British and Irish Lions: Ben Mowen offers support to Kurtley Beale
Ben Mowen has backed Australia team-mate Kurtley Beale in the wake of his missed kicks in the defeat to the Lions.
Last Updated: 26/06/13 3:40pm
Beale took over kicking duties from James O'Connor after coming on during their 23-21 defeat to Warren Gatland's side in Brisbane.
The Melbourne Rebels utility back fired over two kicks and impressed in open play but he missed two late kicks, slipping as a took a last-minute penalty that would have won the game for the home side.
Beale has also had to battle personal demons having recently returned from treatment for alcohol-related problems and Mowen has backed him to bounce back when Australia face the Lions in the second Test in Melbourne on Saturday.
"We're extremely proud of what Kurtley's done," said Mowen.
"He's had to make a lot of hard decisions over the last couple of months and own up to those decisions very publicly, which has probably been the biggest challenge.
"But the way he's come back from those situations has been amazing. He hadn't played a whole lot of rugby when he took to the field on Saturday.
"He'd done some preparation by himself and showed up in camp in top nick. You can't come on and perform in the way he did unless your mind is in the right place and your body is right.
"With only his second or third touch of the ball, he made a 40-metre break and made some key kicks.
"He was unlucky with the last kick, but if you're in the same situation again you'd definitely throw him the ball because he's a proven performer. We were only in that position to win because he had kicked one earlier.
"After the game he was very disappointed, but he's a very strong bloke mentally and he doesn't get enough credit for that. We rallied around him quickly.
"He's a tough bloke and those are the guys you want to hand the ball to every time because more often than not they give you the result."