British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland says the players are still confident despite a 17-13 defeat to South Africa A side at Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday.
This was also the first defeat for the Lions in the ongoing campaign and it came against a strengthened South Africa A side that had 16 players from the Springboks World Cup winning squad in 2019.
The home side riding on tries Sbu Nkosi and Lukhanyo helped South Africa A to secure a 17-3 lead in the opening half but sin-bins to Faf de Klerk and Marco van Staden provided the Lions an opening which they seized through Wyn Jones' maiden try for the side.
Even though the Lions showed better fight in the second half, South Africa A managed to hold them off with a thrilling four-point victory but Gatland is unfazed by the result.
"The players are pretty bullish in the changing room, they are confident they can deal with whatever they (South Africa) throw at us in the test series," Gatland said.
"There are things we can easily fix in terms of what we gave to them to keep them in the game.
"The players are pretty positive about that performance and know we can still improve a lot. We would have got a lot more out of tonight than South Africa.
"The series is going to be a real arm wrestle and that was as close to a Test match as you are going to get."
The Lions will be taking on Stormers next at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday before the three-match Test series against the Springboks that kicks-off from 24th July.