British and Irish Lions: Tom Youngs looks for improved display
Last Updated: June 24, 2013 6:27am
Tom Youngs insists there is "much more to come" from the British and Irish Lions as they look to secure a series victory against Australia.
The Lions won the first Test 23-21 after a dramatic encounter in Brisbane - with Australia replacement Kurtley Beale slipping over while attempting to land a penalty in the dying moments.
And having got the series off to a winning start, Youngs believes the Lions can only get better when the two sides renew hostilities in Melbourne.
"We all understand and realise there's still much more to come from this side," said Youngs, who will be a spectator when the Lions take on the Rebels in the final midweek game on Tuesday.
"We didn't play to our full potential on Saturday, but we still managed to win the game. That gives us such a boost heading into the second Test.
"Believe me, we have learnt so much from Saturday. We didn't play all that well, but we dug out a win. We all know we can take our game to another level."
The Lions know, though, they would have come unstuck had Beale not slipped at the point of impact when taking that last-minute penalty.
Heartbreak for Beale
"It was a remarkable night, but my heart was in my mouth at the end. I think we all felt the same way," Youngs added.
"We were a bit naive at times, and we didn't adapt well enough to how the referee (Chris Pollock) was handling the game. That is something we will obviously need to work on.
"I don't really know what was happening with the referee. They all handle these matches differently, and we will need to review the tape again. But at the end of the day, we won the game, and that's all that matters.
"They are a very good side and they showed what they can do. Regardless of who is injured, Saturday is going to be another tough match.
"We just need to ensure we play much better. I couldn't really look at the end. I was just thinking, 'miss, miss'.
"I was sat next to Adam Jones on the bench, and I just heard him shout, 'he's slipped, he's slipped.' At the moment we knew we had won, it was a tremendous feeling.
"We go into the second Test with momentum behind us. We are always looking to improve and get better, and hopefully we can put that into practice in Melbourne."
Lions head coach Warren Gatland believes Beale's boots were to blame for his timely slip.
"If I was a coach looking at Kurtley Beale coming on, I would be looking at the boots he was wearing," Gatland said.
"He came on to the field wearing 'mouldies' and he slipped over taking that last kick. He slipped over on a couple of occasions. Why has he come out on the field wearing that sort of footwear in those sort of conditions?
"We've had these issues a lot with our players with Wales at the Millennium Stadium.
"It's quite a slippery surface, and on a lot of occasions we've said to players to make sure they have the right footwear because it is a slippery surface and you have to turn up with the right tools. It's part of your job, making sure that you are prepared."
The Lions had to overcome some erratic refereeing by New Zealand official Pollock en route to victory.
Craig Joubert will referee the second Test and Gatland believes the South African will have learned a lot for acting as assistant referee in Brisbane.
"A few players came off the field feeling a bit frustrated. They found it difficult (to understand) a couple of times when they were penalised," Gatland added.
Brothers in arms
"Mako Vunipola was penalised for coming in from the side, but he was part of the tackle, and that could have cost us the game at the end.
"One of the strengths of Brian O'Driscoll is his ability to get on the ball and create turnovers, and he just felt he wasn't able to do that as part of his game because he had been penalised on a couple of occasions.
"He knew if he got penalised again he would get a yellow card, so he stayed away from the ball.
"Craig Joubert is a very experienced referee. We'll put last night behind us and it will probably be good for him having been an assistant referee in that match, on the sideline, to know about the pace of the game.
"I thought he was good in terms of the support he gave the referee, and I am looking forward to the number one referee in the world doing next Saturday."