Australia coach Robbie Deans proud after losing to the Lions
Last Updated: June 23, 2013 8:19am
Deans praised his side's resolve despite losing to the Lions
Australia coach Robbie Deans was proud of his injury-hit side despite a 23-21 first Test defeat to the British & Irish Lions in Brisbane.
The Wallabies suffered their first casualty in the opening minute - Christian Lealiifano's debut cut short by a heavy collision with Jonathan Davies - and both Berrick Barnes and Pat McCabe were also carried off in neck braces.
It was heartbreak for for Kurtley Beale as he missed a last minute penalty for Australia as The British and Irish Lions held on to secure a 23-21 victory.
McCabe's injury in the second half prompted a reshuffle that saw flanker Michael Hooper switched to centre - and Deans was pleased by the way his men responded in the face of such adversity.
He said: "That was very frustrating. I'm proud of the effort. It was a courageous performance to stack up alongside any.
"To give themselves a chance of winning the game was a good effort, but obviously we didn't so now we go to Melbourne having to win.
"We'll assemble a team, go to work and put out a team next Saturday. There appears that there will be some need for some changes to the team, but I haven't had the feedback yet.
"Let's hope it's not as grave as appeared in the first instance. That was an epic struggle out there and either side could have won."
Australia captain James Horwill refused to blame the loss on Kurtley Beale, who missed two late penalties that could have won it for the hosts.
Horwill said: "No one's blaming anyone, we did well to get ourselves into that situation at the end.
"I spoke to Kurtley and said, 'Look mate, don't worry about it. These things happen and you just have to get on with it. Everyone in the team still loves you.'"