VIDEO: The reasons behind Lions 'best' win
The Lions coach Ivan van Rooyen described the team’s triumph over the premier Scottish outfit Edinburgh as their ‘best win in the United Rugby Championship’.
The Ellis Park-based franchise made it three wins from three on tour, as they edged Edinburgh 22-19 in a thrilling encounter in the Scottish capital this past Friday.
They scored three tries each in a bruising battle that burst into life after a largely uneventful first half.
However, the Lions deserved the win thanks to their endless reserves of energy.
“I am really delighted with the hard work and character of the players,” the coach said, adding: “The way they hung in there and managed to pull it through, in the end, was very satisfying.”
He said the work ethic of the players has played a massive role in the tour sweep.
“I really feel the team is in a great place in terms of character. Some people will call it culture.
“The guys are willing to work really hard for each other and you can see the desperation.”
Van Rooyen said the most rewarding aspect for the coaching staff is seeing that “effort” three weeks in a row.
The key takeaways from Friday’s victory were the discipline (they conceded just 10 penalties) and the scramble defence.
Despite missing 34 tackles (and a tackle success rate of just 80 percent), they managed to stay in the game and in the second half managed to shut down the Edinburgh attack.
(Article continues below video …)
“In all three games [on tour], the last five or 10 minutes we had to be really well disciplined.
“We had to defend for seven or eight minutes straight against Ospreys and against Edinburgh was the same.”
He admitted the travel back home, ahead of their Round Five encounter with Ulster at Ellis Park next Saturday, will present a bit of a challenge.
“It is important for us to recover well, ahead of facing a really fit, tough Ulster team,” Van Rooyen said.
After that, they host Glasgow and the Stormers, ahead of the November break.
“It will be a balance between preparation and recovery this [coming] week,” the coach added.