Australia v British and Irish Lions: Second Test, Melbourne

Australia beat the British and Irish Lions 16-15 in Melbourne to level the three-Test series at 1-1.

29 June 2013 Last updated at 13:26

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As it happened

  1. 1322: 

    So that's it for now. Cheers for your company, have a good week and let's do it all again next Saturday. Live text commentary back from about 1000 BST. Rest up, you'll need all your energy, whoever you support. Bye.


    Abdullah Mahmood: The Lions can't just expect to physically batter the Aussies next week. They need to bring something else to the table in attack.


    When the dust settles and injuries are assessed we could see some sizeable changes next week, particularly for the Lions. The line-out and scrum misfired and there was very little threat from the backs. Warburton's injury could be a problem, too. That result also makes the IRB intervention in the Horwill case even more significant. That could be a huge call. Still, it all makes for a brilliant decider and who doesn't fancy another live Lions Test? They only come every four years so we might as well savour it.

    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live

    What a finish! Hpenny a hero regardless. Bring on Sydney. Bring on Corbisiero & Roberts. Fabulous grit from Aus. What else would we expect?!


    Lions coach Warren Gatland: "It's just about game management. That's what Test match rugby is about - a couple of crucial line-outs, a couple of crucial turnovers and even when they made mistakes and the ref said 'advantage over' we haven't made the most if it. We were pretty comfortable at half-time but they never give up and it went their way. We weren't smart enough and didn't look after the ball well enough."


    Toby Millington: Never looked remotely like scoring a try, same as in the first game, only Cuthbert and North's brilliance bailed us out then.

    Jonny Lamb: Manu has to play the next game. Desperate for his power and flair in the centre!

    Richard Powell: One giant step for the Wallabies. One giant weep for Lionkind! Close, but no cigar just yet! Sydney... Bring it on!

  7. 1305: 

    Here's a stat from Opta Sports: Of the previous 27 Lions tours dating back to 1891, the tourists have won the first Test on 11 occasions. They have followed up first Test wins to claim series victories six times.

    Adam Ashley-Cooper

    Australia try-scorer Adam Ashley-Cooper on Sky: "Six points down, there was a lot of frustration and in the end, Test match football is about grinding it out until the 80th minute and thankfully we were able to get the points. The message was about holding onto the ball and building pressure, so the points would come through space or through a penalty. I'm proud to be part of this team and to score a try that made the difference, but it's all about the team and it's going to be a cracking finale next week."


    Lions skipper Sam Warburton on Sky: "We're going through what Australia went through last week. They boys will realise we've still got a Test series up for grabs. There's some good stuff in there. We're definitely capable of winning the Test series. It's going to be won by a whisker next week and I hope it's us. Australia got hold of us when they got territory in our 22 and we found it difficult to get out. It's much easier said than done. Territory is everything in games like this . Australia came away with points and that's everything."

    On his injury: "I felt something in my hammy [hamstring]. I've put some ice on it, and the physios will assess in 24 hours time. Fingers crossed."


    Lions centre Brian O'Driscoll on Sky: "Very disappointed, we weren't on control of the game but we were six points clear, that's a horrible margin as after a converted try you're behind. I had one loose kick that gave them a counter-attack option, but we weren't able to close it out. But it's not over, we've got a massive week to get ourselves ready for Sydney next Saturday. The momentum is with them, but we won't let that faze us. We've beaten them once."


    It's just like 2001 all over again, as Australia win the second Test in Melbourne. That time around, they won the decider 29-23. Will history repeat itself? The Lions looks a touch shell-shocked, a bit disgruntled and a lot naffed off. Australia coach Robbie Deans is smiling brightly, his gnashers matching the floodlights in intensity.


    Stacy Phillips: Lions not creative enough. We knew we needed to score a try and we never really looked like we would. Sets up a cracking finale!

    Cedric David: Don't change a winning team, get back to the first Test squad.

  13. 80 mins: 
    FULL-TIME- Australia 16-15 Lions

    The Lions bench stand up and link arms. Halfpenny mutters to himself, looks at the posts longingly, eyes back down to the ball and runs up... but it's well short and the whistle goes. The Aussies have levelled the series and we go to Sydney next week for the decider.

