Alex Cuthbert
Cuthbert opens the scoring on an easy evening for Gatland's side. (Reuters)

Warren Gatland's Lions sauntered to a 64-0 victory over a limited Combined Country XV side on an evening where they would have preferred a stronger challenge with the first test against Australia just two games away.

With Stuart Hogg at 10, the tourists blitzed the hosts with a first half performance where they averaged almost a point a minute including two tries from George North, before efforts from Brian O'Driscoll, Leigh Halfpenny, Sean O'Brien and Jonathan Davies sealed a win which thankfully yielded no further injury concerns for the tourists.

A severe drop in the standard of opposition was hardly ideal for the Lions with their 22 June meeting with Australia looming, but opportunities to impress were still on the line, one of which was duly taken by Stuart Hogg.

Hogg found himself starting in at 10 for the first time of the tour with Jonny Sexton and Owen Farrell injured, and the fly half started brightly with fullback Sean Maitland making ominous inroads from the left.

Alex Cuthbert opened the inevitable barrage of tries with his ninth score of the tour after seven minutes, after being fed by O'Driscoll after good work from a rampaging Justin Tipuric, allowing the Welshman to cross the line under minimal pressure before Hogg's conversion.

The floodgates opened as Cuthbert returned the favour, finding Connor Murray who finished off a tremendous score, regardless of the quality of the opposition. After finding a try of his own minutes later, Hogg failed to convert when he struck the post.

The Country XV side provided their first test to the tourists after Hibbard's missed catch allowed the hosts to gain ground for the first time in the contest. It would be short-lived however as Maitland strode away after from the desperate Country side after soaking up pressure - albeit self-inflicted - after a quick turnover from George North. The Welshman was alongside to pick up the return and cross the line before Hogg's provided a 26-0 lead with another conversion.

Hooker Hibbard would be next to add to the growing tally, before North got the Lions sixth and his second just after half an hour.

O'Driscoll secured the Lions' first try of the second half, a score that instigated an entire front row change with later fixtures on the mind of Gatland, as Alex Corbisiero, Hibbard and Dan Cole were replaced by Ryan Grant, Rory Best and Matt Stevens soon to be joined by Toby Faletau

After putting his first attempted kick wide from the Irishman's try, Halfpenny broke through the middle seven minutes later after patient play from Hogg, who fed the full-back to power through across the line, before duly converting his own try to stretch the lead to a resounding 50-0.

Sean O'Brien added another after 66 minutes, powering his way across the line bouncing off challengers in the process without needing the assistance of the waiting Alun-Wyn Jones.

While the Lions could have really done with a sterner test given the challenges ahead, there was not much expected of a spirited, but ultimately lacklustre Country's side.

However the hosts would mount their first real efforts as the game approaches its last 15 minutes. Dale Ahwang thought he had scored after intercepting a Lions back move before the TMO ruled out, sparking a cacophony of boos around the Hunter Stadium.

The home supporters would be on their feet again as Halfpenny spilt a catch allowing a rampaging Nathan Trist to bear down on the Lions line, before Maitland got himself back to clear the lines.

Jonathan Davies stole in minutes from the end to add gloss the performance, claiming the Lion's tenth try, their best return of the 2013 tour so far, before Halfpenny sealed the proceedings with a conversation to make a 64-0 win.