All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says Lions have to start winning

Sunday, 11 Jun, 2017

New Zealand boss Steve Hansen believes the British & Irish Lions could struggle heading into the Tests if they continue to falter.

I haven't been nervous.

I think overall the Lions will be pleased with their defence, but they should not be happy.

"I've had to bide my time".

In the country's premier provincial competition previously called the ITM Cup, in the eight years to 2015 Canterbury, which supplies the bulk of the Crusaders squad, won it seven out of eight attempts. "I would have loved to have been available to play [on Wednesday] but it was too much of a risk".

The All Blacks will get better as the series goes on.

"I guess if you want to test yourself physically, then those Pacific Island games - especially Samoa - are the ones you want to measure yourself in".

The Lions enjoyed the majority of possession against an ill-disciplined Crusaders side, who had not dropped a game so far this season in Super Rugby.

Crotty is touch-and-go after damaging rib cartilage last week, but Read and Squire will likely be fit for the first Test after breaking their thumbs.

He added: "I haven't been nervous". The end of the season was great for us with the Scarlets. "Tonight was another step up but there is still a lot to work on".

"To be fair, to go to New Zealand and play them in their own back-yard is always going to be tough, and the rest of these games leading into the Test matches are also going to be hard".

Hansen said there were "no issues" with Smith, who failed a concussion test last weekend, or Retallick, who will miss Friday's Super Rugby match between the Waikato Chiefs and Wellington Hurricanes because of concussion symptoms.

Farrell still kept some of the duties of first receiver, sharing those with Sexton and giving Gatland a preview of another possible test backline alignment - with the Irish pair of Murray and Sexton maintaining their established combination and Farrell taking a role in midfield.

The Crusaders were forced to break out from a distance to try and score but they were either reeled in or forced to kick it ahead.

Having now beaten the best team in Super Rugby, and having done so in fairly convincing fashion, the Lions can now continue to build towards their three-match series against the All Blacks. "His skill execution of those flat kicks to the corner is something we need to look at".

Waikato Chiefs coach Dave Rennie, who is joining Glasgow later this year, has already said he would be interested in the role after the 2019 tournament, but was not keen on being an assistant first.

"We thought they were going to play that way and that's exactly how they did play". It's all very positive.

Quick fire: Crusaders scrum-half Bryn Hall gets the ball away from a scrum. We really wanted to attack them for the full 80 minutes. We're trying to come up with scenarios that on the pitch we can be unflappable. "We got up off the floor and pushed and that gave us some great front-foot ball".

"Hopefully we can put in a good performance together".

Mr Price said that while New Zealand is a very safe country, the incident is a timely reminder of the importance of securing valuables when leaving vehicles.