Warburton out to seal series victory
Sam Warburton insists the British and Irish Lions are determined to remove the need for a series decider by toppling Australia tomorrow in a match he views as the biggest of his career.
The Lions enter the second Test at the Etihad Stadium, where the roof will be closed, on the brink of their first series victory for 16 years after edging the Wallabies 23-21 in Brisbane last weekend.
Tour captain Warburton is braced for an all-out assault from Australia as they seek to turn the Sydney showdown on July 6 into the pivotal encounter and knows the 2013 squad must produce “something special” if they are to secure their place in history.
“I’ve had nervous excitement this week,” the 24-year-old openside said.
“It’s quite strange when you wake up every day knowing that this time in five days you could be series winners, then it’s four days, three days, two days....
“The game can’t come quick enough. There’s no complacency thinking we have a week off because there’s another opportunity in the third Test.
“If we need the third Test then the momentum will have swung completely. We definitely want to finish it off this weekend and the players are motivated to do that.
“I think this will be the biggest game of my life. Winning a Lions series will be something nobody’s achieved since 1997.
“It’s knowing what you could achieve, but also that it will take something special to do that.”
Kurtley Beale missed a match-winning penalty in the final act of the game to condemn the Wallabies to defeat in a gripping contest at the Suncorp Stadium that is being talked of as one of the great Lions Tests.
“Australia will bounce back. They were only a kick away from winning last weekend. They know they have a chance of getting the Test series back,” Warburton said.
“Australians being Australians, they are very optimistic and competitive. There’s no way they’ll be down and out.
“They’ll come out firing. It’s all or nothing for them so we can expect a huge performance from them.”