Australia v Lions

Lions get first series win in 16 years after beating Australia 41-16 in Sydney

John O'Sullivan Sat, Jul 6
LIVE: Australia v Lions

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  • 10:46

    Good morning and welcome to the blog for the third and deciding test match between Australia and the Lions. John O'Sullivan here and I'll be taking you through the morning's (night-time if you are in the Southern Hemisphere) events in Sydney. The series os declicately poised at 1-1 and today will decide who gets to keep the Tom 'Rusty' Richards trophy.

  • 10:48
    Brian O'Driscoll's omission has dominated ther week's headlines and over the next 80 plus minutes we're about to find out just how much they'll miss him.
  • 10:50
    Here are the teams for today's game.

    Australia: K Beale (Melbourne Rebels); I Folau (NSW Waratahs), A Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), C Leali’ifano (Brumbies), J Tomane (Brumbies); J O’Connor (Melbourne Rebels), W Genia (Queensland Reds); B Robinson (NSW Waratahs), S Moore (Brumbies), B Alexander (Brumbies), K Douglas (NSW Waratahs), J Horwill (Queensland Reds, capt), B Mowen (Brumbies), G Smith (Brumbies), W Palu (NSW Waratahs).
    Replacements: S Fainga’a (Queensland Reds), J Slipper (Queensland Reds), S Kepu (NSW Waratahs), R Simmons (Queensland Reds), B McCalman (Western Force), M Hooper (NSW Waratahs), N Phipps (Melbourne Rebels), J Mogg (Brumbies).
    Lions: L Halfpenny (Wales); T Bowe (Ireland), J Davies (Wales), J Roberts (Wales), G North (Wales); J Sexton (Ireland), M Phillips (Wales); A Corbisiero (England), R Hibbard (Wales), A Jones (Wales), A-W Jones (Wales, capt), G Parling (England), D Lydiate (Wales), S O’Brien (Ireland), Toby Faletau (Wales).
    Replacements: T Youngs (England), M Vunipola (England), D Cole (England), R Gray (Scotland), J Tipuric (Wales), C Murray (Ireland), O Farrell (England), M Tuilagi (England).
    Referee: Romain Poite (France).
    Assistant referees: Chris Pollock (New Zealand) and Craig Joubert (South Africa).

  • 10:53
    Here are a few statistics to pore over ahead of the kick-off, which incidentally is about 12 minutes away.

    The teams have met on 22 occasions — the Lions lead the series 16-6.
    * The current Test series between Australia and the Lions is the third in a row between the teams that has gone to a deciding game, emulating the 1989 and 2001 tours.
    * The Lions have not won a Test series since they beat South Africa 2-1 in 1997.
    * Wales lock Alun-Wyn Jones will captain the Lions for the first time in a Test match tomorrow.
    * Jones is joined by five colleagues — Leigh Halfpenny, Jonathan Davies, George North, Jonathan Sexton and Adam Jones — as the only Lions to start all three 2013 Tests against Australia.
    * Halfpenny needs 13 points tomorrow to equal Neil Jenkins’ record of 41 in a Lions series, which he achieved 16 years ago.
    * Jones will be the seventh different player named to captain a Lions team on the current tour, following Paul O’Connell, Brian O’Driscoll, Sam Warburton, Geoff Parling, Dan Lydiate and Rory Best.
    * Four of Australia’s six wins against the Lions have been achieved in Sydney, venue for tomorrow’s encounter.
    * Australia flanker George Smith will return to international rugby tomorrow almost four years after he last played in a Test match.
    * Other than New Zealand, only two teams have beaten Australia at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium — England and Samoa.

  • 10:54
    You have just enough time to read Gerry Thornley's match preview here.
  • 10:54
    Gerry's match report will be up on-line about half an hour after the final whistle.
  • 10:57
    Matt Williams raised some interesting points in his column today. He believes that Australia will win.
  • 10:59
    What the Lions would give to have some of their injured players available, notably the 2009 captain Paul O'Connell and his successor Sam Warburton.
  • 11:00
    Australia have gone for a 6-2 split on the bench, perhaps taking into consideration George Smith's knee. He returns to international rugby after a four year absence.

    Here come the Lions.
  • 11:01
    Lions is a huddle as Australia take the pitch.
  • 11:02
    The Wallabies run on to a deafening ovation.
  • 11:03
    It's nearly time for Advance Australia Fair. Then the verbal shadow boxing, conjecture and selection debate will be over; it'll be  time for actions not words.  
  • 11:05
    It's time to go.
  • 11:06
    LIons to kick-off through Jonathan Sexton.
  • 11:06
    Will Genia drops the kick-off. Lions scrum 30 metres out.
  • 11:07

    Sorry make that 18 metres out.

  • 11:08
    TRY: Corbisiero.
  • 11:10
    Lions get a free-kick from the scrum, Mike Phillips to Tommy Bowe, who beats the first tackle, three rucks later including a muscular carry from Sean O'Brien and Alex Corbisiero forces his way over from a metre. Leigh Halfpenny pops over the conversion.
  • 11:10
    The tourists get the perfect start.
  • 11:13
    Australia get a penalty and kick to touch. O'Brien makes two great tackles in the one sequence of play. Clash of heads between George Smith and Richard Hibbard/Alun Wynn Jones. Smith looks groggy and is taken off to be assessed after just four minutes of his return.
  • 11:14
    Superb jackal work by O'Brien at the breakdown after a wonderful tackle by his fellow backrow Dan Lydiate. Penalty Lions. Halfpenny from the halfway line.
  • 11:15
    PENALTY: Halfpenny.

    Wonderful strike.
  • 11:17
    Really silly concession of a penalty by Wyn Jones from the kick-off. James Horwill points to the posts. Christian Leali'ifano makes no mistake.

    Australia 3 Lions 10
  • 11:18
    Smith must be made of granite; he's back and Michael Hooper returns to the bench. Australia have gifted the Lions an excellent start through their own mistakes rather than any creativity on the part of the touists.
  • 11:19
    Right on cue, Australian loosehead prop Benn Robinson is penalised at a scrum. Halfpenny, from the Wallabies 10 metre line.
  • 11:20
    PENALTY: Halfpenny.

    Australia 3 Lions 13
  • 11:21
    The Lions' pack  has dominated the opening 15 minutes. Australia's indiscipline is killing them. Another free-kick conceded at a scrum.
  • 11:22
    Brilliant up and under from Sexton. Right on the money but Jonathan Davies knocks on when contesting in the air.
  • 11:24
    Australian put-in at scrum but they are eviscerated and the Lions get another penalty. Corbisiero, Hibbard and Adam Jones have their opposite numbers on toast.

    PENALTY: Halfpenny

    Australia 3 Lions 16
  • 11:28
    Halfpenny penalised for not releasing at a ruck. Kurtley Beale goes down the touchline again. That's six points, potentially, they have turned down.

    Huge tackle from George North on Izzy Folau. Good work by Sexton. Lions scrum.
  • 11:28
    First quarter of the match is over and the Lions are utterly dominant.
  • 11:32
    Australia are doing exactly what the Lions did in the first two tests. They're kicking away too much possession. They're not putting the recipient under pressure. They seem nervous and unsure and unless they start playing rugby, the Lions greater physicality is going to previal. Great left footed kick to the corner from Davies. Australia go quickly. O'Brien collects loose Aussie pass but Bowe knocks on from an unsympathetic offload.
  • 11:34
    First glimpse of O'Driscoll in crowd after 23 minutes.

    This is turning into a horror show for the Aussies. They concede another penalty at the scrum and this time tighthead prop Ben Alexander receives a yellow card.

    PENALTY: Halfpenny

    Australia 3 LIons 19
  • 11:34
    Andrea Hammond Haven't seen a rugby contest like this since the world cup!
  • 11:36
    Great thinking from Sexton, who puts his left leg over the dead ball line from James O'Connor's punt through. Scrum back.
  • 11:37
    Folau gone, hamstring injury. Jesse Mogg is on.
  • 11:38
    Sekope Kefu on so George Smith has to be sacrificed.
  • 11:42
    Sexton misses snap drop goal after Lions go through 25 phases. They're getting quick, front foot ball unlike the first two test matches.
  • 11:42
    Donagh G Anyone know a site that is streaming game to USA?
  • 11:44
    Wyn Jones is absolutely outstanding. He's covered every blade of grass and his handling skills are superb.  

