Gatland: I hope we didn't disappoint our critics

The British and Irish Lions produced an impressive defensive performance to beat the Crusaders 12-3 on Saturday, ending the Christchurch-based team's unbeaten record this season and putting the Lions' New Zealand tour back on track after a midweek loss to the Blues.

One contentious point so far on this tour is how two referees from France - Pascal Gauzere and Mathieu Raynal - interpreted the laws, with the Crusaders the worst affected by Raynal's calls, especially in the scrums where they were penalised at least four times.

On Tuesday he comes up against All Black Lima Sopoaga who has been given a chance to improve his match-fitness against the Lions after being named in the New Zealand squad last Thursday. The former Highlander and Scarlet, who has played elite rugby on both sides of the scrum, believes that one powerful shove from the Crusaders belied a good day at the office for the Lions.

"You look at the players and you see them but you just stand there, and give them respect".

What you usually see when the Crusaders take the field is a barrage of points and inevitable victory, which is the exact opposite of what happened. The Crusaders let themselves down with poor handling in slippery conditions and a lack of discipline.

Murray and Farrell's kicks were well placed, but Gatland complained afterwards that his chasers didn't get off the ground and challenge - perhaps mindful of Liam Williams' yellow card against the Blues.

"The players for the Highlanders game are well aware of the continuity and momentum that has been created from the Crusaders win, and want to continue that", he said.

Instead they have listened to local complaints about scrummaging, refereeing and boring tactics with quiet enjoyment and Farrell's nonchalant response - "They have to talk about something" - sums up the squad's collective view that deeds rather than words will define this tour.

"We're hoping he'll be okay but we're just getting someone more qualified than me to assess that". After game three the set-piece was under the microscope again. They have to because they play in different conditions. You could be set up right and then the angle is wrong for you and there is nothing you can do about it. You've got to try to find yourself a bit of time.

Alun Wynn Jones, I thought, had a big game as captain.

The Scot will now miss the rest of the tour with head coach, Warren Gatland, confirming: "It is hugely disappointing for Stuart to have to return home early". That is the style with which they are most comfortable and I'm sure the Lions will not be deviating much from it.

Farrell also gelled well with Johnny Sexton after Jonathan Davies went off injured, but basic handling errors must be ironed out before the first test match on 24 June.

"In that first week you're still really getting to know the guys; there's definitely a real feeling in the squad; not only on the pitch but off the pitch which I think is more important".

"That has been challenging and we have had to stay tight within the group". Joe Marler (Harlequins/England) #811 2.