Lions rout Melbourne Rebels
The Lions continue their good run of form against listless Melbourne Rebels side.
MELBOURNE - The British and Irish Lions will head into the second test against Australia with a head full of steam after subjecting the Melbourne Rebels to a 35-0 thrashing in their tour match on Tuesday.
Eager to impress coach Warren Gatland in their last non-test tour match, the midweek Lions ran in four tries and were awarded a fifth by penalty as they completely outclassed the Super Rugby strugglers at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium.
Coach Warren Gatland was stony-faced after the midweek Lions were upset by a dogged ACT Brumbies side in Canberra last week, but praised the 'dirt-trackers' for hitting back and keeping the Rebels scoreless in front of a crowd of more than 28,000.
"The defence was outstanding and they kept working hard," Gatland said.
"Obviously for me, the pleasing thing was the spirit they displayed. It really came out today, how good these guys have been both on and off the tour and I think that was demonstrated tonight ... not conceding any points."We were really pleased with that performance."
The Lions lead the three-test series 1-0 after edging the Wallabies 23-21 in a bruising opener in Brisbane and can seal it at Melbourne's Docklands Stadium on Saturday.
They suffered a couple of knocks against the Rebels, but were unlikely to have added to their injury list.
England centre Manu Tuilagi celebrated his return to action after a niggling shoulder injury by contributing to the first two tries for scrumhalf Conor Murray and winger Sean Maitland.
Openside flanker Sean O'Brien and replacement scrumhalf Ben Youngs crossed after the break as the Dan Lydiate-captained Lions dominated in front of the largest crowd to attend a Rebels match in the team's three-year history.
Having made a hash of set pieces and been well beaten at the breakdown by the Brumbies, the Lions forwards made amends against the Rebels by setting up scoring chances with sharp work at the lineout.