Live Commentary: British and Irish Lions 15-16 Australia - as it happened

Live Commentary: Lions 15-16 Australia - as it happened
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Sports Mole brings you live coverage from Melbourne where the British and Irish Lions face Australia in the second Test.

The British and Irish Lions faced Australia in the second Test of their three-match series in Melbourne.

The tourists lead 1-0 after their 23-21 victory in Brisbane, and had the chance to clinch the series on Saturday.

The Lions haven't won a tour since 1997.

The series will now go down to the final match in Sydney, after the Wallabies picked up a crucial win.

Read how the action unfolded in our live commentary below.


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10.33amGood morning and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage from Melbourne for the second Test between the British and Irish Lions and Australia.

10.35amToday is Christmas Day if you're a rugby nut, and is one of the biggest days of recent Lions history. They have a chance to clinch their first tour since 1997, all they need to do is pick up one more win from their next two games.

10.37amThe Lions took a 1-0 series lead last weekend with that tense 23-21 win in Brisbane. However, they did the same against the Wallabies in 2001, and the men in gold went on to win the series. That tells you all you need to know, the job isn't done yet.

10.39amA lot has happened since the triumph in Brisbane last weekend though, and one of the biggest talking points is Warren Gatland's team selection, as he makes five changes from the opener.

10.43amPaul O'Connell's tour is over after breaking his arm, and Geoff Parling, who was withdrawn from the match against the Melbourne Rebels on Tuesday, comes into the team.

10.46amBen Youngs, Dan Lydiate, Mako Vunipola and Tommy Bowe also come into the starting lineup at the expense of Tom Croft, Alex Cuthbert, Alex Corbisiero and Mike Phillips.

10.46amSo here is Warren Gatland's team in full...

10.48amLIONS XV: Leigh Halfpenny, Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll, Jonathan Davies, George North, Jonathan Sexton, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Geoff Parling, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton, Jamie Heaslip.

10.49amAnd here are the replacements for the Lions for the match.

10.50amLIONS BENCH: Richard Hibbard, Ryan Grant, Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Sean O'Brien, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Alex Cuthbert.

10.55amThe Lions will face a huge physical test against the Aussies. Captain James Horwill, who was cleared after being cited for an alleged stamp on Alun-Wyn Jones, had the following to say.

10.55amHORWILL: "The mood in the camp this week has been desperate and keen. We're keen to get out there and get stuck in."

10.56amHorwill's name was met with boos by the Lions fans after being read out.

10.56amLess than 10 minutes until the kickoff!

10.57amRight, let's bring you the Aussie team.

10.58amThe men in gold make two changes, with Kurtley Beale and Joe Tomane coming in at the expense of injured duo Berrick Barnes and Digby Ioane.

10.58amAdam Ashley-Cooper and Christian Lealiifano have both been passed fit for the match, while Jesse Mogg and Rob Horne earn a spot among the replacements.

10.59amAUSTRALIA XV: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 8 Wycliff Palu, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Ben Mowen, 5 James Horwill, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Ben Alexander, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Benn Robinson.

11amREPLACEMENTS: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Rob Horne, 23 Jesse Mogg

11.01amOut come the Lions on to the field to a huge roar from the crowd.

11.01amAnd here arrive the Wallabies!

11.04amWe're currently hearing the national anthem of Australia.

11.05amThe Lions are wearing their red shirts, white shorts with black and green socks. Australia are wearing their yellow/gold shirts with green shirts and green socks.

0 minKURTLEY BEALE GETS UNDERWAY!

1 minBeale clears the ball into touch with the boot into touch on the halfway line, and the Lions will have a lineout.

2 minThe Lions win it before Tom Youngs is pushed into touch and now the Wallabies have a throw.

3 minThe Lions are awarded a penalty on the halfway line after Beale is penalised for not releasing the ball.

4 minHalfpenny is going for the posts, it's a heck of a long way, but if anyone can do it, it's Leigh.

5 minIt's off the bar! So close to a brilliant three points.

5 minThe Lions win the lineout, they're doing well from those so far, and start to breakaway. It goes to a scrum which the Aussies steal and race away down the right, only to be stopped before Genia is punished for not releasing the ball.

7 minAustralia have conceded another penalty after a quality drive from the Lions after a lineout. Sexton kicks into touch, and the Lions now have a lineout just yards from the tryline.

