Live Commentary: British and Irish Lions 23-21 Australia - as it happened

Live Commentary: Lions 23-21 Australia - as it happened
© PA Photos
Sports Mole's live coverage from Brisbane where the British and Irish Lions faced Australia in the first Test of the series.

The British and Irish Lions faced Australia in the opening Test of the series in Brisbane.

The tourists went into the match having lost just one of their six warm-up matches prior to this encounter, and were looking for their first tour win since 1997.

The Lions lost 2-1 in the series the last time they faced the Wallabies.

However, they got off to the perfect start with a dramatic, narrow victory to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

Read how it all unfolded in our live commentary below.

10.32amGood morning, and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage from Brisbane as the British and Irish Lions take on Australia in the first Test of the series.

10.33amThis is it! The day is finally upon us, and we will have opening Test of the Lions summer 2013 in just 30 minutes!

10.34amIt's taken months of preparation and dedication, and has been four years in the waiting, but now we can finally say that the Lions are back in competitive action!

10.35amThere is so much to talk about from the perspective of both teams, to do with selections, tactics and mentality, and I'll do my best to try to talk you through it all, right up until kick off.

10.36amThe Lions are the early bookmakers favourites to win the series, with some even expecting a 3-0 whitewash. However, that is much easier said than done and you'd be foolish to completely write off the Wallabies. They know what they're doing on the big stage.

10.38amThe last time the Lions were downunder in Australia, they won the series opener thanks to some magic from Brian O'Driscoll. However, the Wallabies turned on the style in the final two games to earn a 2-1 victory in the tour. While they certainly wouldn't mind repeating their start in 2001, Warren Gatland will definitely want to go one better this time around.

10.39amRight, let's bring you some team news for the match, starting with the Lions.

10.40amLIONS XV: 15. Halfpenny, 14. Cuthbert, 13. O'Driscoll, 12. Davies, 11. North, 10. Sexton, 9. Phillips, 8. Heaslip, 7. Warburton, 6. Croft, 5. O'Connell, 4. A-W Jones, 3. A. Jones, 2. Youngs, 1. Corbisiero

10.42amSo the big talking point from the Lions selection is the inclusion of Alex Corbisiero. The London Irish prop starts in the front row at the expense on England teammate Mako Vunipola, who was heavily tipped for a start. Corbisiero wasn't part of the original squad, and was called up by Gatland as a replacement for the injured Cian Healy. What a crazy few weeks it's been for him. From touring in Argentina, to starting against the Wallabies for the Lions!

10.45amAnother remarkable rise is that of Tom Youngs. The Leicester Tigers player was out on loan at Nottingham as a centre four years ago, and was even just on the fringes of his current club at the start of the season. However, Youngs has been given the nod as hooker for the tourists, at the expense of Richard Hibbard and Rory Best. The lineout has been a cause for concern for Warren Gatland in recent weeks, so here's to a good performance from Youngs.

10.47amOther notable points from the selection is that Brian O'Driscoll makes his seventh (yes seventh!) Lions Test start, while there are eight Test debutants in the side today.

10.50amAnd here are Warren Gatland's replacements for the match.

10.52amLIONS REPLACEMENTS: 16. Hibbard, 17. Vunipola, 18. Cole, 19. Parling, 20. Lydiate, 21. Ben Youngs, 22. Farrell, 23. Maitland

10.54amSo you've had the Lions news, but what about their opponents? Here is the Australia lineup.

10.55amAUSTRALIA XV: 15. Barnes, 14. Folau, 13. Ashley-Cooper, 12. Lealiifano, 11. Ioane, 10. O'Connor, 9. Genia, 8. Palu, 7. Hooper, 6. Mowen, 5. Horwill, 4. Douglas, 3. Alexander, 2. Moore, 1. Robinson

10.56amWallabies boss Robbie Deans has named three debutants for the match in Israel Folau, Ben Mowen and Christian Lealiifano, while James O'Connor starts at fly-half in only his second Test appearance for his country.

10.56amWe're less than 10 minutes away from the start. The trophy is being paraded around the pitch, the players are getting ready in changing rooms.

10.57amHere are the Wallabies replacements.

