Second Test recap

The British and Irish Lions were left to lick their wounds following their agonising defeat to Australia in the second Test in Melbourne.

Last Updated: 29/06/13 at 16:12 Post Comment   

Lions skipper Sam Warburton is helped from the field

Lions skipper Sam Warburton is helped from the field

In the wake of the Lions' 16-15 reverse at the Etihad Stadium, we bring you all the best of the action, reaction and opinion.

Australia level the series

A late try from Adam Ashley-Cooper gave Australia a series-levelling 16-15 victory over the British and Irish Lions in Melbourne. The Lions were ahead for the majority of the second half but their defence could not hold up under a desperate barrage as Ashley-Cooper's try and Christian Leali'ifano's tough conversion clinched the victory. Leigh Halfpenny scored all of the Lions' points but fell short with a last-gasp penalty from the halfway line which would have completed a series victory for the tourists.

How the Lions rated

The British and Irish Lions fell agonisingly short in Melbourne as Australia recorded a 16-15 victory in the second Test. The trusted boot of Leigh Halfpenny landed all the points for the Lions, however his long-range effort in injury-time fell just short. The result means the Lions will now head to Sydney for a mouth-watering winner-takes-all encounter next Saturday. And after the heart-breaking defear at the Etihad Stadium, we assess how the tourists fared.

Gatland unhappy at turnovers

Warren Gatland criticised the Lions' game management after the nail-biting 16-15 second Test defeat to Australia in Melbourne. Gatland said afterwards: "It was tight for both teams. We gave away too many turnovers in that second half and didn't control territory well enough. We put ourselves under pressure when we had a chance to keep momentum going and get a bit of ball. The turnovers really hurt us. It shows you how close these two teams are. It's 1-1 now and we've got to get up for it."

Warburton: Lions will respond

Sam Warburton says that British and Irish Lions must quickly pick themselves up and focus on next weekend's decider against Australia. "We're going through what Australia went through last week," said the captain. "It is disappointing but the lads will wake up tomorrow and realise that there's still a Test series up for grabs. We're definitely capable of winning this series; we've shown that in the two games against Australia. It's going to be won by a whisker next week and I hope it's us."

O'Driscoll: Massive week ahead

Centre Brian O'Driscoll says the British and Irish Lions must dig deep following their agonising defeat to Australia at the Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. "Obviously we're very disappointed," said O'Driscoll. "We were ahead on the leaderboard, we got six points clear, that's a horrible margin; a converted try and you're behind. They battled away and, we were a bit loose with aspects of our game and gave them opportunities to build the platform to get their score."

Ashley-Cooper revels in win

Australia hero Adam Ashley-Cooper credited his side's unity after the 16-15 second Test victory over the British and Irish Lions. The centre said: "It was really important to retain that belief we've been working on for so many years. Six points down, there was a lot of frustration out there because possession was letting us down in terms of ball security. In the end, Test match football is about grinding it out and going to the 80th minute. Fortunately for us, we were able to get the points."

The lowdown

The Sky Sports panel give their verdict on the 16-15 defeat to Australia in Melbourne. Sky Sports expert Sir Ian McGeechan said: "I think the Lions need to switch off and have something completely different for a couple of days. Then they can come back and refocus on winning a Test match. They will not change huge amounts for the third Test - they need to isolate areas in the game that did not quite happen - the back of the lineout ball. You could see what they were trying to do but the execution just didn't come out."

Australia 16 British and Irish Lions 15 - As it happened

Relive the British and Irish Lions' defeat to the Wallabies in Melbourne with our commentary from the match. Click here for the game as it happened, or click here for the best of the images.

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