Captain Owens laments Lions' error count in Blues defeat


What is for certain, though, is the Lions must up their game immediately if they are to get back to winning ways, and a Farrell-Te'o solution may just be the ticket.

He subsequently expects a busy evening for All Blacks veteran Israel Dagg.

The Crusaders clash is a chance for the Lions to put what could be their Test back line into practice. His uncapped Crusaders team mate, Jack Goodhue, is another one of Hansen's injury cover picks.

The Lions' next match is against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off 09:35 SA time).

"This is a huge and exciting challenge for us", Robertson said in a statement.

"It's going to give us great preparation playing at this level and learning from these hard competitive games".

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"No matter how it unfolds, this will be a game that the players involved will remember as one of the special moments in their careers".

Lions fans can judge this for themselves when they take on the Crusaders this weekend, with Alun Wyn-Jones set to captain the side.

The loss followed a stuttering 13-7 victory in the tourists opener against a Provincial Barbarians team composed of semi-professional and amateur players in Whangarei last Saturday, and both Gatland and the side have been heavily criticised for that performance.

"Not that many players get the opportunity to play in a British and Irish Lions tour, and to do that in front of a sellout crowd at AMI Stadium in our Crusaders colours is going to be an awesome occasion for the team and for the fans in the stands".

Without saying as much, Ioane confirmed the Lions' style resembled the "Warrenball" tactics - with big ball-runners crashing over the gainline and quick defensive line speed - that coach Warren Gatland gruffly disavowed earlier this week.

"It was a close game and probably what hurt us was the number of penalties we gave away".

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

Gatland's lineup for Saturday will see nine of the starting 15 having played on the 2013 tour to Australia.

In their favour perhaps is the fact that they are starting halfback Conor Murray, an Irishman who can hold claim to being one of the best No9s in the world, and Englishman Owen Farrell, a talented operator and presumably their starting No10 for the first test on June 24.

England lock George Kruis, who is also making his first start, will partner Wyn Jones in the second row.

Such a haul includes every member of their tight five - Joe Moody, Codie Taylor, Owen Franks, Luke Romano and captain Sam Whitelock - as well as the likes of Seta Tamanivalu and returning full-back Israel Dagg.

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