Lions tour: British and Irish Lions reflect on Christchurch earthquakes

Gatland had this week hinted that ex-England coach Brian Smith could have invented the "Warrenball" term out of jealousy, when countering All Blacks boss Steve Hansen's claims that New Zealand know exactly what to expect from the Lions.

The tourists were much improved on their lacklustre opening display against the Provincial Barbarians but again struggled with the speed of the New Zealanders' game.

In the first ten minutes he forced two turnovers and was always leading the line speed, putting hits on anyone fearless enough to run his way.The Blues spent the first 10 minutes of the second term inside the Lions' half and turned pressure into points through an Ihaia West penalty, opening up a 15-10 gap.

The Wales worldwide was sent to the bin for the second of two tackles in the air on Matt Duffie, leaving the Lions with a points and numerical disadvantage going into the final quarter.

Leigh Halfpenny added another penalty eight minutes later and his side remained in control for the remainder of the half but a sharp burst in the last two minutes put the Blues in front.After earning a penalty from 30 out, a Perofeta shot hit the post.

It gave them a 22-16 win.

A chance to win the game was presented to the Lions in the dying moments, but an overthrow in the lineout allowed the Blues to regain possession and seal a 22-16 victory.

But Williams' late piece of brilliance helped get the hosts over the line, with try-scorer West adding the extras.

Warren Gatland is sending out the wrong message according to former Lions assistant Eddie O'Sullivan
SPORT Warren Gatland is sending out the wrong message according to former Lions assistant Eddie O'Sullivan

But in open play they were ruinously second best, outthought and outflanked by the bold running lines and sheer attacking intensity of the southern hemisphere side, illustrated by Ihaia West's winning try.

The British and Irish Lions leave the field after losing to the Blues. "The way they fought hard to the end to get that result we needed and wanted".

"Playing the Super Rugby sides is going to be great preparation for the test matches (because) I don't think there is too much difference between the Super Rugby sides and the All Blacks".

Seta Tamanivalu, who played centre for the All Blacks a year ago, will start on the wing for the Crusaders on Saturday, while current All Blacks prop Wyatt Crockett will come off the bench.

"We always knew the tour was going to be tough; we're not looking at it as a daunting task, we're looking at is as an opportunity", said McGrath. The number of penalties hurt us, cost us momentum in the game, but there's lots of positives, ' Gatland told Sky Sports.

Seeing the teething pains that come with the early development of a new team brings me to the Boks and their series against France that starts at Loftus on Saturday.

Stander's try and five points from Halfpenny's boot were the reward for an encouraging start, but tries from Rieko Ioane and Williams put the Blues ahead at the break.

While Gatland may indeed be keeping a few things back, in truth there is very little time for the Lions to get things right as they build through the tour towards that all-important first test against the world champions on June 24.

  • Julie Sanders