Lions centre Jamie Roberts has described Saturday’s first Test defeat to South Africa as ‘a chance gone begging’.
The Cardiff Blues midfield man formed a superb centre partnership with Brian O’Driscoll and was undoubtedly one of the star performers during the Lions’ 26-21 defeat to the Springboks in Durban, but that was no consolation to the 22-year-old medical student.
"That’s a chance gone begging there for us," Roberts told Sky Sports immediately after the conclusion of an incredible opening international.
Roberts and O’Driscoll regularly crossed the advantage line at the ABSA Stadium but the modest Welshman insists he and the 2005 Lions skipper have plenty to work on ahead of next weekend’s second Test in Pretoria.
"It’s gone well so far (for him and O’Driscoll) but we still made a few errors today and we’re far from the finished article.
”We’ve got a lot to look at in the week. There’s maybe some attacking options we can vary a bit and we got turned over a couple of times as well so we’re always wanting to improve. Hopefully we can carry the combination into next week.”
If Roberts does keep his place in the side for Saturday’s second Test (and he seems certain to do just that), he believes the Lions have shown enough potential to level the series in what is now a must-win fixture against the world champions.
”We showed good discipline in the second half and could have snuck it at the end. The second half was an outstanding performance to come back from that far down.
“We’ll take what we can from today, especially that second-half performance. The series is far from lost. We’ve got a huge game next week and I’m sure the boys will rest up and look forward to it.”