Sky Sports brings you all the best of the action, reaction and opinion from AAMI Park.
By Tony Curtis - Follow me on Twitter @SkysportsTC
Last Updated: 25/06/13 3:42pm
Following the 35-0 victory at AAMI Park, we bring you all the best of the action, reaction and opinion.
Lions blank the Rebels
Manu Tuilagi made his return from injury as the British and Irish Lions won their final midweek game 35-0 against Melbourne Rebels. Tries from Conor Murray, Sean Maitland, Sean O'Brien and Ben Youngs - plus a penalty try - saw the tourists prevail comfortably at AAMI Park. Tuilagi, who had been sidelined by a shoulder problem since the win over the Reds, played the full 80 minutes and was among a raft of players to boost their prospects of featuring in the remaining two Tests.
How the Lions rated
The British and Irish Lions wrapped up their schedule against non-Test opponents with a 35-0 victory over the Rebels. Conor Murray, Sean Maitland, Sean O'Brien and Ben Youngs crossed for tries for the Lions, while referee Glen Jackson also awarded them a penalty try. Owen Farrell added three conversions and replacement Stuart Hogg slotted over two. The result means the Lions have now won seven of their eight matches on the 2013 tour - and after the comfortable at AAMI Park, we assess how the tourists fared.
Gatland hails positive Lions
Lions coach Warren Gatland was pleased with his side's positive outlook against the Rebels. "We made a few mistakes and pushed a few passes but we didn't want to stop them from going out and playing rugby," he said. "Our set piece was good, we defended really strongly and we were in good condition physically. The players made up for the disappointment of last week. We talked about keeping the tempo up. Once we got in front we wanted to keep playing, and they had a licence to do that."
Lydiate: Places up for grabs
Dan Lydiate feels a number of players put their hands up for selection during the win over the Rebels. "We definitely had to up our game coming here and we wanted to get the result and keep the momentum going for the weekend," he said. "It's a massive game for us this weekend and a few of the boys are putting their hands up for selection. They really wanted to take their chance. The main thing was to play well as a team but also to play well as an individual and put yourself forward for selection."
Performance pleases O'Brien
Flanker Sean O'Brien said the British and Irish Lions were determined to prove a point against the Rebels. "We were pretty annoyed after last Tuesday against the Brumbies and were determined to put things right with a good performance," said O'Brien, who marked an impressive display and scored the tourists' third try. "The main thing was to go out and work hard for each other, and not try and make it an individual thing. If the team plays well, then individuals can."
Delve: Lions were impressive
Rebels captain Gareth Delve admitted their set-piece struggles left them fighting a losing battle against the Lions. He said: "We wanted to try a few different things and really challenge them but we probably didn't get the stability off our set-pieces. A quality team like that ran in a few points on us. You can't defend against a team of that quality for the length of time we did and we probably didn't play in the right areas, but the guys went out there and wanted to try a few things."
The Sky Sports panel give their verdict on the 35-0 victory over the Rebels in Melbourne. Sky Sports expert Sir Ian McGeechan said: "Gatland has two tactical decisions. Does he start with Ryan Grant who is technically the best loosehead or does he go with Vunipola. Manu Tuialgi in the centre would also get them back to the sort of pattern they were playing earlier in the tour where they get across the gainline with a big ball carrier at the gainline. They struggled there in the first 30 minutes where they were unable to do that."