Warren Gatland got it half right when he claimed the All Blacks have failed to stretch the Lions in this series. It may also be a comment he lives to regret. Why would you further poke the bear?
Of all the areas of focus for the All Blacks this week, sharpening their attack is right up there.
Given the circumstances, competing with 14 men for 55 minutes in Wellington, concessions can be made to a point. Such a situation, one so rare it had not been experienced in 50 years, the All Blacks opted to narrow their purpose and favor a tight retention-based game-plan.
That the Jonathan Sexton-Owen Farrell playmaking partnership was never really tested on defence is but one example of how close the All Blacks kept their attacking lines. Other than fielding and chasing kicks, Rieko Ioane and Waisake Naholo barely touched the ball. And they went away from attacking space.
Excuses aside, for a team that averaged 40 points and 5.7 tries per-test last year, it grates the All Blacks they were unable to cross the line for the first time since 2014. Much more is expected.
Gatland's assertion suggests he feels the Lions' defence - their line-speed and aggression - has gained the upper hand on the All Blacks' attack. Never mind the fact the the tourists conceded three tries after being exposed by a direct approach in the first test at Eden Park. Ultimately, the decider at the same venue this week will have the final say on this matter.
"After Saturday's effort you'd have to say exactly that," All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith said of Gatland's jibe. "We had our moments but I'm really excited about what we could do this week back at Eden Park.
"They really fronted up on defence and closed up that tight space. We didn't react well to that. There was actually a lot more space than we thought and we maybe didn't adapt as well as hoped.
"We usually find a way and our bench comes on and finishes really strong but that's all about learning. There are opportunities there and they'll be there Saturday so we've got to be good enough to see them and take them.
"He can say all the things he wants. We are focused on what we're going to do this week. We showed glimpses of what we can do week one, and we need to get back to that."
While the All Blacks had a seven-man pack after Jerome Kaino was pulled to cover Sonny Bill Williams' midfield absence, part of the problem was the Lions won the breakdown battle.
The All Blacks ball carriers couldn't punch over the gain-line often enough, and their cleanouts weren't regularly effective which slowed the speed of delivery for Smith. Credit must be given to the Lions for making adjustments here. They committed far more numbers than test one, with the Sam Warburton and Sean O'Brien tag-team proving particularly disruptive.
"The conditions suited the game they wanted to play," Smith said. "They wanted to make it a real struggle at the ruck. We didn't help ourselves and we didn't attack where they weren't. That's something we're going to fix this week.
"For 50 minutes we'd pretty much done enough. The Lions were good enough to come over the top at the end which was a bummer.
"At this level it's only a couple of mistakes and we made some critical errors at the end and they were good enough to take them."