Hamish Watson sent out a message to Warren Gatland

Credit: AP

Josh Adams plundered four tries as the British and Irish Lions opened their tour on South African soil with a rampant 56-14 victory over the Sigma Lions.

The hosts were rabbits caught in the headlights as they leaked early tries to Louis Rees-Zammit and Hamish Watson, but an impressive uprising followed that troubled the Lions’ defence for a spell.

Once that had been subdued, Warren Gatland’s men ran riot with Adams helping himself to four second-half tries against the weakest of the provincial sides they will face over the coming weeks. But apart from Adams, who else shone for the tourists?

15. Stuart Hogg

Assured under high balls, Hogg stayed patient and was dangerous when chances arose. And what a tackle on Sibusiso Sangweni. Handing him the captaincy was a masterstroke in man-management from Warren Gatland 8

14. Louis Rees-Zammit

The youngest Lion looked relaxed during the warm-up and had already threatened before scoring with his first touch. Worked off his wing later on. His electric pace is such a weapon 7

Debutant Louis Rees-Zammit got on the scoresheet immediately


13. Chris Harris

Expect to see Harris partner Robbie Henshaw soon. Besides characteristically intuitive defence, he offered energy and composure in attack – exemplified by the chip for Rees-Zammit’s try 8

12. Owen Farrell

A mixed first half comprised neat passing and vocal organisation with two poor carries owing to backline confusion. A costly missed tackle foreshadowed the hosts’ first try. Faultless from the tee, though, and orchestrated a dominant finish at fly-half 7

11. Josh Adams

The prolific wing is on course for the Test side. Effective in the air as a chaser of kicks and bristling over the ground, he plundered four second-half tries 9

10. Finn Russell

Almost located Rees-Zammit with an intrepid kick from his first touch, which set the tone for a snappy and creative attacking display. His chips could trouble South Africa 8

9. Ali Price

The sprightly scrum-half made a strong case to be Conor Murray’s deputy. There were teasing box-kicks and a lively finish for his try from Farrell’s swivel-pass 7

1. Wyn Jones

Solid at the scrum, which will be vital with Springboks tighthead Frans Malherbe in ominous form. Also dived over for a disallowed try 7

2. Jamie George

Throwing directly over the top into midfield was a tactic the Lions leant on with the help of George’s accuracy. Industrious in defence and mobile in attack 8

3. Kyle Sinckler

Busy from the off, spearing into carries and leading the Lions’ defensive line. Appears determined to make an impression on his second tour 7

Kyle Sinckler made his presence felt


4. Maro Itoje

Typically disruptive in defence and led a commanding lineout performance. Has evidently stepped up as a carrier and helped the Lions control the gain-line 8

5. Jonny Hill

A clumsy lineout penalty put his side under early pressure and the Exeter lock then threw a misplaced pass in midfield. Redeemed himself by laying on Adams’ hat-trick 7

6. Courtney Lawes

Eye-catching as the Lions burst out of the blocks. Lawes’ short passes to fellow forwards, complementing his strength in contact, really enhanced his team’s attack 8

Courtney Lawes added to the Lions' attack


7. Hamish Watson

An explosive close-range try and an authoritative dump-tackle on Burger Odendaal started his tour with a bang. Intelligent and skilful at the tail of driving mauls as the Lions varied their attack. The gauntlet has been thrown down to Tom Curry 9

8. Taulupe Faletau

We are yet to see Faletau out wide in his two appearances, which could be a tactic that the Lions are holding back. He trucked up the middle and tackled hard during an unselfish display 7


16. Luke Cowan-Dickie (on for George, 70)

Only on for 10 minutes, but that was enough time for a tenacious carry and a turnover in the tackle N/A

17. Mako Vunipola (on for Jones, 56)

Vunipola contributed a handful of delicate passes, but his scrummaging would have been more pleasing to the Lions coaches 7

18. Zander Fagerson (on for Sinckler, 56)

Helped Vunipola to maintain, and even increase, the Lions’ set-piece dominance. A burrowing breakdown in defence but spilled once 6

19. Iain Henderson (on for Itoje, 70)

A brief cameo for Henderson, but he will be an important figure on this trip N/A

20. Sam Simmonds (on for, Faletau 56)

Perhaps unlucky to be penalised for an illegal clear-out on entering the fray. We almost got to see him stretch his legs, his late offload just evading Henderson 6

21. Gareth Davies (on for Price, 60)

A clever, quick support runner who is perfectly suited to the role of impact replacement and bagged a trademark try 7

22. Bundee Aki (on for Harris, 70)

Introduced late on, aiding a backline reshuffle that worked nicely N/A

23. Elliot Daly (on for Russell, 60)

He is pretty effective in his favoured position of outside centre, you know. Skipped past a number of tacklers and threw two scoring passes. At the end of a difficult season, he could well be a factor in the Test series 7