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banner Tuesday, 10 July, 2001, 11:51 GMT 12:51 UK
The empire strikes back

BBC Sport Online's roving fan Mark Webster reports from Melbourne on the supposed defeat to Australia - surely nothing more than a minor blip in the Lions' historic journey across Australia.

After our stunning win in Brisbane, we began the second stage of our tour with an early flight to Melbourne.

The management were again concerned with Dave 'Chunder Monster' Campbell's apparent inability to complete the in-flight training without becoming distracted by the bottom of the toilet bowl.

After landing, the team re-grouped in a prime position in downtown Melbourne to begin our preparations for the second Test.

It appeared immediately obvious that the Australian underhand tactics had stepped up a gear as we were faced with a vast array of pubs, clubs and casinos.

Lions fans enjoy the hospitality of Lansdowne Road
The Red Army regroups at a familiar address
Paul 'Seamus O'Reilly' Curran found the local girls' dancing habits particularly strange.

"At first I was flattered when a lovely lady asked me to dance," he explained later.

"But it soon became clear that her idea of dancing was very much one-way traffic as she told me to sit absolutely still and proceeded to gyrate around me taking half of her clothes off.

"Imagine my disgust when she seemed to think she deserved payment for her shocking, selfish behaviour."

The team soon realised that all of the women in that particular bar preferred to dance alone, and decided to retire totally spent.

Bob Dire strikes again

The next day the bitterness of the Aussie backlash became clear as the shops were stripped of all things red and replaced with the gold and green of Bob Dire's propaganda machine.

The Red Army's overwhelming presence in Brisbane so shocked the Australian authorities that they resorted to distributing gold hats and scarves to anyone and everyone in order to redress the balance.

Undeterred, the management arranged - on the day before the second Test - our toughest session yet, working particularly hard on our vocal skills.

The level of support continued to amaze, and even Ali G had made the trip from Staines to lead us through a roaring rendition of 'Waltzing Punani'.

Welsh legend Gareth Edwards struts his stuff
Gareth Edwards makes a late bid for a Lions call-up
On the way back to the hotel the team suffered another blow to morale as Mark 'Diamond Geezer' Webster became mesmerised by the bright flashing lights of the casino.

Several hours later, the man of steel emerged bleary-eyed and devoid of his earnings, crying: "That's not how you play Happy Families - I want my money back."

Our early match-day preparations went well as we treated ourselves to some corporate hospitality.

The singing battle was totally one-sided as the dulcet tones of 'Waltzing O'Driscoll', 'Cheer up Rod McQueen' and 'God Save YOUR Queen' were feebly met with the monotonous drivel of 'Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi'.

The Lions dominated the first half, and half-time refreshments continued until full-time when we headed into Melbourne to begin the celebrations.

Rumours began to circulate that the Aussies had actually scored more points by the end, causing Phil 'Braveheart' Richardson to bawl at passing locals: "I'm not playing any more, I want my ball back, you flaming Galah.

"And get your stars off my flag!"

In the cold reality of the post-match briefing, the team soon put this blip down to the distractions placed before us by the unscrupulous Aussies, and resolved to be better prepared for the Sydney decider.

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