73 thoughts on “Rate the match: Australia v Lions, Third Test

  1. The Lions played brilliantly. Some of the wallabies individual performances were good. James Horwill is a great public speaker.

  2. Wow! At 19-16 when there looked like a wobble we found more and pulled away.Really classy and complete performance.Brilliant

  3. Magic. Magic. Magic. Gats vindicated. Best British and Irish team since 97. Power, pace, guile and skill. LIONS!

    Did you see those scrums? Ha ha. Up until their try we had won every single scrum including the three on their put in. Incredible. Bench was so, so perfectly judged. Halfpenny, North, Corbs, Bowe … all of the wonderful, beautiful giants including the freakishly big welsh 1 directional boys. Thank you Gats. Thank you. So, so happy. LIONS!!!!!!! LIONS!!!!!!!

    1. Ha! Fair play Brighty. Great win and the Welsh players were exceptional. They pulled out a great performance when it was needed

  4. Fantastic performance, Im welsh, but my concern on these sites is the anti welsh, english etc etc comments which still exist. I have watched Lions tours since the late 60s and the ethos has been all about the 4 nations together. I remember Lions squads of the early 80s when there were hardly any welshmen, but it did not matter. Unles we move back to the basic philosophy of the Lions, then the future will be uncertain in the profesional era….enjoy today wherever you are from and I look forward to celebrating my 65th birthday supporting the Lions, wherever they are from in NZ in 2017

  5. Immense from the pack today,and the backs took every opportunity,thoroughly enjoyable performance

  6. Brillant preformance from the lions today i think they might have just wrote the blueprint on how to beat the assuies. Cobs and adam jones wons us 16 points from the scum the lineout work well. Our backrow and pack got us over the gain line. Sean o brien in the biggest game of his life so far was brilliant up against the ledgend of smith 15 tackles and he only played 60 mins he was everywhere as was falatua brilliant play and balance there. Sad to see smith for the last time in the gold jersey true ledgend and he show what a animale he is the even finish the game after that tackle early on. Backs got the ball they wanted and showed what there able to do atlast. Overall great day and fair play gat i was questioning him about the bod call during the week but in the end i think it worked out come on the lions i cant wait for new zealand already.

  7. What a win, everyone to a man played well today, Corbs and Jones were massive in the scrum today, to think Corbs wasn’t even in the initial squad is incredible, he has been one of the heroes of the test series, Jones is the rock that the series has really been built around, he has had complete dominance in the scrum from the moment the test series begun, Hibbard was massive today, completely justified his selection over Youngs, he was everywhere in the first half, making big carries and massive hits, he really is a tough bastard how the hell did he just get right back up after he smashed heads with George Smith. Alun Wyn was incredible, really led by example, he was superb in every part of the game, he was just all over the place, every ounce a Lions captain, in 4 years time who knows? Parling was a bit of an unsung hero, if he hadn’t made the tap tackle on Jesse Mogg who knows what would have happened, he was also big at the lineout. Lydiate showed he is more than just a tackle man, he didn’t make as many tackles as usual but he worked hard at the breakdown and he carried hard too, the back row combination was the best of the tour. O’Briens first half defensive display was unbelievable, he was everywhere making tackles clearing rucks and competing for the ball, he clearly has a thing about playing the wallabies, before the tour I didn’t rate Faletau that highly, I was so wrong, he was class at the breakdown today, so powerful carrying, he took nearly every restart and he has a massive engine, it was his turnover that changed the match. Phillips still wasn’t at his best but he did enough and was a lot better than he was 2 weeks ago, finally Sexton played flatter, he was superb in the second half and I’m glad he got his try, he would’ve looked like a right knob if it hadn’t been allowed! Haha. Northy made some big tackles and some greta runs, I thought he may well have one player of the series at the end of it, but I can understand Halfpenny getting it, Roberts didn’t have his best game understandably but he made a lot of tackles and his try was quality too, we’ve missed him so much in the last 2 matches. JD totally justified being chosen ahead of BOD in the end, his left boot was a thing of beauty and he looked so much better today playing 13, Bowey still doesn’t look completely at his best, but he chased hard all day again and got more ball this week, bar one dropped ball he was completely solid. HALFPENNY! He’s not just a kicking machine, he was unreal today, everything he did was just brilliant. So happy we won bout bloody time!

