Rugby: British and Irish Lions thrash Australia 41-16 for first series win since 1997

SYDNEY (REUTERS) - The British and Irish Lions claimed their first series win since 1997 when they overpowered Australia 41-16 in the third Test on Saturday to seal a 2-1 victory.

The Lions were quick out of the blocks at the Olympic Stadium with prop Alex Corbisiero crossing for a second minute try and fullback Leigh Halfpenny kicking 12 points to open up a 19-3 lead after 26 minutes.

Australia fought back with James O'Connor scoring just before halftime and inside centre Christian Leali'ifano kicking the home side to within three points at 19-16 with 25 minutes remaining.

But the Lions finally found the attacking rhythm that they lacked in the second test loss and flyhalf Jonny Sexton, winger George North and centre Jamie Roberts crossed for second half tries as the Lions rode out comfortable winners.