It would be easy for the casual reader of this blog to assume that I don’t watch Australian sports. Truth is, I do watch Australian sports, I just don’t have much to say about them mostly because Australian’s don’t know how to put on a sporting event. Just consider for a moment, that we get as many fans to a Rugby final as might show up to a College football game in the US. Also, it is my experience that outside of the AFL (loyal supporters all), most Australian sports fans are bandwagoners – they love their team when they are winning and dump them when they are not. Anyway…..I digress.
The British and Irish Lions only tour Australia every 12 years. We won the last time they visited, and we were a game each so far in this series.
The inclusion of flanker George Smith in the Wallabies’ squad for the third and final test, four years after he last wore the green and gold, was in my opinion, nothing short of genius and takes me back to the glory days of Australian Rugby. Given how tough the preceding two games had been at the breakdown, having a wiley veteran like smith at 7 made perfect sense. We would totally win this series.
I was wrong.
The third test was horrifying from the get go with the Wallabies chasing the Lions, who were producing huge scrums, and winning penalty after penalty in a dominant performance. The first 22 minutes invoved the Lions putting on a clinic for the Wallabies in ‘How to kick’ and ‘How to win penalties at the scrum’. Ben Alexander was sent to the sin bin for repeated infringments in the scrum.
It was embarrassing.
The most exciting moment of the first half came at 34 minutes when Wallaby Jesse Mogg, who was making a run for the try line off a Kurtley Beale pass was taken down by an ankle tap. Seriously. That ankle tap was spectacular.
The Wallabies would go on to score a try in the 42nd minute of the game (James O’Connor – who I still don’t rate at Flyhalf) and go into the break trailing the Lions by 9 points. Not bad when you consider that it was 16-3 moments earlier. The guys in green and gold carried the momentum into the second half scoring 13 points in 6 minutes of play and it was all down hill from there…..Ask Robbie Deans, who was sacked after the loss.
The Lions deserved the win, no doubt. Honourable mentions to Leigh Halfpenny and Jonathan Sexton who were instrumental in the series win. Phenomenal players both.
Dishonourable mentions to the entire Wallabies team, the Australian supporters (seriously, how do you expect your team to win sitting silently with your hands in you bloody laps…..rally towels anyone??) and whomever came up with those craptastic yellow helmet hats or whatever.
Congratulations to the British and Irish Lions.
Wallabies, pull your bloody heads in eh?