British & Irish Lions 2013
Lions preparing for 'Cup Final'
Sat, 29 Jun 2013 16:01
Everything is still up for grabs
Sam Warburton is going to turn the third Test in Sydney on Saturday into the 2013 British and Irish Lions 'Cup Final' down under.
But the Lions skipper won't know until Monday if he will be fit to play in the series decider after he left the field after 67 minutes with a hamstring injury.
"I'm not sure yet how bad it is because I haven't done it before. I felt something in my hamstring and it's sore. I've been putting ice on it and I guess I'm going to be up every two hours tonight icing it and I should know on Monday what's going on," said Warburton.
"I guess tonight is exactly the opposite to last week. But when we wake up on Sunday we'll still be in the same situation as we were this morning - everything is still up for grabs and we have every opportunity to win a Test series.
"It's difficult right now because everyone is so disappointed, but the dream of winning the series is still alive. We'll have to pick ourselves up, but we played some good stuff and we know we are capable of winning.
"This week is going to be like a Cup Final. We're back on a level playing field and we can both forget the last two weeks. Both teams will be going into a massive game to try and achieve something huge.
"I know the fans back home will be disappointed but its game-on for next week. Once the boys get over this disappointment they will be flying into next week's game with every hope of winning the series."
While it was the Wallabies who came off the field with long faces after failing to take advantage of a last gasp, match-winning penalty shot last week, this time it was the Lions who were given a life-line when Leigh Halfpenny lined up a 55 metres kick at goal.
Having hit the cross-bar from 50 metres earlier in the game everyone knew the kick was within the Welsh full back's range. But his shot for glory never had the legs and despite his desire to put the Aussies to bed in Melbourne, Warburton will have to rally his troops for a series clinching effort in Sydney.
"Australia got into our territory and at times we found it difficult to get out. We worked on that in training but saying it and doing it are different things under extreme pressure," admitted the Lions captain.
"They managed to get the points on the board in the second half. Whatever happens I always expect Australia to keep pushing to the 81st minute - I've learned that the hard way with Wales.
"You can never settle against them even if you are six, seven, eight or nine points ahead. I thought they did well and it was always going to be about who scored a try and all credit to them for coming up with one.
"I thought the referee, Craig Joubert, was great. He was very consistent, both teams managed to win turnovers and it was very clear what he was looking for - it was an area we improved on from last week."
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