Lions

Follow the Lions as they meet the Waratahs in Sydney

Carl O'Malley Sat, Jun 15
 
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  • 10:22
    Good morning folks, and welcome to our coverage of the fifth Lions game on the 2013 tour, which has been, thus far, somewhat underwhelming.

    We're not Sky, so we can say that. Don't mind their bomastic rhetoric this morning, bluffers to a man, charlatans. This Tour has yet to take off.
  • 10:25
    214 - 37 (22 of which were scored by the Reds) is the aggregate so far after four games, with that game against Queensland the only real contest among them, but we're hoping for better this morning
  • 10:27
    This will be the 21st meeting between the Waratahs and the Lions and in that time the hosts have won four times, making them the most successful Aussie side (outside of Test status) against the tourists.
  • 10:29
  • 10:30
  • 10:34
    "We want it ot be tough and physical but within the parameters of the law," says Warren Gatland as Sky immediately recall that incident in 2001.
  • 10:36
    In a desperate attempt to emphasise how the temperature is rising on this tour, Will Greenwood cites the proliferation of Lions-themed fancy dress among the fans.
  • 10:38

    Lions (v Waratahs): L Halfpenny; S Maitland, J Davies, J Roberts, S Zebo; J Sexton, M Phillips; M Vunipola, T Youngs, A Jones, A-W Jones, P O’Connell, T Croft, S Warburton (capt), J Heaslip. Replacements: R Hibbard, A Corbisiero, D Cole, G Parling, D Lydiate, B Youngs, O Farrell, R Kearney.

  • 10:40
    The teams are out on the pitch. Four Irish among the starters and one on the bench. That's Rob Kearney, who has yet to feature on this tour, but could yet make a belated burst for a Test spot. Leigh Halfpenny, however, looks like he might have that sewn up already
  • 10:40
    We're almost underway, here. Sexton to get the ball rolling.
  • 10:41
    1 min: Will Skelton fields and Paul O'Connnell is the first to him, hanging out of  his leg like a rabid dog.
  • 10:42
    Zebo!!!!!

    Simon Zebo's first touch looks like it could be a try but the TMO is on  it.
  • 10:44
    Bizarre opening exchanges, as Zebo is set free down the line by Jonathan Davies but his foot was just dragged into touch in the tackle. What a perfect start that would have been for the debutant.
  • 10:45
    Halfpenny gets the Lions off the mark after a tip tackle from Rob Horne.
  • 10:46
    It's been a solid start from the Lions, a lively opening, but the Waratahs look to hit back through Drew Mitchell
  • 10:47
    The former Aussie back is leaving for Toulon this summer. 

    Foley hit very hard by Aluyn Wyn Jones and the hosts have been forced back after a lively restart.
  • 10:49
    Try Lions. Try Sexton!!!!

    Davies again the provider and this time there is no doubt as the Irishman touches down in the corner. No sign of hamstring trouble there has he sprinted over.

    Good work from him early in the move and he tracked the play well as Zebo fed Davies and Welshman took the tackle and popped it inside to Sexton 
  • 10:49
    Halfpenny unerring from the touchline.  10-0 Lions
  • 10:51
    Waratahs up to the 10m line but they're penalised for holding on and Sexton will clear. Mitchell has been impressive for them so far, but the Lions look really on their game this morning.
  • 10:52
    Zebo involved twice after a rolling maul plunders its way downfield, but Roberts knocks on when it looks like the Lions were in for a second.
  • 10:52
    That was in fact MItchell who forced Roberts into that fumble.  Scrum Waratahs
  • 10:54
    Lions penalised at the scrum and the Waratahs clear down the line through Bernard Foley.
  • 10:55
    14 min:  The Lions have it back but Zebo is dragged into touch and the Waratahs take it quick across at their 22
  • 10:57
    Try Waratahs. Try Carter!!!

    5-10 after a stunning crossfield kick from Foley, which may or may ot have been intentional, Betham gathers, evades Maitland, and pops it inside to Carter who sprints home ahead of Zebo.

    Game on 
  • 11:00
    Scrumhalf McKibbin converts for Waratahs.

