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Wallabies define Aussie spirit

There is no definition for “Aussie Spirit” in the dictionary.

In fact the term seems to be considered some mythical unspoken charm that once existed in the era’s of Don Bradman and Dawn Fraser but was since eroded in the era of professional sportsmen.

However if “Aussie Spirit” was a defined phrase, it would read; a show of great effort and determination while representing the Australian nation eg The Wallabies side of 2013.

Australia’s 16-15 win over the British Irish Lions will go down as a win that typified the toughness of this Wallabies outfit.

From the outset it seemed the Lions would be too strong.

A comprehensive win earlier in the week against the Melbourne Rebels indicated that perhaps the Lions were on a rampage this tour, and their narrow win over the Wallabies was an aberration.

However the Aussies defied all the odds and played a game of awesome defense and measured attack to secure a brilliant one point victory.

If Leigh Halfpenny had slotted the last kick of the game through the upright from 51 meters out the result would not have been a true representation of how the match panned out.

When Adam Ashley Cooper went over the try line after a brilliant succession of passes late in the game, it was clear that Australia deserved to be winners.

All night the Wallabies tried harder, and in every aspect of the game they were greatly out skilled yet were never far from scoring.

Israel Folau is now a critical component to the team and similar to his debut performance last week, was a prominent force down the wing that the Lions had no answer to.

Australia was far from flawless on Saturday.

They had 13 handling errors, conceded 19 turnovers and gave away 14 penalties, yet they still managed to keep within striking distance of the Lions who are a vastly superior outfit.

Really there is no explanation for it other than that great green and gold charm called “Aussie spirit” – surely it must exist.

Coach Robbie Deans ,however, must also take a lot of credit.

Deans is fielding a side that is far from full strength he’s missing his best flanker in David Pocock and champion hooker George Smith went down just before the series, yet his creativity at the selection table has paid dividends.

Listening to Deans and his monotone voice and kiwi accent it’s unlikely that you will conjure images of Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday.

But it seems Deans has also proven himself as a motivator, the players are playing for him.

After the game Deans was a composed figure but praised the teams fight in the second half.

“The players showed great character and had the capacity at the end to create the try that won the game,” Deans said.

The Lions now face another series loss to the Wallabies – a loss next week in Sydney will continue a series-losing streak which dates back to 1997.

Johnny Sexton is the key to any red shirt success and it showed last night.

The superstar flyhalf had three offloading errors and was hardly sighted in the second half.

Not only do the Lions rely heavily on his passing skill, but Sexton is important when linking passages of play, and too often the Lions fell flat in attack.

Melbourne pubs after the game were packed with Englishmen and Irishmen who were highly critical of Brian O’Driscoll’s game and their Heineken fuelled criticism would have to be justified.

O’Driscoll is a legend of Irish rugby but at 34 he was probably lucky to selected let alone given prime position at inside centre and was too often caught on the back foot.

However game two of this series should not be remembered for feats or lack thereof from any player.

Australia tried their guts out and their show of “Aussie spirit” – however corny it may sound – should be applauded.







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