9 minThe Lions are really on the frontfoot at the moment and force Australia into conceding another penalty, this time for collapsing the maul. We're about 10 metres from the Wallabies tryline.

9 minHalfpenny is going for the kick once more.

10 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 3-0 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

10 minTop kick from the Welshman who curls it to the inside of the left post.

11 minAlun-Wyn Jones is currently receiving some treatment after a hectic few minutes on the field. I'm sure he'll be fine.

12 minAustralia now pushing forward and are targeting Israel Folau on the Lions 22.

13 minFolau makes a brilliant catch on the far side, but George North does just enough to bring the winger to a halt. Halfpenny comes in to help out as well.

13 minThe Lions will have the advantage on this lineout.

14 minAustralia are given the penalty on the 22-metre line. I think they're going to opt for another scrum.

15 minThe Lions are punished for collapsing the scrum! Penalty to the Wallabies!

16 minThe men in gold are going for the kick, and it's Christian Lealiifano who is on penalty duty. Big moment.

17 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 3-3 Australia (Christian Lealiifano)

17 minNo mistake from Lealiifano, you wonder how the first Test would have finished had he not been taken off on a stretcher in the first minute. He scoops it from the right and brings Australia level.

18 minThe Lions are becoming quite sloppy. They have been very poor in the scrum so far in this match, and we're about to have another just inside the Australia half.

20 minThe Lions are given a penalty after Australia come into the ruck off their feet.

22 minPenalty to Australia, Lealiifano on the kick. Brilliant chance for the Wallabies here.

23 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 3-6 Australia (Christian Lealiifano)

24 minThey've turned it around, Lealiifano makes it two from two and puts the Wallabies in front for the first time this match.

26 minScrum time in the Australia half, but the Lions win it and earn the penalty as the Wallabies collapse the scrum. Halfpenny is straight on this.

28 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 6-6 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

28 minIt's level again, Halfpenny does just enough to make it through the posts.

29 minFight! Ben Youngs is involved in a bit of shirt grabbing, it's quickly defused though and the Wallabies get the lineout.

31 minO'Connor fumbles the ball going into the ruck, and is hit hard by the Lions forwards. The tourists have a scrum now.

32 minThe Lions win a penalty after some brilliant driving in the ruck. It's on the Wallabies 10-metre line, and this is well within Halfpenny's range.

33 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 9-6 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

33 minThe Lions are back in front and Halfpenny has done it again. It's a superb kick from the Welshman from the right that never looked in doubt of earning the points.

35 minThe Lions now have a lineout inside their own half and will keen to just get rid and get out.

36 minThe Lions give away the penalty after Ben Youngs is offside. Lealiifano will take and should make this 9-9.

37 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 9-9 Australia (Christian Lealiifano)

38 minLealiifano is showing no signs of cracking under the pressure in Melbourne, and hits a big kick from just inside the Lions half to level the match up once again.

39 minThe Lions are big on the offensive and are desperately going the try.

39 minPenalty to the Lions about 15 metres from the tryline, it looks as if they are going to kick into touch.

40 minIn fact, they've changed their mind and Halfpenny will just go for the points.

40 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 12-9 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

11.49amHALF TIME: Lions 12-9 Australia

11.50amHalfpenny hits his fourth penalty to give the Lions the lead and bring the half to an end.

11.51amThis is turning into a battle of the kicks as Halfpenny and Lealiifano are both churning out fine performances.

11.59amAs things stand, the Lions are 40 minutes away from clinching their first tour win in 16 years.

12.01pmThe Lions are back out onto the field, Brian O'Driscoll was very vocal in the changing room at half time.

12.01pmAnd the Aussies are back out as well.

40 minJOHNNY SEXTON STARTS THE SECOND HALF!

41 minLions win an early lineout and try to break away downfield. North is put into touch on the left, and we'll have another throw.

43 minBeale, who was under pressure from Bowe, knocks on from Sexton's high kick to give the Lions a great attacking position, if they can win the scrum

44 minThe Lions show some slick passing with O'Driscoll pulling off a lovely pop pass. However, Sexton drops it, and the Aussies have an advantage at the scrum.

46 minThis game is so finely poised at the moment.

47 minWhat a ruckus. Two turnovers in the space of 10 seconds, and the play goes from the Aussies' tryline back to the halfway when Vunipola's horrible pass gives the ball away before committing a penalty by being offside. He hasn't had a good game.

