Lions captain Warburton pleased with nervy Barbarians victory


British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton insists he is pleased with Saturday's 13-7 victory over the Provincial Barbarians, who proved tough opponents in the opening match of the tour.

The Lions failed to hit their stride in Whangarei as they were left to rely on a solitary Anthony Watson try in the second half to spare their blushes against a team that mostly consisted of semi-professional players.

But Warburton believes the match provides the Lions with a point of reference as they look to improve over the course of their five remaining warm-up matches ahead of the first Test in Auckland on June 24.

"One out of one. I am pretty pleased with that," he told Sky Sports. "At least we now have some footage to work on defence and attack.

"We kept letting them back in the game with penalties, giving them easy outs.

"Every time we play it is a dress rehearsal for the Test match. The fans here wanted to see a spectacle but we want to focus on that."

Coach Warren Gatland was equally keen to take the positives from the performance, explaining his players - who only arrived in New Zealand on Wednesday - were still adjusting to an unfamiliar time zone.

"We got held up over the line four times and created a couple of chances," Gatland pointed out.

"It's one of those games where if we had got two or three tries we might have got away. It was a tough game.

"We know we've got to sharpen up but there are some positives and things to work on.

"The guys are taking a bit of time to acclimatise and get over their jet lag.

"We got a lot out of today's game compared to four years ago playing the Barbarians in Hong Kong. That was an easy game for us [a 59-8 win]."

The Lions next face the Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday.