Waratahs v British and Irish Lions: Sydney show is fifth straight win for tourists
Last Updated: June 15, 2013 2:31pm
The British and Irish Lions continued their build-up for next week's first Test with an emphatic 47-17 victory over the New South Wales Waratahs.
This was a competitive and hard-fought game but ultimately the Lions had too much power up front and class with ball-in-hand for the 'Tahs.
Leigh Halfpenny was again outstanding for the Lions, scoring two of the five tries and faultless with the boot in kicking all his eight goals, although there are still some defensive issues to be ironed out ahead of Brisbane next Saturday.
As they have so often on this tour, the Lions made a blistering start, racing 10-0 ahead after just six minutes - and it could have been even more.
Wing Simon Zebo thought he had scored with his first touch of the ball in a Lions shirt after 40 seconds, but Waratahs full-back Drew Mitchell made a superb try-saving tackle in the corner, confirmed by the TMO.
Halfpenny kicked a 50-metre penalty three minutes later, before superb approach work from the Wales full-back, Zebo and centre Jonathan Davies created an opening for Jonathan Sexton which he finished emphatically.
Halfpenny landed the touchline conversion, but Sexton then took a huge tackle from Waratahs lock Will Skelton, and as he was receiving treatment the Lions conceded a soft try, with Tom Carter being freed in space and capitalising on some weak defensive work.
Ross McKibbin added the extras from wide out before before another couple of Halfpenny penalties stretched the lead again.
The half finished on a high for the tourists as really powerful work from the Lions forwards inside the Waratahs' 22 was followed by good hands from Alun Wyn Jones and Paul O'Connell, before the ball was spun out wide for Halfpenny to dive in at the corner, before converting from the touchline for a 23-10 half-time lead.
The second half started in even more impressive fashion as the Lions created their best try of the tour to date, Sexton getting over the gainline and offloading for Jamie Roberts, who combined with Jonathan Davies before Halfpenny arrived on a superb line and raced in.
But there was sloppiness from the subsequent kick-off and after a five-metre scrum, Carter crashed over from close range for his second try and McKibbin converted.
Halfpenny settled any lingering nerves with yet another successful kick and Tom Croft raced down the touchline like a winger, handing off Tom Kingston and touching down.
Seven Lions changes resulted but by now they were firmly in control and Davies completed a thoroughly satisfying night for the tourists as he trotted in unopposed from Ben Youngs' inside pass.
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