Warren Gatland doubts Australia emotion

Gatland doubts Australia emotion
© PA Photos
Lions coach Warren Gatland questions whether Australia will be able to rouse the same emotions that helped them win the second Test ahead of Saturday's series decider.

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland has questioned whether Australia can repeat the emotions that helped them win the second Test by a solitary point.

The home side were visibly delighted when the final whistle confirmed that they had drawn level in the series, with captain James Horwill breaking down in tears after the match.

However, Gatland believes that the Wallabies may have expended all of their emotion during the second Test and doubts whether they will be able to get up for Saturday's crucial third match in the same way.

"It was a one-point game last week, and they were absolutely desperate. The question for Australia is can they get themselves emotionally up for this game? I'm not sure that they can do that. I've been involved in teams before and seen how emotion can play in terms of results," said Gatland.

"I can go back to 2005 with Wasps and Leicester. We [Wasps] played the last game of the [league] round. It was Neil Back's and Martin Johnson's last game at Welford Road. I went there and completely underestimated the emotion of those two players playing their last game at home, and Wasps were well beaten by Leicester at Welford Road.

"Two weeks later in the Premiership final, they couldn't bring the same emotion and we put 40 points on them, so it's hard to get yourself completely on the edge every week, and I think that had to be it last week when you saw the reaction of James Horwill after the game and what it meant. We are disappointed, and we think emotionally we can improve for it, but there is a question whether they can do the same thing."

Meanwhile, Gatland has defended his decision to omit Brian O'Driscoll from the squad for Saturday's must-win Test.

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Lions coach Warren Gatland at a press conference on May 13, 2013
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