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SAM WARBURTON CAPTAINS The Lions for only the second time on tour as Jamie Heaslip and Jonny Sexton come up against their old Leinster bodd Michael Cheika.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the game. E-mail patrick@thescore.ie, tweet @thescore_iepost a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.

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Lions 47-17 Waratahs

Welcome along to Game 5 of the 2013 Lions Tour. On a day that Japan defeated Wales, the Six Nations champions (shorn of about 3,456 eligible players), the Waratahs will be looking to create another upset.

Here is the Lions line-up for today. Waratahs XV to follow.

Lions XV to play Waratahs: Leigh Halfpenny; Sean Maitland, Jonathan Davies, Jamie Roberts, Simon Zebo; Jonathan Sexton, Mike Phillips; Mako Vunipola, Tom Youngs, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Paul O’Connell; Tom Croft, Sam Warburton (c), Jamie Heaslip.

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Alex Corbisiero, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Dan Lydiate, Ben Youngs, Owen Farrell, Rob Kearney.

Here are the Waratahs team, coached by former Leinster supremo Michael Cheika:

Waratahs: Drew Mitchell; Cam Crawford, Rob Horne, Tom Carter, Peter Betham; Bernard Foley, Brendan McKibbin; Jeremy Tilse, John Ulugia, Paddy Ryan; Will Skelton, Ollie Atkins; Jed Holloway, Pat McCutcheon, Dave Dennis (c).

Replacements: Luke Holmes, Richard Aho, Sam Talakai, Lopeti Timani, AJ Gilbert, Matt Lucas, Ben Volavola, Tom Kingston.

Brian O’Driscoll is really earning his corn as a HSBC ambassador. Watch the great man here as he chats to Aussie George Gregan, who was a pretty decent scrumhalf back in the day:

YouTube credit: HSBC

We asked you to predict the first Lions try-scorer, in our comments section, before the Combined Country XV. Ferg Breen correctly predicted Alex Cuthbert. Today, we’re asking you to do the same. Who will breach the Waratah’s line first?

What do you do when you’re not selected to face the ‘Tahs? Hit Bondi Beach for a surf, that’s what!

Nice work Conor. Doing Ireland proud. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

The Allianz Stadium is packed. Here come the Waratahs with their selection of also-rans, a few Wallabies and Rugby Sevens stars.

KICK-OFF

Jonny Sexton gets us underway. First man with the tackle? Paul O’Connell.

TRY? … We think.

Looks like Zebo is over in the corner. What a start maybe. BUT the official in the video box says NO.

It looked as though Zebo was over in the lefthand corner but Drew Mitchell’s covering tackle was just enough and he got Zebo’s foot in touch before he dived over to dot down. Close call. First penalty conceded at the breakdown and Halfpenny says ‘I’ll kick’.

PEN: Lions 3-0 Waratahs (Halfpenny ’3)

From the halfway line, the fullback slots over. Started right but came back in and had the legs. Suspicions of a dump tackle on Tom Youngs by Tom Carter moments beforehand but it was just a hefty challenge with a bit of hang-time.

Whoever called Zebo as first try-scorer. You almost had it.

TRY! Lions 10-0 Waratahs (Sexton ’6)

Halfpenny launches what looks to be a needless hoof but he chases it down with gusto and blocks a clearance back. Lions get the loose ball. Zebo finds Davies, he draws two men and sends Sexton clear to touch down in the same, lefthand corner. Superb touchline conversion by Halfpenny.

Overlap out on the left but Roberts fumbles forward to give the home side a scrum. Moments earlier, the Lions rumbled a maul 15 metres into the ‘Tah’s 22. Big scrum coming up with a home put-in. Looked like the Lions had them but they are blown up for driving in at an illegal angle. Vunipola the guilty party.

