British & Irish Lions 2013: Brumbies wanted it more, admits Rory Best
British & Irish Lions 2013: Stand-in captain Rory Best admits ACT Brumbies were hungrier than the Lions after a 14-12 loss
Rory Best admitted ACT Brumbies were “hungrier” than the British and Irish Lions after the tourists lost their unbeaten record.
Warren Gatland’s new-look side struggled to compete with the Super 15 leaders and the hosts scored a fifth-minute try as Tevita Kuridrani danced his way past Christian Wade.
Brumbies full-back Jesse Mogg extended his side’s lead to eight points before Stuart Hogg made amends for an early penalty miss to leave the score at 8-3 at half-time.
Mogg added two further penalties to push the Brumbies 11 points clear, and although Gatland made significant changes in the second half, Owen Farrell’s kicking could only reduce the deficit to two.
“We got physically beaten up front,” said Best after the 14-12 loss.
“They put a lot of pressure on our set piece and we got a bit nervy. Credit to the Brumbies, they were hungrier than us all across the board.
He added: “I don’t think we’re looking for excuses. We brought in quality players. When you looked across the team, we had quality there. We just got beaten at the breakdown tonight.”
Best, who was drafted into the Lions squad following Dylan Hartley’s ban, endured a particularly miserable match as he struggled with the lineout, like his fellow forwards.
And the Ulster hooked conceded the Brumbies were able to put the Lions under pressure which resulted in a nervy performance.
“We definitely got nervy. Just the small units misfired. At this level, if you can’t secure the ball, you’re always going to be under pressure. So the forwards have to stand up and take a lot of the heat,” he added.
“We went in fresh. We were feeling very confident. We knew it was going to be a tough task but we were confident in the ability of the team. We just didn’t turn up tonight. They wanted it more.”