While many are yet to be convinced that the Lions will make enough of a step up in class to defeat the Springboks, Thursday's papers displayed a growing optimism that enough progress is being made to make a series victory a real possibility.
Here's what the British, Irish and South African press had to say in the aftermath of the Lions' biggest-ever win over a Natal-based side…
Mike Greenaway in The Mercury
There have been some splendid Natal games against the British & Irish Lions over a century or so and, without fail, the common denominator has been obdurate defence from the home town mongrels tenaciously keeping out the pedigreed visitors.
But history could only repeat itself for 40 minutes on Wednesday night until the impact was keenly felt by the home team of the loss of their nine current Springboks, who were in the stands absorbing the performance of the excellent opponents they will meet on this ground a week on Saturday for the first Test match.
In the first half John Plumtree's second-stringers did a convincing impersonation of the defence of the Alamo but, as in the case of the brave Texans, they were ultimately overrun.
Peter Jackson in the Daily Mail
Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips inspired the Lions to another record win last night on their first appearance at King's Park since winning the Test series here 12 years ago.
The Springboks, still smarting over what happened that night, turned up at another half-empty stadium for their first close look at the majority of the team who will be back here for the opening Test on Saturday week.
The World Cup holders will hardly lose any sleep over what they saw, leaving the Lions to fret about bridging the gulf between a depleted provincial team and the real McCoy.
Dan Retief in Super Sport
At the final whistle, the Lions had scored five tries to nil in return for their massive domination of possession and field position in a match that at times gave the impression the tourists were more set on going through their formations and patterns rather than pushing for an emphatic victory.
That it eventually ended up in a 36-point victory would have given the Lions' management great satisfaction for the tourists sometimes eschewed, and sometimes squandered, a number of scoring opportunities.
Although the scrums were unsettled for most of the game the Lions would probably feel that they had the edge on Jannie du Plessis and Deon Carstens while the rest of their basics worked well - especially their strong, tight formation in the rucks and mauls, their ability to drive the lineout and Shaun Edwards's defensive systems were extremely effective when the Sharks did have the ball to test them.
David Hands in The Times
The Lions had suffered two setbacks during the preceding 48 hours, so the retention of their unbeaten tour record at the ABSA Stadium last night was the solace they wanted.
They took their time, admittedly, but 32 points in the second half against a weakened Sharks side helped to confirm some of the likely selections for the first match with South Africa on June 20.
Mike Phillips, with a solo try that finally sparked the Lions into life, confirmed his grip at scrum-half and Lee Byrne offered the display of strength, security and skill from full back that the management was looking for. But the situation at prop remains as live an issue as ever. Gethin Jenkins, at loose-head, conceded penalties in quick succession on a night when Jonathan Kaplan, South Africa's leading referee, did the touring side no favours.
He penalised them 16 times, a high total these days, and was particularly quick on the draw at the breakdown, where it seemed that the Sharks loitered offside with great regularity. To their credit, the Lions accepted their fate, kept their discipline and defensive structure and made their points where it mattered - on the scoreboard.
Gavin Rich in Super Sport
Many would justifiably point out that the Sharks team they beat was missing nine Springboks, but there could be no denying after their 39-3 win on Wednesday night that something is building for the British & Irish Lions.
Springbok skipper John Smit summed it up perfectly when he spoke at a press conference in Durban on the morning of the ABSA Stadium match - "The impressive thing about the Lions is that they are improving with every game".
When they swamped the Golden Lions in Johannesburg a week ago you could say that there were question marks over the commitment of their opponents. But there was nothing lacking in the pride and commitment of the Sharks team that played in this match.
On the contrary, their tenacity and bravery in the first half, when they kept the Lions at bay with a colossal defensive effort, was laudable. The problem for them was that they simply weren't good enough, and were never going to be. Although they kept the score down, and conceded only one try before half time, there was an inevitability about the four they scored in the second.
Rob Kitson in the Guardian
It will be a whole new ball game when the Lions return to Durban for next week's First Test, but the touring side were never in danger of losing their unbeaten record here.
Four second-half tries, the best of them supplied by the man-of-the-match, Mike Phillips, nailed down a fourth straight win against provincial opposition and once again there were glimpses of a competitive Test side striving to emerge.
Patience, discipline and a watertight defence did the job in the end on an often Welsh-accented evening which started slowly from a Lions perspective but will ultimately have given the watching Springbok squad some food for thought.
Phillips, Lee Byrne and Jamie Roberts continue to show little sign of being overawed by the forthcoming series and Brian O'Driscoll's class was again evident at crucial moments.
Paul Ackford in the Daily Telegraph
The issue for the Lions is that not only are their own stress levels artificially raised, but the clock is against them as well. They struggled with aspects of their forward play.
