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Flashback: Brian O'Driscoll gasses it in from 60 yards to shock the Aussies

The 21-year-old Irish wonder-kid beat five Australians on his way to the tryline and a First Test win in 2001.

Brian O'Driscoll streaks clear of the Wallaby defence.
Brian O'Driscoll streaks clear of the Wallaby defence.
Image: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

FOLLOWING A LIGHTNING-QUICK start in the First Test against the Wallabies in 2001, the Lions led 12-3 at half-time. The home side came out firing early in the second-half but a 21-year-old Brian O’Driscoll had other ideas.

TheScore.ie caught up with current Lions fullback Leigh Halfpenny, Australia centre Adam Ashley Cooper and former Lions David Wallace and Shane Horgan to discuss the impact O’Driscoll’s try had on the series:

Leigh Halfpenny: As a kid, I always loved watching The Lions and that, for me, started in 2001 and the Australia series. I watched the games live but also watched the DVD over and over. Watching Brian O’Driscoll’s (First Test) try; he just went through the gap and gassed it in from about 50-odd yards.

David Wallace: Brian O’Driscoll had been amazing, had scored some unbelievable tries and made some great breaks. Jason Robinson got that great score in the corner. The buzz and the Sea of Red. We nearly shocked the Aussies but they got their act together after the First Test.

YouTube credit: ARU TV

Adam Ashley Cooper (AUS): I was in Year 12 and just starting to take my rugby seriously. That series really inspired me to give it a real go and start working on my game… To come up against Brian in the number 13 jersey in a Lions game is the ultimate test for me.

Shane Horgan: 2001 was the tour that Brian took his game to a new level. When the [Irish] lads came back from Australia, you could see that the tour had left an indelible mark on them. It raised their expectations of themselves, training methods and what they had to do to beat the best.

The consensus in ’01 was that the Lions team was good enough to win the series but they met a good Australian team with guys like Matt Burke and John Eales playing well. There is a sense of unfinished business there especially for a couple of lads.”

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About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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