The Lions strengthened their case this year go one step further than their 2016 runners-up Super Rugby finish with their 13-6 win over the Brumbies in Canberra yesterday as they completed a clean sweep over Australian teams in this campaign with their third straight win on tour.
It wasn’t pretty.
The Lions had to put in a gritty performance to beat the 2001 and 2004 Super 12 champions.
They trailed 3-0 at the break, and it took a huge defensive effort and a wonderful solo try from Sevens star Kwagga Smith to secure the win. Johan Ackermann’s men beat the Waratahs and Reds at home earlier this season before wins over the Force, Rebels and yesterday the Brumbies.
They boarded the plane back to Johannesburg with 14 points from a potential 15 as they made it 10 wins from 11 matches in this year’s Super Rugby campaign, with their only blemish coming against the Jaguares in Buenos Aires in March.
The Lions top the Africa 2 Conference with 46 points.
On their return home they face the struggling Bulls next week and then the Kings a week later, before the June international break.
And then there are matches against the Sunwolves (home) and Sharks (away) before the playoffs.
The Lions will be forgiven for sitting back and enjoying the flight home.