Lions struggle to 13-7 win in New Zealand tour opener

Jonathan Sexton and Greig Laidlaw knocked over penalties for the Lions either side of the Anderson-Heather try in what proved to be a stiff opening test for the tourists.

Warren Gatland has never blamed the schedule, but did allude to its brutality after seeing his side squeeze through the tour opener 13-7 in Whangarei.

"In blunt terms the Lions looked incompetent", Gifford wrote.

Those players were always going to be the ones to take on the Barbarians and it would have made sense for the remaining members of the party to then join the Lions in New Zealand after finishing up with their clubs.

They'll need to quickly rectify those errors to defeat the Blues on Wednesday.

"In a way it is an opportunity for people to want to be critical", Gatland said.

Here, Press Association Sport examines five key lessons from the Lions' opening clash of the New Zealand tour.

"A few years ago Brian Smith coined the phrase Warrenball and I don't know if that was because he was jealous because of how much success we had.I don't know".

The Harlequins prop boasted some of the softest hands on display as the Lions struggled to get into the rhythm of flowing phase play. But we are happy to win.

"He caused us a few problems, especially with his kicking game".

"We have made 15 changes to the starting XV and we are excited to see what this team is able to do against the Blues".

Playing the of their 10 matches only four days after arriving, the tourists never really got on a roll against a committed Barbarians team who gave them a reminder of the depth of quality in the New Zealand game.

The Lions captain said: "In future performances and wins, we'll dedicate to those who have been involved and I guess we can play a small part in trying to cheer a majority of the nation up by trying to be successful over here". We're now back to sharing rooms, we're back to inviting the other team into the changing room for a beer immediately after the match, we're back to engaging with the community, whether that's hospitals, retirement homes, or schools.

"We get thrown into hard situations but that's how you find out about yourself as a team", Warburton said.

"We experienced that four years ago (by winning the series in Australia) where people chose to be critical and a lot of people got caught with their trousers down afterwards, didn't they?"

"We want to go back to certain traditions because they work".

The Lions took the direct route smashing into tacklers, but once they realised the Barbarians were solid defensively, they began to seek space and keep the ball alive.

The Lions are next in action on Wednesday (7 June) against the Blues (kick-off 08:35 BST).

"The more you play together, the more he would know what I was going to do, just building the relationship".

The jet-lag may have been a contributory factor to a lacklustre performance against a side they were expected to beat by more than 30 points, but captain Sam Warburton said that he was happy just to get the win.

Recommended News

  • Lions centre Payne 'buzzing' for Blues game

    Lions centre Payne 'buzzing' for Blues game

    Greig Laidlaw expects British and Irish Lions teammate Johnny Sexton to step up his game in the series with New Zealand. North Harbour flyhalf Bryn Gatland was one of only a few players with an established reputation.

    India thrash Bangladesh in ICC Champions Trophy warm-up

    Wonder why? To mark the commencement of ICC Champions Trophy 2017 today, Google has launched a doodle where you can play cricket . Test is considered to be the toughest format to play on England pitches that assist pacers with good bounce.
    Rex Ryan & Brother Rob Get In Altercation At Nashville Bar

    Rex Ryan & Brother Rob Get In Altercation At Nashville Bar

    Rex and Rob Ryan are known as two of the more fiery coaches in a profession that is full of them. Rex's son, Seth Ryan, was a place holder and reserve receiver as a redshirt junior last season.
  • United Kingdom police arrest 12 in east London

    Police say three men drove a van over London Bridge on Saturday and struck pedestrians before crashing the vehicle outside a pub. Where did it take place? The heart of London became a crime scene.

    Cristiano Ronaldo haircut was to fulfil Champions League promise

    "We are a very good team and in the second-half we showed how good we are". The Spanish champions were utterly dominant after the break, however.
    Etihad airline suspends flights to Qatar

    Etihad airline suspends flights to Qatar

    Qatari nationals in the UAE would have 14 days to leave while Qatari nationals would be prevented from entering the UAE . Trump visited the region two weeks ago and met with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani.
  • Champions Trophy: England, South Africa bid to end title droughts

    Champions Trophy: England, South Africa bid to end title droughts

    England captain Eoin Morgan too was handy with bat and gave the support to Root from the other end with his unbeaten 75 (61). SpiderCam, Stump Camera, Ball Spin RPM/ Rev Counter, PitchVision, LED Bails have also enhanced the game of cricket.

    America's Cup: Team New Zealand find perfection as Sweden stun Oracle again

    If Oracle wins the qualifiers, it will carry a one-point bonus into the first-to-seven America's Cup match beginning June 17. Franck Cammas and his French team have only two points in the head-to-head contest, after losing six of their eight races.
    Saudi-Qatar rift is old theme with Trumpian twist

    Saudi-Qatar rift is old theme with Trumpian twist

    All the aforementioned Arab countries also said they planned to unanimously cut both air and sea traffic to the peninsular nation. Etihad Airways, the UAE's flag carrier, said it would suspend flights to and from Qatar beginning Tuesday morning.
  • Brisbane woman survives London attacks

    Two addresses in east London are being searched by police in connection with Saturday's deadly terror attack in the capital. All parties had previously canceled events after the bombing in Manchester outside an Ariana Grande concert in May.

    Tillerson says US will continue efforts to reduce emissions

    In New York, Cuomo announced he would use executive orders to ensure his state continues to abide by the Paris agreement . He said cities across the world are working in solidarity to curb climate change .

    London Mayor 'has more important things to do' than respond to Trump

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel is expressing solidarity with the people of London following the attacks in the British capital. Speaking to the BBC's Asian Network, an unnamed man said one of the attackers had become more extreme over the past two years.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.