Warren Gatland: 'Penalties cost us'

The Lions head coach said a number of improvements were made but there is still a lot of work to do

Warren Gatland

Image: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

Warren Gatland watched his British and Irish Lions slump to the first defeat of their campaign in Auckland on Wednesday morning.

The Lions were beaten 22-16 by the Blues at Eden Park, in only their second game of their tour of New Zealand.

Speaking after the game, Gatland said that a lot of their play was good but making sloppy mistakes cost them dearly.

"I think it was a big improvement from Saturday," he told Sky Sports. "It was a close game, but I think what hurt us was the number of penalties we gave away. That's an area we need to look at because it cost us so much momentum in the game.

"There were a lot of positives about today. A lot of our set piecework was good and I think we played some positive stuff. You have to try and create momentum and we lost that by giving away penalties."

British and Irish Lion Johnny Sexton leaves the pitch after defeat to the Blues in Auckland. Image: David Davies/PA Wire/PA Images

The Lions now carry a record of one win and one loss into their game against Crusaders on June 10. Gatland says the players haven't allowed the occasion to impact on their performance. 

"We've been concentrated on ourselves and we haven't worried about too much externally. We know how tough the Blues are to beat here and we got ourselves in front of a couple of occasions. 

"I thought we were a little unlucky to concede the try at half-time and that's the difference between winning and losing the game."

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