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Summary

  1. Final score: Lions 12-3 Crusaders
  2. Next up - Highlanders in Dunedin on Tuesday (KO 08:35)
  3. Farrell 4 pens for Lions, Mo'unga reply for Crusaders
  4. Lions have now won two, lost one on tour
  5. Lions shut down previously unbeaten Crusaders

Live Reporting

By Louise Gwilliam

All times stated are UK

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FT: Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Time for elevenses? Back to bed?

At least that was worth the early start.

Thanks to anyone else who also prised open their eyes so early on a Saturday morning.

That's three games down for the Lions, and they're coming thick and fast.

We've got another game for you on Tuesday as the Lions travel to Dunedin to face the Highlanders.

Join us from 07:30 BST, see you then!

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David Tomlinson: Murray/Farrell axis allied to superb defence and abrasive forward play will make the Lions competitive against the All Blacks.

Aashay Knights: Based on this, Sexton, Murray and Farrell all have to start.

Tom McCarron: The Lions put in a sterling performance to defeat the undefeated Crusaders but Irish fans are complaining O'Driscoll didn't play.

Now now Tom, all for one and all that...

'We are not happy'

FT: Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Sam Whitelock
Getty Images

Crusaders captain Sam Whitelock speaking to Sky Sports:

"They just squeezed us out through taking the easy three at the start and we were trying to play catch-up rugby.

"We are not happy with the way we played. But full credit to the Lions boys they didn't let us get into our rhythm."

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Matthew Meaton: Owen Farrell has to be at 10 for the tests

Ross Harries

BBC Sport Wales at AMI Stadium, Auckland

This was billed as the unofficial fourth Test, and at times it felt like it. Two teams going hammer and tongs for 80 minutes, with absolutely no quarter given.

It may have ended without any tries being scored, but there was no shortage of enterprise, and no shortage of drama. It was the boot of Owen Farrell that won it, but also the vice-like defence of the Lions.

The Crusaders have scored an average of 37 points per game this season. The Lions restricted them to just three.

The tourists did come close in attack on several occasions, one searing break from Anthony Watson ending in a dropped pass from CJ Stander. Concerns will remain that the Lions failed to cross the whitewash, but for now they can savour a crucial victory. The tour is back on track.

That's modern tech for you

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Sorry for anyone hoping to talk to Ugo, apparently technical issues made it tricky so it was a truncated Facebook live. We'll have another crack after Tuesday's game against the Highlanders!

'Still bits to work on - but an improvement'

FT: Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Alun Wyn Jones
Getty Images

Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones speaking on Sky Sports:

"We had quite a few line-breaks which we didn't finish off again.

"We knew we had to match them at the set-piece and we did that.

"There are still bits to work on but it was an improvement from the last game."

Lions fly-half Owen Farrell on Sky Sports:

"We caused them some problems at times and hopefully in the games to come we can finish them off.

"But that was a step in the right direction."

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger

The Crusaders didn't play well tonight, but they were also forced into poor play by a suffocating red wall in defence. But one bad match doesn't make you a bad team... I may not have been hearing much sympathy for the Lions a few days ago, but the statement is true.

The Lions have been slow starters but have made incremental improvements to give me and hopefully everyone watching enough evidence and hope to know they can create a real stir this summer.

Set-piece, defence, Taulupe Faleteu, Conor Murray, Ben Te'o, George Kruis and Owen Farrell, to mention just a few, look like Test starters based on tonight.

It is clearly the best game the guys have played. 'Warrenball' is dead and the Lions are very much alive and kicking! Roll on Tuesday!

You can quiz Ugo him about the game on BBC Sport's facebook page now!

FT: Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Jonathan Davies made an early exit after a head injury, and could have paved the way for his namesake Jonathan Sexton into the Test team.

The Irishman slotted in well with Owen Farrell and as the two 'fly-haves' marshalled the Lions to victory.

Stay tuned, more reaction to come.

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Former Lions tourist Martyn Williams approves of their efforts in Christchurch.

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Post-match with Ugo

FT: Crusaders 3-12 Lions

And Ugo is live now and ready to answer your questions on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

Head over there now!

