British & Irish Lions 2013: Gatland hails ‘top drawer’ performance
British & Irish Lions 2013: Head coach Warren Gatland hails a "top drawer" performance from his side in Sydney
Warren Gatland heaped praise on the British and Irish Lions for a “top drawer” performance after a 47-17 victory over New South Wales Waratahs on Saturday.
Leinster fly-half Jonny Sexton and Leigh Halfpenny both scored tries in the first half which were sandwiched between Tom Carter’s effort to hand the tourists a 23-10 lead at the break.
Gatland’s men stepped up the pace after the interval as Halfpenny added a second before Tom Croft and Jonathan Davies capped off the performance to secure an emphatic victory in Sydney.
And the Lions head coach Gatland was thrilled with the performance of his side ahead of next weekend’s opening Test match against Australia.
“They put it up to us physically and I think the boys responded very well,” said Gatland.
“I think that was a performance out of the top drawer. Defensively we were strong. We were coming off our line pretty good and set piece was excellent, the scrum was strong and the line-out was good.
In particular, Gatland singled out the performances of Alun-Wyn Jones, Davies and Lions debutant Simon Zebo, who was denied a try in the opening minute, for special praise.
“We showed a little bit tonight but not too much. I thought Alun-Wyn Jones was outstanding, he carried, defended really well, he was a real cog in the middle for us,” he added.
“Jonathan Davies was a good in the midfield and a great start for Simon Zebo. It’s a really happy squad at the moment.”