The British and Irish Lions have defeated the Queensland Reds 22-12 in an enthralling match at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane tonight in their second outing of the DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour.
The Reds scored two tries to one but the steady boot of young English flyhalf Owen Farrell, who was successful with all six of his shots at goal, saw the tourists home in the at time pulsating match.
The game began at a furious pace with the home side dominating the early exchanges. Indeed the Reds had several chances to score in the opening minutes with one Ben Tapuai break splitting the Lions defence wide open.
On 8 minutes the Lions hit back with a superb run by Tommy Bowe who beat numerous defenders before sending Alex Cuthbert on a sprint to the corner, where the big Welsh winger was just bundled in to touch before the corner post.
The Lions scrum was dominant and they earned a penalty after 14 minutes that Farrell slotted over from an cute angle 30 metres out. Lions led 3-0.
But it was the Reds to score next. A mid-field bomb from Farrell was collected by left wing Luke Morahan who beat Cuthbert and then set off downfield. He beat two more Lions defenders on a scything run before chipping over the head of fullback Stuart Hogg, and re-gathering to score a sensational solo try. Captain Quade Cooper landed the conversion to put the Reds up 7-3 after 17 minutes.
Farrell landed a penalty to bring the Lions back to 7-6 on 23 minutes but after a hectic passage of play the Reds had a chance to go further ahead but Cooper’s penalty shot from a similar distance and angle just slipped wide.
The Lions had a chance to hit back soon after with Ben Youngs putting George North, who was on for Manu Tuliagi down the left touchline. North beat two before passing inside to Farrell who lost the ball inches short.
The Lions did score moments later however when Jake Schatz took the ball off the back of the resulting scrum. The ball came loose and Youngs pounced to score close to the post. Farrell was successful with the conversion and the Lions led 13-7 although the Reds had dominated much of the first 35 minutes.
The Lions almost went over again straight away after another superb run from North sent captain Sam Warburton on a sprint to the line, but again he was held up inches short.
The Lions poured on the pressure late in the half and a Farrell penalty goal saw the Lions take a 16-7 lead to the break.
Light rain began to fall early in the second half meaning both teams were forced to restrict their free flowing play. Farrell then landed a further penalty to put the Lions out 19-7 after 50 minutes.
Reds flanker Beau Robinson then suffered a concussion, which may put him in doubt for the tourists next game against Combined Country in Newcastle on Tuesday night.
Both teams played some enterprising Rugby despite the slippery conditions making handling increasingly difficult.
The Lions had their chances to go further ahead but suddenly the Reds were over. Cooper sent a long pass to Rod Davies who found some space on the right wing before sending a perfectly weighted pass inside to scrumhalf Nick Frisbee who raced over.
Replacement Mike Harris missed the relatively simple conversion. How the Welsh players in the Lions team must have wished he had made a similar error when he landed a much more difficult kick to win the Second Test for the Wallabies over the Red Dragons in Melbourne last year.
The Lions led 19-12 and with just over 10 minutes remaining the sold out crowd of 50,136 was in for a thrilling climax to a great tour match.
2009 Lions tour captain Paul O’Connell came off the bench to win an important penalty which Farrell again landed to make the final score 22-12 in favour of the Lions.
The Lions now move on to Newcastle where they will play a Combined Queensland and NSW Country team on Tuesday night. Some tickets are still available for this match. To get your tickets CLICK HERE.
DHL Australia 2013 Lions Tour
FULL TIME SCORE
British and Irish Lions 22 (Ben Youngs try; Owen Farrell conversion, 5 penalties) defeated Queensland Reds 12 (Luke Morahan, Nick Frisbee tries; Quade Cooper conversion) at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. (Half Time: Lions 16-7, Crowd: 50,136)