  8. Fantastic team performance. Gatland’s management skills to the fore. His selection of form players fully justified and reasoned. Halfpenny justifisably man of tour but fantastic performances by many especially Wharbiton, Lydiate, Sexton and Adam Jones who lede from front.

  9. Well done Lions, thoroughly deserved it tonight.

    See you in 12 yrs for another exciting series!

    …Now, where’s my Dingo rifle?

    1. Mogg looks a better full back than Beale
      Beale (amongst others) was a better FH than JOC
      JOC is a better winger than Tomane

      Ultimately you can’t drop Cooper for a winger (who is then your worst player) lose a series and keep your job.

      It will be interesting to see how the Wallabies fare with the new scrum rules next year. I fear (for them) it’s going to take away a lot of the tricks with alignment and hit that are designed to diffuse/negate a more powerful scrum. May struggle to get out of the RWC group without a scrum.

      1. You could probably cut out one of your steps, as Mogg seemed to be a better 10 than JOC. Agree totally on Tomane though, a real disappointment.
        I would like to see this team for NZ in August:
        Robinson, Moore, Kepu
        Douglas, Horwill (c)
        Mowen, Hooper, Palu (Higginbotham if fit)
        Genia, Toomua
        Leali’ifano, Ashley-Cooper
        Morahan/Ioane, Mogg, Folau
        BENCH: Fainga’a, Slipper, anyone but Alexander (Palmer if fit), Simmons/Pyle, Gill, Phipps, Tapuai, O’Connor
        Personally I’m not a huge fan of Quade Cooper, he seems to be a bit like a (rather more talented) Aussie Cipriani, but nevertheless I’m sure McKenzie will pick him.

  10. I hold my hand up. Gats was right, I was wrong. Apologies to the Welsh people – your boys ain’t so bad after all. I am an armchair critic and today I was found out, and my accusations of welsh bias were completely unfounded.

    I was one of the ones with little faith. Am however delighted to be proved wrong on this occasion.

    Now, of course, I don’t agree with everything that happened and I feel that I was vindicated on some points.

    Apart from the try Roberts did nothing. Phillips looked so laboured, slow delivery after the first 10 minutes and aimless and downright bad kicking and actually by the end of the test the best scrum half on tour was definitely Murray who showed what he could do behind a dominant pack. Lydiate was the fourth best 6 on the park behind Mowen, SoB and Parling (who completely vindicated his place). Touch and go at hooker with Hibbard better today, but the scrum was still completely dominant when Youngs came on.

    Team of the tour:-
    T Youngs (only just)
    12 has given me a problem. JR poor, JD out of position and Tuilagi not played really, so undecided.

    Phillips/B Youngs – about level pegging

    1. Bowe did nothing in both of the tests he played in.. but who actually cares now I don’t , im welsh and proud to be welsh but equally proud of being British … Amazing display ,,,

      1. He got zero ball, and when he did get it he was good, claimed high balls and chased hard, so to say he did nothing is harsh, but who cares!

      1. Rootie 6 – on reflection, you are probably right, calling him poor was wrong. I think that he was poor by his own high standards and that’s what I was judging him on. But I really don’t think he did a huge amount on this tour unlike 4 years ago when he was immense. Oh and I have watched a huge amount of rugby. Too much probably.

        And for all those who say it doesn’t matter as we won, also on reflection you’re probably right! Bloomin brilliant result. Don’t tell anyone but I even jumped out of my seat and jumped up and down when JR scored.

    2. Apart from a “try” Roberts did nothing >>Staggy you obviously never seen many matches and definetly never played , Roberts ran hard and tackled his man on every occasion, he did everything he needed to do until he scored a brilliant try..so STFU

      1. I’m no Roberts hater, but tackled his man on every occasion? he missed 1/3 of his tackles and only made 5 carries for 25m, not great for his standards is a fair comment.

      2. Rootie 6. I’m not going to keep justifying myself to you while you query what I do and don’t know about the game. I have my opinions and most of the time I seem to be in line with common thinking, although every now and again I go a bit awol, but I’m always prepared to stick my hand up when I realise that I’ve been wrong such as on this occasion about Gatland and overpicking welsh players.

