Equally, you have to laud the way genial coach Johan Ackermann has welded a largely no-name brand outfit into an efficient combination.
And while they may not snatch the championship, after four wins from six outings they must now be regarded as serious contenders to snatch the points from any side up against them.
At Ellis Park this afternoon, everything the Lions have wholeheartedly thrown into their season comes under examination by a Crusaders side looking to resurrect what has been a less-than-stellar season, in which they have failed three times in five games and lie last in the Kiwi Conference.
This is just the start, with the Lions at home to the Sharks and away to the Stormers in consecutive weeks, picking up a bye before taking on the Chiefs, Highlanders, Warratahs and Force in rapid succession on tour – then flying home and immediately having to host the Bulls.
It doesn’t get much tougher than that – even if the Lions have shown the resolve to play above themselves.
But first: the Crusaders.