The Lions are very,very good: Sharks captain

“This is a very, very good Lions side, and the Springboks will have to make sure they prepare smartly over the next ten days,” said Sharks captain Johann Muller after his side had been beaten 39-3 by the British and Irish Lions in Durban on Wednesday night.

“It’s going to be a real dogfight out there,” said the caretaker Boks captain in 2007.

He did however – somewhat predictably – say that he still thought the Springboks would be up to it when the first Test is played in Durban on June 20.

“But the first Test will be really huge,” he predicted.

The Lions, who have been smarting after conceding three tries to the Free State Cheetahs last weekend, were very good on defence, Muller thought -and he also had great respect for their physicality at the breakdowns, something the tourists have emphasised and concentrated on from the word go.

Sharks coach John Plumtree was also impressed with the tourists, and rated them a much better side than the one that toured New Zealand in 2005.

His observation was that the Lions need to do some work in the scrums, where they were penalised a number of times for bringing the scrum down.

“Clearly in the first half they tried to give our pack a good working over,” he said about a first half which saw the Sharks limit the tourists to a single try.

Lions coach Ian McGeechan said he thought his side gave “a very strong performance throughout the 80 minutes.”

“The most important thing,” he said, “was the effort from everybody towards what the side was trying to do and achieve. “

“Our defence was outstanding, absolutely superb,” he felt, and was also happy with the breakdowns.

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