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger

Don't write off the Lions!!! There's something special about that jersey. A jersey that when worn can be empowering, and tonight the boys looked just that - empowered.

The Crusaders are the best of the NZ Super Rugby franchises and had a 14-game unbeaten home run - they are a top team which makes this victory tonight even greater. The Lions went up against a near All Black tight five and for large parts dismantled them.

You can join Ugo and quiz him about the game on BBC Sport's facebook page now!

Full-time

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Ken Owen and Conor Murray celebrate the win
Getty Images

And it's over. Owen Farrell fires the ball into touch.

That's more like it!

The Lions win their second match. A crucial victory.

No tries, but that was a commanding performance from the tourists against one of the most exciting teams in Super Rugby.

The Lions are back on track.

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Cries of "Lions, Lions" ring around the stadium.

The crowd can sense victory and there are smiles in the coaches' box from Andy Farrell and Warren Gatland too.

Gatland even smacks his desk in delight. A rare show of passion from the cool customer.

He knows the Lions simply had to win.

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

The Crusaders are running out of time here.

They take the scrum option and they win the penalty. Slightly ironic really.

The line-out ball is good but Mitchell Hunt tries the switch out the Israel Dagg on the wing, but the kick is no good and flies straight into touch.

That is a real success for the Lions, they've nullified the Crusaders' passing game.

Just under two minutes to play.

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Maro Itoje's introduction has certainly raised the noise levels in Christchurch. He's back to his old whooping tactics again.

But at the moment he has reason to celebrate.

Five minutes to play and the Lions lead by nine points.

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Jack Goodhue of the Crusaders
Reuters

Mitchell Hunt is on for the Crusaders.

And the Lions need to beware.

His late drop-goal gave the Crusaders a dramatic victory over the Highlanders in Super Rugby last week.

But with the Lions nine points clear, his side will need far more than that.

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

The Crusaders are still stuck in their own half but they're flinging the ball through the backs, desperately trying to create something.

Jed Brown collects the ball on the wing George North drags him into touch. The Welshman has looked very good in defence today.

We're checking it wasn't a high tackle, but looked like it was shoulder-height to me.

And the TMO agrees. Always good to be sure.

Penalty (Farrell)

Crusaders 3-12 Lions

Of course he does.

And the Lions are nine points clear. Breathing space.

10 minutes to play...

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Jonny Sexton in action for the Lions
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Stephen Beattie: the irish lions are by far the best players out there

Marc Gilfoyle: Farrell playing superb. He has so much more time on the ball than others and decision making has been spot on

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

Spoke too soon.

Peter O'Mahony and Jack McGrath get in the way of each other, but we'll come back for the penalty.

Owen Farrell will take the points here, surely?

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

CJ Stander in action
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Lovely break from Jonathan Sexton.

And the Lions are five metres out!

They're into the eighth phase as CJ Stander and Taulupe Faletau power towards the line.

This could be it for the Lions...

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

The Lions are certainly in control here but it's too close for comfort at the moment.

No score so far in the second half, just the one missed penalty from Owen Farrell.

It's about the only foot he's put wrong all afternoon.

Ross Harries

BBC Sport Wales at AMI Stadium, Auckland

George North's work-rate has been impressive tonight. He's spent so much of his evening chasing kicks - grubbers, box-kicks, garryowens. Nothing has sat up for him yet, but the law of averages suggests he'll get on the end of something soon.

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

Conor Murray sends up a high kick from the back of the ruck to clear the Lions' lines.

And it's that man Owen Farrell - he's been everywhere - who pops up to claim the ball.

Jonathan Sexton, not to be outdone, puts a lovely kick into the corner and Maro Itoje will have a chance to show his stuff and disrupt the Crusaders' line-out.

The New Zealanders are struggling to get out of their half at the moment, but Israel Dagg puts in a huge kick as they crawl over the halfway line.

Chris Jones

BBC 5 live rugby union reporter at AMI Stadium in Christchurch

The crowd is getting very agitated as the Crusaders make another error. The locals seem a little perplexed; their side averages 37 points a game in Super Rugby this season, and have only managed 3 in 65 minutes.

