Discussion in 'Other Sports Forum' started by Rosco, Apr 30, 2013.
Finally a good play by a scrum half on this tour. Murray puts Roberts into a gap, he finishes
We got so lucky.
What a performance!
A huge well done to every single one of this Lions touring party!
Amazing! I celebrated so hard my Aussie wife is in a huff. Worth it though!
I was thinking the same, but thankfully we found it in abundance.
Leigh Halfpenny - Man of the series
MOTM in the deciding Test turns out to be someone who wasn't even in the original selection. Corbisiero - magnificent.
Gotta love rugby.
He was fantastic mate and well deserving of his MOTM award. He became so important once we'd lost Healy and Jenkins and boy did he deliver.
Does Gatland still look like a chump?
Well we did in a way.
Had Gatland been able to pick Warburton, we wouldn't have had the right back row on the pitch.
Parling put in a superb display as well, really chuffed for him.
Make up your mind, you had Tipuric in at 7.
Sam was MOTM in the 2nd test match - Hence why you suddenly went quiet on this subject.
I'll take nothing away from O'Brien today mind, he was a giant.
More a slow learner than a chump
That was 'WARRENBALL' displayed in all it's glory.
Australia 16 Lions 41: Warren Gatland stayed true to his beliefs and united four nations into a winning force
Mission accomplished, series won, the entire concept of the Lions has been validated. That is the only important fact after the record-breaking win over the Wallabies.
In it together: the Lions players celebrate their series win Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By James Corrigan
1:38PM BST 06 Jul 2013
Yes, they will bang on about Warren Gatland being vindicated, about his faith in his Welshmen bearing fruit, about the selection gamble paying off spectacularly. What a load of nonsense.
There were 23 matchday heroes on the pitch celebrating at the end and not even half of them came from west of the Severn Bridge.
This was a collective British and Irish effort and anyone who stills doubts that did not recognise the contributions of Alex Corbisiero, Jonny Sexton, Sean O’Brien, Geoff Parling and others in Sydney and elsewhere on the tour.
They were integral to this stunning success and that’s why this was one of the Lions' greatest days, if not the greatest in the context of all the anachronism accusations. Lions history didn’t just want this - it demanded this.
Of course, it was red-shirted glory which felt familiar to any recent Six Nations viewers. It had to be with Leigh Halfpenny kicking like a metronome and making defenders look like garden gnomes as he set up two Lions tries. it had to be with George North making ever bigger strides to becoming, unquestionably, the most destructive runner in world rugby.
It had to be with Jamie Roberts punching man-sized holes in an Asutralian defence which suddenly buckled in incredible fashion, with Toby Faletau and the newest of captains fantastic Alun-Wyn Jones going well beyond the call of duty in the loose.
It had to be with Adam Jones smashing the opposing scrum to smithereens.
Yet do not underplay Corbisiero’s influence in that regard. The platform to this victory was so obviously the set-piece and in the young Englishman, Jones was at last given an ally who could not only live up his to his power but actually complement it. Australia had nowhere to go but backwards.
Naturally, the home side fought back. Australia always do. But their resistance was built on opportunism and did not, truly, have a hope if the Lions focused on their strengths.
As the minutes counted down to that decisive final quarter alarm bells were sounded in certain quarters about the lack of Lions leaders on the field.
It was a thinly-veiled reference to Brian O’Driscoll. Ultimately, the great man wasn’t required. He could only look down from the stands and see the present and future of British and Irish rugby so emphatically grasp its immortality.
For Gatland this was sweet. There were some ridiculous slurs made on this fine coach in the build-up and he would have evry right to put up two fingers to the naysayers.
It wasn’t about picking his favourites, about nationality, about looking tough in dropping a legend, about a one-dimensional gameplan.
It was about beating Australia and if anybody knows how to do pull that off it is a canny Kiwi. One dimensional? How silly that charge seemed as the red sea came in so many waves.
The Lions committee should be proud of themselves for picking Gatland, just as he should be proud for ignoring all the petty, parochial bickering, for staying true to his beliefs and for uniting the four home nations into a winning force.
That’s what makes the Lions special. And after the siege of Sydney, rugby union can confirm that the British and Irish Lions are still very, very special.
Australia 16 Lions 41: match report
Read a full match report for the third Test between Australia and the British and Irish Lions in Sydney on Saturday, July 6 2013.
