AUDIO: Lions’ leaky defence a minor worry for Swys
Humiliated with a 7-94 defeat at the same ground last year, the Sunwolves displayed tremendous progressed as they managed to find gaps in the Lions' defence for five tries.
The Japanese side were destined to record a historic win. However, two converted tries by hooker Malcolm Marx and centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg in the last quarter of the match made sure the Lions seal the 40-38 win.
"Credit has to go the Sunwolves they produced great rugby on the day," Lions head coach De Bruin told reporters after the match.
"The same Sunwolves drew with the Stormers (in 2016) and beat the Bulls and we know what happened during the World Cup [Japan beat South Africa]. They are the type of team who can be a huge challenge on a certain day.
"They haven’t won yet, but I think they are knocking on the door and a win is around the corner,"
In terms of his team’s performance, the Lions mentor said that despite the vast improvement since last weekend's 35-38 defeat to the Blues, there are areas of their game that were not spot on.
For the second consecutive week, the Lions conceded 38 points and five tries – a troubling sign for the team who still need to travel.
"We managed to win 16 /16 line-outs and stole five of their line-outs – which is an element that improved since last weekend.
"We were good when it came to the scrums. Aside from a failure to look after the ball [keep possession], we managed to score six tries and that is what we want.
"However, now we must just learn how to prevent the opposition from scoring five tries or more," De Bruin said, adding: "Think lately it is just lack of composure – for example when you look at the last Sunwolves’ try where we had all the control, however just a little chip resulted in Atsushi Sakate's try,"
The Lions next challenge is in Buenos Aires where they will take on the Jaguares on March 24.