10.59amAUSTRALIA REPLACEMENTS: 16. Fainga'a, 17. Slipper, 18. Kepu, 19. Simmons, 20. Gill, 21. Phipps, 22. McCabe, 23. Beale

11amWe're moments away from Sam Warburton leading out the Lions as the captain at the age of 24.

11.01amHere they are! The Lions jog out onto the field to an outstanding reception, they have some great support with them here today.

11.02amAnd here come the Wallabies!

11.03amWe're about to have the national anthems.

11.04amAnthem over, players ready, we're just moments away from kick off.


1 minThe Lions are playing to the left and sport their usual red shirts, white shorts and green and blacks socks.

1 minAustralia sport their gold tops with green shorts and socks. They have a lot more support today than they did this time 12 years ago.

1 minWe've got a very worrying injury for Australia already and it's Lealiifano who looks as if he is going off on a stretcher. The Lions did well from their lineout, and the ball found Jonathan Davies. Lealiifano went into the tackle all wrong and got clattered, and then smashed his head on the knee of another player. The Lions stopped the play, horrible scenes early on.

1 minLealiifano sticks a thumb up as he is taken off on the medical buggy, but this looks to be the end of the Test for him.

1 minWe'll get back underway with a scrum just inside the Wallabies half.

2 minAustralia get the free kick from the scrum, and they go to attack the Lions. However, they lose it on the floor, and the tourists can regain possession.

3 minSexton tries to kick it towards Cuthbert, but it is well caught by Ashley-Cooper. O'Driscoll is then penalised, and Australia have a penalty and an early chance for points.

5 minO'Connor to take from the 10-metre line out wide.

5 minIt's a massive kick from O'Connor but he doesn't manage to hit the target. Let off for the Lions, and they will restart the game.

6 minThe Wallabies have been awarded another penalty in almost an identical position, and O'Driscoll is the guilty man once more, although he pleads his innocence to the official. He isn't happy. O'Connor to kick again then.

7 minSame again from O'Connor! Zero from two for the fly-half. It had the legs but not the direction.

8 minThe Lions call for another scrum on their own 10-metre line.

9 minThe Lions get the penalty with a monstrous scrum! They absolutely drove the Wallabies right back, and Sexton plays the kick into touch for a lineout.

10 minLeigh Halfpenny half fancied that one as well! But the Lions have a lineout.

10 minThe Lions win it well and show some nice hands along the line to the far touchline. The tourists are still driving now.

12 minThey're still working it, but Alun-Wyn Jones gets slammed by Douglas. Lions still have possession though as Halfpenny nearly finds his way through. The Lions have a penalty advantage.

13 minThe Lions lose the advantage and the ball, the Wallabies on the attack.

13 minTRY! Lions 0-5 Australia (Israel Folau)

14 minUnreal, the Wallabies have the first score of the series. The Lions don't readjust quick enough from conceding the ball, and Australia take it fast. A kick from Genia finds Folau with a brilliant kick, and he paces it down the line and under the posts.

15 minCONVERSION SCORED! Lions 0-7 Australia (James O'Connor)

15 minSimple kick for O'Connor as he gets off the mark. First blood to the Wallabies.

16 minCorbisiero receives some treatment, but is back up for this Lions lineout.

17 minAustralia win it back at the breakdown and boot it forward. Cuthbert spills it, and the hosts have a penalty. The Wallabies have the momentum.

18 minThe doctor has been called on once again for Corbisiero.

18 minScrum time again at the halfway line, as we see that Lealiifano is back on the bench and looks ok for the Aussies.

19 minThe Lions have had all the possession so far, but the Wallabies are really lightning fast on the break. Perhaps an indication of how the series will go.

20 minLions will another scrum and try to break away from their own 22.

21 minThe Lions build it forward but Sexton's kick is poor. However, McCabe is given offside, and the Lions can kick from their own 10.

22 minSexton puts it out for another lineout. They have won all of them so far.

23 minIt's a short one from the Lions this time as O'Connell catches it, before they are rewarded a penalty. I'd say that Halfpenny would opt for the posts here.

