'You give them everything' - Johnny Sexton and Sean O'Brien take aim at referee Jaco Peyper following Lions loss
New Zealand ran in three tries to two to run out convincing winners in the first Test in Auckland with the Lions handling errors (15) and ill-discipline (11 penalties conceded) ultimately proving to be very costly.
Sexton, who replaced Ben Te'o after 57 minutes, was warned by Peyper to 'keep his arms down' and not to wave at the officials after he threw his hands up in the air following a Lions penalty for collapsing a New Zealand maul.
The Leinster fly-half was also told later in the half that he was 'not the referee' after complaining to Peyper for awarding the Lions a scrum when he felt that his side deserved a penalty for Beauden Barrett's disruption of his intended pass to winger Elliot Daly.
Irish Independent rugby correspondent Rúaidhrí O'Connor said that Sexton and O'Brien were seen remonstrating with Peyper after the game with Sky Sports cameras also picking up Sexton's comments.
Lions boss Gatland admitted that the tourists simply have to harden up in their tight five if they are to stand any chance of reversing this major setback.
"We need to be much more physical next week for the All Blacks; that was disappointing," said Gatland.
"The All Blacks sacked our mauls very well; we need to negate that. And there was one scrum that's caught us as well.
"And there's several areas where we need to be better at the set-piece.
"The All Blacks tight five were very good, but we need to be tough on ourselves and honest in our performance.
Sexton not popular with the officials. Been warned once and just told 'You're not the ref'— Rúaidhrí O'Connor (@RuaidhriOC) June 24, 2017
O'Brien and Sexton remonstrate with Peyper at the final whistle. 'You give them everything' says Sexton.— Rúaidhrí O'Connor (@RuaidhriOC) June 24, 2017
"A lot of those things are fixable. We know what to expect for next week."
*Additional reporting by Press Association