Winning feeling: the Lions celebrate defeating Australia and clinching the series Photo: GETTY IMAGES
By Gavin Mairs, at the ANZ Stadium
1:16PM BST 06 Jul 2013
The British and Irish Lions clinched their first tour series victory for 16 years as a stunning display of power and elan clinched a resounding victory over Australia in the decisive third Test in Sydney today.
The decision by Lions head coach Warren Gatland to lace his side with powerful ball-carriers in his forwards and backs paid rich reward as the tourists ran in tries by Alex Corbisiero, Jonathan Sexton, George North and Jamie Roberts.
Absolute dominance in the scrum enabled Leigh Halfpenny to also kick five penalties but it was the full-back's counter-attacking brilliance that stole the show, setting up tries for both Sexton and North.
The initial damage was done in the first half - a try by Coribisero and four penalties and a conversion by Halfpenny seeing the Lions race into a 19-3 lead.
Sixteen of those 19 points came from the Lions' ability to put unrelenting pressure on the Wallabies' scrum, with Ben Alexander spending 10 minutes in the sin bin for repeated offences.
Australia v Lions, third Test: as it happened
06 Jul 2013
Gatland stayed true to his beliefs and united four nations
06 Jul 2013
Yet, having been pounded by such a blitzkreig opening, Australia, to their credit, brought the contest back to life by scoring 13 points in six minutes around half-time, with a try by James O'Connor and two penalties by Christian Leali'fano.
The revival brought Australia back to within three points of the Lions. But the pressure merely provoked the tourists to respond with their best attacking rugby of the tour as Sexton, North and Roberts crossed to write a glorious new chapter in Lions history in front of a stadium record crowd of 83,720, after three successive tour defeats.
The Lions could not have hoped for a more explosive and rewarding start.
Will Genia knocked on the kick-off from Sexton, gifting the Lions an attacking scrum. From a free-kick, Mike Phillips fed Tommy Bowe who took it to within a metre of the line and, when it was recycled, Sean O'Brien and then Alun-Wyn Jones carried strongly, with Corbisiero side-stepping and then reaching to score in the first minute.
Australia came storming back, with Israel Folau and Genia sniping and almost weaving their way through. But then the Lions landed a massive psychological blow when the Wallabies' attack was halted by thunderous double tackle by Jones and Richard Hibbard on George Smith.
The Lions were able to clear their lines with a kick by Jonathan Davies, and when Joe Tomane attempted to run the ball back, another big hit by Dan Lydiate won a penalty on the half-way line and Halfpenny continued the tourists' spectacular start by landing a beautifully-struck kick.
The 10-point advantage was cut immediately, however, when the Lions conceded a penalty from the restart and Leali'ifano converted. But even though Smith was able to return to play, having been cleared of concussion, two huge scrums by the Lions culminated in two more successful penalties as the tourists raced into a 16-3 lead after just 15 minutes.
The collisions kept going the Lions way. A turn-over by Hibbard, a huge tackle by North on Folau and another turn-over won by Davies denied Australia's attempts to play their way back into the game.
The pressure began to show. A sliced clearance-kick by Kurtley Beale put the Wallabies under more pressure and when O'Brien intercepted an attempt to run the ball from deep, a superb line by Jones created great front-foot ball. Although the move broke down when Bowe knocked on, the Aussie situation deteriorated further when, from the scrum, the Lions won another penalty and Ben Alexander was shown a yellow card. Halfpenny slotted his fourth penalty to leave Australia in dire straights.
Moments later, Australia lost their most potent attacking threat when Folau was forced to retire with a hamstring injury and the Lions ruthlessly dominated possession, at one stage going through 27 phases.
Yet the Lions were unable to convert this pressure into more points, and Australia, desperate for any sort of foothold in the game, dragged themselves back into the contest.
It took a brilliant tap-tackle by Geoff Parling to bring down Jesse Mogg, Folau's replacement, and, after kicking a couple of penalties to touch, the Wallabies broke through in the final minute of the half when O'Connor glided by Sexton with a double side-step to score under the posts.
Leali'ifano's conversion reduced the deficit to nine points, and ensured they went into the interval with a glimmer of hope in their eyes.
The sense of an Australia revival continued as Leali'fano landed his second penalty two minutes after the restart. And when Beale gathered his own chip over the blitz defence, the Lions conceded another penalty from a driven line-out and Leali'ifano converted to take Australia's burst of scoring to 13 points in six minutes.