The beginning of the match was slick. Paul O'Connell called the first four line-outs to four different jumpers and each time the possession was clean. But hitting a jumper is not that complex. It is what happens afterwards which is the problem.
The Lions have yet to maul convincingly, have yet to churn and drive and force the opposition into mistakes, because that takes empathy and intimacy and time and the Lions have not got that. It is the same at the breakdown.
When the support player arrives quickly, the ball produced is fine because that is relatively simple. But as soon as the Lions are lured into a wrestling match, where they have to rely on their knowledge of each other's strengths and weaknesses to get an edge, they come off second best.
Four times in the first half the Lions drove to within inches of the Sharks line. Four times they came away with nothing.
And so we are left with the notion of the Lions more as a team of individuals than a cohesive, drilled, integrated unit. They have done very well to be as "teamy" as they are, but the potency comes from the virtuosity of individuals, men like Mike Phillips and Jamie Roberts.
John O'Sullivan in The Irish Times
The margin of victory at the ABSA Stadium in Durban was emphatic and certainly an accurate reflection of the gap between the teams on the night but this was once again a patchy display from the tourists.
They improved appreciably after the interval primarily because they increased the tempo of the game and players started to make better decisions. Lions' scrumhalf Mike Phillips was a classic case in point often having to wait until the forwards were finished picking and driving before being allowed to look to the broader picture.
Left to interpret the game he was a real handful, a fact illustrated by picking up the coveted man-of-the-match award.
There were certainly some excellent individual performances up front, notably English hooker Lee Mears - one or two missed throws aside - Gethin Jenkins, David Wallace and the outstanding Jamie Heaslip. The Lions No8 had a storming game in every respect. The Lions nicked three Sharks' throws out of touch but there will be concern about the 13 turnovers and 16 penalties conceded.
There is still plenty to work on but the Lions dominated all night without initially helping themselves to the crock of points on offer. Post interval there was an improvement and for the coaching staff, that will be a pleasing aspect of the evening.
Andrew Baldock for PA Sport
The British & Irish Lions continued their unbeaten march through South Africa by sinking the Sharks in impressive fashion at ABSA Stadium.
The Sharks, without several of their Springbok stars, were blown away on a breezy evening alongside the Indian Ocean.
They defended manfully during the opening 40 minutes as Rory Kockott's penalty kept them in touch, but there was no stopping the Lions during a one-sided second period.
For the second successive midweek game, the Lions did not concede a point after the break, and they have now scored 176 points in four games building towards next week's first Test against world champions South Africa on the same ground.
Mike Phillips ran the show, and he was among several players who underlined their Test team credentials.
Centres Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts again proved a solid midfield partnership, while Lee Mears removed any doubt about his status as the Lions' premier hooker.
Chris Hewett in The Independent
Ian McGeechan, the Lions head coach, has done away with the traditional split between weekend and midweek teams, which goes at least some of the way to explaining why the tourists are more impressive under floodlights than under sunlight.
Last night they ripped up one of South Africa's more powerful provincial sides with a five-try performance here, staring down the Sharks at their point of strength - a forward pack boasting a sprinkling of full internationals - and opening up after the interval to race away with a fourth victory in as many starts.
Everyone knew that Springbok calls had badly undermined the home side's back division…but up front, they were expected to pose real problems, and it was here that the Lions made a point to the Springboks watching from the stand. Paul O'Connell and Alun-Wyn Jones, ably assisted by the elastic Tom Croft, ruled the roost at the line-out - indeed, the much talked-about pairing of the middle jumpers was a notable success in all respects.
It was from this platform that the likes of Jamie Heaslip and David Wallace, the two Irish back-rowers, and, most strikingly, the Welsh scrum-half Michael Phillips made their cases for inclusion in the team for the first Test at this same wonderful stadium a week on Saturday.
Phillips turned in quite a performance, repeatedly engaging the hard-tackling Sharks loose forwards around the fringes and, when the clear-out at the breakdown was sufficiently dynamic, releasing his backs with some sweetly-timed passes. He also scored the crucial try 75 seconds into the second period - an individual effort that had more than a touch of the Gareth Edwards about it.
If there was a serious negative for the tourists, it was the turnover count. Wallace, a natural open-side flanker, made a better fist of the fetching duties at the tackle area than Joe Worsley, a natural blind-side flanker, managed in Bloemfontein last weekend, but even so, the Lions conceded 13 turnovers.
This must have disturbed the coaching staff, not least because the Sharks did not have a pilferer of the quality of Heinrich Brussow, the Free State Cheetahs breakaway. If the Lions cough up 13 pieces of possession to the Springboks, they will be laughed out of town.