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Croft sees room for positive thinking

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Tom Croft emerged from defeat in the opening Test against South Africa with hopes still intact of further improvement to come from the British & Irish Lions.

Although the Lions lost the opening Test 26-21, with Tigers flanker Croft scoring two tries, the second-half fightback provided some positives for the coaching staff and players.

“I think the second half was a real show of our character within our team,” said 23-year-old Croft.

“We work for each other, we don't want to let each other down and we kept working until the 80th minute and next game, it could go our way.

“We are showing we are a dangerous team and I'd like to see on another day those ‘nearly-there’ scores go down.”

Croft claimed a try in each half but, ultimately, the Lions fell just short of clawing their way back from a 26-7 deficit.

"Our first-half discipline gave them too many easy kicks, which is where they took the points,” he said.

“When we came in at half time we knew we had a lot in the tank. We've played provincial games up to the 80th minute so we knew we could last. We played exceptionally well in the second half and we took the game to them and add a couple of minutes to the end of that half and it could have been a different story.

“Credit to the Springboks, they defended well, but in the second half those holes were opening and we were going through them so we have just got take that half as the start of our next game and march on."

The second Test is in Pretortia on Saturday. Kick-off is at 2pm and live coverage will be screened in the ABC Bar at Welford Road.