Now errors were creeping into the Lions game. A line-out was lost by a poor throw from Hibbard and then, after some hard driving by his replacement Tom Youngs, a pass by Mike Phillips was almost intercepted by Ben Mowen.
In their moment of vulnerability, the Lions turned to their scrum for comfort, another huge shunt winning another penalty and Halfpenny added his fifth pen in the 51st minute.
Back came Australia, with Genia forcing a half-break, but then Sexton relieved the pressure again with a high-risk chip that sat up for North, with Davies showing great strength in support.
And the momentum swung firmly back to the Lions when a perfectly-timed pass by Bowe put Davies into space and a stunning break and offload by Halfpenny put Sexton over for a superbly-crafted try. Halfpenny's conversion put the Lions 13 points in front, forcing Australia once again into a desperate rearguard action.
James Horwill turned down a simple kick at goal, when Smith tapped a penalty, but Bowe won the turnover and moments later Smith was forced to concede a penalty when he got isolated in attack.
The hammer blow came when Halfpenny again set off on another jinking break up the touchline and his pass sent North scorching to the line for the Lions' third try.
The Lions then turned the screw when Roberts sliced through the lagging Wallabies' defence, from a line-out, to touch down for his side's fourth try to the elation of the estimated 40,000 Lions supporters in the stadium.
Sydney Morning Herald:
Tourists rely on old-fashioned pride, power and technique to maul hosts
These Lions tours are based on tradition, values that hark back to another era. So it was apt that on Saturday night when the Wallabies were soundly beaten, old values were at the heart of it. Pure power, matched with technique at the scrum, and a huge appetite for the collision. The better team won because it was more closely connected with the game's unchanging principles.
It started with a calamity. The Lions kicked deep right and the Wallabies were caught asleep.
Will Genia looked at Kane Douglas and the second-rower looked back. In between the indecision, a ball was falling to the ground. Genia lurched forwards but it was too late. A knock-on, a scrum, and a Lions try.
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It was the start of a horrible trend. Almost immediately, referee Romain Poite was being instructed by assistant referee Craig Joubert to keep an eye on the side of Ben Alexander. The English prop Alex Corbisiero, who Alexander did not have to face at Twickenham last year, was bringing all manner of misery to the Brumbies man. Not that the problems were restricted to that side. Benn Robinson didn't escape the referee's whistle either.
Poite's tone became almost pleading with Wallabies captain James Horwill as the penalties mounted. The message was: you are leaving me no choice, a yellow card is coming.
Lions scrum coach Graham Rowntree said beforehand he trusted the Frenchman would reward the dominant scrum. It was prophetic. Poite reached for his pocket and Alexander was gone. His name will be added to a list of Wallabies props who have been cruelly exposed.
They do not call the set-piece a platform for nothing. From it, the Lions repeatedly launched their big ball carriers - Alun Wyn-Jones and Richard Hibbard were ubiquitous. Irishman Sean O'Brien soothed restless Irish fans angered by Brian O'Driscoll's absence with an immense shift, crashing into bodies. Dan Lydiate also did his work at the breakdown, and Toby Faletau completed the dominant back row. George Smith simply could not get into the game. An early sickening head clash did not help.
Then the Wallabies started to hint at a fightback. Shunning penalty goals, they eventually got James O'Connor into a dangerous area from a lineout. Dancing feet produced a try. It did not disguise the truth of the situation. His selection at No.10 has not worked.
In the second half, more pressure at the scrum. Alexander's replacement Sekope Kepu was acquainted with the grim feeling of moving backwards. The Wallabies talked about running the Lions off their legs, but their own were being sapped.
Corbisiero was heroic, in and out of the dark places, offering himself as a ball carrier and keeping the door shut around the fringes as much as you can against a player such as Genia. And when Robinson knocked on close to the line, it was Corbisiero who was on hand to help clear the lines. At that stage, the Lions led by 13 after Jonny Sexton's well-constructed try. George North's five-pointer came a few minutes later. It was beginning to resemble a slaughter; and that was confirmed when Jamie Roberts powered through a huge gap to lift the scoreboard to the 41-mark. Hats off to the tourists. They leave with significant respect earned by a mixture of power and skill in the big moments.
There is another truism in this industry that does not change. Coaches that do not win enough games - or the significant games - get the call that they do not want but eventually expect. Big decisions, then, lie ahead for Australian rugby.
New Zealand Herald:
Rugby: Lions dazzle in finale
By Wynne Gray in Sydney
Sydney went scarlet last night as the Lions and their supporters swamped the harbourside city. The Lions erased 16 years of touring torment to take the series from the Wallabies with last week's tormented soul, Leigh Halfpenny, the points scoring hero for the tourists.
