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All Blacks seek more improvements - Dagg

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Lynn McConnell     26 Jun 2017     Getty Images

The Lions would be looking to get better and the All Blacks would need to as well.

"It was a tough match, they scored some great tries. I thought the bench came on and provided that impact and it was awesome for them. We'll take that," he said.
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The outside backs had been prepared for the aerial attack from the Lions and while they had missed catching some of the earlier kicks they did much better later in the first half and throughout the second.

"If we don't catch them, they punish us. You saw those good tries they scored," he said.

Dagg said he was full of respect for Lions fullback Liam Williams and what he could do on the counter-attack.

He wasn't surprised by his fellow wing Rieko Ioane's two-try effort, especially his second try.

"He showed some jets. I've seen him running in the gym so I know how fast he is. It was great for Rieko and he's got a big future.

"We've got to do it all again next week, it doesn't get any easier so we'll take this. But fullstop now, come tomorrow we'll recover well and come Monday we're back into it again," he said.

Ioane said it had been a tremendous night. He thought nothing could top the crowd who attended the Blues win over the Lions but Saturday night had topped that.

"Having the crowd, the atmosphere and everything going, it was definitely enjoyable," he said.

Having come off the bench in his previous Test matches, he was feeling tiredness in his legs towards the end of the game but he was happy to get the full 80 minutes.

"It was awesome, a fast game and the Lions definitely stepped up the pace from the Maoris game and I think the weather helped that," he said.

Ioane said the forward clash was definitely a step up to what he had been used but it had been a good response from the All Blacks to the Lions' challenge up front.

He said his second try in which he secured a kick ahead when the Lions didn't catch it had been from a lucky bounce.

"I didn't expect it to bounce that way and I'm sure they didn't either and the hole opened up. I was thinking 'just run'. The legs started to feel it a bit at the end," he said.

Tighthead prop Owen Franks said having played against the Lions for the Crusaders most of the players were aware of what they could expect up front.

"Playing northern hemisphere teams you know it is an area where they are going to try to look to get some dominance and confidence for their team so we knew if we didn't step up tonight then it would be a long day," he said.

Because of the challenge there was no need to look for any external drive or motivation during preparation for such a Test.

"You know the challenge is there and you just quietly build. You know by the time the game comes around you are pretty pumped," he said.

As a result of their loss Franks expects the Lions to come at them even harder in the second Test.

"They've got a lot of pressure on them, and a lot of scrutiny and that usually drives you a long way so we'll expect another tough start next week and we'll get ready for that," he said.

While he wasn't directly involved in the scrum which led to Rieko Ioane's try he had done the hard work beforehand which made it possible and said that was what you trained for and it had been awesome to watch.