NSW Waratahs v British and Irish Lions

Leigh Halfpenny scores 30 points as the British and Irish Lions beat the New South Wales Waratahs 47-17 in Sydney.

17 June 2013 Last updated at 15:35

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As it happened

  1. 1300: 

    If that didn't get your heart pumping, then the closest thing you have to a pulse is the broad beans in the freezer.

    It was the day Leigh Halfpenny confirmed he was the full shilling, but Jamie Roberts limped off with his tour hopes in the balance.

    Our man on the scene, Bryn Palmer, has filed his report and will keep us updated on all the latest news as we head into the next tour match, in Canberra against the Brumbies on Tuesday, and the first Test, a week today in Brisbane.

    I'll be back on Tuesday but until then let's all hope Dr Roberts comes through. Physician, heal thyself.

  2. 1253: 

    Warren Gatland has reportedly said Jamie Roberts has torn his hamstring. In which case I was wrong (see 76 mins), but not exactly in a good way.

    If he is out, who comes in at 12? Brian O'Driscoll, Jonathan Davies and Manu Tuilagi are all naturally outside centres. Owen Farrell can play 12 but is a very different sort of player, and although George North has been suggested as a possible 13, that is of little use here.

    Does opportunity knock for England's Billy Twelvetrees? Called up as cover, he will surely play on Tuesday against the ACT Brumbies. He couldn't vault straight into the Test team, could he?

    +++STAT ATTACK+++

    Here are some stats, courtesy of our alpha-geek chums at Opta.

    The Lions made 524m to the hosts' 426m, but the Tahs actually beat more defenders - 13 to 12.

    It was at the breakdown where the tourists really excelled, forcing 14 turnovers to nine by NSW and winning 93 out of 95 rucks when they took the ball in, something the hosts only managed 72 times in 81 rucks.

    The Lions also enjoyed 57% of possession and 59% of territory.

    Alun Wyn Jones

    Lions second row Alun Wyn Jones: "It's breakdown, breakdown, breakdown. We can't play without the ball. A few times early on we were a bit negligent. It's a case of numbers for the tight five. You don't want to be anonymous.

    "As a tight five everybody put their hands up. On the whole it was pretty good, there's always bits and pieces to work on."


    Andy Curran ‏Fantastic stuff from Halfpenny today, a performance like that in the test matches is needed now #bbclions

    Fr∆ser Posford: When Warburton needs a big game he delivers one, superb captain's performance today

    Andrew Morgan: ‏Big big game from Sam! Great to see!


    Lions coach Warren Gatland: "They put it up to us physically and I think the boys responded very well. I think that was a performance out of the top drawer. Defensively we were strong. We were coming off our line pretty good and set piece was excellent, the scrum was strong and the line-out was good.

    "We showed a little bit tonight but not too much. I thought Alun-Wyn Jones was outstanding, he carried, defended really well, he was a real cog in the middle for us."


    Bryn Palmer: ‏Superb 47-17 victory from #Lions, best of tour so far. Shame about Roberts injury late on, but most players nailed down Test spots.

    Read Bryn's report from the ground shortly...


    Andrew Morgan: Test team taking shape POC and AWJ head and shoulders above he rest. Phillips and Sexton imperious. Halfpenny, Sam, North!

    Phil Richards: 1/2p has officially become a full penny


    Lions captain Sam Warburton: "The Waratahs were really tough, the scoreboard didn't reflect how well they played. The forwards did a good job and the backs were very clinical.

    "Next week is going to be immensely tough, I found that out with Wales, and that's going to be another challenge next Saturday. We've got another game against the Brumbies so until that game is over it'll be hard to look forward to the Test."

    FULL-TIME- New South Wales Waratahs 17-47 Lions
    Jamie Roberts

    What a belter of a match at a sold out Sydney Football Stadium. The Lions may still be holding plenty back - you should see the similes I'm saving for the Test series - but they showed tonight that they are a force to be reckoned with.

    A big effort from the pack, not least workaholic captain Sam Warburton and Welsh colleague Alun Wyn Jones, laid the foundation for the backs to run riot.

    Leigh Halfpenny was the star of the show, confirming once again that those boots are made for running and not just kicking, but there was potency across the park.

    The only downside was the injury to Jamie Roberts. His massive carrying into the heart of the opposition midfield is surely a weapon the Lions cannot do without, but the way he left the field does not bode well.

    Cross those digits, nurse that four-leaf clover, rub that lucky rabbit's foot, he would be a big loss should his injury prove to be more than a knock.

