Warburton 'demoralised' after loss
June 16, 2012
Mike Harris is mobbed after slotting the winning penalty © Getty Images
Wales skipper Sam Warburton conceded that he was "absolutely demoralised" after his side's last-gasp defeat to Australia on Saturday.
Wales were on the verge of securing their first Test win on Australian soil since 1969 with the clock ticking towards the 80th minute but after the hooter sounded, they conceded a kickable penalty which Mike Harris slotted on the angle. Warburton admitted he was gutted but called on his side to end the tour on a winning note.
"Speechless, absolutely demoralised to come so close," Warburton told Sky Sports. "It's tough when they get momentum on the line-out and you have to stop it.
"It was very physical. We've showed a lot of character all season, it's just getting that vital win out here. I don't think you can get any closer than that to be honest. We have to pick ourselves up for next week. We are desperate to get a result out here and this still motivate the boys even more."
Tight-head Adam Jones could also not hide his frustration. "I'm obviously gutted," he said. "I think it's our own fault, with silly penalties we've given them a chance to get up our side of the field. It was a perfect chance for us to level the series tonight."
Wales caretaker coach Rob Howley admitted there were positives to take from the performance, but a lack of discipline at the death cost them.
"We were quite clinical when we had the ball and took our opportunities, but we just gave them one too many opportunities to get that kick at goal with discipline in certain areas," he said. "I said to guys they could take great heart from their performance.
"I thought we defended well, the first half in particular when we needed to. We got off our line very quickly and made our tackles. In the second half through our defence we got our try and in just two minutes probably toward the end made a couple of wrong decisions and it's cost us the game. We'll be better for that but it's hard to swallow.
"In international rugby there's a fine margin between winning and loses. For 79 minutes and 20 seconds we've done a lot right."
The win means Australia have now secured the series thanks to an unassailable 2-0 lead and Robbie Deans has already turned his attention to the match in Sydney next weekend. The Wallabies boss may be without winger Cooper Vuna, who has been cited for a dangerous tackle on Wales' Leigh Halfpenny.
"We knew they were going to be tough and we knew they were going to come hard in the second-half and credit to the guys they stuck at it and got the win," Deans said. "I guess you have to say that it's getting closer. They're a good side, a very good side.
"Next week is going to be a good game with both sides letting go of the shackles and I think it will be a great match. We let our foot off and released the pressure and we let Wales back in to the game, a soft seven pointer and then some penalties but we managed to get it back."
One of the Wallabies' star performers was Berrick Barnes and the win capped an emotional 48 hours for the playmaker, who was a late arrival on matchday due to the birth of his first child. "I'm just really thankful to the guys and the coaches for letting be back in Sydney so I could be there with Bec and I'm just really glad that little Archie is going well," Barnes said. "I also want to thank the cab driver who got be back here in time for the meeting at 6:30.
"I was worried for a while that I wasn't going make it back but everything went right and I was really glad to be able to represent my country. It's been a really emotional day."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton