The British & Irish Lions recorded a hard fought 12-22 win over the Queensland Reds on Saturday at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
The Reds put up a much stiffer test than either of the previous two matches the Lions faced on this tour so far.
The Lions will be concerned that Manu Tuilagiu left the field early in the first half after suffering a shoulder injury and Tommy Bowe also left the field in the second half with an injury. The Lions medical staff will be concerned about injuries to two of the Lions key backs.
The match started at a ferocious pace as the Reds made their intentions very clear from the first whistle. Reds fly half Quade Cooper was the spark and was choosing to run everything often spurning penlties that could be kicked for field position and setting his back line off with running move after running move.
It didn’t help for the Lions that they insisted on kicking possession abck to the Reds which was shooting them in the foot.
Queensland Reds wing Luke Morahan scored a superb solo effort to start the try scoring.
The Lions eventually got a handle on the game and started to play some rugby with a couple of good breaks from Tommy Bowe and George North.
From the resultant scrum following the break from North, Ben Youngs scored an opportunist try capitalising on the mistake from the Reds scrum on their own 5 metre line.
The second half was a less frentic affair. The Lions exerted their authority at the set piece and the Reds continued to try and run everything.
Scrum Half Nick Frisby scored an excellent break away try to bring the scores close with 15 mins to go.
The Reds continued to run from their own line but conceded the penalty and Farrell kicked a late penlty to put the game beyond the reach of the Reds.
The Lions move on to Newcastle on Tuesday to face a combined New South Wales and Queensland Country XV side and will be hoping to build on what was the first real test for the Lions.
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12:40 Good pressure from the Reds as they roll the last throw of the dice, but they knock on in the Lions 22. The final whistle goes and the Lions get the victory despite a spirited performance from the hosts who provided a much stiffer test for the tourists.
12:35 The danger of running from your own line is that if you concede a penalty under your own posts then your opponents are going to push the game away from you, and that’s just what has happened here as the Reds are pinged for holding on directly in front of their own posts. Farrell kicks the three points. 12-22
12:30 The Reds turn it over though and are still running from their own tryline. There are only five mins to go and the Reds are five points behind, so everything still to play for.
12:30 A forward pass from the Reds on their own tryline gives the Lions a great attacking platform. Justin Tipuric comes on for captain Sam Warburton.
12:30 A series of set pieces from both sides are squeezing any life and creativity out of the game with both sides knocking on frequently.
12:25 There’s more concern for The Reds as full back Ben Lucas is taken from the field on a stretcher.
12:20 A whole host of replacements in the pack on for the Lions. Adam Jones, Richard Hibbard, Dan Cole, Paul O’Connell are all on, which strengthens the Lions further in the set piece.
12:20 The Lions defence lets Reds winger Rod Davies slip through the net and he offloads to Nick Frisby who races away to the line for the try. Mike Harris misses the easy conversion 12-19
12:15 It’s been a bit of a scrappy affair in the second half. The intensity has dropped off somewhat, but then the Reds were never going to be able to keep up that pace for the whole game.
12:10 The stoppage is a lengthy one, but the Lions get us underway again with the put in to the scrum.
12:05 There’s quite some concern as Mako Vunipola clashes heads with the Reds’ openside Beau Robinson. It looks like Robinson has come off worse though as the Saracens man is on his feet, but Robinson is going to leave the field on a stretcher.
12:00 A couple of knock on’s for both sides and the Lions get a free kick from the scrum. The Lions go forward and the Reds concede a penalty on their own 22. Farrell kicks for 7-19
11:55 Bit of a reshuffle for the Lions. Tommy Bowe comes off and Sexton is on to replace him. Farrell moves out to inside centre.
11:50 First blood in this second half from the Lions who attack the Reds line in multiple phases but good defence from the Reds and they turn the ball over and clear up field.
11:50 The teams are out again for the second half and Cooper kicks off.
11:45 From the forum: “It’s a weird match as the reds are running everything and lions are treating it as a test match. The way the reds are playing is unsustainable and will tell in the 2nd half. Lions will stick a few on them by the end of the game. North is world class!” EnglishFella
11:35 The half time hooter has gone and from the line out the Lions pour forward and eventually the Reds concede the penalty. Farrell steps up again and kicks it in off the right hand post. 7-16 at half time.
