Australia 16-41 British & Irish Lions, 3rd Test, Sydney, July 6
'Every little error we made they jumped on'
July 6, 2013
Robbie Deans (r) and James O'Connor after losing the third Test against the Lions, Australia v British & Irish Lions, ANZ Stadium, Sydney, July 6, 2013
James O'Connor reflects on Australia defeat, alongside Robbie Deans © Getty Images

James O'Connor described the British & Irish Lions as playing like men possessed after being on the receiving end of a 41-16 third Test drubbing.

Fly-half O'Connor was part of an Australian team smashed in every key part of the game by a rampant Lions outfit. It meant the Lions took the series 2-1, their first triumph since beating South Africa 16 years ago, and O'Connor saluted the Wallabies' conquerors.

"It was a great performance by them, they played the full 80 minutes," he said. "At 50 or 60 minutes we had really come into the game (Australia fought back from 19-3 down to just 19-16 adrift) and I felt momentum was shifting our way, but they found a way to turn it.

"Every little error we made they jumped on that, turned it into points and kept the scoreboard ticking over. The scoreboard blew out at the end, but they played clinical rugby. We tried to suck the juice out of their legs, but they just kept coming at us.

"We always knew the team that was going to win was the one that wanted it more. Physically, we knew had to be right up there, and they were just better than us on the night. They played possessed. Physically-wise, they just dominated us. We made a lot of half-breaks, and we knew exactly how they were going to play, but they won the one per centers."

Australia were smashed in the scrums - the Lions' dominance was underlined by Wallabies tighthead Ben Alexander being sin-binned - but a scoring burst either side of half-time briefly put them back in contention.

"We had a great vibe at 50-60 minutes, and I could feel momentum shifting, but a couple of errors and some mis-communication let them back in and they made us pay for it," O'Connor added. "It was an awesome game to be involved in, and a physicality I haven't experienced before in Test rugby. I am just gutted with the result.

"It came down to intent, and they had more of it. They wanted it more than we did tonight. Congratulations to them."


Live Sports

Communication error please reload the page.