        However I don’t believe that JR had a great game. If you look at the comments before the game, he was picked to run all over Lealifano. It never happened, and not even close. The aussies had him bottled up all afternoon except when he took that exquisite line for the try. If he only made 25m all day most of it came on that run, so not his best day at the office, and I hadn’t realised that he’d missed so many tackles either. So going to have to disagree with you on this one. Oh and I enjoyed playing the game until injury stopped me but there you go.

  11. On the day a few miserable fairweather fans support the opposition the Lions produce one of the greatest performances in their history. Karma!

    What a titanic effort from the pack, and just when it gets tight again the backs start running lines, finding space and slicing them open.

    Colossal scrum, magnificent physicality in the backrow (all 3 were incredible) and as for that bloke 1/2p …. wow ….

    Parling, thank you for making that go-go-gadget tap tackle on Mogg!

    All hail the Corbs, one of the all time greatest performances by a loosehead prop, magnificent.

    Thank you Poite for allowing a proper contest. Vive la France!

    Gatland’s post match reaction was telling, clearly a difficult few days for him and not a burden he was carrying lightly.

    So, so, happy.

  12. Wow, post match AWJ interview showed how badly the criticism has affected the players. Talking about their worst week of the whole tour. Hope the haters stay away from all future Lions tours.

    And Staggy, you and I will never agree about Lyds ;-) but cheers to both of us – we both love this team, both never stopped supporting them and are undoubtedly both delighted right now. Magic day.

    1. PS. did you see how delighted the likes of Court, Gray, 12Ts and especially Wade were? Also the supposedly hard done by Hogg and Maitland. Those boys will take this back and be determined to be better, for it to be them on the pitch next time. This will have done them nothing but good. Credit to them, and BOD, for being true gents unlike some of the so called fans. They know what’s really important – The Lions, not individuals, be their players or fans.

      1. Yeah, from some of the comments I was expecting them to be decked out in green and gold given what a dreadful experience being a winning Lion is for young talented players.

    2. Brighty. I am sure that we will continue to disagree about a number of things for some time to come! I will look forward to the banter! As already stated was delighted to be proved wrong about Gatland, even though I did and still disagree with him on a number of selection issues (although less now than before the game!!).

      Now, the thing that I’m really worried about is how the heck are we going to beat you next year in the 6N, Wales have far more quality than I ever gave you credit for. How in blue blazes did you go on an 8 game losing streak. I just don’t understand it.

      1. Staggy, Adam Jones – he was out of the AIs. The other four games were all against Aus. I don’t care what anyone says, winning down there is hard no matter who you are.

        I thought the team today was a perfect Lions team in one way. If you’ll indulge me to start off with the assertion that the Welsh team are the best in B&I then what Gats did today was add exactly what was needed to make us better – a loosehead, a clever 2nd row and an excellent outside half. SOB sorted out the Warbs injury cover and even more importantly the bench were magnificent – Wales have excellent 17ish players, always struggle with depth.

        So I’d argue that he gave us the ultimate expression of the Lions ethos – the best combination of B&I players in the timeframe available (because developing a new style in 6 weeks was never going to happen). By doing so he turned a series of losses against Aus into an emphatic win using a lot of the same players. The players added to the Welsh core definitely made the difference but the Welsh core was needed. Perfect.

        We also missed Lyds and AWJ for start of 6N.

        Never mind next years 6N, roll on 2015 and the group of death.

  13. It’s amazing to see how a day like this can bring 4 nations together, proud to be from the British isles on a day like this.

  14. the only thing that was disappointing to me today was Sextons reaction when he got taken off, he’d played every minute of the tests, the match was already won and their were less than 20 to go, seemed a bit egoistic to me to be honest.

    1. It’s a sort of understandable reaction. At fly-half, you don’t often make a change, unless it’s a preplanned tactical change, injury or that the player is playing poorly. Fly-halves never want to come off.

      Top that with the fact that he’s worked hard to help win the game for the Lions and you really want to be on the pitch at the end.

