Australia edge the B & I Lions to level the series

A late try from Adam Ashley-Cooper helped Australia’s Wallabies to a 16-15 victory over the British and Irish Lions which levels the series and sets up a decider next weekend in Sydney.

Leigh Halfpenny who kicked all of the British and Irish Lions points had the chance to win the match for the Lions with a penalty in extra time but his kick was short.       

The Lions were leading 9-15 with 20 minutes remaining on the clock and captain Sam Warburton injured his hamstring and was replaced. Speaking after the match he said that he did not expect to miss the third Test in Sydney.

A combination of errors and stout-hearted Lions defence frustrated the Wallabies
for most of the second half until James O’Connor sent Adam Ashley-Cooper through
for the only try of the match.

Christian Lealiifano, who lasted just 40 seconds in his debut Test the previous
week when he was knocked out in a tackle, kicked a pressure conversion from
wide out to put the Wallabies ahead into the final dramatic minutes.

The Wallabies conceded a penalty to give the Lions another crack but Leigh
Halfpenny, who had only missed one kick in his previous six attempts, left it
just short to Australia’s jubilation, sending the epic series into a decider
in Sydney next weekend.

Halfpenny kicked five penalty goals from seven attempts, while the Wallabies
got home on the back of Ashley-Cooper’s try and Lealiifano’s conversion and
three penalties.

The Lions must now regroup from their bitter disappointment of not finishing
off the Wallabies in Melbourne to win their first series since 1997.

They put the Wallabies under immediate pressure with dominant forward play
and got an early long-range penalty but Halfpenny’s attempt hit the crossbar
and bounced back into the field of play.

But he made no mistake in the 10th minute to give the Lions the early lead.

The Australians put the Lions scrum under pressure and after several re-sets,
Mako Vunipola was penalised for collapsing the scrum, giving Lealiifano an easy
penalty conversion after 16 minutes.

Vunipola was then penalised again for collapsing the scrum, giving Lealiifano
his second penalty goal to put the Wallabies in front.

Vunipola lost the ball as the Lions fans groaned, but Halfpenny levelled the
scores at 6-6 before Vunipola redeemed himself by forcing opposing loose head
Ben Alexander to concede a penalty.

Halfpenny put it over to retrieve the lead for the Lions.

The England prop was in the thick of the action and he appeared to elbow Adam
Ashley-Cooper off the ball which could have further ramifications after the

Ashley-Cooper crashed to the ground but resumed after treatment as the Wallabies
hit back five minutes before half-time when Dan Lydiate was penalised for offside,
giving Lealiifano his third penalty.

But right on half-time Ben Mowen was penalised in the ruck giving Halfpenny
his fourth penalty and a 12-9 lead.

The Wallabies conceded their fifth penalty while on attack as the home side
dominated territory early in the second half.

The immensely strong George North carried Israel Folau on his back only to
be brought to ground on his head in a dramatic moment as the Lions power began
to take its toll.

Replacement prop James Slipper was penalised as the Lions scrum drove through
for Halfpenny to kick a 48-metre penalty and push the Lions out to a six-point
lead with 18 minutes left.

The Lions lost their inspirational skipper Sam Warburton with a leg injury
with 13 minutes left making way for Sean O’Brien as the Wallabies fumbled another
ball inside the tourists’ half.

The Lions won a lineout on the Wallabies’ throw as yet another mistake cost
the Australians a chan

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