Dawson seals Lions victory

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The British and Irish Lions finished their mid-week campaign with a try after the full-time siren to beat the ACT Brumbies 30-28 before a crowd of 20,000 at Bruce Stadium.

The ACT led 28-23 when the full-time siren went but the Lions had the ball in possession and kept it alive for 12 phases that ended when Austin Healey stepped inside two players to score a minute and three seconds after the hooter had gone.

Despite being under pressure, Matt Dawson added the conversion to give the Lions the lead for the first time as well as the game.

For Dawson, who pointed the Lions' crest on his shirt after scoring the winning points, the kick was the perfect response to those who doubted his commitment to the team.

The Super 12 champions got off to a dream start with two tries in the opening 10 minutes from full-back Mark Bartholomeusz and winger Willie Gordon.

Travis Hall added both conversions to make it 14-0 before Dawson put the Lions on the score sheet with a 16th minute penalty goal. The Brumbies continued to trouble the Lions defence with Peter Ryan racing right down the middle before passing to Des Tuilavil who went over next to the posts. Healey intercepted a Pat Howard pass to race 55 metres untouched to put the Lions back in the game at 19-10 with eight minutes remaining before half-time. Hall added a penalty goal two minutes later to make it 22-10 at the interval. The visitors re-grouped in the second-half and hit back within three minutes of the re-start when David Wallace went over adjacent to the posts. Dawson kicked another penalty goal to make it 22-20 after 55 minutes but the Lions lost full-back Iain Balshaw to the sin-bin for a high tackle on Bartholomeusz.

The one-man advantage didn't last long as Ryan followed soon after for a 10 minute rest for punching. Hall and Dawson exchanged penalty goals before the Brumbies went further ahead at 28-23 with another three-pointer in the 75th minute.

They could easily have put the game beyond the Lions two minutes before full-time, but another Hall kick fell short of the touring side's uprights.