Tourists lack bite but claim narrow win in first test

Emmet Riordan Sat, Jun 22
British & Irish Lions
LIVE: Lions

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  • 10:20
    Good morning and welcome to The Irish Times’ live coverage of the first test between Australia and the British and Irish Lions from Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

    As Paul O’Connell says in Gerry Thornley’s preview, it’s a “shot at forever” for these players as they try and set the tone for the series.

    And in a Lions jersey, it’s a last shot at forever in the famous red jersey for Brian O’Driscoll on his fourth and final tour.

    Gerry Thornley talked to the Irish legend during the week and found a player enjoying life on tour and being a leader without being captain.

    If the nerves are getting the better of you, laughter may be a distraction and there's plenty of that in Andy Bull's look at the antics from Lions tours of old.

    The age-old motto of “what goes on tour, stays on tour” may be a good one, but when the japes are as crazy as those of Irishman Blair 'Paddy' Mayne back in 1938, well then they were never going to remain under wraps.

    Oh and there’s Willie John in his underpants, smoking a pipe. You can read all about it here.

  • 10:26
  • 10:29

    New Zealand have beaten France 24-9 in New Plymouth and we are just 30 minutes away from kick-off in Brisbane. 

  • 10:32
    "All you have sacrificed has brought you here. This is the moment," Willie John McBride tells us.
  • 10:41

    And here are the teams for today's game.

    Australia: Berrick Barnes; Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Christian Leali’ifano, Digby Ioane; James O’Connor, Will Genia; Benn Robinson, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander, Kane Douglas, James Horwill, Ben Mowen, Michael Hooper, Wycliff Palu.

    Replacements: Saia Fainga'a, James Slipper, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, Liam Gill, Nick Phipps, Pat McCabe, Kurtley Beale.

    British & Irish Lions: Leigh Halfpenny; Alex Cuthbert, Brian O’Driscoll, Jonathan Davies, George North;  Jonathan Sexton, Mike Phillips; Alex Corbisiero, Tom Youngs, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Paul O’Connell, Tom Croft, Sam Warburton(capt), Jamie Heaslip.

    Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Makovina Vunipola, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Dan Lydiate, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Sean Maitland.

    Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)

  • 10:43
    Brian O'Driscoll recalling his famous try at the Gabba last time around, it's amazing how good his memory of the score is considering all those big hits since.
  • 10:45
    Jason Robinson on the sideline and he looks fit enough to run out and play. Although the red slippers might not be the best idea.
  • 10:52
  • 10:57
    Less than 10 minutes to kick-off and we want to hear two things from you. What's your prediction and where are you watching the game? Are you in Brissy, down the pub finishing off the breakfast or stuck in work. Use our comment section or tweet me @emmetrd
  • 10:59

    Four Irish Lions in action today and what an amazing story that Paul O'Connell takes his place in the secondrow after it looked like his career was over not that long ago. What a man.

  • 11:00
    Ben Mowen makes his debut for Australia and also wins the award for the best name for a backrow forward.
  • 11:00
    And here come the Lions to a massive roar in Brisbane.
  • 11:01
    Terence In work lads, so thanks for keeping us updated.... lions to win
  • 11:02
    And Australia are on the pitch too and I reckon Lions' fans made much more noise there.
  • 11:04
    Advance Australia Fair being belted out in Brisbane.
  • 11:04
    Ger reidy In Spain in maras shamrock bar
  • 11:04
    Man he held that note for a long time at the end.
  • 11:05
    Plenty of focus on the Irish players on Sky and Sexton is the key man for me.
  • 11:05
    And we are underway in Brisbane.
  • 11:06
    First lineout to the Lions and this will be key.
  • 11:07
    Heaslip takes it but Christian Leali’ifano has taken a bad knock in midfield.
  • 11:07
    He looks like he has been knocked out in the first minute of his debut.
  • 11:08
    Seems like he got his head in the wrong position against Jonathan Davies and the medical team is on the pitch.
  • 11:08
    Just 53 seconds on the clock and Pat McCabe is preparing to come on to the pitch as an early replacement.
  • 11:09
    Changes the Australia gameplan says Stuart Barnes and a big blow to the home side.
  • 11:09
    Leali’ifano gives a thumbs up as he leaves the pitch and that is a relief.
  • 11:10
    And the Lions have the scrum.
  • 11:10
    And the first reset.
  • 11:10
    And a second one, hopefully this will settle down.
  • 11:11
    Pitch is a bit of a worry and referee Chris Pollock gives Australia a free kick.
  • 11:11
    And the Lions win the ball back and Sexton makes a half-break.
  • 11:12
    Penalty against O'Driscoll following Sexton's cross-field kick.
  • 11:13
    Pollock judged that BOD was not on his feet when he played the ball.
  • 11:14
    5 mins - MISSED PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: James O'Connor missesbut it was a decent attempt
  • 11:15
    And Australia win another penalty and Sam Warburton and O'Driscoll are being talked to by the ref.
  • 11:15
    O'Driscoll is annoyed that he has been pinged again.
  • 11:16
    7 mins - MISSED PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: And O'Connor is wide again, poor start from the outhalf.
  • 11:17
    So the Lions now know that they will have to be very careful at the breakdown as Pollock is a stickler.
  • 11:17
    And a free-kick to the Lions and they go with the scrum.
  • 11:18
    And that's a great shove from the Lions' pack, big moment there.
  • 11:18
    And Sexton kicks to the corner.
  • 11:19
    And Youngs goes to Heaslip at the front again and they go wide.
  • 11:20
    Great work from the Lions' forwards here as they attack inside the Australia 22.
  • 11:21
    Great hands from O'Driscoll but Halfpennt is smothered in the tackle.
  • 11:23
    13 mins - TRY - AUSTRALIA: Australia turn the ball over and Will Genia storms up the pitch before putting Israel Folau in for the try.
  • 11:23
    Great kick through by Genia and that's a disaster for the Lions as the Wallabies run the length of the pitch.
  • 11:24
    15 mins - CONVERSION AUSTRALIA: O'Connor knocks over the kick.
  • 11:25
    Alex Corbisiero requires attention on the pitch.
  • 11:27

