Live Commentary: British and Irish Lions 35-0 Melbourne Rebels - as it happened

Live Commentary: Lions 35-0 Melbourne Rebels - as it happened
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Sports Mole's live coverage as the British and Irish Lions took on the Melbourne Rebels.

The British and Irish Lions took on the Melbourne Rebels in their final midweek match of the tour.

The tourists got off to a great start on Saturday as Warren Gatland's side edged out Australia 23-21 in Brisbane.

The Lions put in a good display to win their final friendly ahead of the second Test with the Wallabies.

Read how the action unfolded in our live commentary below.

10.06amHello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage from AMMI Park where the British and Irish Lions take on the Melbourne Rebels.

10.08amHopefully by now you will have recovered from the drama of Saturday's opening Test match against Australia and especially the nervy final 10 minutes of the clash. Despite not having any fingernails left, the Lions came away with a 23-21 win to take a 1-0 lead in the series.

10.10amSo match has happened in the Lions camp over the past few days, with the big news being that lock Paul O'Connell is out of the remainder of the tour after fracturing his arm. The Ireland international was in top form before picking up the injury and will remain with the squad to help out, lending his captain's experience to the rest of the side.

10.14amYou would have thought that brings an end to O'Connell's playing career with the Lions on what his surely his last tour with the side.

10.15amIn the wake of that news Geoff Parling, who was supposed to skipper the side today, has been withdrawn from the team and is very likely to start at lock against the Wallabies at the weekend.

10.15amBut without giving too much away, let's bring you the Lions team news.

10.17amLIONS XV: Rob Kearney, Sean Maitland, Manu Tuilagi, Brad Barritt, Simon Zebo, Owen Farrell, Conor Murray, Ryan Grant, Richard Hibbard, Dan Cole, Richie Gray, Ian Evans, Dan Lydiate, Sean O'Brien, Toby Faletau

10.18amSo Ian Evans takes the place of Parling, while Dan Lydiate takes the captain's armband for the match. The remainder of the team is a complete change from the starting lineup that faced the Wallabies.

10.20amManu Tuilagi returns from injury to play at centre, alongside England teammate Brad Barritt. Simon Zebo makes his second start since being called up to the side, while Conor Murray partners Owen Farrell in midfield.

10.24amRight, let's bring you the team news from the Melbourne Rebels.

10.24amREBELS XV: Jason Woodward; Tom English, Mitch Inmar, Rory Sidey, Lachlan Mitchell; Bryce Hegarty, Luke Burgess; Nic Henderson, Ged Robinson, Laurie Weeks, Cadeyrn Neville, Hugh Pyle, Jarrod Saffy, Scott Fuglistaller, Gareth Delve

10.26amAMMI Park today is completely sold out and hosts a record crowd for this fixture.

10.29amAs outlined by both head coach Warren Gatland and forwards coach Graham Rowntree, this match with the Rebels marks a massive opportunity for the Lions players to earn a place in the Test side to face Australia at the weekend.

10.36amWe're just minutes away from this match. Excitement is building!

10.37amFormer Wales international Gareth Delve, who starts for the Rebels tonight, gets the biggest cheer of the evening.

10.38amAnd out come the Lions, led by Lydiate, to a great ovation.

10.39amAnd out come the Rebels, sporting an all blue strip with red and white trim.

10.40amWe're ready to go.


1 minGood start from the Lions, they win a lineout and nearly work a try through Owen Farrell, but the Rebels can stop the danger.

3 minPoor lineout from the Lions this time, Hibbard's throw is poor and the Rebels can peal away with it.

4 minDecent stuff from the Rebels at the moment but the Lions are standing their ground.

5 minGreat turnover from O'Brien who wins a penalty for the Lions. Farrell from deep boots it into touch.

5 minHibbard finds O'Brien with the lineout to make it two won and two lost for the Lions, before Tuilagi is penalised for being off his feet. A wonderful Woodward kick puts the ball into touch.

6 minRebels knock it on at the lineout and give the Lions a penalty.

7 minA good scrum from the Lions wins them a penalty after the Rebels collapse. Farrell kicks it into touch from his own 22.

9 minLions starting to push forward with some nice moves. Showing a lot of power with their mauls.

11 minWe'll have a scrum on the Rebels 22 after O'Brien knocked it on.

13 minWoodward gets a huge amount of distance on his punt and clears the lines for the Rebels. He's started very well.

14 minThe Lions come ever so close as Barritt chips in Sean Maitland on the far side, but Woodward slides in to deny the Scot.

15 minTRY! Lions 5-0 Rebels (Conor Murray)

16 minConor Murray gets a nice little try to put the Lions ahead. They drive well at the scrum and push it over the try line. Faletau goes down but nobody can quite see if he has gone over or not. The ball pops out to Murray who ducks inside and goes over to score.

17 minCONVERSION SCORED! Lions 7-0 Rebels (Owen Farrell)

17 minNo mistake from Farrell and he makes it 16 from 17 on the tour to add the extras.

20 minThe Lions are keeping up the pressure, but thankfully for the Rebels they have possession at the scrum on the 22.

22 minThe Lions come so close to finding a way through again but the Rebels can intercept and slice away the clearance.