24 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 3-7 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

25 minLeigh Halfpenny must be made of ice because he was oh so cool for that kick. The pressure was on, but Halfpenny doesn't bat an eyelid to it, and steps up to drill the kick home. First points for the Lions.

26 minTRY! Lions 8-7 Australia (George North)

27 minThe place erupts! George North scores an awesome try. He catches a kick from the Aussies and bombs his way through a sea of gold shirts. That is absolutely phenomenal. That was his 'O'Driscoll moment'.

28 minCONVERSION SCORED! Lions 10-7 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

29 minIt's a world-class kick to couple a world-class try. Leigh Halfpenny is on the touchline of the 22 on the left, but curls an absolute beaut through the posts like it was the easiest shot in the world. GAME ON!

30 minGenia is force out into touch after being charged down by O'Driscoll from a great Sexton kick. Momentum with the Lions as they have the lineout very deep.

30 minLions win it again. They pushing for the line and looking for North. He bumps his way over in the corner, but it will go to the TMO. Not sure if this will be given.

31 minIt's very close, Genia makes a top tackle and the debate is whether North's elbow hits the post. It's so so close and the different replays suggest different outcomes. I think it's going to be ruled out though.

31 minIt's not given, and Warburton opts for the kick. When you have Leigh Halfpenny in your team, why not.

32 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 13-7 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

32 minEvery kick seems easy when you're Halfpenny. No mistake from the Welshman, three from three. And the Lions have a six-point lead.

33 minAnother top lineout from the Lions in their own half, and they can break downfield before Sexton boots it clear.

34 minThe Wallabies think they have a try here after a brilliant run from Folau, who left Sexton for dead. It's gone to the TMO for an alleged forward pass.

35 minTRY! Lions 13-12 Australia (Israel Folau)

35 minIt's given and it's a second brilliant try from Folau on his debut. O'Connor now needs to start getting these kicks.

36 minCONVERSION MISSED! Lions 13-12 Australia (James O'Connor)

36 minO'Connor misses again! This could start to prove really costly for the Wallabies as O'Connor puts it wide of the right post.

37 minBerrick Barnes, who could be called to take the kicks if O'Connor doesn't start finding form, plays a lovely boot into touch to bring the Wallabies forward.

38 minThere is a nasty clash between two Aussies as North pushes Folau into Barnes on the touchline in pursuit of the ball. It looks really painful, it's accidental, but very full on.

39 minBarnes is forced to leave the field on a stretcher, so the dangerous Kurtley Beale comes on. Could be trouble for the Lions here.

39 minYoungs catches from the lineout and the Lions break. They push themselves all the way to the try line before being awarded a penalty.

40 minBrilliant break from the Lions! Could be a sin bin for a Wallabies player though due to off the ball tackles. Halfpenny has the chance to get another three points though.

40+1 minPENALTY MISSED! Lions 13-12 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

40+1 minA very rare miss from Halfpenny but the kick was ridiculously tricky.

11.57amHALF TIME: Lions 13-12 Australia

11.58amSo that Halfpenny kicks brings an end to a whirlwind half in Brisbane. What an opening 40 minutes, which has seen three tries, injuries and a mixed display of kicking.

12.08pmThe Lions are making their way back out onto the field. Second half just moments away.

12.09pmAnd here come the Wallabies.


41 minThe Lions are driven into touch from the lineout, and Australia will now take the throw.

43 minAustralia receive a penalty after the Lions fail to release the ball in the ruck.

44 minBeale takes a beautiful kick and knocks it into touch.

45 minThe Wallabies build but the Lions win it back, and then boot it forward. Ioane stopped in his tracks by Phillips.

46 minWallabies win it back and look to catch out the Lions out wide,but Croft makes a great tackle on Beale to temporarily halt the attack.

47 minAustralia knock it on with a poor pass. McCabe is down with problems for the Wallabies, and they are quickly running out of backs.

47 minThe stretcher is back out, and this is worrying. The rapid Liam Gill, who is the youngest member of the Aussie outfit, looks ready to come on as a back despite being a flanker.

47 minGill is on, Michael Hooper goes into the backline. Advantage Lions at the scrum.

48 minThe Lions win a penalty at the scrum, and the momentum looks as if it is swinging back into their favour.

