Springbok skipper John Smit admitted that the Lions had been the deserved victors in Saturday’s third and final Test in Johannesburg.
Smit and his side were on the wrong end of a 28-9 thumping at Coca Cola Park and the World Cup winning captain had no qualms about the result.
"It was well deserved," said Smit, after two tries from Shane Williams and another from Ugo Monye saw the Lions home in their last game in South Africa.
"They had more intensity and their win was well deserved."
Smit, who started all three Tests at tight-head prop, claimed that his own side’s performance had been disappointing but he showed magnanimity in defeat by emphasising that the Lions had been by far the better side on the day.
"I don’t think the guys were in the right frame of mind. Evidence of that was in the rucks and mauls," added Smit.
"This defeat will make sure we keep our feet on the ground and keep on working hard.
"It was a great series, and a fantastic series win but we are obviously very disappointed to have lost this match. Fair play to the Lions though, they deserved the win."
While the Lions may have won the battle, it was the Boks who ultimately won the war, taking the series by two Tests to one.
It is a result that finally banishes South African demons from 12 years ago and one that Smit says deserves equal standing to their 2007 World Cup triumph.
With his Lions mission accomplished and having played a central role in a hugely physical series, Smit now intends to sit back and enjoy the post-match hospitality in the company of both friend and foe.
"This series victory ranks alongside our World Cup win. A Lions series is a rare occasion. I had two cracks at the World Cup but this was my first and last against the Lions.
"We’ve known most of these Lions players for years – playing for their respective countries.Test rugby is not about kissing your opponent on the check, but now we can all have a few beers together.
"We’ll take the series win and in 10 or 20 years time, we can look back at all of this and have a lot of fond memories."