    Sexton took a knock prior to that but he's back on his feet.
  • 11:01
    Lovely break from Zebo, good strart from him, into the 22. Penalty Lions and Halfpenny will shoot at goal.
  • 11:02
    As ever, he makes no mistake and lead is back to six for the visitors. 7-13  

    It has been a really promising start to life in a Lions shirt for Zebo. There's 20 minutes gone and he's already given himself a chance of a Test start here.
  • 11:04
    Waratahs asking serious questions about this Lions defence now and Warburton is trod on before Adam Jones is penalised for tackling a player without the ball.  

    Foley has gone for the corner and the home crowd like it.
  • 11:06
    Oh, big Will Skelton loses it forward after a quick lineout ball. He gathered and powered over the line but spilled it after crossing the whitewash while under pressure
  • 11:06
    Scrum Lions and Heaslip feeds Roberts before MIke Phillips clears.
  • 11:07
    Jonathan Davies spots a gap but he's collared just when he saw daylight.
  • 11:09
    Penalty Lions after some interference with Phillips, it seems, and the referee insists he'll have no more of it.

    Halfpenny boots another one over.

    Warburton and Tom Youngs leading the tackle count
  • 11:10

    The captain is proving some doubters wrong thus far. He's had a very effective impact on this game so far.

  • 11:11
    Waratahs have recovered, however, and have actuallu had 52 per cent of the possession.
  • 11:13
    30 min:  Phillips puts one high, fantastic catch from Zebo, complete with elbow to the head for Mitchell and the Lions kick ahead again

    It's taken back over the line and Lions have a 5m scrum.
  • 11:13
    The ball spills loose, however, and a Waratahs boot clears. Sexton gathers but they've lost alot of ground here.
  • 11:15
    The Lions come again but it's lost forward and cleared by the Waratahs, Halfpenny finds touch with his clearing kick.
  • 11:16
    Tom Youngs caught off his feet on the wrong side and the Waratahs and McKibbin have a sight of the posts.
  • 11:17
    Born in Scotland, this fella. But he still scores. 10-16 Lions
  • 11:19
    22 drop out for the Waratahs after Halfpenny's kick just keeps going.

    And the Waratahs win it bak at the breakdown after their restart.  Crawford burst down the wing and the Lions are scrambling.
  • 11:21
    Mitchell, whose offload to Crawford minutes ago was sublie, feeds number eight David Dennis but the big man stopped by Roberts and holds on. Lions clear.
  • 11:22
    39th min

    Lions claim and flash it out wide, making ground to the 22, Zebo involved and O'Connell. 

     
  • 11:23
    Try Lions. Try Halfpenny!!

    Great work from Heaslip, Jones and O'Connell before Sexton's pass out wide to Davies opens up the corner for the Welshman to send his compatriot in.
  • 11:24
    And it's over from Halfpenny. Another scorching kick from the touchline.
  • 11:35
    Great half of rugby, that, and an excellent 40 minutes from Simon Zebo, who popped up everywhere and looked to be at his elusive best. What he undoubtedly lacks, however, is that brute strength of North, Bowe and Cuthbert, and it was eveident on one or two occasions there.
  • 11:36
    Foley gets us back underway.
  • 11:37
    And the outhalf cuts through two tackles when returning the Lions' clearance kick. Waratahs move it up field through Mitchell and Skelton, among others.
  • 11:38
    The homeside penalised for blocking, however, and Sexton finds touch.
  • 11:39
    Heaslip gathers and Warburton takses it on as the Lions look to build a platform
  • 11:41
    Try Lions! Try Halfpenny!!

    Once again Jonathan Sexton's pass is crucial as he arrives late, takes the tackle and pops inside to Davies, who finds Halfpenny on his shoulder with exquisite timing and the fullback belts over the whitewash.

    And then converst for good measure. 10-30 
  • 11:42
    The Waratahs win penalty immediately in reply and this looks dangerous in the corner.
  • 11:44
    TRY!!???

    We're not sure, checking for knock on. Nothing wrong with the grounding from Carter, but skelton might have knocked on.
  • 11:45
    No, he didn't, and that's some reply from the Waratahs and great play from Skelton and Carter, for the latter's second try of the game.
  • 11:45
    17-30 to the Lions now after McKibbin's conversion. Lovely kick.

