B&I Lions expect Bok backlash to 'go through the roof'
REACTION: The British and Irish Lions readily admit that there will be a massive ‘backlash’ from South Africa in the remainder of the Test series.
The Springboks will look to come back in the remaining two Tests – after suffering a 17-22 defeat in the series opener in Cape Town at the weekend.
It is the 14th Lions’ tour of South Africa and the team winning the first Test has gone on to win the series 12 times.
The only exception was in 1955, when the Springboks came back to share a four-Test series.
B&I Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones admitted the first Test win doesn’t guarantee them a series success.
“We know what we haven’t achieved,” the skipper said, adding that there is still plenty to do.
“This is a three-Test series.
“Knowing the calibre of the players and the attitude our opposition have, that [the backlash] will go through the roof next week.
“We will have to better again and deal with what we know is coming next week.”
Another player who is expecting a massive backlash is Man of the Match from the first Test, lock Maro Itoje.
(Article continues below video …)
He warned the knows the tourists about getting ahead of themselves after winning the opening Test.
“South Africa are a very proud rugby nation,” the lock said.
“From what I know about them, they are big on analysis and they are going to analyse that game a lot.
“They will pick out trends, pick out ways they want to improve but I just think they are going to come with higher intensity, they are going to come harder at the scrum.
“They will come harder at the line-out, harder with their kicking game – that’s probably where they got the most change out of us and they will probably look to attack that.
“We need to be better in all three of those areas, we need to be cleaner, we need to be more efficient with our kicking game and our breakdown, we need to do a lot better.
“There is definitely another level to come from us. In the first half we didn’t start with the same intensity, we were probably a little bit too frantic, so I think there’s so much worth in this team.
“Game on game, we’re getting better, and I think there is more to come from us, but the onus is on us to look at what we’ve done. This was a great win for us.
“But I’m a man who likes to look at history and how other Tours have unfolded. Looking at the 2001 Test series in Australia, they won the first Test quite convincingly and lost the next two.
“We’re happy but we don’t want to get lost in the win. We’re really happy with the win but we know that we need to do more, we need to be better as we know the Springboks are coming.”