record with victory over the Force. And the Sky Sports panel had plenty of thoughts after the win. Stuart Barnes said: "We saw some good patterns emerging there, Sexton using men on the inside and getting the power runners running. Some big conundrums coming up with Sean O'Brien playing so well in this back row combination. The big worry is, of course, Cian Healy and the big plus from tonight was Mako Vunipola going so well."