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."
Meet the members of the WRU's inaugural Youth Board - after an online selection process which saw a host of high calibre candidates submit video applications the WRU has made its first 15 appointments.The board is made up of individuals aged between 16 and 21, and will meet for the first time at Principality Stadium on Monday 15th February.
The Wales Women's team headed to Dare Valley Country Park on a team bonding exercise as the entire squad got together for the very first time in preparation for this season's Six Nations championship which kicks off on Saturday with a clash against defending champions Ireland, in Donnybrook.
Wales Head Coach Warren Gatland discusses his team selection for the opening round of the RBS 6 Nations where he leads his side against Ireland, on Sunday. As WRU TV's Luke Brodley discovers, Gatland is fully aware of the challenges the defending champions pose
WRUTV caught up with Wales Women captain Rachel Taylor at the RBS 6 Nations launch and how a good crowd really helps boost the girls performance. Tickets for all three Women's home games at The Gnoll, Neath are available from www.wru.wales/tickets