Lions coach Swys de Bruin has urged his team to stay humble, after a big win over the Waratahs.
The Johannesburg outfit held the Waratahs scoreless in their first Sydney win, a big statement from the South African conference leaders against their Australian counterparts.
De Bruin was quick to throw praise on NSW after the game, drawing on a golfing analogy to give optimism to Australian fans, and remind his own team that it still has more to do on a month-long tour of Australia and New Zealand.
“I've been now involved six years with the team and I can remember big hammerings we took two years ago - the Hurricanes gave us a 50,” he said.
“The big thing is to carry on.
“I always compare it with golf.
“If you make a double bogey and birdie on the next, you're fine again.
“It is a competition. I think the big thing for us is not to get carried away.
“The boys can enjoy it tonight but we'll have to stay humble, we'll have to get back to - there was a lot of ball spilled as well, which is definitely a work on.”
The Lions’ set piece was a major weapon for them against the Waratahs, despite NSW’s reshuffle to add more height to their pack, and de Bruin said once they began eking dominance at lineout time, their confidence just rolled on.
“The lineouts was massive tonight and the confidence leads over to the scrums,” he said.
“Once you get the confidence in one of the two departments, normally the other one works as well.”
One mystery they are still sweating over is that of captain Warren Whiteley’s injury status, with the no. 8 ruled out of the early parts of this tour with a surprise knee issue.
“The MRI and every scan shows he's fine and then it'll be a bit of a niggle but apparently now, our doc spoke to the specialist yesterday that it's looking positive,” de Bruin said.
“But we won't be in a rush to throw him in at the deep end, we'll see how it goes.
“He's still a Springbok and he's got a good chance to lead the national team and that's priority still.”
The Reds host the Lions next Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Buy tickets here.