Key men tie down Lions starting berths in emphatic Baa Baas victory

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The British and Irish Lions enjoyed a comfortable victory over the Barbarians in Hong Kong as they rampaged to an emphatic 59-8 win.

Victory for Warren Gatland’s men was never questioned pre-match and their heavy favouritism was justified from beginning to end as they ran in eight tries to their opponents’ one.

The stifling humidity made the win all the more impressive for a team containing eleven debutants. And while handling went astray early on, the tourists got to grip well with the aggressive Baa Baas after the boots of Owen Farrell and Elliot Daly had the sides level in the opening exchanges.

Alex Cuthbert performed fantastically well in the Red Jersey as he ran in two tries that will have gone a great way to securing him a wing spot for the first Test, an accolade he is 1/2 to have bestowed upon him by his coach.

The Welshman’s two scores has seen him cut to 2/1 to be the touring party’s top tryscorer, while countryman  Mike Phillips also bagged himself a brace in a dominant performance that saw him showcase his attacking flair. The number nine is available at 10/1 to run in more touchdowns than any other man in red.

The scrum-half now looks nailed on to be handed the jersey for the opening Test and is 1/3 to be chose ahead of Ben Youngs and Conor Murray.

Owen Farrell was presented with a chance to stake his claim for the number ten berth and produced a mixed performance.

The fly-half’s work in open play was indifferent as he had two kicks charged down and displayed his questionable temperament after an incident at the ruck with Saracens team-mate Schalk Brits.

The 21-year-old by no means played himself out of the reckoning for the first Test but the 9/2 on him pulling the strings in Brisbane compared to the 1/8 about Jonathan Sexton making a start tells its own story.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Aaron Cox

Aaron has written for a number of top-level publications, including FourFourTwo and the Manchester Evening News. As well as being a fanatical Rochdale AFC fan and blogger, he shares a passion for rugby league and golf.