Published: Sun, June 11, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Attack comes next for Lions: Gatland

Attack comes next for Lions: Gatland

And in Farrell and scrum-half Conor Murray, the Lions had Test match animals in their prime.

Neither Hogg nor Davies returned for the start of the second half which began with Farrell missing his first kick of the day.

Future tours will be chopped from ten games to eight when the new global season comes into effect in 2020 but even still its time the Lions were consigned to history. But tonight, the Lions will enjoy the moment as they got their 2017 tour off and running.

But Gatland was not impressed with the number of missed tries which showed his tourists were not yet in form.

The Crusaders would hit back immediately after a good break by the No 8, Jordan Taufua, between Davies and North, leading to the wing killing the ball and likely preventing a try in the process, though fly-half Mo'unga duly took the three points on offer.

Lions manager Warren Gatland had particular praise for one of his Irish stars when he was questioned about the first test team in the aftermath of the Crusaders win.

Against the Crusaders, the Lions picked off their fancied opposition easily. That was down to the pressure of the Lions defence.

"We caused them some problems at times and hopefully in games coming up we'll be more clinical", he told Sky Sports. Farrell came up and got caught out by Jack Goodhue, who cut inside Farrell and outside Sexton at 10. So whilst not great, it is more palatable because of the unusual circumstances.

"I've been coached since I was 14 to celebrate stuff like that, so I don't think we're going to be changing any time soon", said George, who will start for the Lions at hooker against the Crusaders on Saturday.

The Lions created three to four scoring opportunities, which against the All Blacks they will have to finish.

"But they found a way to win good, luck to them".

The Lions face the Highlanders in Dunedin on Tuesday, followed by the Maori All Blacks in Rotorua next Saturday.

This was a reminder of why the northern powers recommend their game as being requisite viewing for those don't always want to tuck into a diet of open footy, where the ball is shifted from all points of the park to keep the try count clicking over.

"It's hard when you give teams the ball through your mistakes, whether it be penalties or knocking the ball on".

It looks like the Lions are finding their feet in an intense environment. Now we've got to build on this for Tuesday against the Highlanders - and we know how unsafe they can be as well.

When he was finished making up with the Irish scrum-half, Hogg made his way to the Crusaders dressing room to swap jerseys with Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg.

"But we were happy with the team effort tonight to give the fans that have come out to support us something to celebrate and we've got some momentum for the rest of the series".

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