It's striking how the Springboks constantly try to psychologically and physically overawe their opponents off the ball. Always looking to stand over a player, intimidating him, forcing him to stay down, trying to humiliate. But that just comes with the territory and unfortunately the Lions weren't wholly successful in resisting the Springbok expression of power. It underlines how the Lions of 1974 and 1997 were really something: great skills, yes, but also real mental and physical toughness.
Only three teams have ever won a series in South Africa: the All Blacks of 1996 along with the two Lions teams. It's easy to see why and I hope the press don't go on too much about the Lions failure this time. They're in good company including every All Black touring team bar the one.
Just like after the last tour to NZ in 2005 it will take some of these players a long time to recover. A Lions tour represents a career peak, as everyone points out. What's less reported is that the downward slope afterwards can be painful and protracted.