Lions back with a 'bang'

Sun, 11 Jun 2017 07:58
Large warren gatland b i lions h s 800

LIONS TOUR REACTION: Warren Gatland believes his British and Irish Lions' 12-3 victory over the Crusaders has struck a blow against critics who wrote off their tour of New Zealand.

The Lions' surprise defeat to Blues saw many doubt their chances of victory in their three-Test series with the All Blacks in the weeks ahead.

But after downing the previously unbeaten Crusaders at AMI Stadium in Christchurch thanks to four Owen Farrell penalties, Gatland says his team are back with a bang.

"It has been a really tough week and there has been a lot of criticism," the Lions head coach said.

"People had written the tour off after two games. That has been challenging for us all. We have had to stay strong within the group.

"The goal was the Test matches and to keep improving towards that," he added before poking fun at his critics: "I hope we didn't disappoint too many people with this result,"

Gatland's men produced an impressive display against the previously unbeaten Super Rugby leaders.

Their attacking game still needs work – they threw away more try-scoring opportunities - but their line-out worked well and their line speed in defence stood out.

In halves Farrell and Conor Murray, Gatland had stand-out performers at the top of their game.

"We know the quality of players we have. I keep repeating myself, but the more time we have together, the better we will get," Gatland said.

"It was a good performance from Owen. The most pleasing thing was the length of his kicks to touch, that put them under a lot of pressure. I thought Conor's kicking game was excellent.

"The Crusaders kicked a lot to us and the pleasing thing for us is we kept our composure and didn’t give them an opportunity to score a try through a turnover.

"Our game management improved from some key individuals and Conor was definitely one of them."

The Lions led 9-3 at half time thanks to three Farrell penalties to one from Richie Mo'unga, and in a tight second half, Farrell kicked his fourth penalty 10 minutes from full time.

One concern for Gatland was the injuries suffered by Stuart Hogg and Jonathan Davies.

Both players were forced off in the first half and failed their head injury assessments meaning they will not be considered for Tuesday's game against the Highlanders at least.

Agence France-Presse

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Connacht v Edinburgh 22h00 Sportsground
Munster v Scarlets 22h00 Thomond Park
Dragons v Cheetahs 22h00 Rodney Parade
Ospreys v Leinster 22h00 Liberty Stadium
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 22h00 Cardiff Arms Park
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 22h00 Scotstoun
Kings v Treviso 22h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Sun, 18 March 2018
Waratahs v Rebels 51 | 27
Sat, 17 March 2018
Jaguares v Reds 7 | 18
Wales v France 14 | 13
Lions v Sunwolves 40 | 38
England v Ireland 15 | 24
Stormers v Blues 37 | 20
Italy v Scotland 27 | 29
Brumbies v Sharks 24 | 17
Highlanders v Crusaders 25 | 17
Fri, 16 March 2018
Cardiff Blues v Treviso 31 | 25
Edinburgh v Munster 12 | 6
Chiefs v Bulls 41 | 28
Sun, 11 March 2018
Wales v Italy 38 | 14
Sat, 10 March 2018
Jaguares v Waratahs 38 | 28
France v England 22 | 16
Team P W D L Pts
B&I Lions 0 0 0 0 0
Australia 0 0 0 0 0
Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Force 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
NSW-Queensland 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
NZ Barbarians 0 0 0 0 0
Maori All Blacks 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0