No surprises in Lions' approach - Robertson

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    11 Jun 2017     Getty Images

The Lions took the fizz out of the Crusaders who have dominated Investec Super Rugby by relentless defensive pressure, denying the home side turnover ball and using their tactical kicking options to advantage.

"We thought they were going to play that way, exactly the way they did and we couldn't negate it so he [Hansen] knows that. Knowing Steve he will have done a lot of homework and his kick-chase work and ability to turn them round will probably be a bit better than our ability to do it tonight," Robertson said.

The Lions were still trying to find their rhythm and had found a way to win.

"It wasn't what we're used to here watching Super Rugby with a few more tries but they got a result and good luck to them. They're going to be better for that that game, they'll build and get some more confidence going into those Test matches, and another 'Test' match against the Maori All Blacks," he said.

Robertson said the line speed of the Lions was one of the more frenetic combinations they had faced and it had put the Crusaders under pressure and denied them quick enough ball to get outside them.

With the big bodies hurtling at them, in the conditions, their skill set was unable to cope and it had been a tough night.

"We got into a kicking battle. We had practiced it all week and our aerial skill set, we just didn't nail. [Halfback] Conor Murray is absolute world-class, he was just hanging it up there perfectly and we just didn't deal with that.

"It wasn't the spectacle we are normally used to, no tries but they got the job done. They were a desperate Lions side and well done to them, they did what they had to," he said.

Both teams had been strong defensively and Robertson said they probably felt more comfortable without the ball, especially around the halfway area.

First five-eighths Owen Farrell had kicked well and pinned the Crusaders in the corners although they had been able to get out of it.

The Lions hadn't produced any surprises but the Crusaders had created chances and there had been a couple of calls that hadn't gone their way and he noted the crowd's frustration with the referee was a reflection of the game.

Robertson said Farrell was world-class in the way he saw the game and space.

"Our back three didn't just nail their positioning a couple of times and he exploited it pretty quickly. His skill execution of those flat kicks over to the corner is something the teams have to look at," he said.

Captain and lock Sam Whitelock said scrummaging issues with French referee Mathieu Raynal had come down to the Crusaders taking too long to adjust. It had been better in the second half but the Lions had taken the points after the first half infringements especially, and had created scoreboard pressure.

"If you give away a few penalties at the start it makes it hard on yourself," he said.

The message for the All Blacks was to reduce the penalties, perform their skills, do better at the clean out and avoid putting pressure on themselves.