23 minScrum time in the Rebels half just in front of their 22. They win the penalty from it and will have the chance to clear it away once more with the big boot of Woodward.

25 minThe Lions give away a penalty with Sean O'Brien, and this should be three points for the Rebels.

27 minThe flags stay down as Woodward miskicks it wide of the right post. That should have been converted. We then see shots of Kurtley Beale in the stands watching on; he knows how Woodward feels.

28 minTRY! Lions 12-0 Rebels (Sean Maitland)

28 minIt's a great try from the Lions and Sean Maitland gets his first of the tour. A great counter from the tourist leaves Tuilagi battering off his opponents before passing to Maitland. He gives it to Faletau who looks destined to score but slips at the last. Zebo recovers the balls and unselfishly gives it to Maitland who scores in the corner.

29 minCONVERSION SCORED! Lions 14-0 Rebels (Owen Farrell)

30 minFarrell is playing beautifully at the moment, and places a great kick in between the posts.

31 minRebels trying to respond, but the Lions defend well and win a penalty.

32 minThe link work is class from the Lions and they nearly find a way in down the left. Zebo makes a lovely little run before offloading to Farrell, but his netball throw is judged to have been forward.

35 minThe Rebels are really pegged back at the moment, but are starting to burrow their way out with some nice passing.

36 minThe ball is cleared and the Lions have a lineout on their own 22.

39 minRebels have a lineout right on the edge of the Lions try line, real chance for a score here.

39 minIan Evans brilliantly intercepts it but Murray's kick doesn't go too far. Another lineout for the Rebels, this time on the 22.

11.23amHALF TIME: Lions 14-0 Rebels

11.24amThe Rebels fail to take advantage of their position as the half comes to an end.

11.25amTries from Conor Murray and Sean Maitland separate the two sides, while Owen Farrell has been good with the boot so far. Strong lead at half time for the Lions.

11.36amThe teams are back out.


42 minRebels working hard here to create an opening and get over the game line.

44 minSean O'Brien is currently down on the turf receiving some treatment. Looks as if he'll be ok.

44 minFarrell with a quick tap goes right for the corner and finds it with a beauty. Lineout Lions.

45 minGreat defence from the Rebels at the lineout, they're delight as they win the penalty. They're now going to scrum it down about 10 metres away from their own try line.

46 minPoor kick from the Rebels to clear. The Lions have a lineout on the other side in a really good scoring position.

48 minThe move looks promising but Farrell fumbles and can't get his pass away quick enough. The move dies, but the Lions still have the momentum.

49 minLuxury kick from Farrell who knows what Kearney wants to do. He nearly finds him but the Ireland international is beaten to the ball. Advantage brought back for the Lions though.

50 minTRY! Lions 19-0 Rebels (Sean O'Brien)

50 minO'Brien is all smiles as he goes over to score. Well worked lineout from the Lions, Lydiate's offload was superb and O'Brien went over in the corner.

51 minThis is a really tough kick for Farrell.

51 minCONVERSION SCORED! Lions 21-0 Rebels (Owen Farrell)

52 minFarrell maintains his 100% record with a wonderful kick, he has since been replaced by Stuart Hogg.

54 minLineout about to be taken on the Rebels 10-metre line by the Lions, they do so and win a penalty, which is almost taken too quickly as the Rebels break away.

57 minThe Lions weather the storm and are now pushing their way downfield.

59 minLions lose it at the breakdown and gift a penalty to the Rebels just outside the hosts' try line.

63 minPENALTY TRY! Lions 26-0 Rebels

63 minSIN BIN! Jordy Reid is given his marching orders to trying to swipe the ball in an offside position as the Lions were driving over the line. The penalty try is given, Reid is sent to the stands, and Hogg makes the kick.

67 minGood pressure form Tipuric at the breakdown on the Rebels 10-metre line to win the penalty. Hogg knocks it into touch, and the Lions will go for another penalty.

69 minThe Lions are really pushing for it, but Rebels can eventually turn it over and race away. They win a lineout on the 22 which has really cheered up the home crowd.

71 minThe Lions do well to win it back, and Zebo gets a pass from Tuilagi and then plays a very clever offload to Maitland. But Maitland is blocked in a boots clear.

73 minTRY! Lions 33-0 Rebels (Ben Youngs)

74 minReally good individual try from Youngs who picks up the ball from Croft at the lineout before turning on the pace and going over the line under the posts for the try.

74 minCONVERSION SCORED! Lions 35-0 Rebels (Stuart Hogg)

75 minHogg converts the easy kick.

79 minLions controlling possession as the clock continues to tick away.

80 minThe Rebels turn it over, last chance for them to try to get some points on the board.

80 minPenalty given against the offside Richie Gray as the hooter goes. Last chance for the Rebels.

12.19pmFULL TIME: Lions 35-0 Melbourne Rebels

12.20pmWell that's it, the Lions manage not to concede a point and put in a good display ahead of their second Test with Australia.

12.22pmThat's it from me, I hope you enjoyed it, I'll see you on Saturday.

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Leicester Tigers' Geoff Parling on May 12, 2012
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