Sam Warburton fit to lead British and Irish Lions against Highlanders

"I see it as I'm tour captain, and if I've made the Test then that would be a bonus for me, but I've said there's three Tests to get selected for so it's not the be-all and end-all with the first one".

Gatland's side had been heavily criticised after a mediocre start to their 10-match tour, with an unconvincing 13-7 victory over the Provincial Barbarians and a 22-16 loss to the Auckland Blues on Wednesday.

For all the criticism of Gatland's style of play, there was plenty to like about the attacking game on Saturday, but they have only scored two tries in three games coming in to this morning's outing in Dunedin.

The big thing was they dominated possession and their defence was outstanding.

The Kiwi-born defensive specialist is Ireland's first-choice outside centre, but can also excel in the 15 shirt.

"The match in Christchurch was massive in the context of this tour".

"The law says there must be a small gap; they don't play to the law of the game". Stand-off Owen Farrell kicked four penalties, but superb defence and a forward pack brilliantly marshalled by Irish scrum-half Murray inspired the win.

The Crusaders, averaging five tries a game this season, have won 14-straight matches in Super Rugby this season - a club record - but could find no way to break down the Lions' defense as pressure forced them into handling errors.

Winger Tommy Seymour added: "We would be lying if we said we weren't a little bit disappointed that we hadn't crossed the whitewash a few more times".

The roof at the venue in Dunedin will be closed and it is exactly what is needed to allow the teams to play an expansive game during the wet southern winter.

The Lions lost fullback Stuart Hogg and center Jonathan Davies to head knocks in the first half; Hogg was bloodied in a collision with teammate Murray and Davies did not return after being dazed in a tackle.

"The Crusaders are a good team but the All Blacks are a step up". The Crusaders let themselves down with poor handling in slippery conditions and a lack of discipline. Post-match, there were some concerns voiced over referee Mathieu Raynal's ruling on the Crusaders' approach to creating a gap between two scrums, with All Black loosehead Joe Moody falling foul of the French official on a handful of occasions.

"At this stage of the tour everyone has had a start and as coaches we are happy that all the players have had a chance to put their hand up and perform in the Lions jersey", Gatland said. I thought the most pleasing thing was keeping them down to three points. "It was a terrific performance from the Lions in that regard".

"That was still an extremely tough game", he said.

With a sound base at lineouts and at breakdowns, the Lions achieved good field position.

They were fortunate that, in the 37th minute, the Crusaders spurned a penalty right in front of the posts in favour of kicking for the corner to set up a lineout.

The Lions are keen to underline their attacking ability on a hard, fast track but over the next fortnight much will also hinge on keeping their own try-line intact.

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