    Great tap tackle by Geoff Parling on Mogg, who had raced through a gap and was bearing down on LIons 22.
  • 11:45
    Stephen L Power power power. It is horrible to watch. No creativity, no guile. It is like watching a heavyweight sparring with a feather weight. A truly bad advert for the game. How could anybody support that or be happy watching it. Utterly boring.
  • 11:46
    Earthworm_Jimbo Here ya go Donagh:
  • 11:47
    Take your point Stephen. It's all about the win and unless Australia solve their scrum issues, the LIons are gong to coast home.
  • 11:48
    O'Brien penalised for a high tackle. That's the fourth time the Aussies have declined a shot at the posts. They've done nothing from the three previous punts down the touchline.  
  • 11:49
    Another Aussie penalty, this time inside the Lions 22. They go to the corner.
  • 11:51
    That's the fifth time they have declined a shot at goal. Australia get to within a couple of metres from the Lions' line. It's a scrum to the Wallabies. Not what they want.
  • 11:52
    O'Brien has made 11 tackles in a brilliant opening 40 minutes, six more than any other Lions' player.
  • 11:53
    The half-time hooter has gone but we're going to play out this scrum to the finish. We are on a third re-set.
  • 11:53
    TRY: O'Connor
  • 11:55
    He steps inside Sexton and O'Brien to score under the posts. Leali'ifano adds the conversion. The Lions coach Gatland will be livid.

    Australia 10 LIons 19
  • 11:56
    That's just breathed some life back into this contest. There was a lack of concentration from the tourists perspective in defending that last scrum. Credit though to O'Connor, who showed great feet and strength.
  • 11:57
    The fact that Kepu has stayed on after Alexander's yellow card has brought a little more stability to the Aussie scrum.
  • 11:58

    The scrum is the one area that's killing the home side. All the Lions points, including the try have come from that facet of the game. Lions, despite getting quick front foot ball, are showing precious little subtlety or creativity. It's all about power and while the end will justify the means it's pretty turgid from the Lions in an attacking capacity.

  • 11:59
    Briano On a train from Vienna to Ljubljana. WiFi is patchy. This is killing me not being able to watch. Thanks for the updates!
  • 12:03
    Grem This is just bastardised rugby league. Does anyone remember Blanco or Geoghegan running any which way instead of knocking holes through walls. I fear for rugby. Taking the flair out of the game
  • 12:07

    I don't expect much to change from the Lions. The aesthetics in terms of the rugby being played by the Lions are pretty dull and uninspiring but the Lions management and players won't care one whit if they get the win. Can't see them changing away from the power game.

  • 12:08
    Lydiate penalised from the re-start at the ruck. Leali'ifano has a chance from the LIons' 10 metre line. Huge kick in the context of the match.
  • 12:09
    PENALTY: Leali'ifano

    Australia 13 LIons 19
  • 12:09
    LTimm Great performance by o'brien and Wynn jones, Davies defence dodgy, o'driscolls brain more than anything else in the 2nd half, panic decision to drop dricco
  • 12:11
    Great piece of skill from Beale, chip over the top and regather. Sexton takes the ball into touch inside the Lions 22.
  • 12:12
    Lions penalised for coming in at the side. Leali'ifano can't get there quickly enough to grab the ball.
  • 12:12
    PENALTY: Leali'ifano

    Australia 16 Lions 19
  • 12:13
    That's 13 poiints without reply for the home side. Huge momentum shift.
  • 12:14
    LIons are in danger of being asked to play some rugby. Parling knocks on at lineout.