TRY: Lions 10-7 Waratahs (Carter ’13)

With Sexton down getting treatment and Zebo on the turf after getting bundled out of play, the ‘Tahs take a quick throw, Foley crossfield kicks and the exposed Maitland and Halfpenny can’t keep Carter from charging up the left flank and diving over. McKibbin with a sweet conversion from the tramlines.

PEN: Lions 13-7 Waratahs (Halfpenny ’18)

Zebo comes in to the centre, makes a great line break and then offloads in the tackle to Halfpenny. Lions keep the attack going and Zebo shows up in midfield again. ‘Tahs give away another penalty as Warburton sweet-talks ref Jaco Peyper. A gimme from 30 metres for that lad Leigh.

The Sky lads reveal that Sexton had smelling salts on the pitch while the home side were scoring their try. From the restart, after the penalty, Sexton makes a great break and O’Connell shows great hands. Zebo gains yards again and has enjoyed a super first 20 minutes.

PEN: Lions 16-7 Waratahs (Halfpenny ’27)

Damn close to a ‘Tahs try from a short lineout but the ball is spilled forward. Lions scrum coming up. They secure the ball and pile forward. Up to the halfway line within 15 seconds. The drive continues and the Lions get another penalty. The 100% run continues as Halfpenny slots one from 40 metres and to the left of the posts.

Zebo again! He takes a Philips box kick in the air and sends Drew Mitchell to the turf. Offload to Philips who chips on and runs into his marker, rather than actually getting obstructed. Tahs forced to touch down behind their line. Lions scrum thunders forward but they forget the ball and it is stolen. Mistake at the back by Heaslip there. 30 minutes gone.

PEN: Lions 16-10 Waratahs (McKibbin ’33)

Tom Youngs concedes a penalty for going off his feet at the breakdown. Some home fans want the Tahs to kick for the corner but McKibbin says ‘posts please’. The Scottish-born scrumhalf slots it over.

Lions forced to defend in the final minutes of the half. Overlap out right but Mitchell chose to go it alone. Holloway goes next. Must be close to 20 phases but superb work from Tom Croft at the breakdown as he braces his legs, stays on his feet and forces a penalty for holding on.

Well done sir. Well done.

Sexton with a smart kick up the centre. It nearly finds a charging Zebo but the bounce evades him. Davies is on hand – great half from that man – to keep the move alive. The move rumbles on.

TRY! Lions 23-10 Waratahs (Halfpenny ’39)

What a try and what slick passing. Off the back of a ruck, O’Connell with quick hands. His pass to Sexton, who cuts out Roberts and finds Davies. The overlap is on and Davies locates Halfpenny for a simple dot down. Another nice conversion from Halfpenny. He is now 19 from 20 with kicking on tour.

HALF-TIME

This man has played a stormer so far:

Zebo’s foot JUST goes into touch before he touches down after 30 seconds. (©INPHO/Dan Sheridan)

Warburton Watch: The captain has made nine tackles so far and performed well at the breakdown, buttered up the referee and formed part of a good mauling unit. My heart still says Justin Tipuric for the First Test.

13 points up at the break and a lot of heavy-hitters on the bench. Do the Lions have this wrapped up? What do you think?

KICK-OFF

Foley gets us underway. Good point in our comments section below – the lineout has worked well today. O’Connell, AW Jones and Croft’s combined presence helping matters. All of their Test start hopes help no-end if the lineout continues to run smoothly in the second period.

The contest is still live and kicking but Gatland will want another score – penalty or try – before giving players like Rob Kearney, Alex Corbisiero and Geoff Parling a run-out.

TRY: Lions 30-10 Waratahs (Halfpenny ’43)

What a score! Sexton fakes a pass, finds Davies. His line cuts through the home defence and he finds Halfpenny, coming in from another angle on the burst. He dives over. Delebrations all-round before Halfpenny converts.

TMO… Carter looks to have replied immediately but the ball may have been lost forward. Scrap ensues with Sexton at the bottom.