  14. 80 mins: 
    Australia 16-15 Lions

    Australia still keeping close control of the ball in the tight, but they give away a penalty. The Lions run it left but there's no way through as the staunch Aussie defence puts bodies on the line. The hooter's gone and nothing much is doing... but then the Lions win a PENALTY, just inside their own half. Oh my word.

  15. 79 mins: 
    Australia 16-15 Lions

    Wallabies line-out on the left and they keep it tight in the pack to run the clock down.

  16. 77 mins: 
    Australia 16-15 Lions

    The Lions surge forward at the re-start and pressure Australia into a mistake as they take the ball back into their own 22 before kicking for touch. The Lions get the line-out on the left and throw long. But Australia steal it and win a penalty and clear their lines. Could well be the end for the Lions tonight.

  17. 76 mins: 
    TRY- Australia 16-15 Lions (Ashley-Cooper)

    Slow stuff from Australia in midfield as they build their platform. Quick as a flash, they flick the switch, and Folau makes a half-break before successive waves of gold crash on Lions shores. Eventually, the dam bursts and Adam Ashley-Cooper races over in the left corner. For the conversion, Christian Leali'ifano eyes up the posts, motionless for a few seconds, then curves a beauty of a kick through the posts.

  18. 72 mins: 
    Australia 9-15 Lions

    Australia go left from the scrum, Genia to O'Connor who passes back inside but Folau coughs it up with the line virtually under his boots. The Lions clear but Australia come again from the line-out.

  19. 70 mins: 
    Australia 9-15 Lions

    Sean O'Brien steals the line-out and thunders forward. At the breakdown, the Lions get the advantage but O'Driscoll kicks the ball upfield and advantage is gone. Australia pour forward and Moore takes them to within yards of the line. Genia chips cross-field but nothing comes and Australia get a penalty. Skipper Horwill opts for the scrum under the posts.

    Alastair Eykyn, BBC Radio 5 live
    Sam Warburton is forced off injured

    Cruelty to see Warburton go down. Has been immense.

  21. 68 mins: 
    Australia 9-15 Lions

    A Lions scrum in midfield and they set up Sexton to thump a high one forward with the boot. Bowe wins the aerial battle but the Lions give away a penalty and the Wallabies set up decent field position on the left flank.

    Three-time Lions tourist Matt Dawson

    Come on rugby gods. Lets BOD score a try to seal it!

  23. 66 mins: 
    Australia 9-15 Lions

    Lions skipper Sam Warburton is off injured, replaced by Tom Croft. Sexton also took a bang but is still on for now.

  24. 65 mins: 
    Australia 9-15 Lions

    Sean O'Brien on for Jamie Heaslip in the Lions back row. From a line-out on the Lions right, Australia win the put-in at the scrum. Another little pause as Vunipola gets some magic sponge. Down they go, but the Aussie eight holds firm this time and they send the ball out to the right before recycling back infield. A noisy rendition of England's "Swing Low" reverberates around under the closed roof and Australia are still going on with their attack until Kurtley Beale spills the ball forward in midfield. Not just slippy boots, then.

  25. 61 mins: 
    PENALTY- Australia 9-15 Lions (Halfpenny)
    Lions's Leigh Halfpenny

    Murray puts in at a Lions scrum and Hibbard's blond hair pops up in the middle as the red eight steam through the Australian pack. Now that, is how to scrum. Penalty to the Lions and Leigh Halfpenny saunters up. From a couple of yards inside the Aussie half, the Welshman wallops it and the ball's arc dies just over the crossbar. Daylight on the scoreboard.

  26. 58 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions

    Another Lions replacement as prop Dan Cole comes on for Adam Jones. Australia again explore chances in the Lions midfield and Kepu kicks on. Halfpenny gathers and pumps it back upfield as another scrappy phase begins. It's all gone a bit haywire, particularly as George North picks up Israel Folau in a fireman's lift and starts rumbling forward. The crowd roar their approval/disapproval and the officials have a quick chin-wag. "Wasn't really intentional, was it?" they concur, and the game goes on.


    Former Lions centre Will Carling: Warburton so aware at that penalty (see 47 mins). Screaming for players to get wide. Try saved. Great play.


