Lions coach Warren Gatland got what he wanted in Hamilton. He got the win, he got the performance and he got three performances that will force him and his fellow selectors to pause before they announce their test team on Thursday.

The first two things were more pleasing than tour-changing. The mid week side have done it tough and in their games so far, have been poor.

They needed something to restore their spirits, to boost their confidence and make them feel that New Zealand isn't one endless slog with no reward.

The performances of Jack Nowell, Liam Williams and Elliot Daly were, however, potentially tour changing.


The back three the Lions have used in their Saturday games haven't set the world on fire. They haven't shown much attacking flair or any of the x-factor that the Lions are going to need against the All Blacks.

Post-match press conference with Chiefs captain Stephen Donald and head coach Dave Rennie after the Chiefs loss to the British & Irish Lions in Hamilton.

Leigh Halfpenny is a superb goal kicker - probably the best in the world, but he's so-so elsewhere.

The All Blacks won't worry too much about him beyond making sure they don't concede penalties within his range. But Owen Farrell is a world class goal kicker, too and the Lions could live without Halfpenny.

George North on the left wing for the Lions test team hasn't fired since he came to New Zealand and looks well short of form and confidence. And the final offering, Anthony Watson, has been lively and is a good direct, runner and finisher, but Daly and Nowell offer more footwork, more energy and more problems to defenders.

"The result was important for those guys," said Gatland. "The result was the first priority and the performance after that and we got a little bit of both and a couple of guys put their hands up."

When he was asked if the decision to take Daly off with 30 minutes remaining was a sign the Englishman had played his way into the test frame, he said: "Maybe.

"I spoke to them [back three] a few days ago. Jack Nowell, it just hadn't happened for him in the first couple of games. He is prolific at getting his hands on the ball.

"Elliot looked sharp as did Liam and they looked pretty dangerous, pretty potent as a combination."

There would have to be some caution about reading too much into a performance against a Chiefs side that were minus most of their usual faces and suffering for it.

But the back three in Hamilton delivered something which is more than the other unit has.

A back three of Williams, Nowell and Daly has more threats and qualities than Halfpenny, Watson and North and the Lions could be making a mistake if they stick with the three they used in Rotorua.

The expectation is that the test will be tight, down to the wire and it could be that a bit of magic is required to ignite the Lions, to stun the All Blacks and to ensure they leave no points on the table.