Warren Gatland has moved to downplay fears around Jared Payne's continued calf strain struggles after the Lions suffered a 22-16 defeat to the Blues.

Payne carried his calf issue into the tour, and was a late withdrawal from the opening 13-7 win over the Provincial Barbarians.

The Ireland centre shook off that issue well enough to start against the Blues, but limped out of the contest in obvious pain - although head coach Gatland insisted Payne is not an undue injury concern.

Dan Biggar failed a head injury assessment (HIA) after taking a heavy hit, but Gatland also insisted the Wales fly-half's problem is not a big worry either.

"Jared Payne had a tight calf but we knew about that," he said. "Jared's had that calf (problem) for a while, so the pleasing thing is he's got through 50 to 60 minutes.

"We knew at half-time it was a bit tight, but hopefully the calf will strengthen up.

"Dan Biggar failed an HIA but the medics aren't too concerned about that. And Rhys Webb just has cramp. So at this point we're reasonably happy with where we are on injuries."

Gatland was left to bemoan his side’s indiscipline losing in the second game of their summer tour of New Zealand.

Ihaia West scooted away for what proved to be a winning 75th-minute try after two brilliant offloads by Steven Luatua and Sonny Bill Williams to give the Blues the victory at Eden Park.

The loss followed a stuttering 13-7 victory in the tourists' opener against a Provincial Barbarians team composed of semi-professional and amateur players in Whangarei last Saturday, after which both Gatland and the players were heavily criticised.

While the Lions did show more against the Blues, they still made too many unforced errors and Gatland pointed to the number of penalties conceded as their big downfall.

"It was a big step up and I thought we played well for large parts of the match so we need to take some learning from that," he told RTÉ Sport afterwards.

"We’ve given away a lot of penalties in the game and from our first two games it’s 29 penalties. It’s too much, it’s too many at this level so we’re looking to cut the number of penalties.

"That really shifted the momentum a lot of times in the game. When we had them under pressure then to give away a few unnecessary penalties, that for me is an area we need to tighten up on. If we can do that, I think it’s going to make a big difference to us."

However, Gatland does believe that facing Super Rugby teams of the calibre of the Blues and the Crusaders, who they meet on Saturday, will stand them in good stead.

The Lions boss claims that his side have much tougher midweek games than they did in their last tour to Australia in 2013 and that will be better preparation for the three Tests with the All Blacks.

"We knew how tough New Zealand was going to be in terms of the teams and the quality of opposition we were going to be playing," he saaid.

"I think these games leading into the first Test are going to be great preparation for us. We look back to 2013 when we played the Barbarians and scored 60 points, the next game 70 points against the Western Force, that’s not preparation for a Test.

"These next few weeks are going to be great preparation and I honestly don’t think there’s going to be too much difference because there’s so much depth in this country.

"Between these rugby sides we’re playing and the All Blacks there obviously will be a step up but not a massive step up because of the quality of teams and players."

Former All Blacks captain and Blues head coach Tana Umaga hailed a memorable win he felt his side deserved to pull off.

"I thought the way they fought hard to the end and the resolve they showed was fantastic," said Umaga. "And this is the kind of victory that can stay with them for some time."