      Whether he’s annoyed with himself, the decision or just not being there at the end, it is kind of understandable

      1. I know I just thought in the spirit of things it was a bit arrogant, understandable but the series was won and they were giving a young fly half who could be the future of Lions 10’s test match time understandably, just thought his reaction was a bit childish! but it’s irrelevant now he played very well and I do love him as a player.

  15. pleased as I was with the Lions winning, I was really disappointed with the game. I was expecting a tense and tough game and the Aussies just handed it over on a plate. If they’d taken their opportunities at goal they could have kept the pressure on and we could have had a test match. Some poor decision making from the Wallabies there and it just allowed the Lions to run away with it and I didn’t get especially overexcited at any point.

    Great work in the pack, much better carrying this week. I still have no idea why Hibbard was picked over Youngs though. I wasn’t impressed by Phillips. Too indecisive, too slow. Everything changed in the backs when Murray came on.

    1. They got back to 19-10 at half time, they didn’t refuse a kick after that and made it to 19-16. Your further comments just make you look bitter at the Welsh contingent being picked and ultimately being successful.

      How anyone from any of our four nations can be disappointed with today’s match its beyond me. Enjoy it.

      1. Hardly. Phillips was woeful and Hibbard was unimpressive. Nothing to do with the nationality of those players, all to do with those players being less impressive throughout the tour than their alternatives. Your comment makes you sound overdefensive.

        I enjoyed the result, but not the game. I love a test match and I love a contest. That’s what gets you behind the players, your pulse going and your blood boiling. That my friend is sport. The Australians letting the Lions walk over them for all but 10 minutes makes it harder to feel the highs and lows of sport that help a spectator feel as if they’ve bonded with the side and it’s as emotional for them than the players in the side. The only thing that I love more than the team I support is the sport they’re playing.

        1. What can I say to that? You clearly feel the Aussies handed it to the lions.

          I have a different view, but acknowledge you’re entitled to your own opinion.

          And perhaps as a Welshman, with 10 of my fellow countrymen involved out was easier for me to engage than it was for you.

          1. Although thinking about it, I do agree murray was far better! Maybe the beers have gotten the best of me! Ha.

          2. Yep, I agree Murray was better. Coach in doesn’t get everything right shocker! He must have had an agenda.. Nah, gotta stop. Was too enjoyable today to snipe any more. No coach gets it 100% right but he got enough right, that’s all you can ask of a coach. Be honest, do what he thinks is best and bring home the results. Well done Warren. Thank you.

          3. However, I disagree about Hibbard. He was immense and was a massive factor in the domination of the first 30 mins. Perfect call by Gats – by the time Hibs throwing went wonky his job was done. Brilliant to see that his replacement was Youngs, Aussies must have sunk when they saw him come on fresh as a daisy.

          1. You see, this is the problem. Welsh players are seemingly above criticism otherwise you’re “anti Welsh”. Hibbard was at best average. He carried 6 times, was turned over twice and penalised once.

            AWJ was brilliant, Halfpenny was at his consistent best, Faletau was a definite improvement at 8 over Heaslip. I mention a problem with 2 players and it’s because they’re Welsh and I’m English.

            Get over it

        2. Now I’m not especially a Hibbard fan (as most of you know) but I thought that he had a good game today. His tackling has improved, he carried and the lineout was OK. Still don’t think that he was better than Youngs on balance but he certainly wasn’t unimpressive.

          As for Phillips I really think that given the armchair ride the pack gave him he was poor.

          I seem to be in a minority regarding Lydiate and Roberts. I will say neither were bad today, I just think that there are better players who didn’t get the chance.

  16. Agree about Sexton,does’nt have the diplomacy and empathy yet that BOD has.That was such an encouraging Northern Hemiiphere display,it asks the question what have we been doing in the first two tests Was it really the scrum,or would the backs have come to life if we’d just had parity up front? Any thoughts

    My lions nucleus for New Zealand 2017

    Tuilagi,JD,12trees ,Roberts,Scott

    1. I actually think all the props (bar Jones) will probs still be in contention in 4 years, Healy is mid 20’s, Cole, Corbs, Vunipola all under 26, they’ll be hitting their peak.