  11. 80 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-47 Lions

    The hosts end on the attack but that's a superb turnover and Ben Youngs kicks the ball into touch to end the game.


    John McCrea: It'll be tragic if Jamie Roberts misses out with an injury. Fingers crossed for the guy

    Dan: Got to be Davies and BOD in the centres for the first test, Davies tonight: 3 assists, 1 interception and now a try

    Jonathan Davies
  13. 76 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-47 Lions

    That was a nice try but I'm afraid it's totally overshadowed by my concern for Jamie Roberts, who appears to have sustained a leg injury.

    The Lions centre is a qualified doctor and he looked upset bordering on distraught as he walked slowly down the tunnel to the dressing room.

    This is wild speculation on my part, but that looked like ligaments or similar to me - I hope I'm wrong because he was nailed on for the Test 12 shirt.

  14. 71 mins: 
    TRY (Davies, con Farrell)- New South Wales Waratahs 17-47 Lions

    Ben Youngs snipes around the base and although his initial pass doesn't go to hand, the tourists recycle and the England scrum-half sends Wales centre Jonathan Davies ambling over.

    Owen Farrell does his best Leigh Halfpenny impression from the touchline.

  15. 69 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-40 Lions

    Not good. Jamie Roberts limps off the field and is being treated by the medics. The Lions play on with 14.


    Andrew Morgan: Croft has come alive in the 55th minute! Perfect for the bench

    George Hullah: Surely J. Davies deserves a starting Test spot. Has been immense this tour

    Andrew Morgan: Big big game from Sam Warburton! Great to see!

    Sam Warburton tackles Will Skelton
  17. 66 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-40 Lions

    The Tahs front row crumples like a crisp packet at a scrum - they can't take the power of replacements Alex Corbisiero, Richard Hibbard and Dan Cole.

    And then Corbisiero is pinged for hinging. Having gone for another scrum rather than take a simple three, I suspect the Lions will be a touch disappointed with that.

  18. 63 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-40 Lions

    Lions on the attack again, Owen Farrell cross-kicks and only a wild bounce denies Simon Zebo a try. He's been quieter this half. Tired, or have they told him to stick to the pattern?

  19. 60 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-40 Lions

    The Lions bring on half a dozen replacements, including a totally fresh front row. Tom Croft and Paul O'Connell are also given a blow.

    Full-back Leigh Halfpenny - which means Rob Kearney finally gets to pull on a shirt in anger after injury - and scrum-half Mike Philips are given a rest too.

  20. 58 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-40 Lions

    The hosts go back on the attack but when they kick a penalty into the corner the Lions turn it over and clear.

  21. 54 mins: 
    TRY (Croft, con Halfpenny)- New South Wales Waratahs 17-40 Lions
    Tom Croft scores

    Is that a try? If so it's a belter. Jonathan Davies makes an interception but that looks fine to me - no offside there.

    The Lions spin it wide and blind-side flanker Tom Croft picks up the ball, dummies, plants a big meat pie of a hand-off into the face of Tom Kingston and strides over from the 22.

    As for the conversion from Leigh Halfpenny, where's your money?

  22. 54 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-33 Lions

    Owen Farrell is on for Jonathan Sexton, who is too precious to risk for any longer.

    John Ulugia blocks Simon Zebo off the ball, Farrell clears from the resulting penalty.

  23. 51 mins: 
    PENALTY (Halfpenny)- New South Wales Waratahs 17-33 Lions

    Huge carry from Jamie Roberts as Lions go off the top at a line-out. Alun Wyn Jones again makes good ground round the fringes, Tahs offside, Leigh Halfpenny to go for goal.

    Halfpenny, inevitably, bisects the posts and his 28 points breaks the Lions record for points scored in Australia that was previously held by Ronan O'Gara.

    Leigh Halfpenny

    Former Lions and England hooker Brian Moore: Another 5 mins and I would take Sexton off to protect both his hamstring and from another late hit.

    And one minute later off he goes, as if the coaches read Brian's mind

  25. 48 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 17-30 Lions

    Two-try Tom Carter off for the hosts. Drew Mitchell kicks to touch, we can all draw breath.


    Scrum V's Phil Steele: Halfpenny is so far ahead of others that if Alexander G Bell invented the telephone today he would have 2 missed calls from Leigh

  27. 45 mins: 
    TRY (Carter, con McKibbin)- New South Wales Waratahs 17-30 Lions

    And we're right back down the other end. Try? Tom Carter smashes over from close range but did the ball go forwards when Will Skelton ripped it clear from the ruck? No says the TMO, that's a try all right.