    Sexton takes the aerial route but Genia collects the ball.

  • 11:27
    And Alex Cuthbert slips and knocks on from Genia's kick. Lions making mistakes here.
  • 11:28
    And Corbisiero getting more attention.
  • 11:29
    Calf problem for the English loosehead and that is a big worry.
  • 11:30
    Sexton does some great work with the choke tackle and the Lions have the scru.m
  • 11:31
    Paul On the train going to watch the game in hazy Singapore
  • 11:32
    22 mins: Pat McCabe done for offside as Mike Phillips launched a high kick.
  • 11:33
    Sexton kicks to touch and O'Connell takes a good catch.
  • 11:34
    It's a penalty to the Lions and skipper Warburton decides to go for goal.
  • 11:35
    24 mins - PENALTY - LIONS: Leigh Halfpenny is right down the middle with the kick.
  • 11:35
    Doyler Oh Man..I'm subjected to Aussie commentators here in Dubai.
  • 11:36
    Genia under the high ball again, rock solid so far.
  • 11:36
    26 mins - TRY LIONS: George North with a brilliant try in the corner.
  • 11:37
    Well you can see why Gatland wanted the big Welshman on the pitch, what a try.
  • 11:37
    Even has time to point at Genia on the way in.
  • 11:38
    27 mins - CONVERSION - LIONS: Cuthbert with a cracker from the sideline.
  • 11:39
    12 years on from Brian O'Driscoll's try at the Gabba, we now have a try from George North that will be replayed for years to come, left the Aussie defence for dead.
  • 11:39
    Maoilíosa Sitting in hotel in Shrewsbury. Shouldn't have assumed they'd have Sky Sports here. Thanks for the coverage IT
  • 11:40
    Lions on top now as Brian O'Driscoll chases Genia into touch after Davies's kick.
  • 11:40
    Brian Following the blog here in Sana'a, Yemen......roar on lads..!
  • 11:41
    30 mins: North goes over in the corner but it's with the TMO.
  • 11:42
    North runs over Genia from Phillips's pass and this could be his second try.
  • 11:43
    Looks like his left elbow touched the corner flag and Folau has his hand under the ball.
  • 11:43
    No try and ball is in touch.
  • 11:43
    brian cronin in Spain come on you boyos!!!
  • 11:44

    They go back to penalty and Halfpenny lines it up.