      Also love the Yarde pick as one to watch. For all the talk of Wade and Zebo etc think he will be the best of the lt, bigger and more physical than both but with the same ability to make something out of nothing. Needs to start in the Autumn

    2. diplomacy and empathy yep that’s what I want from my rugby players SH are so big on that .Sexton was having a stormer I was pissed off when he came off let alone Sexton himself,

    3. Interestingly, how many of this touring side would you have picked 4 years ago. Half maybe – so that means we’ve got 4 years of watching new talent develop who could make up 50% of the Lions team next time round!

      1. 4 years ago North was 17. 17! God, I feel ancient. Northampton, whatever they paid, have got a bargain. I look forward to 1/2ps swansong season with Cardiff this year, there is no way they can keep him now. First million pound a year player?

  17. The only downside is we have to wait another four years and to think 2009 seems so long ago 2017 seems even longer

    1. World Cup in England in 2 years Steve. Tasty, tasty group of death. One of the big fish is going to miss the quarters. Plenty to anticipate.

      1. Cab’t wait for the world cup, It would be great if i was England and Wales that got through, on a personal note if Ireland can just manage to beat France then we get Argentina in the quarters and perhaps we can finally reach a world cup semi! on the other hand if we lost to France then we get the AB’s and they’ll probably put 40 odd points past us..:(


  18. Ahem, 2 votes giving this match 1 out of 10. To borrow a phrase from my son – LOL, LMAO. :-)

    1. I think I gave it 5, but as I said earlier, the value of a game to some people is being gripped and going through the rollercoaster of emotions and the Lions were under real pressure for all of 10 minutes. For that reason, I enjoyed the first two tests a great deal more because I went through all of that. This game had some good stuff going on and some skills on display, but it never felt like a competition.

      At the end of the day, Australia were pretty poor and their decision making was too. I think a good game comes from two sides playing well and challenging each other and Australia didn’t challenge the Lions well enough today to make it a good game, in my eyes.

      Now imagine you’re Australian. You’ve spent the game disappointed and you’re mostly noticing your team getting doing everything wrong. I think that might sway me to vote it a 1.

      1. Wookie, I understand – disagree but understand. I didn’t see what you saw – I saw a team claw their way back to within three. I saw a physical smashing that no team could have lived with.

        I will add that any true fan of rugby could not give a game with tries like that in a 1. Even the most disappointed Aussie fan would have to admire 1/2ps breaks, Farrel’s almost-try chip, JOCs dancing feet, Hibbards collision and bounce with Smith, etc. I suspect the people who voted 1 have an agenda and would have voted 0 if it was an option.

      2. Having ridden that roller coaster in the previous 2 weeks I’m glad to have been spared a 3rd ride. I’m thrilled we smashed them.

      3. Actually I’m with Wookie on this. I enjoyed the game and especially for what it brought (a series victory) but I was a bit nonplused by the end. We’d won it at a canter with none of the last minute dramas of previous tests. As a result it didn’t really sink in for 24 hours, as it seemed a bit of an anticlimax by the final whistle. Now I’m not saying that I wanted to see Lealifano line up a kick to win it from half way on 80 minutes, as my nerves couldn’t have taken it, but it was all over long before the end of the game.

  19. I wonder if a women’s lions could be a possibility, just a thought but I’d like your opinions

    1. Think that’s a great idea. I would run it in parallel to the main tour, capitalise on the interest in the Lions and lots of the travelling fans will no doubt turn up to support them.

  20. How wrong was I!Lions had every disadvantage yet smashed the Aussies.This was one of the greatest Lions win ever and I salute them all.
    1/2 penny man of the series for me

  21. Tons of humble pie being served up today methinks :). Seems that the selection panel got it right after all, you have to hand it to WG, he put his faith in the players & they rewarded him in spades. Quite a performance when you consider they were missing two of their most influential players Warbs & POC but everyone was up for it and that showed from the kick-off.
    Hope that all the peeps on the rugby forums who switched allegiance to the Aussies because of the selection issues enjoyed seeing their team get smashed !

  22. As a neutral who doesn’t really get the lions concept all I can say is that was a great game of rugby. Lions were superb and deserved winners – match and series. 1/2 penny answered some nagging doubts about his attacking game- what a complete performance.

    However what was Deans thinking in not starting Kepu? That and the whole Cooper farce should seal his fate.

