British and Irish Lions 2017: Gatland highlights Williams' 'mixed' performance

Liam Williams
Liam Williams made his Lions Test debut at Eden Park against New Zealand
Hurricanes v British and Irish Lions
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington Date: Tuesday, 27 June Kick-off: 08:35 BST
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio Cymru. Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website and app

British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland says Liam Williams would accept his performance in their first Test defeat by New Zealand was "mixed".

Welshman Williams' "great moment" with a spectacular counter-attack set up a length-of-field try for Sean O'Brien.

But the full-back spilled two high kicks, leading to a home try and penalty.

"I think if he was assessing it [performance] himself he'd say it was mixed," said Gatland.

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"There were a couple of great moments and in that role you've got to be really accurate in the air.

"And we've lost a couple where it's come forward and and then one that's gone through the hands towards the end of the game.

"Look, we've just got to make sure that you're 100% accurate, that you're in control of the things that you're able to make sure that you're able to do.

"The disappointing thing for me - we've put them under a bit of pressure, kicked three points and then haven't taken the kick off and from that they've kicked three points straight away.

"And those are things we can make sure we're better at next week."

Before the game Gatland hoped his surprise inclusion Liam Williams would avoid a "brain explosion", referring to the player's sin-binning on his Lions debut against the Blues.

'I saw a bit of space and I just stuck my head down'

In attack, Williams responded by running out of defence to set up O'Brien's response to the All Blacks taking the early initiative.

"I love playing 15, and I love having the ball in hand and I love having a run," said Williams.

"There are times when you have to stick it long or go up to the air.

"It was on, and I had a go and at the end of that move we had scored in the left-hand corner.

"I looked up, I saw a bit of space and I just stuck my head down."

'Biggest game of my life' - Williams

He added: "This was the biggest game of my life, and an absolute honour just to be out there on the pitch with the boys, but there are ups and downs.

"We switch off for a second, and we turn around and they are under the sticks.

"We will look back at the video, dust ourselves down and come back next week."

The Lions face Hurricanes on Tuesday, 27 June before going on to the second Test in Wellington on Saturday, 1 July - a game they must win to keep hopes of a series win alive.

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