  • 11:44
    32 mins - PENALTY - LIONS: Halfpenny is good again and that's a 6-point lead for the Lions.
  • 11:46
    Folau shows his Aussie Rules skills on the right wing by taking a great kick from Genia.
  • 11:46
    Declan O'Brien Greetings from New York. No coverage so thanks for the blog
  • 11:46
    Rory Come on Lions do us proud!
  • 11:47
    35 mins: TRY - AUSTRALIA: And Folau's debut gets better as he gets over, but they are checking for a forward pass.
  • 11:48
    Ball has come out of the hands backwards so the try is good.
  • 11:49
    35 mins - MISSED CONVERSION: O'Connor misses his third kick and this is a real problem for Australia.
  • 11:51
    Crossing between Davies and O'Driscoll and Australia go to touch with the penalty.
  • 11:52
    39 mins: Horrible collision between Folou and Barnes on the sideline.
  • 11:53
    And Folou's shoulder catches Barnes under his chin. Nasty blow for a player who has suffered badly with concussions.
  • 11:54
    Kurtley Beale to replace Barnes as the fullback is stretchered off.
  • 11:55
    40 mins: Penalty to the Lions after some great backline play.
  • 11:57
    40 mins: MISSED PENALTY - LIONS: Halfpenny is right and wide with the final kick of the first half.
  • 11:58
    So a 1-point game after a great first half in Brisbane. The final play of the half could, and probably should, have seen Aussie No 8 Wycliff Palu sent to the sin-bin for coming over the top of a ruck, but the second half will start with 15 players on each side.
  • 12:06
    Brian Cronin in Spain trhanks for the great blog guys, but could you give us an idea of how far out from opp line are the touches and penalties?
  • 12:06
    noel mcloughney Here in Saudie, cant see the match so following the blog. Goooooo Lions
  • 12:06
    Anne Come on the boys in RED - from Anne in 'er bed!!!
  • 12:07

    I'll do that in the second half Brian.

  • 12:08
    Players back on the pitch and Scott Quinnell believes the LIE-INS must play as a 15 in the second half to come out on top.
  • 12:09
    And Kurtley Beale gets the game underway.
  • 12:09
    Terence Seems like a tight first half, and it looks like oconnor left his kicking boots at home. Thanks for the great match report
  • 12:11
    Genia's kick goes out on the full and the Lions have a lineout on half-way.
  • 12:11
    Australia's pack earns a lineout after Heaslip is put into touch.
  • 12:12
    Beale is seeing a lot of the ball at the start of the second half, but the Lions win the ball back.
  • 12:14
    Great play from Heaslip to win the ball back, even if he was on the wrong side.
  • 12:15
    Cue Ball In the French wilderness burning up my data roaming on your live blog Come on the lions
  • 12:15
    I'll write small words Cue Ball to save you some money.
  • 12:16
    Knock-on from McCabe and it has been a scrappy start to the second half from both sides.
  • 12:17
    And McCabe stays down and Australia are struggling with just scrumhalf Nick Phipps left on the bench.
  • 12:18
    And Liam Gill is warming up with Michael Hooper set to move to inside centre.
  • 12:18
    Shades of Peter O'Mahony having to play on the right wing for Ireland in Rome.
  • 12:19
    Lions win a penalty at the scrum and Sexton  goes down the line to the Aussie 22.
  • 12:20
    49 mins - TRY LIONS: Alex Cuthbert exploits the Aussie midfield to go over under.
  • 12:21
    And the Lions exploit Aussie problems in midfield to devatating effect. Looking at a decoy run and block from O'Driscoll.
  • 12:21
    No clear and obvious obstruction and the try is GOOD.
  • 12:22
    50 MINS - Conversion is good from Halfpenny.
  • 12:23
    Lions give away a penalty on their 22 and Australia can bounce back on the scoreboard.
  • 12:24
    51 mins - PENALTY AUSTRALIA: O'Connor knocks over a kick from the 22 and it's a 5-point game.
  • 12:25
    Dan Cole and Makovina Vunipola on for Corbisiero and Adam Jones as Lions change their two props
  • 12:26
    And the Lions lose another decision at the breakdown as Bealetakes the kick to touch.
  • 12:28
    Aussie prop Benn Robinson makes a great break but Heaslip gets back to cover and win the ball back.
  • 12:28
    Front rows slip and it's a reset scrum.
  • 12:29
    Dricky74 Irish boys all showing up well.....
  • 12:30
    Forward pass from Tom Croft ends a great attacking position for the Lions on the left wing.
  • 12:30
    Heaslip playing a big game here and is involved in everything.
  • 12:31
    Sekope Kepu on for Ben Alexander at tighthead for Australia.
  • 12:32
    Mike Phillips offside from the clearance kick and Beale finds touch inside the Lions' half.
  • 12:34
    61 mins: Heaslip penalised and it's a penalty about 45 metres out.
  • 12:34

    Kurtley Beale will have a crack at it.

