British & Irish Lions smash Australia to win series

The British and Irish Lions won their first Test series in 16 years when they smashed Australia’s Wallabies 16-41 in Sydney to win the series 2-1.

The British and Irish Lions got the perfect start as Alex Corbisiero scored the opening try in the second minute of the match.

Leigh Halfpenny converted Corbisiero’s try and with a series of penalties from the scrum extended the Lions lead after 30 minutes to 3-19.

Australia however got themselves back into the match on the stroke of half time when James O’Connor weaved his way through five Lions to score next to the posts.

Christian Lealiifano kicked the penalty which cut the Lions lead at half time to 10-19 as 83,702 nervous fans packed the stadium

The Wallabies made the strongest start in the second half and cut the gap to 16-19 before the Lions opened up and ran away with the match and ultimately the seies in the final quarter.

The Lions were helped throughout the match by a dominant scrum and Leigh Halfpenny’s two try assists
and collection of points records.

After winning the first test 23-21 and losing the second 16-15, the Lions piled
on more points than ever before in a test match.

A week after missing a stoppage-time penalty that could have clinched the series
for the Lions in Melbourne, fullback Halfpenny shredded the Wallabies defense
on the left side as he set up the decisive tries for Jonathan Sexton and George
North in the 57th and 64th minutes.

He landed five penalties and three conversions, and his 21-point tally for
the match gave him 49 for the series – both Lions records.

“It’s pretty undescribable, but we came through in the end,” Lions
captain Alun-Wyn Jones said.

Lions coach Warren Gatland gambled by making six changes for the deciding test,
relying on 10 players from his Six Nations-winning Welsh team and dropping Irish
veteran Brian O’Driscoll.

Gatland said he had to use his head and not his heart in the selections, and
was vindicated. After playing in the first two tests, O’Driscoll now has won
his first series with the Lions – on his fourth tour.

The match was divided into three distinct periods, with the Lions racing to
a 19-3 lead before the Wallabies rallied to 19-16. But the Lions finished strongly
to set their record for most points in a test match.

The Lions started at a frantic pace, needing less than 90 seconds to open the
scoring, with English prop Alex Corbisiero rolling over adjacent to the posts
three phases after Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia knocked-on from the kick off.

Halfpenny converted and added four more penalties to earn his individual Lions
record – most accumulated points in a test series – to increase the lead to
19-3 by the 25th minute.

Halfpenny was able to accumulate points regularly because the big Lions pack
was smashing the Australians at scrum time, earning two free kicks and two penalties
from the first five scrums before Wallabies prop Ben Alexander was sin-binned
for another collapse that lead to the fourth penalty goal.

“We had too many errors, we gave them a head start,” Australia captain
James Horwill said.

“You have to give them credit, they were the better team tonight. We let
ourselves down in the scrum.”

Alexander was replaced by Sekope Kepu, meaning openside flanker George Smith
also had to leave the field for 10 minutes to cater for the frontrow change
and leaving only seven men in the Wallabies scrum.

It was the second stint on the sidelines for Smith, playing his first test
in almost four years, after he needed to be assessed following a sickening clash
of heads with Lions hooker Richard Hibbard in the fifth minute.

The momentum was heavily against the Australians and it compounded when blockbusting

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