Saint North stars as Lions dismantle Combined Country

TWO TRIES - George North
TWO TRIES - George North

George North showed Saints fans what they can expect at Franklin’s Gardens next season as he starred for the Lions today.

The Wales wing grabbed two tries as Warren Gatland’s side smashed Combined Country 64-0 in Newcastle, Australia.

And another future Saint, loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero, drafted in from England’s tour of Argentina, made a solid start to his Lions bid.

But the game was all about North as he continued to enhance his growing reputation Down Under.

The 21-year-old scored a picture book first, breaking from inside his own half and linking up with Scotland’s Sean Maitland before dotting down.

His second was simpler, with Maitland again the provider as the Lions ran riot.

North was withdrawn at the break as a precaution - a sign of how important he has become to the tourists’ bid.

And Corbisiero soon followed his future club-mate down the tunnel, having put in a solid 50-minute showing.

The front row forward had announced himself on the tour from the off, helping the Lions smash Combined Country in the scrum early on.

And with that platform built up front, wing Alex Cuthbert was able to profit, latching onto Brian O’Driscoll’s pass to score in the corner.

Makeshift fly-half Stuart Hogg added the extras, and he did so again soon after as Cuthbert teed up Conor Murray to score.

The Lions were rampant and Hogg added a third try inside the first 13 minutes, before missing the conversion.

North soon cashed in to claim his first try of the tour, breaking from inside his own half before combining with Maitland to touch down.

Hooker Richard Hibbard was the next to score, picking up the ball and driving over the line.

Hogg converted and the Lions were a huge 33-0 up inside the first half an hour.

It was a walk in the Newcastle park for Gatland’s men and North, in particular, was loving every second of it.

He scored his second try of the game before the break, again taking a pass from Maitland before diving over the whitewash.

Four more tries were added after the interval through O’Driscoll, Leigh Halfpenny, Sean O’Brien and Jonathan Davies as the Lions maintained their unbeaten tour record.