British & Irish Lions: Paul O’Connell delighted with winning start to tour

British & Irish Lions 2013: Paul O'Connell says he is delighted to make a winning start to their tour after beating the Barbarians

Barbarians
8
Lions
59

Despite being thrilled with an opening win, Paul O’Connell warned the British and Irish Lions not to read too much into their emphatic victory over the Barbarians on Saturday.

The Lions made a solid start to the first half as the Munster second row scored the first try of the match before Wales duo Mike Phillips and Alex Cuthbert both scored braces.

The Six Nations winners were well represented as Jonathan Davies, flanker Dan Lydiate and Alun-Wyn Jones all crossed over the line to seal a big win at Hong Kong Stadium.

Owen Farrell kicked 15 points but had a mixed game as he narrowly avoided a yellow card and made a handling blunder, before Jonathan Sexton slotted over two late conversions.

“I’m delighted to get the win – and win really well. I was a bit worried after the Barbarians-England game,” stand-in captain O’Connell told Sky Sports.

“You’re expecting a big reaction. But we were very focused. We have a big six weeks ahead of us and maybe they don’t have that.

“It was a tough week’s preparations with the conditions. That was a big worry for everyone. But we wore them down in the first half and the tries came fairly easy in the second half.”

Despite a comfortable opening win for Warren Gatland’s men, O’Connell, deputising for injured Lions captain Sam Warburton, preached caution ahead of their next tour match against Western Force.

“It’s very hard to tell. The conditions were difficult. The Barabians have a great side but maybe they weren’t there mentally like we were,” he added.

“If you look at how a lot of the Australian teams are playing down in the Super 15, and individually, a lot of their players are very strong. It’s going to be very hard to make any guesses.”

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