An incredible end to an incredible match. The Lions start the tour with a 23-21 victory in the first Test as Kurtley Beale can't get either of his two late penalties home. He had a kick on fulltime to win it but slipped over as he struck the ball and the Lions take it by two points. You have to feel for that man and he looks absolutely shattered.
That was a pulsating Test and the Lions can count themselves a touch lucky tonight. The Wallabies lost three key backline players to injury, as well as Adam Ashley-Cooper late, and ended up with Michael Hooper, the openside flanker, at inside centre. Christian Lealiifano (head knock) only saw 50 seconds of his Test debut, while Berrick Barnes (head knock) and Pat McCabe (neck) were also stretchered off the park.
Israel Folau was superb on debut, scoring two tries, while Lions winger George North replied with a sensational long-distance try of his own and went within a whisker of getting a second. Both men deserve star billing.
The scene has been set for the rematch but the record crowd was given a hell of a show tonight at Suncorp Stadium. Leave your thoughts in the comments feed and thanks for joining our coverage of the first Test.
Amazing scenes here. Beale has slipped taking the kick and it's a shocker. The British and Irish Lions WIN the first Test 23-21.
He lines it up, stalks the ball, moves in, it's on its way..... he's SLIPPED OVER!
Nightmare here for the Wallabies. Scrum taking an eternity and it's reset for the third time. The clock says 77 minutes. Some suggestion Ashley-Cooper dislocated his shoulder and had in fact been playing with the injury. And what about this! Scrum penalty for the Wallabies! Beale will get the chance to be a hero all over again! We are 46m out, almost directly in front.
Hold your breath...
The Wallabies can't go anywhere and that all breaks down. It's lost in the tackle and the Lions get a scrum midfield. They will want to close this out now. Expect it to be played fairly tight and hope for the penalty. Lions lead 23-21. Ashley-Cooper off, Phipps on. He'll go to the wing, Ioane goes to 13.
Beale can't make it count. Drifts out to the right and that was his moment to be a hero. Lions lead 23-21 with five minutes left in this unbelievable Test match.
Here we go... penalty to the Wallabies. It's just to the left of the uprights and about 30m out. Huge moment here for Kurtley Beale to try and give the Wallabies a lead in this game with just five minutes left.
Ioane carrying an injury but staying out there. Ashley-Cooper down getting treatment. He won't go off but he has some sort of facial injury. Lions lead 32-21 with eight minutes remaining. This is tense stuff. Wallaby scrum... will they go to Folau down the short side? Might be worth a go.
Wallabies win it against the feed! Now Genia clears and Folau regathers! What a play from the Wallabies. They now have the ball on halfway and get the chance to really press ahead.
BIG play for the Lions. Sexton sends it high and big George North runs through and manages to keep Ioane on his feet. The Lions get a scrum just five metres out from the Wallaby Lions now. This is a huge moment in the game. Lions lead 23-21. Ten minutes to play.
Beale has been good since he came on the field and makes a quality break there. The Wallabies spin it wide but find big James Horwill in the backline when it needed to be spun out to Folau. That's a big charge and they win the penalty though. Beale strides in.... and it's good. Wallabies get that three points back and the Lions lead 23-21 with 12 minutes left in this first Test.
Halfpenny is back to his best and that gives the Lions a degree of comfort. The tourists lead 23-18 after 65 minutes. Let's see what the Wallabies can do from here.
Mowen infringes and Halfpenny will no doubt try to extend this lead. Both sides have slowed down a bit now and it's little surprise. Wonder if Deans will send on fresh troops soon. A few of the big boys blowing out there now.
Beale does the job and this is a brave effort from the Wallabies. It's now the Lions leading 20-18 and we are heading for a blockbuster perhaps. Can Folau be the man again? Hasn't seen much of the pill this half.
Wouldn't mind seeing Beale at 10 for a while. O'Connor having a crack there but just doesn't seem to have the tricks needed at this point. A short kick or two might be the go to mix things up and Genia does just that. Now a penalty for the Wallabies and they are making a point at the breakdown. Horwill points at the posts and Beale will take the shot from 35m out. He has the longer boot. Lions lead 20-15 with 20 minutes remaining.
Kepu on now for the Wallabies, Alexander takes a seat. Looks like they are sticking with Hooper at 12. He's nothing if not versatile, I'll give that. Update on McCabe is a neck injury. Unsure how serious.
Update on Barnes.... he's is ok for the moment but will have scans on his jaw tomorrow. Lions attack down the left but it's floated forward just as they break into open space. The Lions lead 20-15 after 56 minutes.
