The 2013 Lions just managed to win the first test against Australia in Brisbane on Saturday by 23-21. The close scoreline only tells part of the story. I think this was a match Australia lost more than one which the Lions won. Australia missed a total of 5 kicks amounting to 14 points, whereas the Lions only missed a single 2-point kick. This made all the difference in what was a ferociously contested match.
Australia and the Lions both scored two tries. Australia’s were both scored by the debutant winger Israel Folau, who cut through the Lions defence on two occasions and showed what a gifted player he is. The Lions’ tries were scored by George North and Alex Cuthbert, the two Welsh wingers. Australia suffered several injuries to their back line, with centre Christian Leali’ifano and full back Berrick Barnes both going off with nasty injuries. Although the Lions were able to exploit the weakened Wallabies to a certain extent, they really should have made more of the chance and put the match beyond the reach of the Wallabies.
The outcome of the game all came down to the last few minutes, with replacement Kurtley Beale missing two opportunities to win the match for Australia from two separate penalties. Whatever the ultimate outcome of the test series, this result is really one which should have gone in favour of Australia, and the Lions can count themselves very lucky to be 1-0 up in the series.