11:30 Another big drive from the Lions and the scrum is reset again. The Reds are under huge pressure on their own line. The ball squirts out from the scrum and the Reds dive on it and clear their lines for a Lions line out.
11:30 Big drive from the Lions at the resultant scrum but the packs drop and they are reset.
11:30 Brilliant break from George North on as a replacement for Manu Tuilagi charges right through the middle of the field and offloads brilliantly to Sam Warburton who dives for the line. the decision is referred to the TMO who does not give the try, but gives a 5 metre scrum.
11:25 Farrell converts for 7-13
11:20 From the resultant scrum Ben Youngs steals the ball from the Reds No 8 Jake Schatz, the ball spills over the try line and Youngs dives on it to score. The decision is referred to the TMO as a suspected knock on by Youngs, but the TMO gives the try! 7-11
11:20 Brilliant break from George North who steams down the left hand touchline and offloads to Farrell who charges for the line, but the ball is knocked out of his hand in the act of scoring by Reds try scorer Luke Morihan. The TMO is called into action and gives the knock on by Farrell over the line. No try,
11:15 Good attacking pressure from the Reds this time and the Lions concede the penalty from straying offside. So far Cooper has run almost everything, but this time he’s down receiving treatment, so once he recovers his composure he steps up to go for the kick at goal. It’s straight in front but 30 or so metres out, he steps up and kicks it and misses just wide to the left of the posts.
11:15 Good break from Farrell, but the ball is turned over and the Reds try running from their own line and get turned over again. The Lions on the attack.
11:10 Bit of a kicking dual going on here. Farrell and Cooper are exchanging cross field kicks whilst the back three from both sides are punting the ball back and forth to each other.
11:10 The Reds concede a penalty in their own 22 by holding on to Alex Cuthbert on the floor. Farrell steps up and kicks it straight through to make it 7-6. 25 mins gone.
11:05 The Reds are trying to run from everywhere and eventually Cooper makes the error and passes into space on his own 22. The Lions hack on but there is too much on it and the ball goes dead. Good opportunity for the Lions.
11:00 Outstanding try for the Reds. Luke Morihan scores a wonderful individual try after breaking through the Lions defence then chipping over the top of Stuart Hogg regathering and scoring under the posts. Excellent try which is converted to make it 7-3
11:00 The Reds concede a penalty at the scrum, 10 metres in from the right hand touchline and Farrell steps up to kick at goal which sails through for the first score of the match. 0-3
10:55 Cheers go round the ground as Wallaby Radike Samo comes on to replace Ed O’Donoghue as a blood replacement for the Reds.
10:50 The Reds are determined to run everything back at the Lions. No clearing kick from Cooper as he sets his backline going again under their own posts.
10:50 Exceptional break from Tommy Bowe, cutting inside and charging through the Reds defence, nice pass to set Alex Cuthbert free and he races for the line but is pushed into touch in the act of scoring the try. He’s clearly in touch, but it is referred to the TMO who confirms the player was in touch.
10:45 Solid scrum from the Lions on their own 5 metre line results in a penalty for the Lions to clear their lines.
10:45 Sustained pressure from the Reds hammering away at the Lions tryline but Beau Robinson knocks on just as the Reds were asking the Lions defence some serious questions.
10:45 Penalty for the Reds on halfway and Cooper takes it quickly to fire up the Reds back line. All the signs are there from the start that the Reds mean business and the Lions are on the defensive.
10:45 Ferocious start from the Reds who get stuck in right from the whistle.
10:40 And the teams are coming out led by tour Captain Sam Warburton for the first time.
10:30 The teams are going through their final warm up routines out on the field and there is quite some anticipation in the ground for what should be quite a competitive game. Ten mins till kick off.
10:20 As always, you can get involved either by tweeting us on @lionstour or on our Facebook page, or you can chat with other Lions fans right now on our Lions forum where there are always people around to talk Lions.
10:15 Once again we’re back with our live score tracker for today’s game with the Queensland Reds. The big news this morning, is that prop Gethin Jenkins has been ruled out of the tour following an irritation of his calf injury yesterday. He will now fly home to receive further treatment.