Warburton blames Lions discipline for Highlanders defeat

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Captain Sam Warburton blamed the British and Irish Lions' poor discipline for their 23-22 defeat to the Highlanders.

The Lions conceded 12 penalties in Dunedin - five more than the home side - and were beaten by Marty Banks' decisive kick six minutes from time.

The result represents the tourists' second defeat of the tour to New Zealand after they were beaten by the Blues last Wednesday, and Warburton knows things must improve.

"We gave away too much possession at the breakdown, we turned over a bit too much ball," Warburton told Sky Sports. 

"I thought when we were direct, we looked good.

"These experiences now, we'll review the game in detail and there are things we'll look back on.

"I think there was a string of four penalties in a row in the second half where we were in decent territory. We gave them way too much territory and momentum.

"The discipline on Saturday we kept the penalties to single figures, I'm not sure if we did today."

Waisake Naholo crossed early for the Highlanders before tries from Jonathan Joseph, Tommy Seymour and Warburton himself saw the Lions pull clear.

However, Liam Coltman touched down on the hour mark as the Highlanders reduced the deficit to two, with Banks knocking over the decisive penalty after Owen Farrell was wayward with his first attempt having replaced Dan Biggar.

A mammoth Elliot Daly penalty attempt late on fell just short, before Joseph spilled forward to end a desperate last attack from the Lions.

Coach Warren Gatland commented: "We gave away a line-out for their try after having cleared our lines. We know we need to be better in those moments to make sure we don't compound our errors.

"We were inaccurate at times, they kicked the ball quite smartly to put us under pressure. The players are learning that it is about playing for 80 minutes and being in the moment.

"We always said that coming to New Zealand was going to be tough against the Super Rugby sides. They are the best rugby nation in the world."

The Lions face the Maori All Blacks on Saturday as they close in on the first Test match on June 24.

"The Maori is going to be the biggest challenge of this Tour [so far]," said Warburton. "They have picked a great squad, with a lot of guys with All Black experience, so we're looking forward to that challenge."