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Gatland family rapt after Lions clash

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 3/06/2017 Angelo Risso

Bryn Gatland of the Barbarians meets up with his father Head coach Warren Gatland of the Lions following the match © Hannah Peters/Getty Images Bryn Gatland of the Barbarians meets up with his father Head coach Warren Gatland of the Lions following the match The British and Irish Lions' match against the provincial Barbarians turned out to be a win-win scenario for the Gatland family.

Father Warren secured a 13-7 victory to get his Test side's tour off on a positive, if imperfect, note - and son Bryn was possibly the best five-eighth on the Whangarei park.

The 22-year-old North Harbour playmaker outshone illustrious counterpart Johnny Sexton for his mostly semi-professional Baabaas side, deploying a varied kicking game to put the Lions under pressure and keep his side ticking over in attack.

He pinched a try assist with a looping bomb inside the Lions' 22, eventually culminating in Sam Anderson-Heather's opener, before converting with aplomb.

A prime target for the Lions' strapping midfielders, the diminutive Gatland Jr then also made a solid 13 tackles and put any allegations of fragility to bed.

"They came with some innovation, doing things a little bit differently and that definitely put us under some pressure," Gatland Sr said.

"It was a special day for us as a family - not the best win for (the Lions), but it was a win-win for us. We won the game and Bryn played pretty well."

Gatland Jr admitted to feeling mixed emotions in the lead-up to the match, as his father looks to start the Lions' tour to rugby-mad New Zealand with a bang.

He maintained he'd support the Lions, rather than the Kiwi sides, from now on - and didn't rule out pulling on a Blues jumper against the Lions on Wednesday.

Piers Francis and Ihaia West will likely make up the Blues' matchday No.10s, but third-choice Gatland Jr could play in case of a late training injury.

Either way, Gatland Jr said he'd be giving his father a few post-game pointers after a lacklustre Lions scored just one try on the way to a meek victory.

"We knew they were going to be a top-quality outfit, whatever they put out there, (and) we knew it was important for us to start well," Gatland Jr said.

"To get the result not go our way at the end, looking at the boys, was honestly a bit disappointing, which kind of shows the way we played and the respect we got.

"We didn't get the result we dreamed of, but I think you can't fault the effort."

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