Penalty to the Wallabies and they're aren't done for just yet. Gill could be a pest now on the ball - he's probably a touch stronger than Hooper in that department. But this is simply a massive task now with Lealiifano, Barnes and McCabe all stretchered off for the Wallabies.
Penalty to the Wallabies and O'Connor brings it back to 20-15 in the 50th minute. Good reply there from the Australians. Not sure about Hooper at 12. Maybe Phipps on the wing and Digby in the centres? I'm taking suggestions.
Try to the Lions it seems. That was too easy there and it's Alex Cuthbert who tears them to shreds off the scrum. But I think this could be called back for the obstruction. No! TRY to the Lions. Michael Hooper with the initial miss, O'Connor also had a crack and Genia and Beale were too late on the scene. Lions take it out to 20-12 with that conversion. Not sure this will be a fair fight from this point with that Wallaby side looking like this. Three key backs off the field for the night.
This is unbelievable. The stretcher out again for the Wallabies. McCabe this time. A neck injury perhaps and that's a terrible sight. He's carried off and the Wallabies are paper thin now. Liam Gill at openside and what about this, Michael Hooper is playing 12. Wallabies on their last legs in terms of injuries.
Beale away and has the open Folau outside him - but he goes himself! Insanity! Didn't he see the first half? Lions round him up, keep the 13-12 lead and win the ball on the other side of the field. Stephen Moore with the dodgy pass to McCabe, who knocks on.
Paul Cully lauds Folau but says the experienced men must now stand up and be counted:
"Israel Folau is writing himself into Wallabies folklore tonight if he continues in this fashion. But the Wallabies cannot win if it is the debutant showing the way, not the senior men."
O'Connor just can't get himself in the game tonight from 10 and makes the mistake there. Drifted across the field and couldn't decide whether to pass or run. In the end, he loses the ball. But the Wallabies manage to win a penalty. Some luck there for the home side. Ground record rugby crowd of 52,499 in the house. Lions lead 13-12.
We're back as the Lions and Wallabies lock horns again. Folau getting a few touches early after that blistering start to his international career. There's a few UK journos in this very press box who have been eating a few of their words already. I'm quite sure they didn't know how good or dangerous Folau can be. I tend to think plenty of Australian rugby fans were also doubting what he could do. Not any more.
LIONS 13 WALLABIES 12 at the break. That's a great half of rugby with George North and Israel Folau really stealing the show. Folau has a pair of tries on debut and North torched the Wallabies for one and was a whisker away from getting a second. The Australians have lost Christian Lealiifano and Berrick Barnes to concussions and that will really test their depth as this match grinds onwards. Join us after oranges for the second half.
Here go the Lions! Stopped short but they win the penalty. Palu right through the middle of the ruck and he's lucky not to get a yellow card there. Halfpenny with the shot right on the stroke of halftime... he's missed!
Izzy just killed Berrick Barnes — Steve Zemek (@stevezemek) June 22, 2013
Not another one. Barnes down this time and the poor bloke had a glass head after all the knocks he's taken. North chased the kick, which was taken by Folau. But North shoved Folau right into Barnes and he was flattened. Out comes the stretcher again and Barnes is gone for the night, joining Lealiifano on a tour of Disneyland. Cometh the hour, cometh Kurtley Beale. Lions lead 13-12. Two minutes left in the half.
Whatever happens from now, surely that's enough for the Folau sceptics to get stuck into a bit humble pie. He looked on a different planet in terms of athleticism there. The big wingers stealing the show tonight. The backline move was as simple as 'shovel it out to Folau'.
Folau has now taken more marks this season than last season — Alister Nicholson (@AlisterNicho) June 22, 2013
It goes wide to Folau and that TRY is too easy. Just brushes off three defenders, steps and goes over for his second try in his first Test. Wow, wow and wow. They had him covered and then some but the power and spee did them in. They check upstairs for some reason but that gets the green light. Sexton was one of the victims there, Corbisiero got the don't argue and Folau goes over. O'Connor misses the kick but the Lions lead 13-12.
Folau with the great take as he chases the Genia kick! He should play AFL that guy. But Horwill's bold charge on the short side isn't a brilliant plan as he's rushed into touch.
Halfpenny racking them up. He's unbelievable this fella. Lions extend the lead and it's now 13-7 after 32 minutes.
