Lions shred Wallabies in first series win since 1997
Gerry Thornley reports from Sydney
Paul O’Connell and Brian O’Driscoll hold the Tom Richards Cup aloft after the Lions won the final test match against Australia in Sydney to secure the first series victory in 16 years. Photograph: Getty
Date: 6 July, 2013
Venue: ANZ Stadium Sydney
From another Warrenball powerplay of direct running and recycling through nine phases, Corbisiero making good yards, Sexton brought in Bowe off his wing from deep, his quick hands to Davies getting him outside the hard-up defence to make a half-break and Halfpenny brilliantly took it on before his offload inside enabled the supporting Sexton to round the posts.
That was the cue for the Fields of Athenry before Halfpenny countered from Genia’s poor kick – even he went down with the sinking Wallabies ship – and ran between Genia and Tomane before drawing Beale and putting North over.
The fullback missed the conversion, but added another when Roberts took a superb in and out line from Conor Murray’s infield snipe off a lineout – again originating from a Lions’ scrum penalty – and perfectly timed pass to score. Murray again made a very composed and effective impression off the bench.
Game over. Now it was time for Bread of Heaven, most appropriately of all, soon to be followed by Swing Low, with a few bars of “cheer-i-o” in between for the departing supporters in yellow. And there was a steady flow of them, from long before the end.
The coaching staff could even left enclosed glass cage to celebrate with some of their players fully two minutes from the end.
That must have felt very nice.
Scoring sequence – 2 mins: Corbisiero try, Halfpenny con 0-7; 8 mins: Halfpenny pen 0-10; 10 mins: Leali’ifano pen 3-10; 13 mins: Halfpenny pen 3-13; 16 mins: Halfpenny pen 3-16; 25 mins: Halfpenny pen 3-19; 40 +2 mins: O’Connor try, Leali’ifano con 10-19; (half-time 10-19); 46 mins: Leali’ifano pen 16-19; 51 mins: Halfpenny pen 16-22; 56 mins: Sexton try, Halfpenny con 16-29; 64 mins: North try 16-34; 68 mins: Roberts try, Halfpenny con 16-41.
Australia: Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels); Israel Folau (NSW Waratahs), Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW Waratahs), Christian Leali’ifano (Brumbies), Joe Tomane (Brumbies); James O’Connor (Melbourne Rebels), Will Genia (Queensland Reds); Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs), Stephen Moore (Brumbies), Ben Alexander (Brumbies), Kane Douglas (NSW Waratahs), James Horwill (Queensland Reds, captain), Ben Mowen (Brumbies), George Smith (Brumbies), Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs).
Replacements: Michael Hooper (NSW Waratahs) for Smith (5-10 and 66 mins), Jesse Mogg (Brumbies) for Folau (26 mins), Sekope Kepu (NSW Waratahs) for Smith (27-35 and for Alexander 35 mins), Saia Fainga’a (Queensland Reds) for Moore (55-60 and 72 mins), Ben McCalman (Western Force) for Palu (60 mins), Rob Simmons (Queensland Reds) for Douglas (62 mins), James Slipper (Queensland Reds) for Robinson (66 mins), Nick Phipps (Melbourne Rebels) for Genia (70 mins).
British & Irish Lions: Leigh Halfpenny (Cardiff Blues/Wales); Tommy Bowe (Ulster/Ireland), Jonathan Davies (Scarlets/Wales), Jamie Roberts (Cardiff Blues/Wales), George North (Scarlets/Wales); Jonathan Sexton (Leinster/Ireland), Mike Phillips (Bayonne/Wales); Alex Corbisiero (London Irish/England), Richard Hibbard (Ospreys/Wales), Adam Jones (Ospreys/Wales), Alun-Wyn Jones (Ospreys/Wales) (Captain), Geoff Parling (Leicester Tigers/England), Dan Lydiate (Dragons/Wales), Sean O’Brien (Leinster/Ireland), Toby Faletau (Dragons/Wales).
Replacements: Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers/England) for Hibbard (47 mins),Conor Murray (Munster/Ireland) for Phillips (51 mins), Dan Cole (Leicester Tigers/England) for A Jones (55 mins), Justin Tipuric (Ospreys/Wales) for Faletau (55-60 mins) and for O’Brien (60 mins), Owen Farrell (Saracens/England) for Sexton (63 mins), Makovina Vunipola (Saracens/England) for Corbisiero, Richie Gray (Scotland) for Parling (both 68 mins), Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers/England) for Roberts (70 mins).
Referee: Romain Poite (France).