The Lions survived a true test of the British & Irish elite players on a wet day in Brisbane.
From the offset, the Lions were put under pressure from the Reds, with 2 players leaving the pitch through injury, Tuilagi & Tommy Bowe, the Reds threw everything they had at the Lions defence.
With a 50,000 strong crowd, the Reds played a super fast super 12 style game, which the Lions had not been tested against before. A cut above any 6 nations game for the visitors, the Lions seemed to struggle under the pressure and took 20 minutes to find their rhythm.
That said, the Reds were able to break through the Lions on 2 occasions with Morahan scoring a superb try, worthy of a starting cap for the test matches.
Richie Gray justified his selection, with the Lions dominating the lineouts and the scrum, however the Reds were able to withhold the Lions attacks with some amazing try saving tackles throughout the game.
Instead it was the Lions that almost drew first blood when Davies released Bowe on a wonderful stepping run off his left wing.
The Monaghan man did superbly to get a pass away out of the tackle which Cuthbert picked up on the bounce and motored to the corner. But Reds wing Morahan forced him into touch in the act of dotting down
he Reds hit back with a stunning try from Morahan, who eluded Cuthbert's initial tackle, cut inside and brushed off Sam Warburton's effort before chipping over Hogg and getting the luck of the bounce to score. Quade Cooper converted, before George North replaced the injured Tuilagi. North picked up the Lions pace, with the new Northampton danger man breaking through the Reds line with his power and balance.
But the Lions were not to be denied for long and from the resulting five-metre scrum Ben Youngs poached an opportunist try after the ball came loose following a tussle with Reds number eight Jake Schatz - Farrell notched the conversion to put his side into a 13-7 lead.
Moments later, an electrifying run from North, scything his way past several would-be tacklers from his own 22, deserved another try. But flanker Warburton, released for the left corner, did not quite have the pace to finish and the TMO again ruled against the Lions.
The Lions pulled themselves together. As the rains came in the second half at Suncorp Stadium, they also tightened their game.
They let their concentration dip midway through the second half, a well-crafted try from Nick Frisby closing the gap to 19-12. Farrell’s boot steadied Lions nerves with another penalty to finish 22-12.
The Lions were knocked around and not the expectations are set to how Australia will battle the Lions. Tommy Bowe confirmed with a broken hand:
Head coach Warren Gatland said: "It doesn't look too good. The doctors say he probably needs an operation.
"With the experience Tommy brings and his ability to play in different positions, it is a big loss to us."
Asked if confirmation of the injury would mean the end of the Ulster wing's tour, Gatland, who will now consider a replacement, said: "You can deduce that, yes."
Good game Lions, we've got some work to do, but good game. Roar On