British and Irish Lions flanker Sean O'Brien believes today’s 35-0 victory over the Melbourne Rebels has made up for their defeat to last week's loss to the Brumbies.
A second-string Lions side enhanced their claims to feature in coach Warren Gatland’s matchday 23 for next Saturday’s second Test against the Wallabies.
Flanker Sean O’Brien, scrum-half Conor Murray, his replacement Ben Youngs and wing Sean Maitland all scored tries, while there was a second-half penalty try that underlined the Lions’ forward dominance.
Fly-half Owen Farrell kicked three conversions and Stuart Hogg landed two as they kept an outgunned Rebels side scoreless.
Ireland back O’Brien had to apologise after swearing on live television when referring to last Tuesday’s 14-12 defeat to the Brumbies, but he felt his team-mates had made amends in Melbourne.
“Mostly I think the players were pretty p****d off to be honest after last Tuesday night and we wanted to put things right with a good performance,” he said.
“It was just about working hard for each other and not making it an individual thing. The team played well and then obviously individuals will play well.”
Wales flanker Lydiate told Sky Sports 1: “We definitely had to up our game coming here and we wanted to get the result and keep the momentum going for the weekend.
“It’s a massive game for us this weekend and a few of the boys are putting their hands up for selection.
“A lot of boys missed out on selection last weekend so they really wanted to take their chance tonight.
“The main thing was to play well as a team but also to play well as an individual and put yourself forward for selection. All credit to the boys and to the Rebels boys, they certainly gave us a good game.
“It’s the pinnacle of my career to captain the Lions and it’s a massive honour. It’s even better to get the result tonight.”
Farrell, who kicked three conversions, analysed his own role in the convincing triumph at AAMI Park having been asked by Gatland to take a slightly different tack against the Rebels.
The Saracens star said: “I’ve been asked to play a bit wider and a bit flatter and to take it to the line a bit more. I’m comfortable with that and I want to do that a bit more so I’m enjoying it.
“We just had to make sure we kept going forward and through the middle of them. I felt like they bit in a bit but we wanted to keep going through the middle of them.”
The Rebels’ Welsh forward Gareth Delve added: “I’m disappointed when I look at that scoreline.
“We wanted to try a few different things and really challenge them but we probably didn’t get the stability off our set-pieces. A quality team like that ran in a few points on us.
“You can’t defend against a team of that quality for the length of time we did and we probably didn’t play in the right areas, but the guys went out there and wanted to try a few things but it was always going to be a bit hit or miss.
“I’m proud of being in Australia and being part of this Rebels journey for the last three years. It’s fantastic to see how well the guys are doing in the Lions team but I’m proud of the Rebels for the fight they put up.”