Halfpenny. He kicks. He scores.
Jun 05, 2013
Force kick-off with their weakened team, which was disappointing. “We wanted to play the strongest team possible. But we can't worry about them too much - we've got to concentrate on ourselves," says Gatland. Lions exit their 22 smoothly through the boot of scrum-half Murray.
The first break comes from Lions' Ireland wing Tommy Bowe. Force scramble back but they're offside, penalty Lions. Full-back Leigh Halfpenny is handed the goal kicking duties and makes no mistake.
Lions force a couple of turnovers, but a promising attack comes to a halt as Sexton finds George North with a precise chip, but the Wales wing holds on in the tackle. This gets the Lions front foot. A fine long pass from Sexton to Sean O'Brien sets up the Welshman's second run, and a couple of phases later it is the Ireland fly-half, Sexton, who makes a well-deserved try. Halfpenny converts it beautifully to set a 0-10 lead at just 11 minutes in. A purposeful start from the Lions.
Bowe is on fire and the Lions are looking promising. Drawing the defenders in and making good pace across the phases. Force’s defence is all over the place and poor in realignment.
22 minutes in and Force kick the pen to the corner, win the line-out and hammer away. The Lions hold firm but O'Driscoll is pinged for off-side. Back into the corner we go for another Force throw. But James Hilterbrand over-throws and Lions clear. Good ambition from the hosts.
Terrible pass to O'Brien, he is hammered back by home captain Hodgson and holds on. Sheehan to go for goal and the stocky, shaven-headed scrum-half makes no mistake.
Western Force 3 – 10 Lions
After great play from North. The winger off-loads out of the tackle and O'Driscoll looks up before deciding he may as well floor it. A fantastic try from the captain. And that's a superb conversion from Halfpenny from the touchline. Will he start at 15 in the Tests and do the kicking, with Sexton running things from 10?
Western Force 3 – 17 Lions
After a tackle from Force six Angus Cottrell, Cian Healy looks in a lot of pain and appears to have injured his leg. The medics are quickly on and there is a pause whilst he is taken off on a stretcher. Could this be the end of his tour?
Another penalty, another fine kick from Halfpenny.
Western Force 3 – 20 Lions
Mako Vunipola is on for the injured Healy, the Saracen bullocking his way through the Force defence to get the Lions on the front foot.The Lions go wide and although O'Driscoll and Heaslip are both held just short, when the Lions switch it to the left Croft barely has to get out of second gear to score near the touch line.
Halfpenny converts once again - he is kicking quite beautifully.
Western Force 3 – 27 Lions
Half time sees Less force, more like gentle persuasion from the hosts at the moment. 'I say, would you mind if we had an attack now?' Not very Australian is it fellas.
O'Brien, Vunipola and Heaslip take a sledgehammer to the home defence. The Lions are held up in the left corner, but spin it right and Sexton's 30m pass sends Heaslip cantering over. Halfpenny converts from the touchline - this time on his wrong side - once again.
Western Force 3 – 34 Lions
The home team appear to be getting lively and Brown, who’s been with Western Force since they started, batters over from close range to give the home fans something to cheer about.
Western Force 10 – 34 Lions
Not for long though as Vunipola only has five metres to go and one man in his way, he beats down the Force man and scores a convincing try.
Halfpenny converts once more from supposedly his wrong side, the ball gliding through the sticks like a knife through butter. Truly impressive.
Western Force 10 – 41 Lions
The Lions mess up a pass which gives Force a chance to clear their lines and they concede a penalty. Stubbs is binned for npt rolling away as the Lions battered the line. Lions take a five-metre srcum. Bowe beats Corey Brown to score in the corner. You know the rest… beautiful conversion by Halfpenny. Unbelievable from the Welshman.
Western Force 10 – 48 Lions
Replacement forward Lachlan McCaffrey goes over through Sexton's tackle and scores a try.
Western Force 17 – 48 Lions
Lions straight on the attack while O’Driscoll and Tuilagi demonstrate their partnership. Tuilagi knocks them down like skittles and feeds to the captain. Try!
Western Force 17 – 55 Lions
Owen Farrell dummies and then shows pace to go over from some distance. Halfpenny converts.
Western Force 17 – 62 Lions
Force on the attack but ferocious defence sees more big carries from the likes of North, Heaslip and Vunipola. O'Brien sends Parling over on the inside ball. He scores. Halfpenny converts once more.
One final attack from the hosts but it’s too late. The Lions have roared to tremendous victory.
Western Force 17 – 69 Lions