  28. 43 mins: 
    TRY (Halfpenny, con Halfpenny)- New South Wales Waratahs 10-30 Lions

    Another belter, created in Wales. Jamie Roberts on the cut, Jonathan Davies takes the inside pass and draws the full-back and Leigh Halfpenny comes scything through to score.

    That had the sort of cutting edge that can draw blood if you so much as look at it.

    Leigh Halfpenny scores second try
  29. 42 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 10-23 Lions

    All smiles on Lions bench, bar tight-head Dan Cole. Props don't smile during game time.

  30. 41 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 10-23 Lions

    Under the dictionary definition of livewire it says see Simon Zebo. We're back under way down under.


    Josh Dibbens: Zebo Zebo Zebo - this man has to get a test spot?!

    Patrick Maughan: Paul O'C's work rate and handling has gone to another level on this tour! Big game player!


    Euan Dunnett: Need to tighten up their rucking, so many turnovers

    Dean Osborn: Great first half from our Lions.

    Tom Kelk: Really superb half of rugby. What the #Lions tour is all about!

    Jonathan Sexton
    HALF-TIME- New South Wales Waratahs 10-23 Lions

    What a 40 minutes of rugby. Sydney has some marvellous architecture but the Lions are building something equally impressive at the SFS.

    Power, pace, skill - the tourists are producing the lot at the moment.

    Let's not forget that this is not a full-strength Tahs team but it's a decent outfit nonetheless - the likes of Will Skelton, Peter Betham and Drew Mitchell have all impressed - and they're contributing to a tremendous game full of attacking rugby.

    But the Lions look good - any Australia fans dropping in, what do you make of it?

  34. 39 mins: 
    TRY (Halfpenny, con Halfpenny)- New South Wales Waratahs 10-23 Lions

    Dazzling. End to end in Sydney. Alun Wyn Jones muscles his way to within a few metres of the line, Waratahs hanging off him like washing on a line.

    The tourists get quick ball, Paul O'Connell shows fine distribution skills and crisp passing from Jonathans Sexton and Davies feeds Leigh Halfpenny on the overlap to scoot over.

    It's out wide and his heart rate must still be sky high, but the Wales full-back then nails the conversion. World class from all involved.

    Leigh Halfpenny
  35. 37 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 10-16 Lions

    Here come the hosts. From the turnover - props to Tom Carter - they go wide and Cam Crawford makes big ground down the right.

    They recycle and hammer away. Dave Dennis makes 10m up the middle but he lacks support, holds on and it's a penalty to the Lions. Good defence from the hosts.

  36. 35 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 10-16 Lions

    The Lions have clearly been the better side, but only six points in it at the moment. Can the Lions add some more before the break? Nope, not if they keep getting turned over at the ruck.


    Fraser Posford: Zebo is playing brilliantly, test start on the wing next week?

    Brian Berry: The hard ground & quick pace of games really suit Zebo! Outside chance of wing spot for next week? Better defender than Cuthbert!

    Simon Zebo
  38. 32 mins: 
    PENALTY (McKibbin)- New South Wales Waratahs 10-16 Lions

    Tahs on the attack, Lions penalised, Brendan McKibbin's effort slides inside the right-hand post.

  39. 31 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 7-16 Lions

    It's cat v mouse time at the scrums, with the Lions toying with the Tahs. Is this a foreshadowing of the Test series? Maybe not, Wallaby props Benn Robinson and Ben Alexander are better than many people might think, given the feeble reputation of the Australia scrum up north.

  40. 30 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 7-16 Lions

    New South Wales enjoying some success out wide, but Drew Mitchell's kick ahead goes into touch. From the line-out Mike Phillips lofts a box kick and Simon Zebo soars above Mitchell, but when Phillips kicks ahead again the hosts get back.

    Scrum five to the Lions and they power forwards like a runaway train but Jamie Heaslip cannot control the ball at the base and the chance goes begging.

  41. 26 mins: 
    PENALTY (Halfpenny)- New South Wales Waratahs 7-16 Lions

    Ref Jaco Peyper tells home captain Dave Dennis that the Tahs must stop shoving Mike Phillips off the ball.

    Peyper duly penalises the hosts and Leigh Halfpenny is impeccable from distance. He wanted to be a dentist you know - I think he'd be OK with a drill in his hand.

