Lions 2013: Dan Lydiate backs 'demon' kicker Leigh Halfpenny

Leigh Halfpenny is consoled by Lions team-mate Brian O'Driscoll after missing a late kick against Australia
Leigh Halfpenny is consoled by Lions team-mate Brian O'Driscoll after missing a late kick against Australia

Dan Lydiate says Leigh Halfpenny will not be affected by his late penalty miss for the British and Irish Lions in the second-Test loss to Australia.

Adam Ashley-Cooper's late converted try put the Wallabies into a 16-15 lead.

Halfpenny, who had already struck five penalties, had a tricky kick from halfway to snatch victory in injury time but the full-back fell just short.

"It's just one of those things and I'm sure the next time he's in that position he'll slot it," Lydiate said.

Dan Lydiate takes on the Australia defence
Lydiate impressed after forcing his way into the team to win his first Lions Test cap

"I'd back him every time. Watching that guy train, he trains like a demon and is always doing his extras.

"That's the thing with Leigh, he's a perfectionist and unless he kicks 100% then he's never happy.

"Everyone is going to miss a kick every now and again and [Saturday] was the day. No-one is blaming him for missing that kick - it's awesome to have him in the team.

"If we get a penalty that far out, the bet's on that he's probably going to slot it over, which is brilliant for us."

Wales flanker Lydiate had for the second Test after

The 25-year-old blind-side impressed at the breakdown alongside his Lions and Wales skipper Sam Warburton, before the open-side was forced off with a hamstring injury. The injury could rule Warburton out of the deciding Test in Sydney on Saturday.

"Obviously you never like to lose your captain but with Tom Croft coming on, he's a quality player," Lydiate said.

"We're not lacking in depth in quality in the back row. It's obviously a massive challenge for us this week and hopefully Sam's injury isn't too bad."

Kurtley Beale's late missed penalty had allowed the Lions to sneak a while in the second Test Halfpenny had his injury-time chance to clinch a series win for the tourists.

Lydiate, who has been involved in several recent close losses to Australia with Wales, expects the third Test in Sydney to be just as tight.

"It always goes right down to the wire. There was a kick last week and there was a kick this week on the last play of the game, so it just shows the margins we're playing at," Lydiate added.

"You never like to lose and by one point it's hard to swallow, but we've got to dust ourselves off.

"It's a massive week coming up and we're lucky, we've got another chance this week.

"It's just one last effort - we've got to go out all guns blazing. It's one-all so it's just like a one-off Test match now.

"It's going to be a massive game but we've got to go out there and leave it all on the pitch and make sure there's nothing left in the tank come 80 minutes next Saturday."

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