    Hibbard gone and Tom Youngs on
  • 12:17
    LIons route one, taking it up the guts and using their power runners. North and Bowe coming into midfield but it's all very predictable.
  • 12:17
    Lions scrum.
  • 12:18
    They'll be going for a penalty here.
  • 12:18
    They've got one.
  • 12:19
    Scrum provides the platform again. Halfpenny has his scrumcap off immediately.
  • 12:19
    PENALTY: Halfpenny

    Australia 16 Lions 22
  • 12:20
    Conor Murray on for Phllips who has had a poor match.
  • 12:20
    Dave Advance Australia fair
  • 12:21
    Australia show more invention in 30 seconds of rugby than the Lions have in the whole series.
  • 12:22
    Dave Lions are shook
  • 12:24
    Great turnover Toby Faletau in his own 22, glorious chip from Sexton, North wins the ball and suddenly the LIons are 60 metres down the pitch. O'Brien is hibbling. Stephen Moore off for a blood injury. Saia Fainga'a on.
  • 12:25
    Faletau off for repairs. Justin Tipuric on. Dan Cole on for Jones.
  • 12:25
    Helen coverage choppy here is Brisbane - needing to hear the play
  • 12:26
    Aidan What about purposing a weight capping on backs, nothing more than 15 stone that would put the empasis on skill and not power and reduce the amount of injuries on skilled players like Gilroy, Zeebo, Marshall etc, thoughts?
  • 12:27
    If you use your smaller, quicker players in the right way then they can be as potent. They won't make dominant hits but that doesn't mean they can't defend with good technique.
  • 12:28
    TRY: Sexton
  • 12:30
    They've gone to the television match offical but it's a try. The one piece of invention and sublety and they have breached the Wallaby defence. Great work from Bowe, Davies and Halfpenny and Sexton is there to support on the inside. Halfpenny adds the conversion.

    Australia 16 Lions 29
  • 12:30
    Ted Who are the stand out players? If u had to call it, who would it be?
  • 12:32
    O'Brien great display in defence, Wyn Jones huge first 35 minutes, Sexton added nuance, Corbisiero and Jones huge at scrum time, Hibbard was excellent in the loose and Bowe added value every time he touched the ball. Halfpenny's kicking has been as good as ever. North too has enjoyed some standout cameos.
  • 12:33
    Sixty minutes gone
  • 12:33
    Sean Golden Delighted BOD was dropped, like the famous Mort in Mayo..had to be done
  • 12:34
    Patrick j All good thanks for the coverage
  • 12:35
    LIons two metres from own line. Huge turnover from Corbisiero after 90 seconds of sustained pressure. For the sixth time Australia declined a kick at the posts.  
  • 12:36
    Aussies make a couple of more changes to their pack. Penalty to the LIons inside their own 22. O'Connor gone to fullback, Beale switches to outhalf.
  • 12:37
    There are 16 minutes left. Sexton off, Owen Farrell on. The Irishman looks livid at the decision and understandably.
  • 12:37
    TRY: North
  • 12:39
    Brilliant work from Halfpenny, who beats two dreadful efforts to tackle and gives North the try on a silver platter. The fullback misses the difficult conversion.

    Australia 16 LIons 34
  • 12:40
    Rather appropriately Bread of Heaven rings around the ANZ stadium.
  • 12:40
    AH Stealth and subtlety a winning strategy
  • 12:41
    There are 14 minutes left but this game is over as a contest.
  • 12:42
    There's been some horrible defending from Australia and they've conceded another penalty at a scrum.

    Richie Gray and Mako Vunipola are on. Corbisiero had a wonderful game.
  • 12:42
    TRY: Roberts
  • 12:45
    Great scrum, Murray slides across, perfectly timed pass and a brilliant angle from Roberts. Halfpenny conversion. This is officially a rout. It's Roberts last act. Manu Tuilagi is on.  

