The British and Irish Lions absolutely thrashed Australia in the deciding test of the series as they won their first series against Australia for 16 years. The whole match was very dominant for the Lions, but they really came into their own in the second half as the final score ended up being 41-16. Before the match, the British and Irish Lions coach, Warren Gatland, suffered a lot of criticism by the fans and the press for dropping Brian O’Driscoll among 5 other players.
Yet, he proved his critics wrong as it only took 1 minute and 17 seconds for one of his changes, Alex Corbisiero, to score a try and give the British and Irish Lions an early 5-0 lead which was seen to be extended by two more points when Leigh Halfpenny converted the try. Halfpenny, who was awarded man of the match, had a shot at the first penalty of the match which he comfortably took to extend the lead to 10-0. Christian Lealiifano finally got Australia on the score board when he score a penalty, but quickly saw his 3 points cancelled out when Halfpenny score his second penalty of the match.
Halfpenny was truly on form, kicking his third penalty through the sticks putting another 3 points on the board to take a dominating 16-3 lead. A fourth penalty was added to his score sheet only moments later to put the Lions 19-3 up and with Australia needing to hit back soon. After several penalties which were hit into touch instead of through the posts for Australia, the third penalty paid off, as James O’Connor scored Australia’s only try, which was converted to give the hosts double digits on the board. The team went into the break at 19-10 in favour of the Lions.
It looked worrying for the Lions straight after the break as Lealiifano scored two quick penalties to reduce the point difference to three points. Nevertheless, the British and Irish Lions turned on their form as Halfpenny scored a fifth penalty on the 51st minute, followed by a Jonathan Sexton try which was converted again by Halfpenny. George North stormed his way into the left corner to score another try for the Lions, which was soon followed up with the final try by Jamie Roberts to seal the match at 41-16.
British and Irish Lions kicker, Halfpenny, kicked a new record 21 points in a single test as he sent his team to a fantastic victory. After the series win, he commented, “I can’t put it into words really how much it means. It’s everything I’ve dreamed of as a kid growing up watching Lions tours. To be part of a winning Lions tour is one of the best things ever and up there with the best moments of my career.”
Author Daniel Foster.
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