His metronomic goal kicking and incisive bursts from fullback delivered all sorts of late problems as the Lions scythed and bludgeoned their way to a 41-16 victory.
Victory vindicated coach Warren Gatland's decision to flood the side with Welshmen and omit elder statesman Brian O'Driscoll for their final tilt at glory.
The Lions began strongly, were dragged back to a slim three point lead before bursting clear with three tries in the last 25 minutes.
`Warrenball', the Welshcentric style which had been so effective for the Six Nations champions was a triumphant template for this final inquisition as the Lions management and players gathered on the touchline in jubilant celebration for the final few minutes.
Glory or distress, the emotions were explicit, there was no middle ground for this decider in 80 minutes of frothing tribal conflict in Sydney's western suburbs.
The opening survey was to assess team tactics. Had the Lions moved away from the type of narrow bludgeoning power they used to try and break the Wallabies in Brisbane and Melbourne? Would the Wallaby pack stay with the revamped visiting unit and was the backline in any more unison than they had been in the previous contests?
The 83,702 crowd was left to ponder whether much rugby would break out after the errors and limited construction in their two previous meetings.
The answer was immediate and encouraging. Will Genia dropped the kick-off and the Lions' prop Alex Corbisiero ploughed across after phase play from the scrum. As jubilation engulfed the visitors, the clock showed just 78 seconds. That shock start got worse for the Wallabies when veteran flanker George Smith was knocked out in a fearful fourth minute collision with Richard Hibbard.
Smith wobbled off after the Wallabies had kicked for touch rather than goal. That decision backfired badly although Smith, surprisingly, returned five minutes later.
In his absence, Halfpenny and Christian Leali'ifano kicked penalties before Halfpenny nailed several more as the Wallaby scrum wobbled and incurred referee Romaine Poite's regular wrath.
By the opening quarter, the Lions were 16-3 ahead and in total dominance as the Wallabies wavered between adventure and regrouping. Their scrum dramas threatened to derail them as Ben Alexander was sinbinned for dropping his tighhead side.
Nothing more, surely, could happen to the hosts. They were under the hammer from a Lions side which had not had to play too much rugby but the test was sliding out of the Wallabies grasp and they were a man down. Soon they lost another. Wing Israel Folau tweaked his hamstring and was replaced after 26 minutes leaving the Wallabies with Nick Phipps as their solitary back replacement.
Spectators had starting hitting ANZ Stadium and the warm social notes four hours before kick-off as bands played in the bars which circle the exterior of the sports arena in Sydney's west. Trains rolled out of Central Station with rival supporters in full voice, chiding and amusing each other with their songs, ditties and taunts. It was the lengthy preface to the main act.
Lions goalkickers Halfpenny and Owen Farrell went through their training routines an hour before kick-off as Genia worked on his box kicks and Stephen Moore went through his lineout throwing drills on the other side of the field.
For all that attention, the Wallabies were not able to play much rugby until late in the half. It came from an unlikely source_their scrum. When Alexander's time was up in the bin, Sekope Kepu came on and seemed to keep his tighthead side more intact. With seconds left until the break, the Wallabies scrummed down 10m from the Lions line and had to win the ball.
It went out to James O'Connor and this time he let his nifty feet do the talking as he swirled past Jonathan Sexton, Sean O'Brien and Mike Phillips to score.
Some of the first half darkness had lifted. Leali'ifano's conversion left the Wallabies only nine points adrift and asking questions of the Lions' stamina and conviction.
Their lead was cut again by two penalties from the ice-cool Leali'ifano soon after the break as the Lions infringed at ruck, maul and breakdown.
Their redress came once again through their scrum which bunted the Wallabies back and allowed Halfpenny to claim his sixth penalty before Sexton tried a little bit of adventure, chipping out of his 22. It nearly worked but Sexton was in for the Lions second try when Jonathan Davies, a controversial pick ahead of Brian O'Driscoll, edged into a gap and offloaded perfectly, after a TMO check, to the Irish five eighths.
As the final quarter began, the Wallabies needed two converted tries to claim the series. That deficit might have clouded their judgment when they tapped a penalty from 5m and the Lions cleared.
Halfpenny made them pay even more. He gassed them, made a break and offloaded for North to score before massive centre Jamie Roberts completed the try-scoring avalance and the victory.