The ACT Brumbies inflicted a first tour loss on the British & Irish Lions in Canberra 14-12. This was always going to be a big ask for the Lions with guys just off the plane and having not had much time together. The trouble was that it was the pack which misfired most and put the team under pressure. The Brumbies had the edge at the breakdown, line-out and in their all round defence. For the first half the Lions were outplayed in every area. They did improve in the second half but not enough to close the gap until the cavalry came on board.
Pretty early on Tevita Kuridrani exposed Chritian Wade and although the young wing got back he was unable to stop the score. Kuridrani was also a thorn in the side as he shut down Billy Twelvetrees in midfield. So it was that the home side turned round at 8-3 at half-time and went on to win:
Brumbies 14-12 British and Irish Lions
Penalty: Mogg (3)
Penalty: Hogg (2), Farrell (2)
Brumbies: Jesse Mogg, Henry Speight, Tevita Kuridrani, Andrew Smith, Clyde Rathbone, Matt Toomua, Ian Prior; Ruan Smith, Siliva Siliva, Scott Sio, Leon Power, Sam Carter, Scott Fardy, Colby Faingaa, Peter Kimlin (capt).
Replacements: Josh Mann-Rea, Jean-Pierre Smith, Chris Cocca, Etienne Oosthuizen, Jordan Smiler, Mark Swanepoel, Robbie Coleman, Zack Holmes.
Lions: Rob Kearney; Christian Wade, Brad Barritt, Billy Twelvetrees, Shane Williams; Stuart Hogg, Ben Youngs; Ryan Grant, Rory Best (capt), Matt Stevens, Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Sean O’Brien, Justin Tipuric, Toby Faletau.
Replacements: Richard Hibbard (for Best, 57), Alex Corbisiero (for Grant, 57), Dan Cole (for Stevens, 57), Geoff Parling (for Evans, 60), Dan Lydiate (for O’Brien, 57), Conor Murray (for Youngs, 60), Owen Farrell (for Hogg, 60), Simon Zebo (for Williams, 69).
Referee: Jerome Garces (France)
Next up the first test on Saturday in Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. KO 20:05 local time 11:05 UK with Live coverage on SkySports 10:30. Teams will be announced on Thursday but we already know that george North has been passed fit which is some good news.