Blues 22 Lions 16

What can you say? Typical Blues maybe? There they were, drifting out of the game because their scrum was being destroyed and the Lions were slowly grinding them to defeat and wham, four bits of individual brilliance and they pulled off the most sensational win.

Michael Collins made a miracle high ball take, Steven Luatua flipped one offload, Sonny Bill Williams went 40 metres to offload again and then Ihaia West dazzled his way to the tryline.

Magic. Maybe the try of the season so far and with one passage the Blues not only re-wrote their own history, they have left the Lions teetering on the brink of collapse just two games into the tour.

In retrospect the Lions can argue they were hard done by in the Blues' 22-16 victory. They had a few decisions not go their way, played a bit of rugby and were starting to dominate physically.


But they didn't nail the door shut and in truth, while they played some rugby, they didn't play enough.

The Lions were definitely better than they had been in game one. There was more urgency and accuracy in everything they did and while they didn't get much beyond playing Warrenball, they didn't feel they needed to.

Why Lions coach Warren Gatland is so touchy about the sides he coaches being stereotyped is a little bit if a mystery - it's not such a bad plan and the Lions were able to get momentum by relying on the directness and brutality of their ball carriers.

They don't need to come to New Zealand and play like their hosts. They are here to win and if route one and endless kicking gets them there, so what?

Listen: Radio Sport match highlights - Blues v Lions

CJ Stander, as the All Blacks found out last year when they played Ireland, takes a bit of stopping and there's so much to like about Courtney Lawes and Maro Itoje.

Those two carried, tackled and owned the lineout and by doing the simple things better and doing them more often, the Lions were able to go forward when they had the ball.

If nothing else, they looked more organised and willing than they were in Whangarei and while they clearly have a mountain to climb still, there were at least glimpses of what they might be able to do when they have had a few more games together and get their top team on the track.

But the essence of their game remains bump and thump and the question that is going to become louder and louder for the Lions, is where is the x-factor?

Warrenball gets them close but it needs something extra to actually win games.

Who is going to give them the magic offload, or unforgettable step to break a defence with something other than brute force?

They talked during the week about the emphasis they have placed on chaos - creating it and thriving in it. But from what has been seen so far from them, they are well out of their comfort zone.

Blues 22 (R. Ioane, S. Williams tries; S. Perofeta con; I. West pen)
Lions 16 (CJ. Stander tries; L. Halfpenny con, 3 pens)
Halftime: 12-10