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."
All roads lead to Cardiff on Sunday for the SSE SWALEC Finals Day at the Millennium Stadium. Cambrian Welfare tackle Ystradgynlais in the Bowl final, Ystrad Rhondda play Newcastle Emlyn in the Plate final while defending champions Pontypridd face Bridgend in the Cup final.
WRU Chief Executive Roger Lewis, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism Ken Skates and WRU Chairman Gareth Davies earlier this week launched a new competition in conjunction with the WRU unveiling its archive room.
Welsh players and management joined Deputy Minister for Sport Ken Skates at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff Bay earlier this week to reveal the Union's pioneering school-club hub initiative has been so successful the project will now almost double the scale of the original project.
The Scarlets, Newport Gwent Dragons, Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys look ahead to Judgement Day III which sees the Blues take on the Ospreys (2.30) and the Dragons tackle the Scarlets (4.45pm) at the Millennium Stadium tomorrow afternoon.
Ystradgynlais and Ynysddu played out a titanic struggle at Taffs Well in the SSE SWALEC Bowl semi-final. At the end of the game neither team could be separated after a 15-15 stalemate but Ystradgynlais go through on try count.
Blues strike first in JD III battle - Newport Gwent Dragons lock Andrew Coombs, WRU referee Dylan Llyr Jones and Cardiff Blues hooker Matthew Rees decide dressing room allocations for Judgement Day III
Wales Under 18 captain Calum Haggett has received a conditional offer to read Biomedical Science at St Anne's College, Oxford. WRU chairman Gareth Davies went to meet Calum and Coleg y Cymoedd Principal Judith Evans to wish him luck in his exams and pass on some of his personal experience.