    Right now onto AI speculation and debate!!!

  23. Rate the match:
    I was screaming in the bar when we went 30+ There was no real way back, even for the Aussies. It was just a matter of time. It’s a good thing for out part of the world, we’re so divided at times. It’s nice to see the Lions win. I’ve warmed to the idea of Lions tours. Watched every game and loved it – great series. The market is the way to go. Wales won the 6 nations and were very convincing towards the end. They deserved to have first dibs on players, especially with Gatland in command.

  24. Top quality from the lions, to come back at the Aussies after they got back into the game broke them, awesome awesome display of courage and talent!!

  25. Wow, Mr. gatland, you are vindicated sir! I have never been Gatlands biggest fan and I, like many, was worried with this selection prior to the match but he got it well and truly spot on. The Aussies just could not cope with the power game and they wilted. Fantastic result. Halfpenny was superb and he is deservedly holding the ‘best full back in the world’ accoloade for me right now. I would also think George North must be considered as the best winger right now as well. One player who really caught my eye as well was Alex Corbisero, what a monumental shift from the loose head. A world class performance. I think Mike Phillips star is fading a little though and it was interesting to see Sky Sports report that he is considering international retirement, dependant on club commitments. Maybe time in my opinion. One thing that this series highlights is the world class players that we have in the Northern Hemisphere. I would argue that the gap is finally closing between the two.

  26. What a series, Lions could have being going to Sydney two up, two down. I have enjoyed every game. When Corbesro scored and 1/2 continued to build our lead I thought the Lions would be out of touch by half time. but hats off to the Aussies, back they came and I started back on my nails. then seven minutes of heaven. Gatland got RIGHT. Oh how I would like to have been in Sydney hunting down Stuart Barnes and seeing him and all the other armchair critics eating humble pie, wonder if there’s any left. Fullpenny defiantly man of the series but for me the most valuable player has to be Adam Jones, what series. This is not to distract from all of the other Lions, all of who had a part in this win

  27. I am happy to admit I was wrong on so many things about this, I had the Aussies by 5 but congratulations to The Lions on the win but not only that but to win in such a dominating fashion this win will be talked about for years to come.

    Also kudos to Gatland for having to balls to make such massive changes, some times you have to roll the dice to win big.

  28. Well I’m happy to say that I got it wrong. It turned out that the BOD issue didn’t really make any difference. The difference was made with the other changes: Sean O’Brien played a stormer, Hibbard hit his men in the lineout and when tackling and carrying, Faletau carried effectively and worked hard all round the pitch, and Jamie Roberts was effective by not doing too much with the ball, and fooling the Aussies into thinking he would be more involved. The only player I didn’t think made a difference was Phillips. Some dodgy kicks again that there was no point in chasing because we were never going to get near them. Murray made a big difference when he came on, and his quicker service helped us gain more momentum.
    Well done Lions, and well done Warren Gatland, Rob Howley, Andy Farrell, Graham Rowntree and all the other players, coaches, medical and management staff involved.

  29. What a result and what a game of rugby!

    To the fairweather fans who think a Lions tour is an exercise in equal opportunity – hope you all feel suitably idiotic. Don’t bother coming back for the next one, you won’t be missed

    To whoever it was up-thread who said it wasn’t an exciting game. Sorry but were you actually watching it? Lions go 16 points up, Aussies fight back to within 3, despite losing a man to a yellow. Aussies looking really dangerous after half-time – Mowen almost manages what could have been a tr-scoring intercept which would have out the Aussies in front. Lions manage to get some space with Sexton’s try, but are still only 13 points ahead of an Aussie team that never give up and are battering at the Lions try line. Only with North’s try and just 15 mins left to play, could we finally feel confident that the Lions have gone and won the bloody thing. Fantastic

    If you don’t class that as exciting, I really worry for how jaded you are.

    Now looking forward to what should be a fantastic 6 Nations, with new players coming through for Ireland, England and Scotland, what should be a hugely-confident Welsh team, an Italy who are getting ever more dangerous and a French team that can beat all of them on a good day (and normally do after a Lions tour).

    Also means that I can get back to arguing with Brighty. All this agreeing with him is doing me no good whatsoever

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