Australia hero Adam Ashley-Cooper hails spirt after edging Lions
Last Updated: 29/06/13 2:21pm
Adam Ashley-Cooper (L): Praised his Australia team-mates
Australia hero Adam Ashley-Cooper credited his side's unity after the 16-15 second Test victory over the British & Irish Lions.
With the Wallabies trailing 15-9 heading into the final five minutes, Ashley-Cooper burst through the tourists' defensive line to touch down the game's only try, providing Christian Leali'ifano with the winning kick.
Although the hosts surrendered a last-gasp penalty chance for Leigh Halfpenny to win the series, the Welshman's kick fell short and Ashley-Cooper was left praising the guts shown by his team-mates.
The centre said: "It was really important to retain that belief we've been working on for so many years. Six points down, there was a lot of frustration out there because possession was letting us down in terms of ball security.
Ashley-Cooper praises Aussie belief
"In the end, Test match football is about grinding it out and going to the 80th minute. Fortunately for us, we were able to get the points.
"The key messages were possession and balls security. We had to get in the Lions half, hold onto the ball and build pressure. We had to get over the gain line and we knew points would come through penalties or through space.
"There are no external influences that are distracting the squad. We're remaining tight. There were lots of off-field incidents in the week but that wasn't a distraction because our preparation is very important to us and we're going to continue that."
On the try, he added: "It happened very quickly but I'm very proud to be a part of this team and score a try that made the difference tonight. It's not about me, it's about the team holding in there for 80 minutes and getting the result.
"It's really going to make for a cracking final next week in Sydney."