    Former Wales flanker, and three-time Lions tourist, Martyn Williams: Lions absolutely killing the Aussies at the breakdown!!


    David Ralston: This game has just gone mental.

    Sam Francey: Lions need more creativity!! Secure the scrums, heat up the offensive...we're relying on luck too much.

  30. 57 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions

    Youngs is OK, but is promptly replaced by Richard Hibbard, who to be fair was poised to come on anyway. Australia seem to have extra zip in their boots and dart left through the backs and then through the middle of the red pack with the loose forwards. But a misplaced pass is hacked on by the Lions and Bowe chases up to shepherd the ball into touch.

  31. 56 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions

    Murray's kick over the top pins the Aussies back in their 22. They try to break out and some messy kicking and handling sees it all break down in midfield. There's a pause as Lions hooker Tom Youngs receives some treatment.

  32. 54 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions

    Ireland's Conor Murray comes on for Ben Youngs at scrum-half. The Aussies take the line-out and probe the left touchline but give away a penalty, courtesy of some good spoiling from newboy Murray. Sexton bangs it upfield into touch.

  33. 53 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions

    The Lions have a promising position in midfield and opt to shuttle it through the hands out wide on the left. Inexplicably, O'Driscoll looks lost and floats an easy pass for a Wallaby centre to snaffle. The Aussies race off up the pitch and the noise levels ramp up. An intense two minutes ensues and there is a sense things are about to happen as the game opens up and players tire. O'Driscoll is off his feet in the ruck and Australia win a penalty to end this frantic phase. Line-out.

  34. 49 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions

    This front-row tussle could well prove the defining factor of this Test match. One penalty at the wrong time could spell the end. The Wallabies win one against the head and pour forward, but the Lions are let off with a penalty of their own and clear their lines. Pressure mounting.

  35. 47 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions

    Another scrum, this time a Wallaby one, and another penalty. The Lions are at fault and Beale finds touch on the right. Off the line-out the Lions attack off a Jonathan Davies kick and make decent inroads but eventually they are penalised. The Wallabies take a quick tap-and-go and surge forward up the left flank.

  36. 44 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions
    Lions v Australia

    In midfield, Jonathan Sexton hoists a decent-looking up-and-under and Tommy Bowe and Kurtley Beale go up for it together. Beale knocks on and the Lions get the put-in at the scrum in the middle of the park. They release it quickly and probe the narrow side but the yellow curtain is impregnable. Edging back inside, the ball gets stuck in a ruck before the Lions trundle left. Jonathan Sexton tries to spark something but nothing doing with that one.

  37. 41 mins: 
    Australia 9-12 Lions

    Jonathan Sexton lofts the ball roofwards and we're under way in Melbourne. He goes to the right and Australia catch and clear to touch. The Lions' first line-out goes their way from Sam Warburton's take and the visitors run it through the backs. It finds George North on the left wing but he is enveloped by three Australians and bundled into touch.


    George Hullah: Can't take another 40 mins of this pressure. Can't imagine how the players feel!

    Sam Brown: Warburton holding off three players on his own to retain that ball. Him and Halfpenny driving the Lions on at the moment.

    Rich Hook: Scrum and gainline been key - tighter than expected but Lions have tactics spot on if can continue contain O'Connor.

    Mako Vunipola

    Very little between these two teams in that first half, except obviously the three points on the scoreboard. The Aussie front row were threatening to embarrass Mako Vunipola at one stage but the Saracens man and his mates summoned an impressive response and won some penalties of their own, as if to say, "We're not going to take this lying (Lion?) down". Pictures on the telly from inside the Lions dressing room. Businesslike, no ranting, no headbutting of walls. Warren Gatland just talking quietly to the forwards. A very big 40 minutes coming up. Very. Big.

    BBC Sport's Alastair Eykyn

    Very disappointing first half all round. Error-strewn, scrum mess, no spectacle at all. Tight though! Only way is up...

    Bryn Palmer, BBC Sport in Melbourne

    Desperately cagey first half, but Lions lead 12-9 via four Halfpenny penalties to three by Leali'ifano. Not quite caught fire yet though.