  42. 24 mins: 
    NO TRY (Skelton)- New South Wales Waratahs 7-13 Lions

    Quick throw to the giant Will Skelton at the front. He rumbles for the line but four Lions pounce and he loses control as he goes over. Close shave for the tourists.

  43. 23 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 7-13 Lions

    Mako Vunipola pops Paddy Ryan out of a scrum - are either of them driving straight - but we play on.

    Adam Jones takes Brendan McKibbin without the ball, the hosts go for the line-out.


    dunk mclachlan: Zebo could make the Test team if he keeps this up

    Dov Tate: Are the Lions ever going to concede an average try? They've all been awesome so far!

  45. 17 mins: 
    PENALTY (Halfpenny)- New South Wales Waratahs 7-13 Lions

    Punch, counter-punch. The Lions come again, with Jamie Roberts and the effervescent Simon Zebo prominent. The Tahs infringe and you could have bet the mortgage on Leigh Halfpenny landing that.

  46. 13 mins: 
    TRY (Carter, McKibbin))- New South Wales Waratahs 7-10 Lions

    Stunning form the hosts. Jonathan Sexton is levelled before Simon Zebo is bundled into touch. The hosts take a quick throw on their 22, Bernard Foley cross-kicks and it's on.

    Lively winger Peter Betham picks up, sees off Sean Maitland's attempted challenge and draws Leigh Halfpenny before flipping the ball inside for Tom Carter to score.

    Brendan McKibbin converts from out wide.

  47. 12 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 0-10 Lions

    The Lions go early at the scrum. Free-kick to the hosts who clear with relief...

  48. 11 mins: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 0-10 Lions

    Jamie Roberts bombs a try. The Lions win a line-out and drive 20m, Simon Zebo is twice involved as the Lions attack midfield and when they go wide it looks like a simple three on two, but Drew Mitchell is up quickly and Roberts knocks-on. First scrum...


    Armstrong Factory: What a start!

  50. 8 mins: 

    "Lions Lions Lions," rings round the ground. NSW on the attack but the Lions pounce in a ruck and win a penalty. Ferocious defence as well as searing attack from the tourists.

  51. 5 mins: 
    TRY (Sexton, con Halfpenny)- New South Wales Waratahs 0-10 Lions
    Jonny Sexton scores

    Lions are on fire. Sean Maitland and Jonathan Sexton counter from a Drew Mitchell kick, Simon Zebo releases Jonathan Davies and the Welshman looks inside to find the supporting Sexton to romp over from the 22. Clinical.

    Leigh Halfpenny drills over the conversion from out wide.


    Charlie Gill: Just got woken up by my dad yelling ZEEEEEEBOOOO

    Johnnie Graham: Odds for the lions not getting another chance all game?

  53. 2 mins: 
    PENALTY (Halfpenny)- New South Wales Waratahs 0-3 Lions

    Dump tackle by Rob Horne on Tom Youngs, penalty on halfway... and Leigh Halfpenny continues his excellent kicking form. Great start from the Lions.

  54. 1 min: 
    NO TRY (Zebo)- New South Wales Waratahs 0-0 Lions

    And so nearly a try! NSW clear, Jonathan Sexton moves the ball wide and Simon Zebo, making his debut, escapes down the left but a super cover tackle just forces the Irish wing to put a foot in touch as he dives over in the corner.

  55. 1 min: 
    New South Wales Waratahs 0-0 Lions

    ... and they tear into the hosts giant second row from the kick-off.

  56. 1040: 

    Up to 10 of this Lions XV might start next week...

  57. 1039: 

    The players are on the pitch at the Allianz Stadium - formerly the Sydney Football Stadium. Billy, the Lions mascot, is safely ensconced on the touchline, the crowd is bubbling, here we go...

  58. 1035: 

    The Lions are without Brian O'Driscoll and George North - who has a hamstring problem - but field likely Test half-backs Jonathan Sexton and Mike Phillips.

    Sean Maitland, Simon Zebo and Tom Youngs, all long shots at the start of the tour, get the chance to stake a claim for a Test shirt.

  59. 1033: 

    NSW are below-strength because of call-ups to Australia's training camp but the Wallabies have released Waratahs captain Dave Dennis and centre Rob Horne to face the Lions.

    Drew Mitchell, with 30 tries for the Wallabies in 63 Tests, is the most familiar name in the hosts' line-up, while massive young second row Will Skelton is a name to be remembered for the future.

    The 21-year-old lock weighs 21st 3lb - and he has lost over a stone since turning pro.

