Sunday, June 30, 2013

All Even

The Australians staved off a series defeat to the Irish-British Lions today with a late 16-15 win to even the series at 1-1 setting up a showdown next weekend to determine a series winner.

Stoppages for injuries were regular occurrences after some punishing exchanges, especially in the second-half, when the Wallabies ran everything at an unstinting and virtually impenetrable red line before ultimately the pressure told. 

It took 75 minutes of intense, physical, defense-dominated rugby on Saturday before Wallabies center Adam Ashley-Cooper found a gap to score the game’s only try, and the young goal-kicker Christian Leali’ifano stepped up to hit what turned out to be the match-winning conversion from out wide.
But just like the week before, the result hinged on the final kick of the game. 
On June 22 in Brisbane, Kurtley Beale of Australia missed a kick at the end to hand the Lions the 23-21 victory in the first test. This time it was Lions fullback Leigh Halfpenny who failed with his 50-meter penalty attempt with no time left, giving Australia a 16-15 victory and denying the Lions the 2-0 series triumph they had desperately craved. 

Halfpenny, who had kicked all the Lions’ points in the match, looked dejected as the Australians celebrated their comeback victory — they were down 15-9 at one point — to keep their hopes of a series victory alive. 
“I’ve seen Leigh kick those before,” said Lions captain Sam Warburton, who was forced off the field with a hamstring injury before the late drama unfolded. “He just didn’t connect. He can’t blame himself. It was an extremely difficult kick. 

“But it was the right decision. You had to go for it because it was a realistic chance to win a test series.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the Lions have lost their chance now to take the series. The Aussies are too strong at home.