British and Irish Lions: Sam Warburton credits Australia after 23-21 victory

Last Updated: 23/06/13 8:22am

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Warburton beams after securing first Test victory

Warburton beams after securing first Test victory

Sky Bet

British & Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton was full of praise for opponents Australia after securing a titanic 23-21 first Test victory in Brisbane.

Tries from George North and Alex Cuthbert added to 13 points from the boot of Leigh Halfpenny to put the tourists in the driving seat - but Wallabies replacement Kurtley Beale missed two chances to win it at the death, skewing penalties wide.

Warburton said afterwards: "That was entertaining, that's for sure. It was way too close for comfort. That last 20 minutes was so hard. We really had to dig in. Credit to Australia. We can expect a lot more in these next two Test matches.

"It was like last year with Wales all over again. It's out of your control when there's a kick for the opposition in the last minute. It was just massive delight to win the first game. We've got the momentum and got the ball rolling and now we're just looking forward to next week.

"They came out well. It's always a quick first 20 minutes and you just have to weather the storm. There are still things to work on and I think the sides were very evenly-matched. It went down to the last 10 seconds.

Battle-hardened

"It was a heck of a Test match and a tiring one but I felt okay out there. We're battle-hardened because of the warm-up games we've had. We've got some match fitness in our now."

Try hero Cuthbert said of his score: "It was a move off the training paddock. We've been running it all week and I guess it paid off. Obviously I owe it to Brian O'Driscoll and Jonathan Davies for running those lines and opening up the space.

"They've just got that never-say-die attitude. We knew if we got that field position then we could get on top of them but they kept coming back and surprising us. We've got a lot to work on ahead of the second Test."

North added: "We knew it was going to be high intensity from the start. The first 20 minutes was something else. The contact area was savage - there was big impact there flying around. It seemed like everyone was sprinting constantly from minute one."

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