The British and Irish Lions have beaten the Wallabies 2-1 after a convincing 41-16 victory in Sydney. Leigh Halfpenny, who was named Man of the Series, set up two tries and kicked brilliantly yet again. It was the first Lions series victory since 1997.
The Lions shot out to an early lead and maintained their momentum, at one stage leading 19-3 before the Wallabies fought back before halftime with a try to James O’Connor.
They picked up the tempo in the second half and brought the scores even closer with the boot, trailing just 19-16 before the Lions ran away with it and ultimately came away convincing winners.
While all the prematch talk had been about midfield selections, it was up front where one could say that game was won, as the Lions dominated and gained valuable momentum through powerful performances from Adam Jones, Richard Hibbard and Alex Corbisiero.
“I thought Alex Corbisiero was Man of the Match. We said all along he was unlucky with selection,” said coach Warren Gatland in the post match press conference.
Gatland also spoke of the manner in which his side played, and the physical toll of the tour, and tonights game. “We spoke about being prepared to go to a place where most players don’t put their bodies, to the limit. I think we’ve played some great rugby on this tour. We were able to put it together tonight in that second half.
“These guys have done themselves proud, they’ve done the jersey proud. I hope the next 48hrs doesn’t get out of hand!” he added.
We’ll have more reaction, highlights and clips over the course of the next few days. Until then, congratulations to the Lions and their fans, and commiserations to the Wallabies and the whole of Australia, who clearly embraced the tour and were great hosts.