7 Jul 2013

Lions win Australian series

9:19 am on 7 July 2013

The Lions coach Warren Gatland says vitriolic criticism of his selection has taken the gloss off his side's 41-16 win over Australia, and the Lions first series victory since 1997.

The former All Black was universally condemned for dumping Irish legend Brian O'Driscoll for the series decider in Sydney, but he refused to gloat after the outside centre's replacement, Welshman Jonathan Davies, starred in the Lions' 41-16 dispatch of Australia.

Davies fed the ball to Irish flyhalf Jonathan Sexton whose second half try was followed by two more to Welsh backs Jamie Roberts and George North.

The english prop Alex Corbisiero crossed the line two minutes into the game and combined with goal kicker Leigh Halfpenny to give the Lions a 19-3 lead.

The Wallabies flyhalf James O'Connor crossed the line in the dying minutes of the half giving the tourists a 19-10 half time lead.

A shattered Robbie Deans spoke like a man who had coached his last Test for Australia

With the Australian Rugby Union sounding out the Brumbies and Queensland to potentially release coaches Jake White and Ewen McKenzie, the former All Black was forced to acknowledge his coaching future is out of his hands.

British and Irish Lions 41 (Alex Corbisiero, George North, Jamie Roberts, Jonathan Sexton tries Leigh Halfpenny 3 cons 5 pens)

Australia 16 (James O'Connor try Christian Leali'ifano con 3 pens)