Lions Tour - Lions demolish Force, Healy injured and cited for bite

The British and Irish Lions began their tour of Australia with a 69-17 drubbing of an inexperienced Western Force on Wednesday but the gloss was taken off with prop Cian Healy cited for biting and suffering a suspected ankle ligament injury.

Lions Tour - Lions demolish Force, Healy injured and cited for bite

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British and Irish Lions' Jamie Heaslip (right) is tackled by Western Force's Chris Tuatara-Morrison (centre) and Corey Brown (left)

Healy will face a hearing in Brisbane on Thursday evening after Force scrumhalf Brett Sheehan accused the Irish loosehead of biting him at a ruck in the 17th minute of the lop-sided clash in Perth.

The citing commissioner was also looking into accusations that scrum-half Connor Murray stamped on Force centre Ed Stubbs at a ruck.

Alex Corbisiero has been called up as cover for Healy. The American-born London Irish prop will fly over to Brisbane from Argentina to report for duty.

But despite the discipline problems, Lions coach Warren Gatland said he was pleased with the display as the tourists did not relent, scoring nine tries at Subiaco Oval with their powerful runners making light work of the Super Rugby outfit.

"At times tonight when we got quick quality ball we looked good," Gatland told reporters.

"There are things for us to work on, our shape... there were a good couple of things defensively that we identified that we need to work on but it was pleasing."

The Force had been criticised for fielding an under-strength 23, which featured seven players who had not played Super Rugby, but the spirited side managed to score two tries of their own and disrupt a couple of lineouts.

Gatland said he would have preferred to face tougher opposition but was pleased that with the form of a number of his players, many of whom were making their first appearance on the tour.

One of which was captain Brian O'Driscoll, who scored his first try for the Lions 12 years ago in Perth when they beat Western Australia and crossed for two more in a strong display in the centres along with England's Manu Tuilagi.

Leigh Halfpenny was given the kicking duties over Irish fly-half Jonny Sexton and the Welsh fullback repaid that vote of confidence with a supreme display with the boot as he slotted all 11 attempts from difficult positions to surely cement a test berth.

Gatland said Sexton was disappointed not to be kicking the goals but the Leinster fly-half did get the Lions on the scoreboard with the opening try in the 10th minute of an impressive display with ball in hand.

The Force had talked about roughing up the Lions before the game but it was the tourists that were accused of foul play when Sheehan told referee Glen Jackson he had been bitten when defending at a ruck near their own try line.

The television match official, though, found no evidence against Healy when reviewing the tape, with both coaches offering little insight on the issue.

The Lions regrouped after the halt in play with O'Driscoll scoring his first try after switching passes with Wales winger George North, but the game was again stopped for a lengthy period in the 35th minute when Healy screamed out in pain as his leg twisted in the tackle.

"It's not broken but they think its ligament damage so we will have to wait 24, 48 hours and see what happens from that," Gatland said.

After the prop was taken off on a stretcher, English flanker Tom Croft crossed for another score to send the tourists into halftime 27-3 up.

Impressive Irish number eight Jamie Heaslip added another try at the start of the second half before former Wallaby Richard Brown crossed for the Force after avoiding a tackle by Sean O'Brien.

The Lions roared back, though, and Healy's replacement Mako Vunipola bulldozed over for another five pointer as the replacements came on to test a weary looking home side.

Tommy Bowe, O'Driscoll and Owen Farrell took advantage of a yellow card for Stubbs to score tries in the last 20 minutes with substitute lock Geoff Parling scoring the ninth in the final moments to inflate the scoreboard.

But Lions second row Alun Wyn Jones saw his night end early with the tourists first yellow card of the trip for a ruck infringement.

The Lions next head to Brisbane to take on the Queensland Reds on Saturday at Lang Park, the venue of the first of the three tests against the Wallabies on June 22 with Force coach Michael Foley purring about their talents.

"Their ability to break tackles, particularly Tuilagi and North, stood out," the former Wallaby hooker said.

"Once that momentum starts... they are very, very hard to stop. Once one-on-one they have that advantage."

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