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British Lions roar to series victory

Australia suffer a mauling in the deciding test as British Lions record a long awaited win for travelling fans.

Last Modified: 06 Jul 2013 12:54
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Coach Warren Gatland's changes paid off with British Lions dominating in Sydney [GALLO/GETTY]

The British and Irish Lions claimed their first series win since 1997 when they overpowered Australia 41-16 in the third test on Saturday to seal a 2-1 victory.

After just three points separated the two sides in the first two matches, the Lions built their emphatic victory on the back of a dominant scrum to join the hallowed tourists of 1971, 1974 and 1997 as series winners in the modern era.

Despite controversial changes made by Lions coach Warren Gatland, including the exclusion of Brian O'Driscoll, the team stormed to victory in the second half after a nervy end to the first.

I think we've proved that despite selection the northern hemisphere is doing pretty well

Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones

The Lions were quick out of the blocks at the Olympic Stadium with prop Alex Corbisiero crossing for a second minute try and fullback Leigh Halfpenny kicking 12 points to open up a 19-3 lead after 26 minutes.

Australia fought back with James O'Connor scoring just before halftime and inside centre Christian Leali'ifano kicking the home side to within three points at 19-16 with 25 minutes remaining.

But the Lions finally found the attacking rhythm that they lacked in the second test loss and flyhalf Jonny Sexton, winger George North and centre Jamie Roberts crossed for second half tries as the Lions rode out comfortable winners.

"It's pretty indescribable. There was a lot said about the selection in the week and big thanks to the fans coming out," said Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones.

"I think we've proved that despite selection the northern hemisphere is doing pretty well." 

Wyn Jones took over as captain for the deciding test after a hamstring injury to fellow-Welshman Sam Warburton.

"We had too many errors, mate, early on and we gave them a head start," Wallabies skipper James Horwill said.

"We started the second half like we wanted to start the game and then we let them get away with it and they were too good.

"You've got to give them credit, they played very well and they were the better team tonight."

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Source:
Reuters
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