The Blues came to the high veldt of South Africa looking for a rock-hard ground and dry conditions for running rugby.
They came away out-classed in all aspects of the game on a miserably wet night at Emirates Airline Stadium in Johannesburg, beaten seven tries to one in a 43-5 result in their Investec Super Rugby clash.
Captain James Parsons summed things up.
“We didn’t adapt to the conditions and couldn’t get a platform established. It will be up to each individual to take a good look in the mirror.”
The game was played in driving rain and a sodden ground with the home side displaying a master-class in the conditions. They were dominant at scrum time and lineout, their kicking game was outstanding both for territory and on attack, led by a superb performance from first five Elton Jantjies, and they found holes in the Blues defence.
Simply the Blues were never in the game which was decided inside the first 10 minutes by which time the home side were ahead 19-0 with three tries.
The Blues made a number of early handling mistakes with testing kicks in the rain, and took full advantage.
Their pressure game proved too much with the hosts going to a 26-0 halftime lead.
There were patches in the middle of the first half and for a larger chunk in the second half when the Blues gained some possession, but the decision to run the ball inside their own territory was always going to struggle in the conditions.
The only reward came late when replacement loose forward Kara Pryor attacked on the left and found space, running in from 30m for their only try.
“The conditions were the same for both teams and we did not adapt to them. We are going to need to think hard about this, and turn things around quickly for the game against the Force next week,” said Parsons.
It will be a game the Blues will want to quickly forget as they fly to Perth tomorrow for an important clash against the Force.
Blues 5 (Kara Pryor try)
Lions 42 (Lionel Mapoe 3, Warren Whiteley, Courtnall Skosan, Johan van Rensburg, Warwick Tecklenburg; Elton Jantjies 4 conversions)