British & Irish Lions 2013: Gatland disappointed despite first Test win
British & Irish Lions 2013: Warren Gatland admits he was disappointed despite beating Australia in the first Test in Brisbane
Warren Gatland has admitted he was disappointed with the British and Irish Lions’ game management despite a 23-21 victory over Australia in the first Test in Brisbane.
The Lions looked to be edging to a win after tries from George North and Alex Cuthbert cancelled out Israel Folau’s brilliant brace but penalties from Kurtley Beale kept Australia in touch.
And the Wallabies replacement had a chance to seal a one-point victory with the final kick of the game but slipped at the vital moment, handing a first Test win to the Lions.
“It was a tough game. The first half we scrummaged well, the line-out was good but we’re disappointed with our game management,” Gatland said.
“We gave them a couple of soft three-pointers, but it shows how close this series is going to be. We saw some great tries out there by both sides. It could have gone either way but we’ll take that.”
Australia debutant Folau scored a brilliant opening try to give the hosts a slender lead before his opposite number North responded with an outstanding effort of his own.
Leigh Halfpenny slotted over two first-half penalties before Folau’s second try left the half-time score-line at 13-12 in the Lions’ favour – and the visitors moved eight points clear after Cuthbert’s try.
Australia replacement Beale added to penalties, with Halfpenny extending his tally to 13 points, before the Wallabies No23 missed two late kicks to hand the Lions a first Test win.
“That was entertaining, that’s for sure, but it was way too close for comfort,” said Lions captain Warburton.
“The last 20 minutes were so hard, we really had to dig in. Credit to Australia, we can expect a lot more from the last two Tests. It’s only half the job done.
“It’s out of your control when the opposition have a kick in the last minute. It’s a massive delight, we’ve got some momentum, we’ve got the balling rolling and we’re looking forward to next week.”