Lions boss Johan Ackermann

The Lions carry the hopes of South African rugby against the might of New Zealand this weekend.

Their style of rugby has been an inspiration for the rest of the country’s unions.

Many people want the Springboks to adopt their style.

But Johan Ackermann and his manne’s tests get tougher with every step they take.

Last week, they gave the Crusaders a lekker pakslae.

And this week, they play against the most effective of the Kiwi sides - defending champions the Highlanders.

The side from Otago are well coached and take their opportunities.

It’s something the Lions has to be wary of.

Rugby experts will tell you that the Lions play too much rugby - they like the ball in hand and try to create try-scoring chances.

Their running style is great to watch.

But against an opportunist bunch like Aaron Smith’s team, they will have to be careful of not overplaying.

It would be fantastic if a team that plays rugby so refreshingly different from what we’ve seen from SA sides for more than a decade won Super Rugby.

And it will be a boost to the Springboks in the Rugby Championship next month to have players who can break games like the Lions stars can.

But the biggest message it will send around South Africa is that we can match the New Zealanders at their own game.

And it will begin a battle of styles around the country unless Saru can finally come up with a uniform pattern of rugby.

As much as we love to watch the running game of the Lions, the basics has to be the foundation of any rugby team.

We’ve seen enough talent at the recent Craven Week, but not enough of the fundamentals.

The further the Lions go, the deeper into our game we have to look.