49 minThe Lions lose another scrum, and will have a real job on their hand to get this back.

50 minOr will they? The answer is no as Australia are penalised for not releasing the ball. The scrum from the Lions has been poor but they have been better at the breakdown.

51 minAustralia have a great chance to score! They have the line and the momentum, desperate defending from the Lions.

52 minNorth makes a huge saving tackle on Folau, who looked to be away there. Halfpenny boots away the advantage. The atmosphere is electric!

53 minAustralia have been given the penalty after a crazy sequence of play. Everyone can catch their breath, but Beale will kick this into touch.

54 minThe Lions drive well on their own 22 to force the Aussies out of play following the lineout.

55 minConor Murray, who has just come on, immediately wins a penalty on his own 22 after Australia fail to release the ball. Sexton boots it into touch.

56 minThe Wallabies hit a long kick to clear their lines which lands in the arms of Halfpenny. His kick is poor and goes up but not away, which leads to Murray knocking on the ball and giving away the penalty.

57 minHibbard comes on into the front row for the Lions in place on Tom Youngs.

59 minThe Lions are penalised for obstruction, which will allow Beale to kick the ball into touch from the Aussie half.

60 minThe Lions want a penalty after Halfpenny looked to have been obstructed and blocked off. Nothing given.

61 minAmazing scenes as George North literally carries Folau on his shoulders as he carries the ball forward.

61 minNorth took a hit to head and is now receiving treatment. He is back up though and got a huge reaction.

62 minThe game will get back underway with this scrum. The Lions are 18 minutes away from victory.

62 minWhat a superb scrum from the Lions! They batter the men in gold to win the penalty.

62 minHalfpenny is going to kick this. It's a long way out, but if anyone can do it...

63 min49 metres from the posts...

63 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 15-9 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

63 minHe's done it! What a super kick and the Lions now have a six-point lead.

64 minO'Brien comes on for Jamie Heaslip.

66 minAustralia are frantically trying to push for the tryline, the Lions are standing firm so far.

67 minBeale lets the ball slip from his grasps and the Lions get the penalty. More importantly for the tourists, that kills the Wallabies momentum.

67 minCaptain Warburton is limping off and is replaced by Tom Croft.

67 minMurray is caught by Genia at the scrum, but the Lions get the penalty after Australia collapsed.

70 minThe Lions concede the play and Australia win the penalty. Beale kicks it into touch for the lineout.

71 minHeart in mouth time for the Lions, Australia are closing in.

71 minThe Lions just get away with it but the referee brings the play back for a penalty. They're going for a scrum just 10 metres from the tryline.

73 minThe Lions win the scrum and Halfpenny clears away into touch. Australia still on the attack though and have a lineout now.

75 minDesperate defence again from the Lions, this is the moment the Aussies have been waiting for.

75 minTRY! Lions 15-14 Australia (Adam Ashley-Cooper)

76 minThey've done it! Australia's dominance pays off, and Adam Ashley-Cooper gets the pass and darts over to score. They trail by one point, Lealiifano will kick, and he hasn't missed yet today.

77 minCONVERSION SCORED! Lions 15-16 Australia (Christian Lealiifano)

78 minWhat a brilliant kick from Lealiifano, he maintains his 100% kick record today with a curling effort from the wide left.

78 minThe Lions are desperate for a penalty, and have the lineout on the 22. Big call.

78 minThe Wallabies clear their lines before bringing the ball back into their own 22. A huge error, and the Lions could potentially go for the drop goal.

78 minThe Wallabies win the ball from the lineout, and then are awarded the penalty. More poor lineouts from the Lions and there goes their chance.

79 minAwesome kick from Kurtley Beale, who smashes the ball into touch deep in the Lions half.

80 minAustralia win the lineout and are now just trying to run the clock down.

80 minPenalty to the Lions in what will be the last play of the day.

80+1 minThe Lions have a penalty! 50 metres out! Is it just too much for Halfpenny? What a finale this is.

80+2 minHuge moment!

80+3 minIt's short! And Australia have done it!

12.51pmFULL TIME: Lions 15-16 Australia

12.52pmAnd that's that. Just like in 2001, Australia win the second Test match to level up the series.

12.52pmIt all comes down to Sydney once more! What a final Test match we are in for.

12.54pmWell that's it from me today, I hope you enjoyed the match. I'll see you next weekend for the decider.

Lions' George North before a training session on June 20, 2013
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