Gatland admits he was relieved Beale missed

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has admitted that he was relieved to see Kurtley Beale miss a penalty kick that would have won the first Test for Australia.

The Lions won the match 21-23 and are now on the verge of winning their first Test series since 1997 when they beat South Africa.

Replacement fullback Beale seemingly had the match won for the Wallabies but he agonisingly slipped on his run-up to a straightforward kick at the death.

Head coach Warren Gatland said he was Beale, who also missed a kick six minutes from the end, fail to snatch what would have been a famous win after Australia had three players stretchered off injured.

“It was relief, but we deserved to win that game,” Gatland said, as his captain Sam Warburton expressed “massive delight” after the dramatic victory.

“Whichever team gets the first win takes a lot of momentum into the next match,” said Warburton.

But Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said it was frustrating not to pull off the win after a gutsy performance in front of a record 52,499 crowd at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium.

“It was very frustrating but I’m proud of the effort we put in. It was a trying circumstance to put themselves in a position to win the game,” Deans said.

“It was a courageous performance that would stack up alongside any but it was disappointing not to get the reward.”

 

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