Wallabies in miracle escape

The Wallabies have beaten the Lions 16-15 to set up a series decider in Sydney.

Lions fullback Leigh Halfpenny missed a 51 metre penalty with the last kick of the game to win the Lions the series.

A week ago the heartbreak belonged to Australian fans when Kurtley Beale slipped and missed with a penalty kick to win the first Test. The Lions won 23-21.

This Saturday the roles were reversed and the Lions, trailing 16-15 won a penalty with seven seconds to go. They kept the ball alive and won another penalty from 41 metres. Halfpenny, on form the most accurate goalkicker in world rugby, has a radar that rarely misses from 45 metres in. But 50 metres is just a metre too long for the brilliant kicker.

We saw that in Auckland in 2011 when his 50 metre attempt to win Wales the semi-final against France dipped under the cross bar and we saw it again in Melbourne.

The Lions were the better side throughout and were especially strong at the breakdown and the decision to leave out veteran George Smith seemed to have cost the Wallabies the series.

However, Australia produced their most effective period of play after 75 minutes and for the first time in the game retained possession for 10-plus phases. It had the necessary effect and a converted try put them ahead in a match they never looked like winning.

Wallabies – Try: Adam Ashley-Cooper. Conversion: Christian Lealiifano. Penalties: Christian Lealiifano (3).
British & Irish Lions – Penalties: Leigh Halfpenny (4).