What a time to be British! Not only did Andy Murray claim his place in British history by winning in straight sets at Wimbledon against Novak Djokovic last weekend, but the Lions Tour of Australia reached its peak in Sydney for the final Test against the Wallabies.
Following the monumental success of Wales in the Six Nations, the British and Irish Lions team was formed for the 125th anniversary tour of Australia. No surprise that nearly half the Lions team was Welsh, captained by 24 year old Sam Warbuton who led the Welsh team to victory in the Six Nations. Combining the best players from the England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland rugby teams, the Lions kicked off their tour at the start of June playing the Barbarians in Hong Kong. Here they faced Welsh player James Hook who is one of the few players to play for and against the Lions. Nothing could stand in the way of success as the Lions roared to a 59-8 victory against the Baba’s.
The Lions continued their victory streak against the Western Force in Perth where Leigh Halfpenny converted all tries resulting in a score of 69-17. The Queensland Reds were the first team the Lions faced to put up a fight against the victors but the game finished with a score of 22-12 in favour of the Lions. Pulling away from the close game in Queensland, the Lions dominated in Newcastle against the Combined Country who didn’t get a look in as the Lions raced ahead to a 64 point win.
Leigh Halfpenny had his record breaking match against the Waratahs scoring an incredible 30 points for the Lions which helped them along to a 47-17 win. The winning streak fell at Canberra for the Lions where the Brumbies were the first provincial team to beat our boys by a mere 6 points.
A disappointing match for the Lions before their first Test against the Wallabies, for which they still maintained their record of never losing a Test by scraping a win 23-21. Having suffered one loss, the Lions were not prepared to lose focus as they faced the Melbourne Rebels and won 35-0. The second Test ensued and the Lions lost by one point following a missed conversion from Welsh full back Leigh Halfpenny, it was an ambitious kick which was unlikely to come off. Captain Sam Warbuton sustained an injury and limped from the pitch. However the result was a tied Test between the Lions and Wallabies, leaving the fate of the Tom Richards Trophy to be decided the following week in the final Test in Sydney.
Saturday 6th July saw the Lions storm to their most impressive victory yet. An incredible line up despite the fact that Brian O’Driscoll was axed meant that the Lions were on track for an incredible performance. With amazing play from all members, Leigh Halfpenny was the one to scoop the Man of the Match award for his unwavering performance throughout the Tests as he broke the Lions series record for point scoring with 49 points gained for the Lions over the course of the Tour.
All images are taken from The Daily Mail Website