That the brave fight the Lions put up before losing by eight points to Leinster in Dublin was seen as such an encouraging sign may be an indication of just how far the Johannesburg franchise has slipped in a short period.

Yes, the Lions surprised a lot of us with the way they gave as good as they got against the perennial champions in the United Rugby Championship (URC) in its previous incarnation as the Pro14. With just a bit of luck, they could have caused a major upset by winning at a venue where Leinster are considered close to invincible...

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