British & Irish Lions: Mike Phillips hails ‘tremendous’ Baa-Baas win
British & Irish Lions: Mike Phillips hails a "tremendous" display after Warren Gatland's men were 59-8 winners against Barbarians
Mike Phillips has heaped praise on the British and Irish Lions for a “tremendous” win against the Barbarians in their opening tour match at Hong Kong Stadium.
Warren Gatland’s men were impressive, with man-of-the match Phillips and Alex Curthbert both scoring two tries to put the Lions in charge against the Baa-Baas.
Captain Paul O’Connell, deputising for Sam Warburton, Jonathan Davies, Dan Lydiate and Alun Wyn Jones all added further tries, while Owen Farrell posted 15 points before Jonathan Sexton scored two late conversions.
“It’s a tremendous win. We just wanted to come out with a strong performance and I thought the boys fronted up well in tough conditions. It’s a great way to start the tour with a great win and we can push on from here,” Phillips told Sky Sports.
“It was very difficult. I thought all in all, it gives us a platform to work on and we can push on from here. It’s a good start and we’re looking forward now.”
On his man-of-the-match award, Phillips added: “I mean there were far better performances than mine out there tonight. The boys were outstanding [front five].
“We put a lot of hard work in already and we’ll look to push on in his next performance.”
Munster second row O’Connell was asked to deputise as captain for injured Warburton, and Phillips admitted the Ireland international proved an inspirational figure for Gatland’s young starting XV.
“Paul O’Connell – what a man to lead us. He has so much experience. When he speaks, everyone listens. You just want to fight for him and play for him,” Phillips said.