After the damp squib that was the evening’s earlier Test between New Zealand and France, this first Test of the Lions’ Tour of Australia had all the noise and drama we had hoped for as rugby fans.
There was some stunning back play on display including two of the best wingers’ tries you’ll see this year from Israel Folau and George North. And in the end, though had Australia had clawed their way back into it, Beale slipped when taking the penalty that should have won it for the Wallabies.
An insane ending really. A Welsh-dominated team win because a pitch disintegrates not unlike their home stadium in Cardiff. And Kurtley Beale comes to the ground pretty much straight from rehab, sparks a recovery, but chokes at the end.
I really hope Beale is not criticised too much for it - he was the only reason Australia got back in the game to start with.
But for the last week, while I thought the Lions were dropping like flies in warm up games, and would struggle to get their best 22 through the 3 Test series fit, it was them that ended up battering the Wallabies, and forcing 3 players off on stretchers. I hope they are all okay, the hits looked fierce ... but any loss from that 22 of Deans’ poses real questions about their depth again.
And can we just all agree that James O’Connor is not an international standard 10? Where was he all night? Ah, I won’t go on too much ... I’m loving watching, but it’s not my teams. Enjoy the Series Wallabies and Lions fans. Its all on ... and check back in for more stat sheets after each Test.