Australia (12) 21
Try: Folau 2
Pens: O'Connor, Beale 2
British and Irish Lions (13) 23
Try: North, Cuthbert
Conversions: Halfpenny 2
Pens: Halfpenny 3
George North's spectacular try inspired the British and Irish Lions to victory in the first test over Australia but Kurtley Beale failed to earn international retribution as Warren Gatland's men took a giant stride towards securing a first series win for 16 years.
Beale, following a series of off-the-field personal problems, missed two late penalties as the Lions secured an eighth successive test win in Brisbane and stand a victory away from a first series win since 1997.
Will Genia orchestrated the opening score of the series after dancing his way the length of the field before his grubber kick found debutant Israel Folau.
But North put the Lions ahead going into the break with a score that will live long in the memory, surging from inside his own half to touch down in the corner.
Folau scored his second before the break, but the near-perfect boot of Leigh Halfpenny had the Lions head at the break, before Alex Cuthbert exposed an Australia reshuffle in midfield to extend the lead to eight.
James O'Connor and Beale penalties cut the defect to two points, but the Walabies replacement full-back, who has recieved treatment for alcohol related issues, missed two opportunities with the boot in the final minutes as the Lions hung on for a first test win.
Seeking to build a platform ahead of an assault on a first tour series win since 1997, the Lions sought to continue their unbeaten record in Brisbane against an Australia side, who had kept began with three test debutants.
Folau, Ben Mowan and Christian Lealif'fano were thrown in at the deep end for their first Australia start, the latter of which being replaced by Pat McCabe after just 52 following a collision with Jonathan Davies.
The Lions were able to lay down a marker in the scrum, Alex Corbisiero, a late call up to the squad, proving influential in the front row. The foundations were laid for the first attack of the game, but while the move yielded a penalty, the Lions were left to rue not taking full advantage.
After advantage had ceased, Australia, instead of looking for touch from a penalty, sought to counter attack via the twinkle-toed Genia, who outpaced a lacklustre Lions defence, running the length of the field, before a delicate kick to Folau gifted the hosts the first try of the series.
Halfpenny reduced the arrears, before the Lions fought fire with fire, and via North, who was a major injury doubt before the first test, launched a counter-attack from inside his own half, evading three Australian tackles, including Genia, to help the tourists into the lead with a sensational score.
Australia were seeing little in the way of possession, but they continued to hurt a brittle Lions defence when the opportunity arose, and following a second Halfpenny penalty, Folau exposed Johnny Sexton's technique as he went over for his second international try. However, James O'Connor, who had earlier missed two penalties, continued to be askew kicking from the floor.
Injury to Berrick Barnes after a collision with Folau ended his test prematurely; the second Australian to be stretchered off in the opening 40 minutes, while Halfpenny uncharacteristically missed an opportunity to stretch the lead with a late penalty.
The Australian stretcher was required once again as McCabe suffered a shoulder injury, forcing a reshuffle in the midfield as Michael Hooper move into the centre. The disorganised Walabies were then all at sea during the next phase as Cuthbert soared through a series of missed tackles to extend the lead to eight points.
First half replacement Kurtley Beale added another penalty after replacement prop Dan Cole came through the ruck, but Halfpenny once again took advantage after Australia were found to be on the wrong side.
But after Beale broke through and Paul O'Connoll concede a penalty for slowing the ball down, the Rebels full-back again cut the defect.
However, as the Lions continued to tire, Australia had two chances to clinch the first test from penalties in the final moments, but Beale couldn't convert as the tourists took a 1-0 series lead going into the second test in Melbourne.
Australia: 15 Berrick Barnes, 14 Israel Folau, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Christian Leali'ifano, 11 Digby Ioane, 10 James O'Connor, 9 Will Genia, 1 Benn Robinson, 2 Stephen Moore, 3 Ben Alexander, 4 Kane Douglas, 5 James Horwill (c), 6 Ben Mowen, 7 Michael Hooper, 8 Wycliff Palu.
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga'a, 17 James Slipper, 18 Sekope Kepu, 19 Rob Simmons, 20 Liam Gill, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Pat McCabe, 23 Kurtley Beale.
British and Irish Lions: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Jonathan Davies, 11 George North, 10 Jonny Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 1 Alex Corbisiero, 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Adam Jones, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 5 Paul O'Connell, 6 Tom Croft, 7 Sam Warburton (c), 8 Jamie Heaslip.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Geoff Parling, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Sean Maitland.