Unbeaten and largely unscathed, the British and Irish Lions leave Queensland for Sydney today with their tails up, hungry for the three-Test series with the world champion Wallabies, beginning on Saturday week. Martin Johnson's team followed up two try-laden victories over weak opposition by obliterating the highly regarded Queensland Reds 42-8 at Ballymore.
There were still a few concerns for the Lions coach Graham Henry. "We struggled a bit at the scrum and the ruck and maul area was a concern," he said. "We can't get carried away with the scoreline, we really need to keep our feet on the ground."
After a fierce opening salvo from the Super 12 semi-finalists, the tourists scored five tries to record their most convincing victory over Queensland in 13 fixtures stretching back to 1888. Dan Luger, Rob Henderson, Dafydd James, Richard Hill and Brian O'Driscoll all crossed the Reds' line, while Jonny Wilkinson, the England outside-half, contributed 17 points with the boot on his Lions debut. Wilkinson showed no sign of the neck problems that plagued him during the domestic season, and looks certain to claim the Test No 10 shirt.
The only negative was a rib injury to Welsh scrum-half Rob Howley, who was invalided out of the 1997 Lions tour of South Africa just as a Test cap beckoned. The Cardiff half-back expects to resume training by Wednesday.Reuse content