Ugo Monye

Former Lions and England winger

How would this Lions team be operating without Owen Farrell? Not very well I reckon. The young man is world class. We've seen him prove it in a club shirt, for England and now for the Lions.

Twenty thirteen was too early for him, but now he is undoubtedly the main man amongst great men. He has an unbelievable ability to control a game, he sees space quicker than most and his execution sets him far apart from the rest on the pitch tonight. Comfortably the best player. Just look at Maro Itoje's reaction on the bench to Farrell missing a shot at goal. Says it all!

Twenty five minutes into the second half and the scoreline hasn't changed. However, emotionally the Lions look on top. A big final quarter for so many reasons.

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

Bryn Hall passes the ball out of the scrum
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Not the steadiest scrum for the Lions with those changes but Taulupe Faletau saves it, as he does so often for Wales.

But the Crusaders hack down field and they're into the Lions' 22.

Replacement

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

The Lions are making more changes in the forwards.

Jack McGrath is on for Mako Vunipola in the front row. And the youngest member of the squad, Maro Itoje, comes on for George Kruis.

Kruis has been imperious in the line-out today, big boots to fill.

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Small Man Peaky: If the tmo gave SBW's try for the Blues on Wednesday, surely they should have given that one?

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

Liam Williams kicks the ball
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Liam Williams fluffs a high kick but the ball goes backwards and Anthony Watson is once again there to help out.

And he's off!

The Englishman makes a lovely break and he's got support from Jonathan Sexton but it's another Irishman CJ Stander who knocks on.

The players are having real trouble with the slippy conditions in Christchurch.

But the game is opening up.

Chris Jones

BBC 5 live rugby union reporter at AMI Stadium in Christchurch

The Lions have done incredibly well to keep the Crusaders down to three points, but could have put the game to bed by now if they had been more ruthless in the opposition 22. But either way, the Lions are 20 minutes away from a hugely significant victory.

No try

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

A lot to dissect here.

Liam Williams, just as I said he couldn't catch a break, speeds forward down the left wing and chips ahead into space.

There's a bit of a mess as he tries to collect his kick but Anthony Watson is on hand to pick up the pieces and heads towards the tryline. And he thinks he's over.

But we go to the TMO and Liam Williams is adjudged to have knocked the ball on.

Close, or closer from the Lions.

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Mako Vunipola runs with the ball
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Ian B: Lions showing the power, pace and skill to create chances but lacking the composure and precision to take them

Chris Harvey: Vunipola's handling is absolutely outstanding, everyone else is making the ball look like a bar of soap.

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

Anthony Watson of the Lions
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A nice quick line-out from the Lions and George Kruis is there to scoop in the ball.

Conor Murray launches a high kick as George North goes chasing but he's out-muscled in the air.

Anthony Watson gets the ball back and has a chance to make his mark, but his pass is behind Liam Williams. The Wales winger just can't catch a break.

And on comes the Lions first change as Sean O'Brien exits the field for CJ Stander.

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

A new front row for the Crusaders and it's time to show what they're made of.

The Lions have a scrum deep inside their own half, but this French referee is having none of the Crusaders scrum.

His whistle goes in favour of the Lions... again.

Ross Harries

BBC Sport Wales at AMI Stadium, Auckland

Liam Williams is tackled
Getty Images

Liam Williams just produced a neat bit of skill to keep the ball in play. He's had little opportunity with the ball in hand, but the Saracens-bound winger has put in a meticulous display so far.

He's dealt comfortably with the high ball, tackled tirelessly, and, as always, has relished the physical aspect. Might he be more effective at full-back though? His angles of running could change the point of the Lions attack?

And what about Owen Farrell? He's been on the receiving end of some brutal hits, and he's leapt back to his feet every time. Hard as nails.

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

What a step from Jack Goodhue!

The young centre, just 21 years of age, carves open the Lions and leaves Owen Farrell for dead.

A great decision to kick but the ball just runs away from winger George Bridge.

The Lions survive. Phew.

Crusaders 3-9 Lions

Here come the Crusaders cavalry.

Wyatt Crockett leads the replacements as Ben Funnell and Michael Alaalatoa also enter the field.

The heavyweights just keep on coming. There's no let-up for the Lions.