Live Commentary: Australia 16-41 British and Irish Lions - as it happened

Live Commentary: Australia 16-41 Lions - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live coverage from Sydney where the British and Irish Lions take on Australia.

The British and Irish Lions met Australia in the final match of their tour with it all still to play for.

The Test series was decided in Sydney after the Wallabies levelled the tour with their 16-15 victory in Melbourne last week.

Head coach Warren Gatland made some big decisions this week, as the Lions looked to win their first tour in 16 years.

In a thrilling match the Lions clinched the series with a big win.

Read how it all unfolded in our live commentary below.

10.42amGood morning and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage from Sydney as the British and Irish Lions take on Australia in the final Test.

10.42amTHIS IS IT! It's winner takes all, whoever wins today's match will win the tour and lift the Tom Richards cup! What an incredible finale we are set for.

10.44amThis match couldn't be more finely poised between the two teams. Having edged out a victory in the first Test in Brisbane, the Lions got a taste of their own medicine, as Leigh Halfpenny's last-second miss from a penalty resulted in their defeat. It's 1-1 and it's game on.

10.44amThe Lions will be hoping that they aren't enduring a repeat of the 2001 tour, where they went on to lose the series having won the opening match. Warren Gatland will do all he can to prevent that.

10.45amThere is a lot to talk about in terms of team news and we'll bring you that shortly.

10.49amWell Gatland has had some big big calls in terms of team selection to make over the course of the tour, with regards to replacements, partnerships and starting roles, but he dropped an absolute bombshell on Wednesday, by revealing that Brian O'Driscoll, whom many had tipped to captain the side in the final Test, would not be included in the squad.

10.50amThe move essentially ends the Lions career of O'Driscoll, who will have retired by the time the squad visits New Zealand in 2017. A gutting action for him, but an immensely brave one from Gatland.

10.51amThe move sent shockwaves down the spines of all rugby nuts across the globe, nobody expected that one.

10.52amThe other big talking point is that Alun Wyn Jones has been handed the captain's armband for this clash. He'll be hoping to stamp his mark on Australia today... see what I did there?

10.53amThose of you who understood the poor attempt of a pun that I just made will know that I am referring to his incident with James Horwill, who was cleared of deliberately stamping on Jones during the first Test for the second time this week. The two will now lock horns again as skippers.

10.56amLIONS XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny. 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Jonathan Davies, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 George North, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 1 Alex Corbisiero, 2 Richard Hibbard, 3 Adam Jones, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 5 Geoff Parling, 6 Dan Lydiate, 7 Sean O'Brien, 8 Toby Faletau

10.56amGatland makes six changes to his starting XV, which includes 10 Welshmen, as Jamie Roberts, Mike Phillips, Alex Corbisiero, Richard Hibbard, Sean O'Brien and Toby Faletau all come into the side.

10.57amAUSTRALIA XV: 15 Kurtley Beale, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Lealiifano, 11 Joe Tomane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 1 Benn Robinson, 2 Stephen Moore, 3 Ben Alexander, 4 James Horwill, 5 Kane Douglas, 6 Ben Mowen, 7 George Smith, 8 Wycliff Palu

10.58amHead coach Robbie Deans has recalled experienced flanker George Smith to face the British and Irish Lions. The 32-year-old, who hasn't appeared for the Wallabies for three years, has impressed since returning to Brumbies from his loan spell at Japanese side Suntory. Smith, who played against the Lions during the 2001 tour, goes straight into the starting XV in place of Michael Hooper in what is the only change.

10.59amKurtley Beale and James O'Connor retain their places at full-back and fly-half respectively, while cleared captain James Horwill also starts for the men in gold.

11amWhat a massive day for Alun Wyn Jones. No Sam Warburton, no Paul O'Connell and no Brian O'Driscoll, Jones has a lot of responsibility on his shoulders today.

11amOut come the British and Irish Lions!

11.02amThere is going to be a huge roar to greet James Horwill and the rest of the Wallabies.

11.02amButterflies anyone?

11.03amWhat a clash this is going to be. Four years in the waiting. This is going to be a rollercoaster of a couple of hours.

11.04amWe're just enduring the Australian national anthem, and it's being bellowed out by the Wallabies players. Brilliant to see!

11.05amRomain Poite of France is the referee today.


