British & Irish Lions 2013: We should have lost, admits O’Driscoll
British & Irish Lions 2013: Brian O'Driscoll admits the tourists were fortunate not to lose after hanging on for a 23-21 win in Brisbane
Brian O’Driscoll conceded the British and Irish Lions “probably should have lost” the first Test after Kurtley Beale missed a late penalty to deny Australia victory in Brisbane.
Welsh wingers George North and Alex Cuthbert scored tries either side of half-time to keep the Lions ahead after Israel Folau’s first-half brace with Australia fly-half James O’Connor missing a couple of kicks.
Alex Cuthbert scored 13 points but Australia replacement Kurtley Beale kicked two penalties to leave the hosts two points behind but the No23 slipped to see his final effort go wayward in the dying moments of the game.
“Strange,” O’Driscoll to Sky Sports. “Hearts in the mouth at the end, we probably should have lost it.
“We conceded those two penalties at the end but we didn’t deserve to. We didn’t get much luck – a couple of deflected kicks that went askew seemed to bounce in their arms – so maybe we got our break at the end.”
O’Driscoll, who was part of the Lions side which won in Brisbane in 2001, urged his team-mates to stay focused ahead of the second Test in Melbourne next weekend.
“I spoke to the lads and said we need to try to finish it next week. We’ve got to knuckle down, look to where we can improve massively and put in a bigger performance than we did today and hopefully we can be in the mix.”
The Ireland and Leinster centre also admitted he was frustrated with referee Chris Polluck after the 34-year-old was penalised in the first half.
“Big frustration with that,” he continued.
“We were just talking on the pitch and in the dressing room. I felt I was the right side of the law with it but he adjudged it differently and he penalised it twice.
“James O’Connor obviously missed twice, but we’ll have to work on our interpretation and see if we can get that better for next week.”