Canterbury Crusaders preparing for tough encounter against Lions


Sonny Bill Williams produced a moment of magic to allow the onrushing Ihaia West to race home for the winning try as Auckland Blues overcame the British and Irish Lions 22-16 at Eden Park.

Next up for the Lions are another Super Rugby franchise in the Crusaders on Saturday, when Farrell is expected to start at fly half.

The other All Blacks in the selection are Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks and Luke Romano.

"To concede (a late try) the way we did having fought back twice was disappointing", he said.

"Unfortunately, we haven't done that, and we are going to have be harsh on ourselves, pick up where we lost the game and really analyse it".

Alun Wyn Jones will captain the British and Irish Lions in Saturday's crucial clash against the Crusaders, with Warren Gatland dropping hints on his potential Test line-up.

The Wales full-back claimed the Lions would not accept heroic showing in defeat at the Crusaders on Saturday, vowing Gatland's men were now targeting victory above all else. The speed of the game is quick, but think we are matching them physically, our attacking shape was better than on Saturday.

It turned out it was a test the Lions weren't prepared for as they ended up on the losing side with Williams' controversial try proving crucial.

"I just wonder if Gatland hasn't selected his best combinations to try and make the All Blacks a little more confident than they already are before the Tests start", Smit said.

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Under the tutelage of Tana Umaga we should've expected their team to be emotionally on the edge, well-drilled and powerful.

"Our defence has got to be strong, we've got to be physical, and obviously track that offload as well".

A chance to win the game was presented to the Lions in the dying moments, but an overthrow in the lineout allowed the Blues to regain possession and seal a 22-16 victory.

"If they make a line-break, we have to react, and we probably didn't react as well as we should have".

Robertson says the Lions will only be more determined following a hard first week of their tour, which began with a flattering win over an unheralded New Zealand provincial Barbarians team.

"We picked Ben because he's got more to his game than just crashing up".

It was, according to Lions hooker Jamie George, who has the honour of starting this match before starting a test for England, the assertion from assistant coach and former England lock Steve Borthwick that the tourists' pack have to get to world class standard in order to beat the All Blacks. "There are plenty of good players in this squad and to see how they go about everything they do is a brilliant way of learning for everybody".

"I've always said and I still believe it, I think they're the best Lions side to come here", he said.

Lions: Hogg; North, Davies, Te'o, Williams; Farrell, Murray; Vunipola, George, Furlong, Jones (capt), Kruis, O'Mahony, O'Brien, Faletau.