Liam Williams is a key player but his debut off the bench against Auckland included two unsafe tackles and a yellow card inside five minutes.
The Lions have struggled in their first two matches on Kiwi soil, crawling to a 13-7 victory over the provincial Barbarians in Whangarei before falling 22-16 to the Blues at Eden Park on Wednesday night. A 75th minute try from replacement fly-half, Ihaia West, proved to be the victor - as the Blues stormed to victory.
That may be why Gatland has made a decision to play Farrell as an out-and-out 10, despite the Saracens playmaker starring for England over the last 18 months at inside centre. The Crusaders have had no such problems in Super Rugby this season.
The Lions started promisingly, despite conceding the first try, and nearly hit back immediately.
After a rousing, specially composed haka, the Blues had to withstand several minutes of sustained Lions pressure including having a wayward pass toed into the in-goal but going dead before it could be forced.
For the Lions: try CJ Stander; conv L Halfpenny; pen L Halfpenny (3).
Tune into talkSPORT from 8:30am on Saturday morning for LIVE and EXCLUSIVE commentary of The British and Irish Lions v Crusaders! The ever reliable Halfpenny duly knocked over the three, from right in front of the posts. On a personal level, I like the former Welsh scrum-half but his freakish press conference prior to playing the Blues did himself or this Lions management little credit.
Does their absence from the full All Blacks squad indicate a move away from winning matches through sheer dexterity in scoring tries and specifically the premeditated desire to exploit where room still exists?
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Perofeta converted and suddenly the Blues were 12-10 ahead. West did so confidently and the Blues opened up a five point gap. As we have seen with the last three winners of the Guinness Pro12, and the Wallabies, Pumas and All Blacks on the biggest stage of all, that if there's a will then there is a way. Williams had replaced Payne, who hobbled off with an apparent hamstring injury.
Tthat means coming up in an even, organised line.
"We'll review the game tomorrow and learn from it and move on pretty quick".
His combination with Murray is the one Gatland could choose for the first test and for that reason the pair need to demonstrate an ability to control a game to a much greater degree than the Lions have shown so far on tour. World-Cup victor Williams offloaded to the replacement West, who cut through the Lions defence like a knife through butter, before touching over.
"I think we're going to have to tidy up on our discipline and be a little bit more clinical", the Welsh hooker admitted. Replacements K Owens, J McGrath, D Cole, M Itoje, C Stander, R Webb, J Sexton, A Watson.
Blues' Matt Duffie is tackled close to the side line by Lions' Elliot Daly.
The 30-year-old Auckland-born centre was selected by Gatland in something of a surprise call, but the head coach has been insistent that his decision to include the former Samoa rugby league global was not simply to utilise his crash-ball ability.
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