    Australia 16 Lions 41
  • 12:45
    Ronan Brady Best lions match since the one before the foot & mouth a few years ago
  • 12:45
    Ted Have they been six kickable chances?
  • 12:46
    Yes Ted, four reasonably straight forward.  
  • 12:46
    Stephen l Despite the result it cannot be denied that gatland has broken what is supposed to be the spirit of the lions and what they represent. Winning at all costs does not was with me especially when it is achieved with agricultural rugby at best.
  • 12:47
    A shot of Gatland in the coach's box. He looks happy enough.
  • 12:47
    Sean Golden Gatland proved right
  • 12:48
    There are seven minutes to go.
  • 12:49
    Sky commentators are being slightly revisionist and jingoistic in their analysis.
  • 12:52
    Gatland will deservedly get the credit for this win but strictly on the rugby and the evidence of the game, it doesn't vindicate his decision with regard to the O'Driscoll issue other than the fact that the team won. The pack and in particular underpinned the win and the try that broke the Australian resistance was down to Bowe, Halfpenny and Sexton.
  • 12:52
    Martin Gatland for Taoiseach,
  • 12:52
    stephen Lets not forget that this was the weakest Aussie team in memory and that was before they had injuries
  • 12:53
    Franklin Horse Manure Stephen
  • 12:53
    There are two and a half minutes left. Swing Low Sweet Chariot is the anthem of choice at the moment.  
  • 12:55
    Leigh Halfpenny has been announced as the man of the series. Thoroughly merited. He's been brilliant. Phenomenal place-kicking but very good on the counter-attack today.
  • 12:55
    Lions go for 13-man lineout.
  • 12:56
    That's it. Lions win the series, the first time they have managed it since 1997 in South Africa.
  • 12:58
    They'll be presented with the Tom Richards Cup shortly. Sky's Stuart Barnes is delivering his Churchillian speech. 'Gatland vindicated, O'Driscoll not missed.......etc, etc.'
  • 13:00
    In fairness O'Driscoll hasn't done a John Terry and appeared on the pitch in his jersey for the post match celebration.
  • 13:02
    Wyn Jones: "There was a lot said about selection during the week but I think norethern hemisphere showed what we can do. We wanted to win the collisions at the breakdown. In fairness Australia won them in the first test. I thought (our backs) did pretty well today."
  • 13:03
    Horwill: "You have to give them credit, they were the better team on the night. We let ourselves down in the scrum tonight."
  • 13:05
    Footage now of Lions players receiving and acknowledging their supporters.
  • 13:06
    dave S RTE radio lost signal. Commentary when running couldn't describe, direction, location or participants at play. Why do I pay a license fee. Swansea local radio found on google way better. Congrats B&I Lions, commiserations BOD who should have played.
  • 13:06
    Halfpenny going up to receive his award as PLayer of the Series.
  • 13:07
    Dermot Pope announces creation of St..Warren
  • 13:07
    Horwill very dignified in defeat.
  • 13:08
    Warburton equally classy.
  • 13:11
    The Lions are in party mode, deservedly so.
  • 13:21

    Sexton: "We knew we had it in us. In the first couple of tests we didn't get the ball off first phase but we did tonight. We wanted to attack with the ball in hand. To be part of the first team to do it since 1997 is really special."

    He's getting married on Friday.

    Roberts: "It was straight down the line, hard nosed rugby. It's aspecial day in Lions history."

    Gatland: "The last three or four days have been very hard. I don't take any pleasure in leaving Brian out. That was very hard. I don't feel vindicated, It was a tough call. I am just proud of the boys and what they did tonight. It's about what they achieved. The guys deserved a lot of credit."

    He was very magnanimous and spoke very well about what has been a very difficult call for him and his management. Victory is the ultimate arbiter in sport and he didn't shy away from backing his instinct, which as a coach is important.  

  • 13:24
    Thank you very much for your company. The Lions win the series 2-1 and there's no quibbling that they have achieved what they set out to do prior to their departure.
  • 13:27
    O'Driscoll: "Absolutely delighted. It's been a rollercoaster week. Esstentially it's been about of winning the series. I will always have it on my CV and that's what counts. We won this series and any of the negatives that have been felt throughout the tour will be forgotten."

    He went on to pay tribute to his team-mates and the management.  
  • 13:27
    Gerry Thornley's match report will be on-line shortly.  
  • 13:30
    Gatand: "
    “It’s pretty immense. The last four days have been hard, I had to take a tough call to leave Brian out,” he admitted.
    “It’s been a hard few days and this is a massive performance.
    “You always doubt decisions, but you make those hard calls. We knew there would be a fall-out.
    “I took the flak and have taken it.
    “It’s not about that, I don’t want to gloat. It was a tough call but it’s about the boys, a winning series.”
  • 13:35

    Thanks once again.