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Attack comes next for Lions: Gatland

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 10/06/2017 Daniel Gilhooly

Confidence restored after claiming a big Kiwi scalp, Warren Gatland says fine-tuning the British and Irish Lions' attack is next on the to-do list.

Lions coach Gatland wasn't getting carried away after his team's suffocating 12-3 win over the Crusaders in Christchurch.

They delivered a masterclass in vigorous forward play, blended with precise tactical kicking to see off the Super Rugby leaders.

Their defence and game management were both notably better than in their two previous tour matches.

What is still missing is an ability to create clean breaks and to finish them.

Several half-chances were squandered on Saturday, leaving the Lions with just two tries to their name in 240 minutes in New Zealand.

Gatland insists there is better to come.

"We said before this game that the most important thing was the result," he said.

"But there's still lots of things to work on. We're creating (chances) and we need to get better at finishing them.

"The more time that we are together, the more the players get familiar with voices, hopefully we'll finish those chances."

Gatland took aim at critics who had written off his team after week one in New Zealand.

He repeated his pre-tour claim that the opening games are all about steady improvement, comparing his task to that of a coach taking a new-look club side into its pre-season phase.

"Once you've got pre-season games under your belt and more training together, the better you'll get," he said.

"It definitely felt like that with the team that played tonight.

"I thought they were outstanding at training. I knew there was going to a better performance because they'd just had that time together."

Gatland says there are numerous areas to improve ahead of Tuesday's match against the Highlanders in Dunedin.

One he nominated is getting his wingers to contest high kicks with greater resolve.

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