Cardiff Blues prop Gethin Jenkins has revealed the British & Irish Lions were banking on their superior fitness to carry them through to victory in the closing stages against the Springboks.
The plan almost worked perfectly, but four first half penalties, three conceded at the scrum, gave the tourists a massive mountain to climb. They got close, but not close enough.
"We believed we were fitter than them and we believed we could put them to the sword in the last 20 minutes. That was the case, but we just couldn't get over the finish line," said Jenkins.
"It was frustrating to lose our first game and we need to pick ourselves up this week and look forward to the game on Saturday - and another chance to win as a Lion. Hopefully we know a bit more about them now and we can get a result."
The Lions'problems at the scrum were on the opposite side to Jenkins, where 'The Beast' got on top of Phil Vickery. It meant the Lions were always playing catch-up after falling 12 points behind in the first half and then 19 early in the second.
"We just didn't play enough rugby in the first half and the Springboks got too far in front of us. Even though we finished very strongly it was just too much of a gap to catch up," admitted Jenkins.
"Decisions went against us on the right hand of the scrum and I'm not too sure what was happening. I had my head down on the other side but I'm sure we will look at the video and see what happened there.
"It is frustrating to be on the wrong end of the result because they didn't play much rugby. They just kicked the ball, although to their credit whatever they did do was effective.
"It was a great occasion and I couldn't believe the amount of red jerseys in the crowd. It was great to see all that support out there and I really enjoyed the occasion, but it was just a shame not to get the victory."
Wales and Ospreys back row James King, who came through the North Wales age grade system, nominated North Wales Regional Community Rugby Manager Marc Roberts, in the WRU's 'Diolch' initiative where squad players thanked those who played a part in their rise to the top.
Beating Merthyr has boosted Carmarthen Quins hopes of reaching a top eight spot in the Principality Premiership. Quins captain Haydn Pugh is delighted with his team's progress and is determined that everyone from the Under 6s through to the senior team, enjoys the ride.
When the Wales squad were asked to nominate individuals who played a big part in their early playing days, Wales and Dragons full back and wing Hallam Amos thought of his former Monmouth School rugby coach John Bevan.
Sam Cross and Luke Treharne have been named as co-captains of the Wales Sevens side as head coach Gareth Williams names his 12-man squad to play in the first leg of the HSBC World Series in Dubai next weekend.
Bedwas head coach Steve Law and players Nicky Griffiths and Alun Rees extol the virtues of the close knit club as they prepare to host third place RGC 1404 - who are one place head of them on the Principality Premiership points table - on Saturday.
Many of the Wales squad have said Diolch (thank you) to someone who played an important part in their early playing days by nominating them to be invited to the Wales v South Africa match. One person, Gowerton Comprehensive geography teacher Mr Dean Mason was nominated by two of his former pupils, Dan Biggar and Sam Davies.
The second WRU disability rugby pilot has been delivered, this time in Caerphilly schools, culminating in a festival at the Caerphilly Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach tomorrow. Plans are in place to set up a Disability Rugby Club in Newbridge to provide long-term playing opportunities.
WRU TV: Hear from inside the Wales camp as Neil Jenkins discusses this weekend's clash with South Africa and how the squad are looking to put in a strong performance to round of the 2016 Under Armour Series