Auckland Blues 22 British & Irish Lions 16
Captain Ken Owens was left to lament a high error-count after the British and Irish Lions crashed to defeat against the Blues in Auckland.
After struggling to see off the New Zealand Provincial Barbarians last Saturday, the Lions came well and truly unstuck at Eden Park, with Super Rugby outfit the Blues scoring three tries.
Asked where he thought the Lions had lost the game, Wales hooker Owens said: “I think discipline. We gave a lot of unforced penalties away and put ourselves under pressure with back-to-back errors.
“Probably our contact area in first and second phase, where we turned probably a little bit too much ball over, especially first half.
“I think physically we have been right up there. The speed of the game is slightly quicker – some of us haven’t played for a couple of weeks – but that’s no excuse.
“Physically, we’ve been good, we’ve matched them. At the moment, it is our error-count that is probably letting us down. Defensively, we brought some good line speed. We put the Blues under a lot of pressure and turned some ball over. It is just those slight errors that have cost us.”
Owens added: “Our attacking shape was a lot better than I thought it was on Saturday –we stepped up there. But we are here about results.
“We will be disappointed, but I think we are going in the right direction at the moment.
“We set a target and a standard as a pack to come down here and try and dominate the set-piece.
“I thought we got a fair share of dominance, especially at scrum time and lineouts.
“We have got to take those as positives, and keep going and building, leading up to the Test matches.
“You are coming on a Lions tour, and you want to win every game.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t done that, and we are going to have be harsh on ourselves, pick up where we lost the game and really analyse it.
“We have got to lick our wounds – we have only got two or three days before our next game in Christchurch – pick ourselves up and get our tour back on track.”
Reflecting on the victory, Blues skipper James Parsons said: “It is something I am going to savour.
“I am extremely proud of the effort,”