Scott Quinnell and Daniel Herbert remember 2001 Lions decider

Last Updated: 05/07/13 2:44pm

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Quinnell goes over for his try in the first Test

Quinnell goes over for his try in the first Test

Scott Quinnell was one of the heroes of the 2001 tour of Australia and the Wales No.8 wrote his name into Lions folklore with some rampaging runs from the back of the scrum and plenty of devastating tackles.

One of the iconic moments from the first Test, when the Lions shocked the Wallabies with a 29-13 win, was Quinnell's nodding celebration as he crashed over for the Lions fourth try - 'Scott Quinnell, welcome to fantasy land,' was Sky Sports commentator Miles Harrison's comment as he crashed over.

In the second Test, the Lions looked to be well set to wrap up the series as they dominated their hosts - but a Joe Roff intercept try against the flow of play gave the Wallabies the momentum and the belief to level the series and take it to the decider in Sydney.

That decider did not go well for the tourists as Australia had their tails up and went on to win the final game 29-23.

12 years later Scott Quinnell is back in Sydney as part of the Sky Sports commentary team and is hoping that the class of 2013 can do what the Lions of 2001 couldn't.

"It's going to be one heck of a game and the pressure is going to be intense," said Quinnell. "The Lions need to stick together and believe that they can win.

"They need to believe in themselves and play to win, if they do that, they'll come away from Australia with a series win."

This week would have been tough for the players - not only would they have to get over the disappointment of losing the second Test, but also have to recover physically as the price of professional rugby takes its toll.

"Losing the second Test in the way that we did was very disappointing and we, as a team, grouped together in facing up to the Aussies for the final match."
Scott Quinnell

"In the week leading up to the third Test in 2001, not many of the guys trained," explained Quinnell. "I certainly didn't due to my knees and there were a lot of bruised and battered bodies.

"Losing the second Test in the way that we did was very disappointing and we, as a team, grouped together in facing up to the Aussies for the final match."

Extremely intense

Another player who did not train much leading up to the third Test in 2001 was Wallaby centre Daniel Herbert.

Despite being ill, Herbert played a major role in deciding the outcome of the series - he scored two ties for Australia but was also sin-binned for a high tackle on Brian O'Driscoll in the second half.

"I had food poisoning all week leading into game three and wasn't able to attend training or meetings," remembers Herbert.

"I lost 7kgs and couldn't stomach a meal all week. I just remember it being extremely intense and the 10 minutes I spent in the sin-bin were the longest 10 minutes of my life.

"Our team gathered more confidence as the tour went on and half-time in Melbourne in the dressing room in game two was a turning point.

"We felt we had been dominated by the Lions on the field but not the scoreboard and everyone was quite calm knowing if we scored first it could possibly damage the spirit of the Lions.

"That Lions team was the biggest challenge the Wallaby team of that era faced and that tour and the magnificent Lions supporters helped change how Australian rugby supporters support their team.

"There's nothing quite like the Lions anywhere else in the world of sport. Long may they continue."

Watch the deciding third Test live only on Sky Sports 1 HD from 10am on Saturday.

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