Lions captain Warren Whiteley was full of praise for his team in wake of their historic 25-16 win over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.
However, the captain has warned the Johannesburg outfit that there is still a long way to go if they want to be crowned champions in July.
The Lions put in a huge performance up front during the 80 minutes and they were outstanding on defence, conceding only one try in the match.
The Lions, beaten in the past three Super Rugby finals, buried a Super Rugby jinx Saturday by defeating the Jaguares in Argentina for the first time – losing 22-34 in 2016, 24-36 in 2017 and going down 35-49 last year.
The Lions, beaten in the past three Super Rugby finals, will definitely hope that this set the tone for the 2019 season.
“It’s one of our best performance in Argentina,” Whiteley told reporters after the win.
“In the past, the Jagaures got the better of us but today we really good.
“In terms of our set-piece work, I’m really happy with scrums, our line-outs were not as good as we had hoped, we made some crucial turnovers particular in the second half – overall really happy,” he explained, adding “Winning the trophy is the ultimate goal and there’s still a long way to go, the cup is definitely not won in February,”
One man who truly produced a noteworthy performance was Marnus Schoeman.
Schoeman, not part of the original starting XV, scored three tries.
Schoeman replaced Kwagga Smith after the loose forward sustained a midweek injury which forced the Springbok to withdraw from the trip to South America.
The blond 30-year-old made the most of his unexpected opportunity by scoring after three, 32 and 50 minutes and becoming the only try-scorer to complete a hat-trick on the opening weekend of Super Rugby.
“I can barely believe what I achieved,” Schoeman said
“For a loose forward to score one try is great, two is amazing and three is unbelievable. I will travel home with a permanent smile on my face.
“Finally winning in Argentina is a fantastic achievement. We have battled here in the past three seasons and it is great to be part of the team that has ended the losing sequence.”
The Lions take on Stormers in Round two at Newlands on Saturday.
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