  60. 1028: 

    Waratahs: D Mitchell; C Crawford, R Horne, T Carter, P Betham; B Foley, B McKibbin; J Tilse, J Ulugia, P Ryan, W Skelton, O Atkins, J Holloway, P McCutcheon, D Dennis (capt).

    Replacements: L Holmes, R Aho, S Talakai, L Timani, A J Gilbert, M Lucas, B Volavola, T Kingston.

    Lions: L Halfpenny (Wales); S Maitland (Scotland), J Davies (Wales), J Roberts (Wales), S Zebo (Ireland); J Sexton (Ireland), M Phillips (Wales); M Vunipola (England), T Youngs (England), A Jones (Wales), A-W Jones (Wales), P O'Connell (Ireland), T Croft (England), S Warburton (Wales, capt), J Heaslip (Ireland).

    Replacements: R Hibbard (Wales), A Corbisiero (England), D Cole (England), G Parling (England), D Lydiate (Wales), B Youngs (England), O Farrell (England), R Kearney (Ireland).

  61. 1026: 

    Are you sure Andrew? The carrot of an unbeaten tour is not one to be sniffed at. I get the point about the combinations, although with key players not featuring because of injury concerns how many of those partnerships on the field today look like Test certainties.

    Jonny Sexton and Mike Phillips must be nailed on to be Test starters at half-back - but what about the other units?


    Andrew Priestley: Today is purely about getting those test combinations working & avoiding any further injuries. The result is irrelevant today...

  63. 1019: 

    Later on Scotland face a very tough task against South Africa, England look to complete a clean sweep away to Argentina and Ireland will be hoping to beat Canada slightly more comfortably than they managed in their narrow victory against the United States Eagles last weekend.

  64. 1017: 

    The game in Sydney is not the first match today. Over the Ditch New Zealand are currently in the process of brushing aside France, while in Asia Wales suffered their first ever defeat by Japan.

    In the spirit of the Lions, I'm going to assume all Englishmen are full of sympathy for their Celtic brethren.

  65. 1013: 
    Alex Cuthbert takes a fall

    Good thing Alex Cuthbert has had plenty of practice diving over the tryline so far on tour...

  66. 1011: 
    Rory Best

    BBC Sport's Dan Roan in Sydney: Lions Murray, Best (pictured above), Cuthbert, Tipuric & Faletau learning to surf on Bondi Beach here in Sydney today...

  67. 1008: 

    Now follows a short announcement concerning kick-off times.

    All remaining tour games have been moved back 10 minutes - hence today's 10:40 BST kick-off - and the three Tests have been moved back by five minutes to 11:05 BST.

    Message ends.

    Bryn Palmer, BBC Sport in Sydney

    Lions players out on pitch doing warm-ups. Rob Howley working with scrum-halves Phillips & Youngs. Halfpenny & Farrell kicking.

  69. 1000: 

    So then, we're starting to get into the serious business of the tour now. After four games of varying intensity, today's encounter should be a significant step up in intensity.

    What do you make of the Lions team? How many of today's XV will start next Saturday in Brisbane? Is this the Test back row? How many fingers do you have crossed that George North is going to be fit in a week's time?

    Send us your chat via Twitter, using #bbclions or text us on 81111 - pop Lions in the subject field for maximum visibility.


    Sir Clive Woodward: Big night for Lions on several fronts especially the back row. Interested to see how Brendan Foley goes at 10 for NSW , good player.

  71. 0953: 

    The hosts - who also had a player yellow carded after only four seconds back in 2001 - are promising a more disciplined performance this time round.

    But controlled doesn't mean powder-puff and New South Wales Waratahs captain Dave Dennis is promising his team will "be physical and go at them".

    "I want to beat those blokes but we won't beat them with 13 or 14 men," he said. "There's good ways of hurting them but we must make sure we do it legally."

  72. 0946: 

    The friendly mutual sporting antipathy between the Lions and their hosts is set to go up another gear in Sydney today, with the first Test now just a week away.

    But that rivalry has certainly boiled over in the past - 12 years ago, when the two sides last met, New South Wales fly-half Duncan McRae launched an assault on Ronan O'Gara that has gone down in infamy.

    Let's hope the claret only flows liberally at the post-match meal this time around.

  73. 0940: 

    It's been a week dominated by revelations about spying. But while Prism bestrode the news headlines, in the world of sport the super-spy turned out to be a wedding planner.

    See that's why we like sport, it enables us to forget about the real world for an hour or two.

    Coming up, 30 huge men chase a ball around a field. Brit v Aussie, Lion v Waratah, man v man. Go you good thing.

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