British and Irish Lions: Warren Gatland relieved by 23-21 win over Australia

Last Updated: 23/06/13 8:20am

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Warren Gatland relieved by dramatic Lions win

Warren Gatland relieved by dramatic Lions win

Sky Bet

British & Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland admitted his side have things to work on after edging Australia 23-21 on a dramatic night in Brisbane.

Tries from George North and Alex Cuthbert - supplemented by the kicking of Leigh Halfpenny - took the Lions into the final 10 minutes with a narrow lead, but Wallabies star Kurtley Beale had two chances to snatch glory for the hosts.

His first kick was shanked wide of the upright and his second scuffed as he slipped on the turf, rendering two brilliant tries from star wing Israel Folau in vain and handing the first Test to the tourists.

Gatland said afterwards: "It was a tough game. The first half we scrummaged well and our line-out went well but I'm a bit disappointed in the game management. We've got in front and then given a couple of soft three-pointers to let them back in the game.

"It just shows how close this series is going to be. We saw some great tries out there tonight. We're pretty happy. It could have gone either way but we'll take that and we think we deserved to win. We'll work on our performance but what matters is the result.


"In terms of key moments, I thought the goal-kicking of Leigh Halfpenny. The George North try, obviously - and a fantastic one from Alex Cuthbert. The scrum was a bit disappointing in the second half compared to the first half.

"We probably played a bit too much rugby in our own half in the first half. It was better in the second. It wasn't the greatest Test in the world but we've won the first Test and we're really happy with the result.

"There's a great team spirit at the moment. The guys are working hard and selection has been tough. We're also getting back a few key players next week and that will strengthen our squad.

"They (Australia) are a dangerous team and they keep fighting all the way to the end. I think it's going to be a close series."

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