Enthralling first Test sets up hotly-anticipated Melbourne clash
A corker of a first Test match between Australia and the British and Irish Lions got the series off to a roaring start.
The Australians will be rueing their inaccuracy with the boot, missing four penalties and a conversion in a 23-21 defeat.
Kurtley Beale’s slip and miss as he struck a penalty to win the game with the last action of the match handed the tourists a somewhat fortuitous victory, with the Aussies throwing away 14 points through missed kicks.
Had Beale remained on his feet, a win for the hosts would have given the series scoreline a different look to what many were expecting after the first match, but it is the Lions who took the crucial first Test win.
Neither side could hold the upper hand for long in a pulsating opening Test, but the victory for the Lions will boost their confidence as much as it will hurt the Australians’ pride.
The winner of the opening Test in the past two series have gone on to lose it, but despite the omens, Warren Gatland’s side are now 1/6 to win the series, whilstAustraliaare 4/1.
The victory won’t be without concerns for the Kiwi coach, with several errors and careless play allowing the Aussies into the game.
A warm-up match with Melbourne Rebels between now and the second Test should allow the Lions to iron out some of the issues which cropped up in the first Test, and they are 4/7 to win the second showdown with Australia, who are 13/8 to level the series 1-1 in Melbourne.
Some may be tempted to look at the handicap, with the Lions 10/11 at -4 to win in what is expected to be another close and gripping encounter.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing