Gatland takes 'lots of positives' from Blues defeat


British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland insisted there were "lots of positives" to be taken from Wednesday's 22-16 defeat to the Blues at Eden Park.

Needing a confidence-boosting win following a nervy 13-7 victory over the largely semi-professional Provincial Barbarians at the weekend, the Lions were ultimately beaten by a stunning Ihaia West try five minutes from time.

The tourists had looked better during the first half but trailed at the break after Sonny Bill Williams pounced on a loose ball following a penalty that rebounded off the posts.

Leigh Halfpenny kicked the Lions back in front in the second period but they were unable to find a way through the Blues defence and West made them pay with a try that owed much to two superb offloads in the build-up.

"It felt like there were lots of positives," Gatland told Sky Sports. "Our set-pieces were good but we will need to impress on the team the need to focus on the penalty concession. If we can halve that it will make a big difference.

"We need to stop the offload game - we know how dangerous that can be.

"That try on half-time was pretty unlucky. I think if we tighten up in a couple of areas to maintain that pressure we can get that momentum back.

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

Captain Ken Owens added: "I think our discipline lost the game. We gave away a lot of penalties.

"The speed of the game is quick, but I think we are matching them physically. Our attacking shape was better than on Saturday.

"We are disappointed, but we go on to the next game. We are going to have to be harsh on ourselves and get our tour back on track on Saturday."

The Blues sit bottom of Super Rugby's New Zealand conference and the Lions face the table-topping Crusaders this weekend.