1 minHuge early roar from the Lions fans as Will Genia drops the kickoff catch. Nervous much? Scrum time, brilliant attacking position for the Lions.

1 minLions get a free kick and Tommy Bowe goes close to the line, Australia hanging by a thread.

2 minTRY! Australia 0-5 Lions (Alex Corbisiero)

2 minWhat a start for the Lions! Alun-Wyn Jones goes so close with his dive under the posts. The Lions hold on and work it to Corbisiero, who goes down but roles over the line to score. Awesome stuff!

3 minCONVERSION SCORED! Australia 0-7 Lions (Leigh Halfpenny)

4 minHalfpenny won't have an easier kick in his life. It's right under the posts, dead central, and he puts the Lions seven points to the good.

4 minAustralia have responded well and the Lions have to be careful when Folau gets the ball. They win a penalty and opt for the lineout. The Wallabies looking for an instant response.

5 minOuch! I don't know what they feed Richard Hibbard as his head meets that of George Smith at high speed and both go down after an explosive collision. However, Hibbard, like a freak, is straight back up. But it's heartache for Smith who comes of injured in his final-ever Test for the Wallabies. That's sad to see.

6 minYou've got to feel for Smith. Four years out of the international scene, and his return lasts just four minutes.

7 minThe Lions have a penalty after a poor tackle from Australia. It's a long way out, but Halfpenny is going for it.

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

8 minBig kick from Halfpenny, but the Lions have a dream start! The ball beautifully floats through the posts to give the Lions a 10-point lead.

9 minKane Douglas wins a penalty for Australia after he is accidentally blocked by Jones and Hibbard. Lealiifano needs to convert this.

10 minPENALTY SCORED! Australia 3-10 Lions (Christian Lealiifano)

10 minLealiifano's 100% record remains intact as he curls the ball through the posts from the left. Game back on.

10 minWhat on earth in George Smith doing back out there?! I don't know how he has done it, but he has shaken off that crash with Hibbard and is back onto the field. Big mental boost for the hosts.

12 minThe Lions dominate the scrum and win the penalty. Halfpenny will kick and look to restore the Lions 10-point lead.

12 minIt's 45m out.

13 minPENALTY SCORED! Australia 3-13 Lions (Leigh Halfpenny)

13 minHalfpenny nearly clears the stadium with this huge kick, but he does his job and adds the three points.

14 minIt was a wonderful scrum from the Lions leading up to the penalty, such dominant power.

15 minPenalty to the Lions! They have the Australian pack on toast! They force another penalty from the scrum.

16 minOver to Halfpenny then...

17 minPENALTY SCORED! Australia 3-16 Lions (Leigh Halfpenny)

17 minHalfpenny scored again! This one is about 30m out and pretty central, slight to the left. But it is meat and drink for the Welshman. The Lions are in dreamland.

19 minAustralia really pushing now. They win the lineout and fling it out to Folau on the far side, but he is bulldozed by George North, that old meeting again. It's a huge tackle from him and the Lions win the scrum with a great defence.

21 minSexton clears the danger with a decent kick for the Lions, and they have a chance to get out of trouble.

22 minNightmare for Kurtley Beale, who catches a tricky grubber before slicing his clearance into touch. Another chance for the Lions to get forward.

23 minSuperb kick from Jonathan Davies! He picks up the ball and clears it right into the corner. Australia forced to take a quick one as they desperately try to clear their lines. But the Lions have it back.

25 minSIN BIN! Ben Alexander

25 minThe Lions have a penalty and Australia are down to 14. Alexander is sent to the bin.

26 minPENALTY SCORED! Australia 3-19 Lions (Leigh Halfpenny)

26 minEasy for Halfpenny and he keeps up his 100% record in this match. What a dream this is for the Lions, but they need to take advantage of having the extra man.

28 minFolau is struggling and he is off. Jesse Mogg is the man to come on.

28 minAnd it's a debut for him. Everything is against Australia at the moment.

29 minWe're going to have a scrum, and the Lions look to dominate again.

30 minThe Lions demonstrate their power and are in a commanding attacking position at the moment.

31 minAustralia have defended very well despite their deficit, and are continuing to do so with 14 players at the moment. The Lions are being kept waiting.

32 minSexton went for the drop kick but failed to hit the target. Hibbard is currently down receiving treatment.

33 minJesse Mogg goes flying through the middle for Australia at a flying pace. He beats a number of men but is just caught by the tap tackle of Geoff Parling. Phenomenal stop from Parling.

34 minTommy Bowe gets Sexton out of jail with an awesome catch after the fly-half sliced his kick.

35 minThe Lions are penalised for not releasing the ball, and Australia have a penalty. North the guilty man. Mogg is looking to kick this into touch.

36 minFour minutes until the break, Australia need something before then!

37 minHigh tackle from Sean O'Brien, and Australia have a penalty. They play it into touch for the lineout and are looking for a try before half time.

39 minAnother penalty for the Wallabies. Horwill will ignore another chance to go for the posts, and they have opted for the lineout.

40 minSo close! The Wallabies are hovering. Just a minute until half time. Big moment.

40 minWe will have a scrum from five metres from their own try line to see out the half. The Lions need to continue dominating in order to keep their lead intact.

40+1 minThe first scrum is collapsed, take two.

40+1 minThe second one is unsuccessful, Australia need to be careful not to rue this chance.

40+2 minTRY! Australia 8-19 Lions (James O'Connor)

40+2 minMassive try for the Wallabies! How important could that be? O'Connor darts in and out of the Lions defence before forcing his way over. Individual genius from O'Connor. Game on.

40+3 minCONVERSION SCORED! Australia 10-19 Lions (Christian Lealiifano)

40+3 minNo mistake from Lealiifano, the Wallabies trail by nine points.

11.55amHALF TIME: Australia 10-19 Lions

11.56amHow crucial could that converted try be for the Wallabies? The Lions dominated this half until right at the end, and Australia have scored when they needed to.

11.56amDespite that, the Lions have been excellent so far and have been by far the better team in the pack.

11.56amNonetheless the Lions are just 40 minutes away from winning their first tour in 16 years.

11.56amWhat a second half we have in store.

12.05pmThe players are back out!


41 minAustralia win a penalty, and Horwill is opting to go for the posts this time.

42 minPENALTY SCORED! Australia 13-19 Lions (Christian Lealiifano)

43 minGreat start for the Wallabies who have come out flying to the start of the second half. Lealiifano is yet to miss a kick against the Lions and he has kept that up with a great kick here.

44 minAustralia are looking confident as Beale races away but is caught by the Lions. The Wallabies have been awarded another penalty, and again Horwill goes for the posts.

46 minLealiifano is lining this one up and will surely reduced the deficit to just three points.

46 minPENALTY SCORED! Australia 16-19 Lions (Christian Lealiifano)

47 minThe Wallabies are in the mood! Lealiifano curls this one from the right inside the far post. Having trailed by 16 points, Australia are now just three behind.

48 minThis really is game on now. What a spectacle this is.

48 minThe lineout deserts the Lions on this occasion, Hibbard's crooked throw is knocked-on by Parling. We'll have a scrum to settle this.

49 minHibbard goes off as Tom Youngs makes his way onto the field.

50 minThe Lions win the penalty from the scrum, their power is too much. Big relief for them as they win possession back. I'm sure they will look to Halfpenny to add the three points.

52 minPENALTY SCORED! Australia 16-22 Lions (Leigh Halfpenny)

53 minHalfpenny does it, 35m out is nothing for him and he makes it a six-point gap. Much-needed points for the Lions there.

54 minTense times here as the Wallabies come forward once again. The Lions holding their own at the moment.

55 minSexton's kick bobbles into the path of North who offloads to Davies. The Lions get out of danger and they win the lineout.

56 minFaletau has been forced off to treat his eye injury. Adam Jones has also made way as Dan Cole and Justin Tipuric come on.

56 minLions will have the lineout now.

58 minThe Lions have a try! But their going to send it to the TMO to check for a forward pass. Sexton went over to much jubilation, if they disallow this will be a kick in the teeth.

58 minThe replays show that it looks clean at the moment.

58 minTRY! Australia 16-27 Lions (Jonny Sexton)

58 minIT'S GIVEN! A brilliant try from the Lions who pass it across the line, Davies feeds in North, who offloads to Halfpenny, Sexton picks it up and races under the posts. What a brilliant try! The Lions can taste tour victory!