    Rob, via text: Where's the running with the ball and try scoring game gone? It's fast becoming a penalty kicking competition!


    Former Lions centre Will Carling: Very tense game. Riddled with mistakes. Little rugby. Hence discipline & precision just going to be crucial

  44. 40 mins: 
    PENALTY- Australia 9-12 Lions (Halfpenny)

    Genia and Halfpenny trade up-and-unders and the Lions find a good platform in the Aussie half after good work from George North. They launch their most promising attacking effort out wide, and soon win another penalty. Leigh Halfpenny, scrum-cap discarded, lamps it over. That's half-time.

  45. 35 mins: 
    PENALTY- Australia 9-9 Lions (Leali'ifano)

    Aussie livewire Will Genia launches a little sortie up the left flank and finds some space to work in. The move gets the Wallabies down into the Lions' 22 with a line-out. TV replays show Adam Ashley-Cooper is floored by a Lions arm - Mako Vunipola's to be exact - but nothing comes of it. From the line-out the ball quickly finds its way to the right touchline and the Aussies are awarded a penalty when the Lions stray offside. Number 12 Christian Leali'ifano puffs out his cheeks, takes what can only be described as a "unique" step back and levels the scores.

  46. 32 mins: 
    PENALTY- Australia 6-9 Lions (Halfpenny)
    Leigh Halfpenny kicks a penalty

    The Lions are awarded another penalty at the scrum, a good response after looking under pressure earlier. The bearded Leigh Halfpenny closes his eyes, takes a few steps back, cleans his soles and thumps it through.

  47. 30 mins: 
    Australia 6-6 Lions

    Aussie hooker Stephen Moore spills it in midfield shortly after the re-start and the Lions look to capitalise. The Wallabies block a Lions runner, though, and there's a hint of biffo as a host of players square up. It dies out quickly, though, and the Lions kick the penalty to the right touchline. Poor line-out from the Lions, throwing to the tail and Australia get their own chance. James O'Connor drops it in the loose and the Lions get a scrum. It's a nerve-jangler and tense rather than rip-roaring and immense, but no less absorbing for it.

  48. 26 mins: 
    PENALTY- Australia 6-6 Lions (Halfpenny)

    From the re-start Australia pass it wide from deep in their own half. When nothing comes immediately, Genia pumps it forward with the boot. The Lions return and Sexton, Bowe and Tom Youngs probe the line before Vunipola drops the ball in midfield. Another scrum, and ref Joubert give the front rows a lecture. But this time the Lions are given the penalty and there's no debate what to do with it. Leigh Halfpenny hoists it through the sticks with a touch of fade.

  49. 23 mins: 
    PENALTY- Australia 6-3 Lions (Leali'ifano)

    Decent little run from Wallaby Christian Leali'ifano, all stocky, pumping legs and tattooed arms, while Will Genia is beginning to exert some authority on proceedings. Australia win another penalty at scrum time and the pressure is mounting on Vunipola. Genia looks to ref Joubert as if to say "come on" and the whistle shrills. Leali'ifano makes no mistake. Australia marginally on top.

  50. 19 mins: 

    The Lions re-start but Australia gather and James O'Connor blasts a decent clearance 40 yards up the park. Red shirts rumble forward from the line-out but Australia win a scrum. Number eight Wycliff Palu makes some good yards off the base of this one but at the ensuing breakdown Australia are penalised and the Lions kick for touch. Great work from Beale, who catches it over the line and passes back inside to prevent the line-out and Australia stick it right back where the Lions came from.


    Former Lions centre Will Carling: First 10 minutes, Lions forwards outstanding. Breakdown edge and great drives at lineout time. Three points up. Challenge to sustain this dominance.

    Former England hooker Brian Moore

    Scrums a joke as usual - Lions penalised for not putting the ball in to a scrum careering all over the place. Joubert guesses at another scrum and it's all square.

  53. 14 mins: 
    PENALTY- Australia 3-3 Lions (Leali'ifano)

    Lions put-in at a scrum on the left in their half but Ben Youngs delays the release as the front rows are messing about. They re-set but Australia give it some real beef and pop up the Lions front three, winning a free-kick. Scrum again, but this one collapses. The next one goes down and Australia are given a penalty as Ben Alexander gets one over on Lions counterpart Mako Vunipola. Christian Leali'ifano threads a neat little draw through the uprights and it's level-pegging.

