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Farrell boots British and Irish Lions to crucial victory against Crusaders

26 Juin 2017

"We really wanted to attack in everything we did and I thought that showed for the full 80 minutes". I've learned from experience it takes me at least two games to get a blow-out and then in the third game, I'll probably be playing some good rugby.

But a victory born of a huge defensive effort and the nearly unerring boot of Farrell - the one kick he missed looked from TV pictures to have gone over - will give them a major boost as they head to Dunedin to face the Otago Highlanders on Tuesday.

The Lions have emphasized the importance of not losing momentum achieved against the Crusaders or falling away from the form benchmark.

Watson gained an incredible 76 metres throughout the game, the most of any tourist as he staked a claim to be involved in the first Test against the All Blacks.

Farrell scored all of the Lions' points from penalties, landing three goals in the first half and one for the only points of the second.

"It sucks for Dane because I know how much he'd want to be out there", Taylor said.

But he returns to side looking to continue to build momentum after bouncing back from a shock midweek loss to the Blues, the worst performing Super Rugby franchise this season, last Wednesday with a win over the Crusaders - who now lead the Super Rugby competition. The Lions dominated possession, held it for long periods and advanced the ball through the outstanding ball-carrying of players such as prop Mako Vunipola, Jamie George, Peter O'Mahony and the replacement C.J. Stander.

Gatland added: "We're hoping he'll be okay but we're just getting someone more qualified than me to assess that".

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The Lions now have no plan to call up a replacement for Hogg, even if the fullback is forced to return home to Scotland with his injury.

After struggling with a minor ankle complaint, tour captain Sam Warburton returns to lead the side.

In halves Farrell and Conor Murray, Gatland had stand-out performers at the top of their game. I admit that and I knew that coming into the tour.

The Lions face the Maori on June 17, a clash in which Gatland has already admitted he could well field a starting line-up that would closely resemble his Test XV.

"It's a nice luxury for the coaches and great competition for us as players".

Warburton is far from indispensable, but he is also the apple of Gatland's eye and the head coach will be desperate for him to be available. "I'm desperate to get another win and kick on again so the confidence can grow".

"When I play well and I am match-fit, I am aggressive in the tackle, I'll contribute handful of good carries, and you become a lineout option". There are things we did, a few slip-ups or turnovers that the All Blacks would finish off. You've got to be able to do everything, but you've got to bring a specialist element and I guess my one specialist element is the contact area.

One concern for Gatland was the injuries suffered by Stuart Hogg and Jonathan Davies.