  • 12:35
    Grabs a few extra inches.
  • 12:35
    62 mins - PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: Beale knocks it over and it's now just a 2-point game.
  • 12:36
    Ben Youngs replaces Phillips, who has not had a great night in Brisbane.
  • 12:37
    64 mins: Lovely kick and catch from sexton, who offloads to Paul O'Connell as the Lions attack.
  • 12:37
    64 mins: Pressure tells as Lions are awarded a penalty from the 22 on the right side of the pitch.
  • 12:38
    Richard Hibbard on for Tom Youngs
  • 12:39
    66 mins - PENALTY LIONS: Halfpenny is good and it's back to a 5-point game. Australia 18 Lions 23.
  • 12:40
    67 mins: What a run from Beale into the Lions' 22.
  • 12:40
    And the penalty goes to Australia.
  • 12:41

    Good tackle from Halfpenny to stop Beale.

  • 12:41
    68 mins: PENALTY AUSTRALIA: Beale makes the kick and that's all his own work
  • 12:42
    Beale has been the key player in this second half and this will be some last 11 minutes.
  • 12:44

    Great choke tackle from North and scrum to Lions inside the Aussie 22.

  • 12:44
    Came from a great up and under from Sexton which landed just outside the 22.
  • 12:44
    Brian Harmon Cmon australia
  • 12:45
    Declan O'Brien Sounds like we're getting into "squeaky bum" time now!
  • 12:45
    Geoff Parling on for Wyn Jones
  • 12:45
    Genia robs the Lions scrum and Australia now on the attack.
  • 12:47
    Vital moment in the game as the Lions lose their own scrum and Genia makes them pay. with a steal and a great kick to Folau
  • 12:48
    Scrum in the middle of the park and Lydiate on for Croft at blindside.
  • 12:48
    74 mins: And Australia win the penalty.
  • 12:49
    And Beale is lining it up as the breakdown costs the Lions again.
  • 12:50
    75 mins - MISSED PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: Beale's kick   is right and wide.
  • 12:51
    And the Lions get away that time but their discipline needs to be much better in the closing minutes with just 2 points between the sides.
  • 12:52
    Lions get the put-in as Horwill loses the ball forward.
  • 12:52
    Paul O'Connell getting some treatment but he's back up.
  • 12:53
    Nick Phipps on for Adam Ashley-Cooper, who has played the last 5 minutes with a dislocated shoulder.
  • 12:53
    77 mins: Lions keping this in the pack and running down the clock.
  • 12:53
    Declan O'Brien "Squeaker and squeaker"!
  • 12:54
    Gatland and Howley can't look as the clock winds down.
  • 12:54
    79 mins: Pollock gives Australia a penalty at the scrum, massive call.
  • 12:55
    48 metres out and Beale is lining up the kick.
  • 12:56
    80th minute: PENALTY - AUSTRALIA: Beale  slips and the kick is short
  • 12:56
    And that's FULL-TIME.
  • 12:57
    What drama on the whistle as Beale standing foot goes from under him on the poor surface and the first test goes to the Lions.
  • 12:58

    Beale, the bad boy of Australian rugby (well, one of them) had a shot at redemption there, so you have to feel a little sorry for him, Just a little I said.

  • 12:59
    The missed kicks cost Australia, who despite losing 3 of their backline to injury were right in the game and should really have won.
  • 13:00
    The crowd cheer Lions skipper Sam Warburton. "Way too close for comfort," says the Welshman.
  • 13:00
    Declan O'Brien Phew! Great blog. Lived every agonising minute of it!,
  • 13:02

    Gatland is up now. Disappointed at the game management but happy with scrum and lineout in the first half.

  • 13:04

    "A couple of system errors," says Gatland about the few breaks from the Australians. "We probably played a bit too much rugby in the first half."

  • 13:04
    Brian B-boston Thanks for the blog, lucky but great win
  • 13:05
    In truth Gatland looks a relieved man after the ending to the game. Talks about the times as Welsh coach when he has been on the end of last-minute defeats to Australia.
  • 13:05
    Brendan mc g Great game well done lions
  • 13:05
    Siobhan Gaffney C'mon the lions!!!
  • 13:07
    Well not a great game of rugby, but as exciting as it comes and the nails took a right chewing at the end. Gerry Thornley will be filing his report from Brisbane very soon so check for his take on the Lions' victory.
  • 13:09
    "Panic running," is how George North describes his try, while Cuthbert says his try was "straight off the training paddock".
  • 13:09
    Brian Cronin en España Estupendo!! Muy bien chicos!!!! Here's to No.2 Test, but they'll need to sharpen up. Bring on Zebo and Murryay!
  • 13:58
    Brian P Great win. Gatland will want to be more careful with his relacements for the second test
  • 14:04
    Right folks, we have a full package on the match up on the website, led off with Gerry Thornley's match report from Brisbane. The after-match quotes come from some relieved Lions players and see if you agree with the player ratings.  
  • 14:07
    That's all from us until Tuesday and the final midweek game against the Melbourne Rebels. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.