  54. 11 mins: 

    Australia easing through a gear or two with some light softening up of the Lions pack. They move left and right before Kurtley Beale tries to loft a kick into the corner but he slices it down his line and the immediate threat fizzles out.

  55. 10 mins: 

    Big turnover from Lions prop Mako Vunipola from the Aussie re-start but Alun Wyn Jones is down, felled by Adam Ashley-Cooper. AWJ gets up gingerly and they play on, Australia sniping down the right.

  56. 8 mins: 
    PENALTY- Australia 0-3 Lions (Halfpenny)
    Leigh Halfpenny

    An almighty shove from the Lions pushes the hosts backwards and they earn another penalty inside the 22. But no indication to the posts, Sexton finds touch and they go for the line-out. The rumble comes on and they inch forward, but another penalty is forthcoming and ref Joubert has a chat with Aussie skipper Horwill, threatening the sin-bin for the next Aussie transgressor. Leigh Halfpenny bangs this one over and the Lions' opening remarks have been emphatic.

  57. 6 mins: 
    Australia 0-0 Lions

    Lions line-out on the left, but it goes forward and the Aussies have the scrum. They probe the blindside, but at the breakdown referee Craig Joubert deems them to be holding onto the ball again and Jonathan Sexton sticks it in the left corner.

    Three-time Lions tourist Matt Dawson

    Lions by four - 26-22 if I'm being mystic meg! Come on Youngsie!!

  59. 2 mins: 
    MISSED PENALTY- Australia 0-0 Lions

    Kurtley Beale grabs a superb high ball, O'Driscoll hammers into Adam Ashley Cooper and the Lions force the first penalty. Full-back Leigh Halfpenny steps up and bang... it hits the crossbar.

  60. 1 min: 
    KICK-OFF- Australia 0-0 Lions

    In the words of the late Ron Pickering, 'Away We Go" and Kurtley Beale kicks off for Australia. It's gathered and pumped back upfield and the Aussies move it left but a horde of red shirts pile through and turn it over. Quick ball from Ben Youngs feeds the backs strung out on the left, but it goes back to the right. Brian O'Driscoll kicks through, Australia gather and Will Genia kicks to touch. A frantic start.

  61. 1103: 
    Australia's players leave the field after the warm-up

    Advance Australia Fair gets fairly belted out, no anthems for the Lions and we're all set. One last huddle for the Wallabies and a few words from blue-scrum-capped skipper James Horwill.


    Infostrada Rugby: Lions have won two Tests in a row. They have not won three consecutive Tests since winning the first three of their 1974 tour of South Africa.


    Steve Cohen: What is a Lion's staple diet? Roasted Wallaby.

    Sam Earnshaw: As a Lions fan, part of me wants the Lions to lose this one in order to set up an ultimate finale next Saturday.

    RyRy: Evans vs Froome, Lions vs Wallabies & The Ashes. I sense a theme this summer.

    Bryn Palmer, BBC Sport in Melbourne

    Players just about to come out between guard of honour from U12 players from Northern Panthers, Christian Leali'ifano's old club.

  65. 1059: 

    Here they come then, Sam Warburton leads his Lions slowly and deliberately down a white-walled corridor in the bowels of the stadium. Up a few stairs and then out to a thunderous roar under the Melbourne roof. The Wallabies follow, the canary yellow/Australian gold gleaming under the lights. The two squads line up for the anthems, the Lions still with red tracky tops on.


    Former Lions centre Will Carling: Managed to sneak away from school sports day…I forgot something…could take me about 120 mins to find it!

  67. 1059: 
    Lions fans in Melbourne

    Wonder if Aussie kicker Kurtley Beale's got longer studs on today? Remember, he could have clinched the first Test had he not slipped trying to slot that late penalty. He'd better have, because Lions' Leigh Halfpenny has kicked 27 goals from 29 attempts on this tour so far, a success rate of 93%.

    The Lions lost 35-14 to Australia at this Melbourne venue in 2001, while the Wallabies have won 10 of the 12 Tests they have played here. A sign? We're very close to finding out. How's the nerves?


