Blues to lay down haka challenge for Lions

Paola Ditto
Giugno 19, 2017

"We're hoping to get another big improvement in this third game".

Head Coach Warren Gatland said: "The aim was always to start everyone in the first three matches and this selection ensures that we achieve this".

"We play this game to win, we're judged on results and we take the field and we prepare each day to win, so that'll be the focus for the next game", Halfpenny said.

Murray forms a half back partnership with England stand-off Owen Farrell.

However, if they thought they were home and dry, they weren't counting on a sublime piece of brilliance from Williams and Ihaia West, which saw the latter arc his way over the line, a conversion under the posts a formality and the score 22-16 to the Blues.

"Not that many players get the opportunity to play in a British and Irish Lions tour, and to do that in front of a sellout crowd at AMI Stadium in our Crusaders colours is going to be an awesome occasion for the team and for the fans in the stands".

Should the Crusaders inflict defeat on such a strong side, it could leave the Lions in disarray and send Gatland scurrying back the drawing board to sketch out a Plan B with only three matches to iron out the details before facing the All Blacks.

"You've just got to stay alive, and we've talked about (that) the whole time".

"Physically, we've been good, we've matched them".

Gatland has made no secret of his admiration of the strength of the game in New Zealand and said the Crusaders - captained on Saturday by All Blacks lock Whitelock - exemplified that.

They kicked off with a laboured win over New Zealand Provincial Barbarians, a side that included some semi-professional players, before losing to the Blues.

Just as the tourists looked to have seized the momentum with a 16-15 lead over the Super Rugby side, West put on the afterburners to race to the line after being set free by offloads from Steven Luatua and Sonny Bill Williams.

Robertson says the Lions will only be more determined following a hard first week of their tour, which began with a flattering win over an unheralded New Zealand provincial Barbarians team.

"We have improved from the opening game with the time we have spent together and we will improve again before Saturday".

The British and Irish Lions team respond to their Maori welcome with a Welsh song as they arrive at Auckland International Airport.

"Any team's vulnerable if you can get quick ball and I suppose that's the challenge for us", he said. Replacements: Ken Owens, Jack McGrath, Dan Cole, Maro Itoje, C.J. Stander, Rhys Webb, Johnny Sexton, Anthony Watson.

Gatland's Lions will find a similarity with the All Blacks in their next match on Saturday against the Canterbury Crusaders.

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