     
  • 11:46
    Quite a scuffle after that try that rather worryingly culminated in Sexton emerging from under a pile of blue shirts. Shade of ROG back in 2001 but no claret, thankfully.
  • 11:47
    Alun Wyn Jones gathers a Lions lineout and Heaslip takes. Penalty Lions after a positive maul from the pack. And Sexton finds touch.
  • 11:48
    50th min:

    That's the Ireland outhalf's last involvement as Farrell replaces the number 10. 
  • 11:50
    Heaslip and Jones again combine to drive it into the Waratahs 22 and the homeside are penalised for offside.  Easy three-pointer for Halfpenny here.
  • 11:51
    And with that kick, he overtakes O'Gara as the record Lions pointscorer in one match with 28 points
  • 11:53
    Zebo bodychecked by hooker John Ulugia, who gets a talking to and nothing more. Farrell to find touch just over halfway.
  • 11:56
    Try Lions. Try Croft!!!

    It's a beauty from the backrower. Davies intercepts and makes good ground, Halfpenny feeds Croft out wide and his hand off on Kingston is perfect before he sprints over in the corner.

    Halfpenny can't miss, it seems. 
  • 11:57
    That was Croft's fifth Lions try and a timely one so soon ahead of the first Test.
  • 11:58
    Waratahs haven't lay down just yet and a penalty sees them into the Lions 22 via the boot of McKibbin. Lions not rolling away that time
  • 11:59
    Foley feeds Kingston and Crawford is almost over in the corner but he's lost it forward.
    Called back for a Waratahs penalty and McKibbins hits the corner again.
  • 12:01
    Croft robs the lineout ball and Phillips clears. Quick lineout taken by Waratahs as the Lions prepare to empty the bench.

    Zebo takes it into contact and is penalised for not releasing. Got a little isolated there.
  • 12:02
    Seven changes as Croft, Phillips, ..... forget that

    Crawford bursts through the Lions cover and Horne arrives at pace to keep the attack alive.
  • 12:03
    Another unfortunate knock on for Skelton, though. Scrum Lions under their own posts.

    O'Connell led the tackle count on 11 until his departure.
  • 12:06
    64th min: Kearney is one of those on the pitch now and he chases Farrell's up and under. Mitchell claims initially but the Lions have it back and Farrell's crossfield kick to the corner for Zebo just sits up for Horne to gather and touch down.  Scrum Lions.
  • 12:07
    Penalty Lions after scrum collapses, and they opt for another scrum under the posts.
  • 12:08
    Well, after a little messing around, Corbisiero is pinged for hinging and the Waratahs clear their lines.
  • 12:10
    Fantastic steal in the lineout from Parling and Heaslip strides back into the Waratahs 22 and keeps it alive.
  • 12:11
    Farrell feeds Davies, who pops to Kearey but he's snagged. Goes wide again from Davies, lovely pass, to Maitland but it's a dead end for him and the pass to Zebo finds a Waratah hand.
  • 12:15
    Try Lions!! Try Davies!! 17-45

    After Ben Youngs's break around the fringe, Davies was left all alone on teh wing and the recycled ball sets him off down the line as he strolls over.

    The least he's deserved in this game. Man of the match for me. 
  • 12:15
    The bad news is Jamie Roberts has gone off looking rather worried about the hamstring he appears to nursing.
  • 12:17
    74th min:  Penalty Lions after scrum collapsed on halfway. Farrell heads to the corner.
  • 12:18

    Hibbard goes long on the throw and that's the first lineout they've lost.

  • 12:18
    The Waratahs try to get out of their half. Again Mitchell is the focus of their attack.
  • 12:21
    Farrell's kick in behind is a little too hopeful. Two minutes left.
  • 12:22
    Already a record score for the Lions, but the Waratahs have been good. They have run out of steam in the second half and obviously didn't have the same quality off the bench.
  • 12:22
    But they've turned it over and could be in here
  • 12:25
    Nope, Horne sets AJ Gilbert free but he's stopped under the posts and the Lions snaffle possession. Youngs kicks it out of play and whistle sounds for full time.

    Impressive performance, but one with plenty of pens at the breakdown and a worrying injury to Jamie Roberts. 

    Davies looks to be growing into this tour nicely, though.
  • 12:28
    "We hung in there, we played some good rugby, but they're a quality team," said Waratahs captain Dennis.
  • 14:15