British & Irish Lions 2013

Warburton: 'Job half done'

Sat, 22 Jun 2013 14:55
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It was entertaining
Quote-end

British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton said he and his teammates won't be getting carried away with the thrilling first Test win over the Wallabies in Brisbane on Saturday.

The Lions edged an enthralling encounter 23-21 after Kurtley Beale missed a last-gasp shot at goal for the hosts but Warburton insists the celebrations were short lived.

Instead the attentions have already turned to Tuesday's clash with the Rebels and next Saturday's second international in Melbourne as Warren Gatland's troops look to clinch a first series success since 1997.

"I'm absolutely delighted with the win - it's a great start. But it's only half a job done. We celebrated for a bit and then after a while we realised that we have to back it up again next week," said Warburton.

"It's great for momentum that we've got the first game sorted now but we're looking forward to supporting the boys on Tuesday, keeping the winning streak going, and then getting back to work on Saturday.

"It was entertaining, that's for sure. It was too close for comfort and the last 20 minutes were really hard. You have to give it to Australia, they went all the way and we'll expect a lot more in the next two Test matches.

"The sides are pretty even and that showed as it went down to the last 10 seconds. They came out very well in the first 20 minutes which is what we expected. It was a very quick first 20 but we weathered the storm and put points on the board, and then it was to and fro.

"It took a while to sink in because I thought I was in the same situation as last year with Wales: it's happened way too many times before. When it's taken out of your control with a kick, all you can do is watch. I thought it was going to go over. It was one of the worst minutes of my life!"

Warburton was quick to praise the role of the travelling Lions support, with British & Irish fans creating an incredible atmosphere within a record attendance at the Suncorp Stadium.

The Welsh openside insisted that the encouragement and enthusiasm from the Sea of Red gave the Lions an edge in a game that was ultimately decided by tiny margins.

"The fans have been immense. It's the one part of the tour I was really looking forward to and they haven't disappointed," added Warburton.

"We could hear them from the hotel. I'd be sitting in my room in the afternoon and I could hear them on the streets of Brisbane. When we walked on to the bus, and even afterwards doing post-match interviews, hearing the noise from the fans was great.

"From a player's point of view, it's massive. It doesn't half pick you up when you are tired and you're blowing in the game. When they suddenly find a voice and get behind you it's a massive lift for the team."

With thanks to lionsrugby.com

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