TRY: Lions 30-17 Waratahs (Carter ’45)

Skelton does superbly at the back of a rolling scrum. Ball spun forward but was under control. He offloaded to Carter and the centre took Sexton and Heaslip over the tryline. McKibbin converts magnificently again. The game ain’t over yet.

Jonathan Davies may well have played himself into the Test XV with his performance. Involved in all three tries and sent Zebo free for his close call. If selection by form truly is the mantra then Roberts’ spot is in danger. Sexton off for Farrell on 50 minutes. Halfpenny with two tries and six kicks from six today but his kicking from hand has been a bit flat and aimless today.

PEN: Lions 33-17 Waratahs (Halfpenny ’51)

Waratahs are offside as AW Jones drives straight up the 22. Paddy Ryan is the offender. Farrell offers to kick but Halfpenny politely tells him to bog off. Over it goes from 22 metres.

Warburton steals turnover ball from the restart. another check in his column. Roberts, meanwhile, has made nine carries and I may be underselling his influence today. Hooker John Ulugia then warned by referee Peyper for obstructing Zebo.

TRY: Lions 40-17 Waratahs (Croft ’54)

TMO checks if Davies is offside but he is not. His intercept on a McKibbin pass off the ruck sets the Lions off in attack. Ball spun left and Halfpenny finds Croft on the charge. He pins his ears back and streaks clear, past Kingston, to touch down. He gets shoulder barged, way after touching down, by Paddy Ryan and is unhappy about that. Halfpenny converts. He now has 30 points and Ronan O’Gara’s Lions record in Australia (for an individual points total in a game) is now history.

Kearney is about to make his Lions 2013 bow. Lions conceding penalties wantonly now as Mitchell nearly sets Can Crawford up for a score on the right flank.

Philips makes a kissy-face at McKibbin after getting a slap in the chops.

Seven Lions subs on now, including Rob Kearney. Welcome to the party.

Ice pack out on the bench but it goes to Magic Mike after hovering near Paulie for a few, nervous seconds:

Farrell with a cross-field kick and Zebo, who has not featured as much in the second-half, is again denied by a wicked bounce. Tahs touch down and the Lions get a 5m scrum. Twice in a short period of time, the scrum wins a penalty and they call for more. Psychological stuff here. Are you watching Robbie Deans?

This is where the strong bench really comes in handy. The Wallabies will be able to counter next Saturday though. Oops, Corbisiero whistled for hinging.

We then have a lineout steal from Parling and there goes Heaslip, cantering straight up the centre and evading two sky blue shirts.

Jamie Roberts limps from the field of play as Maitland jinks up the left but loses the ball by trying to offload in the tackle. Roberts does not look happy. Oo-er.

Zebo comes back into the match with a great, over the shoulder take. He sets himself, pumps a high ball and rams the ball from McKibbin’s grasps with a heavy tackle.

TRY: Lions 47-17 Waratahs (Davies ’71)

You will not see this in any manuals – Ben Youngs pops a pass to nobody but the move is kept alive. One pass and Davies is free and clear up the left. He jogs it in and Farrell keeps up kicking appearances by slotting over. Another 100% night so far.

Two minutes to go. We have a good question about the TMO in our comments section, below. Apparently they are using the same fourth official/video rules as they use in Super Rugby. If a ref or touch judge suspect any infringement, mistake in the lead-up they can ask for clarification. Risky beeswax though – could ruffle some feathers in the Test Series.

Zebo with a try-saving tackle at the end. Lions secure the ball at the breakdown and Ben Youngs kicks clear.

FULL-TIME

30-point victory but it was closer than that. Davies and Zebo were excellent, as was Sexton and Croft.

What players stood out for you? Has Sam Warburton confirmed the 7 jersey for next Saturday?

Gatland reveals that the Lions ‘showed a little but not a lot’. Roberts may have a torn hamstring but he cannot give a 100% declaration on it until the medics have a proper look. His tour may be over.

Cheers for the company. Stay with us over the coming hours for more news, comments, opinion and post-match reactions.

About the author:

Patrick McCarry

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