The British and Irish Lions suffered their first ever series defeat to Australia in 2001.
Captained by Martin Johnson, who became the first player to lead the team on two separate tours, the Lions made a successful start to the series by winning the first of three encounters with the Wallabies.
Taking on Australia at The Gabba in Brisbane, tries from Jason Robinson, Dafydd James, Brian O’Driscoll and Scott Quinnell were added to by three conversions and a penalty from Jonny Wilkinson to secure a 29-13 victory.
The second Test took place at the Colonial Stadium in Melbourne and the Lions again took an early lead, this time via two penalties from Wilkinson before a try from Neil Back extended the advantage.
The Australians then responded with two tries from Joe Roff and one from Matt Burke, who also kicked a total of six penalties to help Australia level the series with a 35-14 triumph.
The series then went down to a decider at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
Three Burke penalties helped Australia into a 9-3 lead, Wilkinson adding one for the tourists, before Robinson crossed for a try and Wilkinson’s conversion gave the Lions a 10-9 advantage. Daniel Herbert saw Burke convert his try as Australia retook the lead and another Wilkinson penalty made it 16-13.
Wilkinson converted his own try, but Hebert crossed for a second and Burke’s conversion made it 23-20 for the hosts. Another Wilkinson penalty levelled the scores before two late penalties from Burke sealed the match – and the series.
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