WHEN Lions coach Dick Muir and his team boarded the plane for their tour Down Under yesterday, there must have been a few "what-if's" going through their minds.
What if they hadn't conceded such soft tries in their 65-72 defeat to the Chiefs on Friday evening at Coca-Cola Stadium? What if fullback Earl Rose hadn't fluffed a couple of easy kicks at goal?
But as Muir would rightly point out, the game isn't about "what-ifs". It's about points on the board.
Instead of beginning their Australasian tour with just two points, and third from the bottom of the log, they could easily have been sitting around mid-table.
For the small crowd of Lions faithful who bothered to pitch up for the late kick-off (8pm), it was a night to witness records being set.
The highest number of points scored in Super 14 history (137); the most tries in a game (18); and the highest number of points scored by a team playing away from home (72).
At times it appeared as though the teams took turns at switching off and letting the opposition run riot. Going in to half-time with a narrow 27-25 lead, the Chiefs returned with a 15-minute blitz that netted them 28 points.
Tries to Liam Meesam, Junior Poluleuligaga, Sitiveni Sivivatu and Richard Kahui and conversions by the unerring Stephen Donald and the Chiefs must have thought they had it wrapped up.
The Lions had other ideas. A brace of tries by young left wing Wandile Mjekevu - to go with one in the first half - and they were right back in it.