I think North has scored again here and that looked very easy indeed. The Lions forwards set the platform and North somehow ends up with a one-on-one on Genia about two metres out from the line. But Folau might have saved this with a desperate push... we've gone upstairs and this is very close indeed. It is... NO TRY. But it's a penalty to the Lions in any case. Folau was offside. Lions lead 10-7 and want the scrum.
Genia cleans up at the back. Folau caught out there. Clever chip behind from the Lions and they have a massive chance now with the five metre lineout. They win and want the maul.
Barnes kicked long and high and that was as good as it got. Pat McCabe rushed up to be guilty of the first miss. O'Connor couldn't get him with the second and Barnes wasn't good enough with the third. Genia chased hard but couldn't get there. Halfpenny is good from the sideline and all of a sudden, the Lions lead 10-7. We've had 28 minutes of play.
Genia is as brave as they come taking the high ball. Does it for the Reds every week and is doing the same tonight. Leaps and catches that. But North hits back! Smashes through some ordinary defence and runs 60m to score the TRY for the Lions. They lead 8-7.
Halfpenny makes no mistake and the Lions are on the board after 24 minutes. Wallabies 7-3.
Just over 20 minutes gone and the Wallabies up 7-0 thanks to the Folau try. Some worrying signs too for the tourists as they get a lineout throw on the attacking 40m zone. Their forwards are being well contained by the Wallabies and the backline hasn't looked particularly creative. But they get a penalty now and you'd back this one home.
Robinson makes a break for the Wallabies! But he only gets a few metres before he's dragged to the deck. The Wallabies pour into that breakdown but the Lions win the penalty. All of the momentum with the home side at the moment though as the Lions try to clear this one from their 22m zone. A real forwards game at the moment bar Genia's bust up the park. Wallabies lead 7-0.
Genia box kick... and Cuthbert drops it cold. He looked all over the shop trying to get under that one and the Wallabies get a scrum feed right on halfway. Bold showing from the men in gold thus far. The Lions have looked out of ideas in attack to this point. Wallabies lead 7-0 after 18 minutes.
Betting agencies just took a bath when Folau crossed. Had been backed off the map for the first try. The Wallabies manage a lead with just a third of possession so far.
What about that. Some questionable refereeing up the other end and the UK press are not impressed with that at all. But Genia seized the moment and his little kick for Folau was good enough for the big winger. He regathered, flew away and gets a try with almost his first touch. Sensational stuff from the Wallabies and put that down to massive defence on their line. It's Wallabies 7 Lions 0 after 15 minutes. JOC adds the extras.
Lions advantage.... but it's over, then the Wallabies get a penalty. Now Genia with the tap and they are away. TRY to ISRAEL FOLAU. Wallabies 5 Lions 0.
Big phase ball from the Lions and they are smashing away up the middle. It's simple but effective stuff. But this is strong Wallaby defence and the Lions are going backwards at the moment.
MASSIVE scrum from the Lions. A huge statement. They win the penalty and get the chance to attack.
And he drags it to the left. Nervous start from the Wallaby number 10. No score after eight minutes. And it's just been confirmed that Lealiifano was to be the first-choice kicker before he was knocked senseless and taken from the field. Lealiifano back on the sidelines soon though - concussion only - but he won't be back.
Another penalty to the Wallabies and Pollock is having a word to O'Driscoll, who has been pinged twice now. O'Connor will have another go from a similar, if slightly easier, spot. He'll want to his this a bit harder.
Moves in from 40m out, wide angle... it doesn't have the distance. Not a breath of wind at this ground tonight and you just wonder if Lealiifano was going to be the first choice kicker. He's out of action now though. Still no score and we've had five minutes of play in the first Test.
Folau gets his first touch - it's a knock on but goes without notice. The Wallabies hard at the breakdown now and win the penalty. James O'Connor is the man - he'll take the first shot at goal for the Wallabies.
First scrum and the Wallabies get the short arm penalty. That took an age to set and reset so lets hope that sharpens up a bit as the night goes on. These folks didn't pay big money to see that. But the Lions win it back right away and look to attack from their own half. It's 0-0.
The crowd is silent but they give this young man a great reception as he is driven off the ground. Just unbelievable scenes here at Suncorp as Lealiifano leaves the field without even touching the ball. His first tackle in Test rugby will be a memorable one, if he ever remembers it. McCabe on now and that changes everything for the Wallabies, with a ballplayer replaced by a ball runner.
Oh no! Christian Lealiifano is down in the first minute. Tried to bring down Davies and he has not moved. Just got in an awkward spot in that tackle and the hip hit the head. He's going off on a stretcher and that is a nightmare debut for the young man. Pat McCabe straight into action.