    P Healy: Worried about the lack of cover in the backs. It would have been a good idea to have Zebo on the bench.

    Christian Simmons: Why is Tuilagi not in the Lions squad for today? Him and O'Driscoll would be a good pairing against the Aussies.

    Luke Irvine: Very nervous about the result. a lot of pressure on Mako Vunipola. scrum needs to dominate.


    Australia captain James Horwill on Sky Sports: "The mood in the camp this week has been desperate and keen. We're keen to get out there and get stuck in."


    Former Lions tourist and coach Sir Clive Woodward: Closer the game gets the more this is down to the Lions forwards going toe to toe with a very good Wallaby pack - rugby at its very best here.

    Bryn Palmer, BBC Sport in Melbourne

    Lions just come out for full warm-up to huge cheer from red army. Believed to be 25,000-30,000 inside 53,000-capacity Etihad. Performance of Proclaimers' (I Would Walk) 500 Miles by three violinists in silver spangly dresses gets approval of Lions fans.

  72. 1048: 
    George North points at Will Genia

    Another story stoking the fire during Test week was George North's apology for pointing the finger at Australian Will Genia when running in his scorching try in the first Test. It's the sort of thing bound to rub some people up the wrong way and the Wales wing said: "I got caught up in the emotion of the try. Looking back, I feel horrendous for doing it now." Blinking good try, though. You lot got any classic/controversial celebrations you'd like to share?

  73. 1044: 

    Lions prop Adam Jones has been writing a superb column for BBC Sport during the tour and the latest is no exception. Here's Adam on the absence of Irish talisman Paul O'Connell. "Everyone knows what sort of player he is and he is a massive loss. He is a massive character around the changing room, a massive influence and a huge leader among the group. But we are lucky we have got guys like Geoff Parling and Ian Evans who can step up. I am not saying it is like for like but Geoff's line-out work and set-piece game is huge, so we won't lose too much there, if anything. He was outstanding for England in the Six Nations and I am sure he will grab his chance."

    And on the strangest tactic someone has employed against him in a scrum: "About 10 years ago I was playing up at Leicester with Neath. Basically I wasn't the svelte, ripped specimen of a man I am now. Every time we had a scrum in front of the main stand, their loose-head, a guy called Derek Jelley, would lift my shirt up, exposing my stomach to the whole crowd. I swear I could hear the chuckles from him and them. It was slightly embarrassing."


    Ben, Gatwick, via text: If Aussie backline stays in one piece, with full defensive coordination, then the Lions will not outscore them on try-time. New breakdown tactics had better give Halfpenny the chance to win it for us.

  75. 1041: 

    Here's Jeremy Guscott's overall thoughts: "This is a very dangerous and capable Australia team with oodles of attacking qualities.

    "The Lions will know they got away with one last weekend and must take the game to the Aussies. They can't take the safe options. My head says the Aussies to win, but I can't help thinking Leigh Halfpenny could well steal it for the Lions. That's what I'm hoping."

    Bryn Palmer, BBC Sport in Melbourne

    Half an hour until KO. Balmy 16C inside Etihad Stadium. All non-playing Lions suited and booted pitch-side, saluting legions of red.

  77. 1038: 

    BBC rugby union expert Jeremy Guscott knows a thing or two about Lions tours. The "Prince of centres" joined late in 1989 and scored that audacious try with a delicious little grubber kick in the second Test in Brisbane. And it was Jerry, of course, who secured the famous series win in 1997 with "that" drop-goal to sink South Africa. Here's Jerry on the inclusion of Ben Youngs at scrum-half:

    Jeremy Guscott

    "Ben Youngs has a snappier, sharper pass and that should give Jonathan Sexton more time to make his choices. It shouldn't change the game plan, that would have been set a while ago.

    "Personally, I just want Ben Youngs to do what he does better than most - get to the breakdown and whip the ball away and underplay his running for the gap. The space will come.

    "He's up against the best in the world and that will be motivation alone to try and outplay Will Genia. Nothing silly with quick taps unless it's definitely on and no kicking away turnover ball and Youngs could be our player of the day."

