6 Jul 2013

British and Irish Lions clinch Australia Test series win

The British and Irish rugby union Lions beat Australia 41-16 to claim their first Test series win since 1997.

The Lions celebrate the series win as the final whistle blows (pic: Getty)

The visitors dominated from the start and they saw off an Australia fightback by running in three second-half tries to clinch the enthralling series 2-1.

The Lions seemingly had a first series success in 16 years in their clutches after blowing away the home side in the first 40 minutes at a sold-out ANZ Stadium.

But Wallabies five-eighth James O’Connor stepped past two defenders and carried over two more in a crucial last play of the first half to renew hope for the home to trail 19-10 at the break.

In a disastrous opening for Australia, the big Lions pack demolished their scrum and the Wallabies also lost star winger Israel Folau with a hamstring tear.

The tourists’ scrum dominance netted them three of their four penalty goals and led to prop Ben Alexander being sin-binned in the 25th minute for repeated infringements.

Lions on the front foot

Alexander had been worked over by bullocking English loosehead Alex Corbisiero, who overcame a calf injury to play, and never returned after his 10 minutes were up.

It was Corbisiero who put the Lions on the front foot from the outset after the Wallabies endured a terrible start which had the tourists leading 10-0 after seven minutes.

Will Genia dropped the kick-off after a mix-up with Kane Douglas and then a quick tap by Mike Phillips from a short-arm scrum penalty ended with Corbisiero rolling over next to the posts.

Leigh Halfpenny kicked five goals from five attempts, including two from beyond 40m as the Australian scrum was penalised five times in the first half.

With the series slipping away, Wallabies captain James Horwill continually opted to kick for touch instead of goal but it only paid off when O’Connor finally burst through.