49 minTRY! Lions 18-12 Australia (Alex Cuthbert)

49 minWhat a try! The Lions win the lineout and spread it across the line. Cuthbert has it all to do, but he slices the Wallabies open and races under the posts. Great try. It's going to the TMO though who are looking at O'Driscoll's role who may have held off O'Connor.

50 minIt's given!

50 minCONVERSION SCORED! Lions 20-12 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

50 minHalfpenny kicks well, and the Lions have an eight-point lead.

50 minThe Lions have handed the Wallabies a penalty. Poor play there, O'Connor could reduce the gap.

51 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 20-15 Australia (James O'Connor)

52 minGame back on as O'Connor reduces the margin.

53 minDan Cole and Mako Vunipola are on for the Lions now to make it an all-English front row.

53 minBeale will kick this penalty into touch after the Lions are penalised for not releasing the ball.

55 minWallabies win it from the lineout, and this move looks promising. But Heaslips makes a brilliant tackle to kill the move.

56 minThe Lions win the scrum and are trying to escape from their own half.

58 minKnock on in the Wallabies half, and we'll have another scrum.

58 minOver 52,000 fans are in the stadium for this match.

59 minTom Croft is found guilty of being offside at the scrum and gives away a penalty. Beale slams it into touch for a lineout.

60 minPenalty to Australia for an offside. Beale is lining this one up for a kick.

62 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 20-18 Australia (Kurtley Beale)

62 minBig kick from Beale, it just has enough power to floats over the posts for the three points. Just two points in it now.

63 minBen Youngs comes on for Mike Phillips.

64 minThe Lions building, promising stuff, but the Wallabies are holding their ground at the moment.

64 minLions are given a penalty as the Wallabies come in from the wrong side of the ruck. Halfpenny steps up.

65 minHibbard is on for Youngs.

66 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 23-18 Australia (Leigh Halfpenny)

66 minWhat a kick! Halfpenny slaps it from the touchline through the posts.

67 minWhat a run from Kurtley Beale! He slices through the whole Lions team from one end to the other before being halted at the last. The Wallabies have a penalty now for tackling off the ball.

68 minPENALTY SCORED! Lions 23-21 Australia (Kurtley Beale)

69 minIt's a great kick from Beale. He barely needs a run up, but he has enough power on it to guide it through the post from 30m out.

71 minThe Lions have been awarded a penalty in front of the posts after Australia fail to release the ball. Sexton played a wonderful high kick upfield, and the Lions pounced on Beale. They'll scrum it down from five metres out.

72 minIt goes all wrong for the Lions! They mess it up at the back and it's cleared from Beale towards Falou. He is clawed to the ground by the Lions, but the Wallabies still have the momentum.

73 minAustralia are awarded a penalty for a debatable offside as they were waiting far too long to use the ball at the ruck.

74 minAustralia have a penalty! Beale is getting ready for the kick about 30m out, but the Wallabies could take the lead here.

75 minBeale misses! And it's a poor miss! The Lions survive!

77 minLions turn it over! Vunipola does very well to force the change, and the Lions now have less than four minutes to hold on.

77 minAdam Ashley-Cooper heads off injured while the two teams scrum it down on the halfway line.

79 minPenalty Australia! Beale has another chance. The Lions are penalised in the scrum, and Beale has the chance to put his side ahead from the halfway line.

80 minBeale slips! Beale misses! Lions win!

12.56pmLIONS WIN!

12.57pmFULL TIME: Lions 23-21 Australia

12.58pmWow, what a nervy finish in Brisbane. It's ecstasy for the Lions but devastation for the Wallabies. Beale twice misses a chance to win the match, but the Lions hold on to take the first Test.

12.58pmWhat a game! I'm exhausted from just watching it.

12.59pmThat's it from me for today, join me on Tuesday for the friendly with Melbourne Rebels before the second Test next weekend.

12.59pmUntil next time, it's goodbye.

Share this article now:
British and Irish Lions' Mike Phillips scores a try against the Barbarians on June 1, 2013
Read Next:
Genia: Phillips is "exceptional player"
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in with Facebook to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account