  78. 1033: 

    One other massive debate still raging after the first Test is the presence tonight of Australia captain James Horwill. The lock was cleared of any wrongdoing after he was alleged to have stamped on the head of Lions' Alun Wyn Jones - sparking incredulation among many observers. The Wallaby claims he is innocent, but the International Rugby Board is sufficiently interested in the decision it is going to have another look, but not until after this one's over. So Horwill plays. Might there be a few friendly northern hemisphere 'hellos'?


    Luke Williams: Heart says Lions, head says Aussies. It's going to get tough and physical but it will sure be a great game!

  80. 1029: 
    Warren Gatland

    Lions coach Warren Gatland might sound all pro sportsman and pragmatic, given that last quote, but he also admits this is the most nervous he's ever been. "I've been pretty relaxed up to now but when you realise there is so much at stake and such a big prize at the end of it, it gets the nerves jangling and the fingers tingling as well. So yes, pretty nervous, we're all aware of what a massive occasion it is."

  81. 1028: 

    The full teams then:

    Australia: Kurtley Beale (Melbourne Rebels); Israel Folau (NSW), Adam Ashley-Cooper (NSW), Christian Leali'ifano (ACT Brumbies), Joe Tomane (Brumbies); James O'Connor (Melbourne Rebels), Will Genia (Reds); Benn Robinson (NSW), Stephen Moore (ACT), Ben Alexander (ACT), James Horwill (Reds - capt), Kane Douglas (NSW), Ben Mowen (ACT), Michael Hooper (NSW), Wycliff Palu (NSW).

    Replacements: Saia Fainga'a (Reds), James Slipper (Reds), Sekope Kepu (NSW), Rob Simmons (Reds), Liam Gill (Reds) Nick Phipps (Rebels), Rob Horne (NSW), Jesse Mogg (Brumbies).

    Lions: Leigh Halfpenny, Tommy Bowe, Brian O'Driscoll, Jonathan Davies, George North, Jonathan Sexton, Ben Youngs; Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Geoff Parling, Dan Lydiate, Sam Warburton (c), Jamie Heaslip.

    Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Ryan Grant, Dan Cole, Tom Croft, Sean O'Brien, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Alex Cuthbert.


    Former Australia winger, and record Test try scorer, David Campese: Big game tonight. For me the bench will be the big difference. Wallabies by five.


    Former Lions centre Will Carling: Lions have lost set piece edge, but hope for more impact at breakdown. Youngs to launch backs, fingers crossed for Bowe's hand.

  84. 1027: 

    One of the big talking points, of course, is the make-up of the Lions side. Coach Warren Gatland has made five changes - albeit a couple enforced - from the 23-21 first Test squeeker in Brisbane.

    Tommy Bowe is back from a broken hand and replaces Alex Cuthbert, despite the Welshman's stunning solo effort last time out.

    Ben Youngs replaces Mike Phillips at scrum-half, flanker Dan Lydiate replaces Tom Croft, who drops to the bench, and locks Geoff Parling and prop Mako Vunipola step in for the injured Paul O'Connell and Alex Corbisiero. Happy with that?

    Here's Gatland: "Selection is only matter of opinion. We've picked what we think is the best team to do a job for us tonight. Sometimes you make mistakes but that's part of the job. You've got to go out there and believe in your own thought processes and decisions."

  85. 1018: 

    With that sort of build up it's safe to say it's going to be quite a morning/night but what would make it an even more roaring rip-snorter would be if you hit the chat with the pace of George North and the ferocity of Adam Jones. You can get involved via text on 81111, Twitter #bbclions and Facebook.

  86. 1015: 

    Australia, as all sports fans know, are never more dangerous than when their backs are against the wall, and fought back from losing the first Test the last time the Lions toured there in 2001 for their first ever series victory. Lions legend Sir Ian McGeechan said on Sky the tourists can expect "World War 3" under the closed roof of the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. Gulp.

  87. 1003: 

    Morning all. Lions shirt on? Roar ready? Mildly excited? Oh yes, yes, yes. You could say we're more pumped than all the tyres in the Tour de France peloton. Here we go then, welcome to the live text commentary of the second Test from Melbourne with the Lions needing victory to clinch a first Test series since the 1997 triumph in South Africa.

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