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  Saturday, 7 July, 2001, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Australia batter wounded Lions
Joe Roff adds more misery for the Lions with his second try
Joe Roff piles on the misery for the Lions
Australia 35-14 Lions - SECOND TEST

Australia restored their reputation as world champions to level the series against the Lions in Melbourne and set up an almighty clash in Sydney in one week's time.

Two quick tries from Joe Roff destroyed the tourists minutes after the break and Matt Burke sealed the victory with a third midway through the second period.

As if defeat was not bad enough, Jonny Wilkinson left the field with minutes remaining, casting doubt over his availability for the third Test.

  Match facts
Australia - Tries: Joe Roff 2, Matthew Burke. Conversion: Burke. Penalty goals: Burke 6.
Lions: Try: Neil Back. Penalty goals: Jonny Wilkinson 3.
It all started so well for the Lions with Wilkinson slotting two early penalties and Neil Back claiming the game's opening try after a fine drive from the pack.

But the second half quickly turned into a nightmare for the tourists after Roff's double-whammy and several injury problems left the Lions with little to celebrate.

Australia may have spent 30,000 on supplying free hats and scarves for the home fans.

But again the red shirts were out in force, making themselves heard and backing the Lions to claim another impressive victory.

Both sides ran out to a scene of raw emotion under the closed roof of the Colonial Stadium and it was the Lions who again looked the more inventive.

A superb break by Dafydd James should have been converted into an early try, but the Welsh winger failed to spot Jason Robinson free on the left.

The Lions supporters turned out in strength
The Lions supporters turned out in strength
Minutes later the tourists got the lead they deserved, thanks to two quick penalties from Wilkinson after the home side were penalised for offside and illegal use of the boot.

With the penalty count mounting up against Australia, Burke finally put the Wallabies on the scoreboard, when Robert Howley was caught offside in front of the posts.

Australia looked more like their old selves. But they could do little to stop an almighty Lions drive from five metres mid-way through the half, after a superb tactical kick from Wilkinson.

Neil Back, who replaced the unlucky Martin Corry in the Test side, came up with the ball to justify his selection.

Wilkinson missed the extras. But at 11-3 down, the Australians were again left looking for ways to break down an awesome Lions defence.


It's 1-1 in the series and we have to be positive next week
Lions coach Graham Henry
In contrast, Quinnell, O'Driscoll, and Hill were constantly able to break the Australian line, though they all lacked support when a final pass could have sealed an all important second try.

Martin Corry briefly replaced Richard Hill just before the break, when the England flanker was grounded by a dangerous late elbow from Nathan Grey.

Seconds later, Burke - who had already missed an earlier opportunity - added another three points for the Wallabies to reduce the deficit to 11-6 at the interval.

Hill off

Corry replaced Hill after the break as Australia made a dream start to the second period. For once Wilkinson's pass let him down, when Roff intercepted to cross over in the left-hand corner.

It was a huge blow for the tourists. The try went to the video referee, but there was little doubt that the Aussie flyer touched down legally, despite James's tackle.

Again Burke missed with the kick. But at 11-11 the match was keenly balanced.


Next week will be as tough a game as we'll ever play
Joe Roff
For the first time in the series, Australia suddenly looked more like the side who have so dominated world rugby.

And when Burke slotted a superb 50-yard penalty the Wallabies, again, quickly picked up the pace.

Seconds later, worse followed for the tourists when the Lions scrum was disrupted and Stephen Larkham fed Roff who ran over for his second.

Within eight minutes, the Lions had leaked 15 points, prompting Graham Henry to replace Perry with Iain Balshaw at full back.

Wilkinson finally found form with the boot to take the Lions within a converted try. But without quality ball from the set piece the tourists were struggling to gain any momentum.


We got some possession and that gave us confidence
George Gregan
Australia, in comparison, began to show their class, with George Gregan marshalling his forces superbly.

A fine break on the blind side allowed Burke the space to add Australia's third and although he again failed with the boot, at 26-14 down the match was all but won.

With just seven minutes to go Wilkinson left the field as Burke slotted another three points.

Neil Jenkins, hero of the 1997 tour, replaced the Newcastle fly-half. But with the reversal of fortunes complete, even the golden boot of Jenkins could not save the Lions from their fate.

Two more penalties from Burke stretched the lead to 21 points - their highest ever score against the Lions - before the whistle finally blew on what amounted to a battering from the men in green and gold.


Australia: 15-Matthew Burke; 14-Andrew Walker, 13-Daniel Herbert, 12-Nathan Grey, 11-Joe Roff; 10-Stephen Larkham, 9-George Gregan; 6-Toutai Kefu, 7-George Smith, 6-Owen Finegan; 5-John Eales (captain), 4-David Giffin; 3-Rod Moore, 2-Michael Foley, 1-Nick Stiles

Replacements: 16-Brendan Cannon, 17-Ben Darwin, 18-Matt Cockbain, 19-David Lyons, 20-Chris Whitaker, 21-Elton Flatley, 22-Chris Latham

Lions: 15-Matt Perry (Eng), 14-Dafydd James (Wal), 13-Brian O'Driscoll (Irl), 12-Rob Henderson (Irl), 11-Jason Robinson (Eng), 10-Jonny Wilkinson (Eng), 9-Rob Howley (Wal), 8-Scott Quinnell (Wal), 7-Neil Back (Eng), 6-Richard Hill (Eng), 5-Danny Grewcock (Eng), 4-Martin Johnson (Eng/captain), 3-Phil Vickery (Eng), 2-Keith Wood (Irl), 1-Tom Smith (Sco).

Replacements: 16-Jason Leonard (Eng), 17-Dorian West (Eng), 18-Martin Corry (Eng), 19-Martyn Williams (Wal), 20-Matt Dawson (Eng), 21-Neil Jenkins (Wal), 22-Iain Balshaw (Eng)

Referee: Jonathan Kaplan (Rsa)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC rugby union correspondent Ian Robertson
"The odds are now in Australia's favour"
Lions coach Graham Henry
"We didn't take out opportunities"
Wallabies coach Rod MacQueen
"We wanted the opportunity to prove we could do better"
Lions captain Martin Johnson
"The more we chased the game, the more it got away from us"

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