59 minCONVERSION SCORED! Australia 16-29 Lions (Leigh Halfpenny)

59 minHalfpenny adds the extras and now have a 13-point lead with 22 minutes to go.

60 minWonderful kick from Mogg, who has been outstanding since coming off the bench, the Lions have been pegged back to five metres out of their tryline.

61 minThe Lions mess up the lineout, Australia are coming back!

62 minThe Wallabies are so close, inches from the line. They're being patient at the moment.

62 minO'Connor is stopped as Australia pass it along the line, but the referee brings the advantage back to the penalty. Wallabies going for this.

63 minAustralia lose it! The Lions clear! Huge let off!

63 minThe Lions could have passed it further along the line before clearing but they didn't and will now contest a lineout of their own 22.

63 minPenalty to the Lions! Australia fail to stay on their feet, and the Lions can further clear their danger.

64 minThe Lions play it into touch, lineout time on the halfway line for the Lions.

64 minJohnny Sexton seems very unhappy as he makes his way off the field, Owen Farrell makes his Test debut and has a huge amount of pressure on him now.

65 minTRY! Australia 16-34 Lions (George North)

65 minThat is it! That surely wins the Lions their first series in 16 years! Halfpenny hits a blistering counter-attack to beat a number of players before offloading wide to George North who surges over in the corner to score.

66 minCONVERSION MISSED! Australia 16-34 Lions (Leigh Halfpenny)

66 minHalfpenny misses his first kick of the game, but if it wasn't for him, they wouldn't be in this position.

68 minThe Lions get the lineout, and have a chance to completely put the game to bed now.

69 minTRY! Australia 16-39 Lions (Jamie Roberts)

69 minTHEY'VE DONE IT! The Lions score another brilliant try, Murray offloads in the middle and Roberts holds off all the defenders to score a wonderful try. The Lions have won this tour.

70 minCONVERSION SCORED! Australia 16-41 Lions (Leigh Halfpenny)

70 minHalfpenny scores again, the Lions have a 25-point lead.

72 minRecord attendance at the ANZ Stadium of 83,702 in Sydney.

73 minWarren Gatland must be over the moon, after all the big calls he has made, he has been vindicated today!

74 minHuge amounts of Australia fans are leaving the ground, no such action from the Lions fans, they are in ecstasy right now.

74 minAustralia smash a penalty from their own half away, which the Lions then put into touch for the lineout.

76 minThe Lions coaches are already celebrating, they deserve it.

77 minHalfpenny given man of the match and boy does he deserve it.

78 minAustralia are trying to find themselves another try, but they know that they have lost this. The Lions are taking it easy and just seeing out this tour.

79 minAll the coach are down on the touchline exchanging hugs with the substitutes. Amazing scenes.

79 minThere are tears of joy on the touchline, this is unbelievable. So many wide smiles.

80 minThe Lions have a penalty but will play the advantage as they send EVERYONE bar Owen Farrell up for the lineout.


12.56pmFULL TIME: Australia 16-41 Lions

12.57pmThere we have it! Breathtaking moment for the Lions, they have made history and ended their 16-year wait for a tour win. They have avenged their heartbreak in Australia of 2001 and win the series!

12.59pmWhat a huge victory for the Lions, they thoroughly deserved it as well. Brilliant scenes here and some wonderful shots of Brian O'Driscoll.

1.03pmWhat a day.

1.04pmJames Horwill: "We let ourselves down tonight in the scrum, which is disappointing considering how good we've been for two weeks."

1.05pmIt's time for the trophy presentation. Not long to wait until the Lions lift the Tom Richards Cup.

1.06pmJust about to hear who the Player of the Series is...

1.06pmIt goes to the Lions Leigh Halfpenny! No surprise there.

1.08pmJames Horwill pays tribute to the Lions and their fans; a classy speech from him.

1.09pmSam Warburton says his piece on the microphone.


1.10pmSam Warburton: "It's been a great Test series. We've worked so hard for this – it's been a squad effort."

1.11pmWhat celebrations we are witnessing here. This party will go on long into the night.

1.12pmAnd that is that. We've come to the end of the 2013 British and Irish Lions tour of Australia. It's been an absolute pleasure to cover it for you.

1.13pmThe tour may be over, but the memories will live on! Goodbye!

Jonathan Davies
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