CRUSADERS 3 BRITISH & IRISH LIONS 12
Proof at last these Lions can play a bit. Finally, after two duds, they hit the mark. They gave a performance that revealed something about themselves and went a long way to restoring pride and credibility.
And against, probably, the best team they will encounter other than the All Blacks.
We can finally take them seriously now they have shown something worth taking seriously. They played a smart hand and deserved their win.
Tactically they were clever. Low risk and grinding. They gave the Crusaders nothing - didn't let them get into their work either with or without the ball. Their linespeed on defence was relentless and they held everything together for 80 minutes.
It was a bruising, powerful performance from the Lions that hinted - actually basically told - everyone what is to come from them.
They won't be suckered into the showing everyone they can play creative rugby. They will leave the x-factor to the New Zealanders. It's not the Brits ' bag at all but so what.
They do bring plenty of other weapons and if they can build on their performance against the Crusaders, they can feel a little more confident about the next few weeks.
Their top team - and this surely was their top team or close to it - are probably a long way ahead of the rest of the squad.
Whether that's true or not, the Lions will feel they took giant strides towards being the team they want to be come the first test. They were tidier and tighter in every aspect of their game, but particularly their lineout.
The arrival of Peter O'Mahoney did the trick and it was strange to see the Crusaders having a few wobbles as they tried to win their own ball.
Around the field there was more cohesion, energy and direction. Nothing fancy mind, just good old Warrenball but Warrenball done well.
And when it is done well, it is effective. It is a great way to strangle opponents and keep them under pressure.
It's a great way, as the Lions showed, to keep a team like the Crusaders contained in areas of the field where they can't easily break free.
Ben Te'o is proving to be the player Warren Gatland said he was - big, strong and direct for sure, but also more than that. He's a little elusive and tricky with it and he may indeed have played his way into the test team.
The selection of Conor Murray at halfback and Owen Farrell at No 10 seemed to be enough itself to transform the Lions into something more threatening.
Murray can run and he can pass even if he spent most of the night booting the ball. He kicked and he kicked and it worked for the Lions. They started to force mistakes and frustrate the Crusaders.
It was masterful from Murray - a sign of his maturity and tactical reading and the danger with him is that he can mix it up the next time he plays. The All Blacks have been warned - that if they Murray control the game, he will. They have also been warned that if they don't deal with the high ball, they will be in trouble.
Farrell played much the same way as Murray but there's never anything wrong with a lot of kicking if its accurate and fulfils the brief.
The scrum was a bit of a worry for the Lions, though. They were destroyed a couple of times and would have been a few more had the referee been slightly closer to planet Earth when he made a few of his decisions to penalise the Crusaders.
(R. Mo'unga pen)
British & Irish Lions 12
(O. Farrell 4 pens)