Lions kick short, Barnes kicks long. He finds touch and the Lions throw first 40m out from the Wallaby line.
Anthem is over, the field is clearing, the players are taking their positions and it's just about go time at Suncorp Stadium. I can confirm Georgina Robinson is about to hyperventilate she's so nervous. Lions to kick off.
SMH rugby writer Georgina Robinson writes:
'Looks like the ticketing system gurus have done the Wallabies a solid in the allocations, relegating vast numbers of Lions fans to the nosebleeds. Didn't stop them trying to drown out Colin Hay with their chants!'
Lots of talk about Folau on debut and all the pressure on his head. I don't think it will bother him to be honest. He's a cool customer, has always backed his skills and has been in front of this sort of crowd plenty of times. the pressure of rugby league's State of Origin is just as immense and in that arena, he was a star.
Lions on the park and here comes big James Horwill, ball under his arm, mouthguard hanging out of the lips. He leads the Australians on and what a proud moment for that man in his home town.
Just moments away from the players making their way onto the field. The atmosphere has gone up a notch now. I think the fact the Wallabies haven't played for - in the case of someone like O'Connor - six weeks has given this a real unknown factor. The start will be absolutely vital here tonight as the we count down to the kick-off.
Rugby Heaven analyst Paul Cully is on deck tonight and has seen Robbie Deans out on the field lobbing high balls for Folau. Cully thinks the Lions will throw plenty of traffic in Folau's direction in the opening 10 minutes.
We are less than 10 minutes from a start as the players are introduced on the big screen. Barnes still has a moustache and long hair in that footage. He's slipped back into the mainstream tonight.
Colin Hay out there singing Land Downunder now. Never heard it - must be a new song. They could do with a bit of jazz flute in there somewhere.
Footage of some great old biff being shown on the screens now. Some of that would equate to a life suspension these days. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot has been sung by the travelling choir and this is starting to feel like a Test match now. Not a seat left in this wonderful stadium. This will be a night to remember for all of these players.
Some key match-ups tonight:
Genia v the Lions forwards The touring pack is going to try and hound Genia all night, make him rush and try to force as many mistakes as they can from the Wallaby halfback. How he handles that pressure will go a long way to determining the flow of the match.
James Horwill v Paul O'Connell The two leaders of their respective packs will want to lead from the front and establish that physical domination. The collisions in the first 10 minutes could be crucial.
Israel Folau v George North They may not see that much of each other on the park but both are massive threats if they find space out wide. The Lions might get a surprise or two if Folau is given half a chance. He's a genuine finisher.
Sam Warburton v Michael Hooper/Liam Gill This could be an ace up the sleeve of the Wallabies. In Hooper and Gill, who will come off the bench, the Wallabies have a pair of real ball scavengers. Warburton does the bulk of the job at his side and he'll be under huge pressure in terms of retention and to try and create turnovers.
Who have I missed?
Plenty of Wallabies and a smattering of Lions out on the field now warming up. JOC is thumping a few long kicks around and the obsessive-compulsive Genia is flinging passes off the deck. JOC also going through a few shots at goal - will he kick for the Australians? My money was on Lealiifano.
And here's the scene from Caxton St. Between this game and the Origin on Wednesday night, it's BMW's all round for the publicans.
It's a huge night for this man as he makes his debut for the Wallabies. Ben Mowen has a key role to play to get the Australians over the advantage line and will be the general at the lineout.
And so it begins. It's been 12 years in the making but the Lions are back in Brisbane to take on Wallabies. Last time, it was at the strange surrounds of The Gabba. Tonight, we head to the more formidable Suncorp Stadium, which has been a veritable Garden of Eden for the Australians of late. But the venue can only get them so far against a touring side of this quality.
There narratives for the Wallabies are many. James O'Connor steps into the spotlight to prove he's the right number 10, in front of Quade Cooper's home crowd. And can his hair hold up? The set piece must prove it can match the best of the northern hemisphere. Israel Folau's multi-code journey continues. And the Wallaby mentor, Robbie Deans, is coaching for his job.
The Lions will surely be steeled by defeat at the hands of the Brumbies. They arrive tonight hardened by battle against a Wallaby side that has been kept on ice for weeks. Whether that was the right call, we shall all find out. Injury has been a curse but this 23-man squad is huge, fast and showing a real appetite for attacking rugby.
We kick off at 8pm local time, by which time the thousands and thousands of touring fans will be well and truly in voice. Give me a holler and a prediction in the comments. And thanks for your company.