Lions midfield mix a puzzle for Gatland

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Wales centre Jonathan Davies is staying cool under pressure as he prepares to make his first appearance of the British & Irish Lions' tour of New Zealand.

A return of two tries in three games is poor by anyone's standards. The two touchjudges looked at each other, but Raynal was happy not to check the kick and the points were not given, despite O'Brien's protestations.

After naming a powerful squad for the three-test series, Hansen said that in comparing Super Rugby franchises with the All Blacks, Gatland might be kidding. "That is the thing you have got to keep an eye on". That revelation was fully designed as a sneaky way of saying to the detractors - thanks for the ammunition that helped us pull off a performance worthy of sinking the Crusaders. There is no use pretending any more. "They're top of the stats in terms of pressurising opposition ball, very clean on their own ball, as well". But they can hope to take them on in some of the darker areas.

The British and Irish Lions are back on the field this morning as they take on the Crusaders at the Rugby League Park in Christchurch.

Against the Crusaders, the Lions picked off their fancied opposition easily. If looks could maim, referee Mathieu Raynal would have needed some serious patching up by the Zambucks in the first stanza. He refereed like a Frenchman.

Crusaders boss Robertson hailed the Lions' grit but insisted the All Blacks will still know what to expect from Gatland's side. But Raynal was suspicious. Farrell would double the lead four minutes later when loosehead prop Joe Moody fell to his knees in the scrum.

There were several victories for the Lions.

The Crusaders have always been the market-leaders in this part of the world and after a short lull they are being restored to their own former glory under the impressive, likeable guidance of Scott Robertson.

Despite not scoring a try, the Lions kept the free-scoring Crusaders to just a penalty from Richie Mo'unga and Farrell said his side should be given credit for their display.

But there were signs that the Lions are headed in the right direction.

Their momentum was halted by Jonathan Davies failing an HIA, but that gave Gatland a chance to also see the possible Test combination of Murray-Johnny Sexton-Farrell in action.

The Lions' defensive line speed was on show against the Blues earlier in the week, but the effectiveness in the tackle was absent.

'It's been a tough week, ' said Gatland.

The home side's first loss of 2017 came against committed opponents who won a ferocious forward contest against numerous All Blacks, kicked with greater accuracy and defended robustly.

It's served to highlight the fight on the Lions' hands.

Farrell shone constantly in a first half where the hosts were sloppy, but forever itching to counter from any distance. It may be a legacy of the shoulder injury Murray suffered towards the end of the Six Nations, but the Lions need to sort it out quickly.

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