Ruthless Lions bare their teeth
After the rustiness of Rustenburg, jubilation in Johannesburg.
The Lions needed a big statement to kick-start their tour and at Ellis Park, the spiritual home of South African rugby, they certainly delivered one.
It was barely a third full on Wednesday, but will be bursting at the seams in a little over a month when the tourists return there for what could be a series-deciding third Test.
But let's not get ahead of ourselves.
The Golden Lions are not the Springboks, far from it. They looked exactly like a team that struggled in the Super 14, have sacked their coach, and were missing key players.
Ian McGeechan is far too wise to think that scoring 10 tries, five in each half, against limited opposition means this pride of Lions are going to blow the Boks away.
But Wednesday's performance might have at least put the first hint of doubt in the world champions' minds.
Two and a half weeks before the first Test in Durban, this was just the fillip the Lions needed.
After struggling with the altitude on Saturday, the Lions shook off their lethargy in sparkling fashion with a performance full of precision, power and pace.
It is difficult to think of a single player who didn't put his hand up as a Test candidate, such was the collective cohesion and quality.
As is usually the way of these things, it all started up front.
Barring the Lions' very first line-out, which went awry, the set-pieces were rock solid. Props Gethin Jenkins and Phil Vickery anchored the scrum superbly and hooker Lee Mears found his targets at the line-out.
Whereas on Saturday captain Paul O'Connell called virtually every throw to himself, here Mears had the spring-heeled Tom Croft and Alun-Wyn Jones to aim at, with Nathan Hines and replacement Andy Powell providing further options.
Jenkins, Vickery and Mears were also much in evidence around the park, as were Wyn Jones and Hines, while Croft made a mockery of the decision to leave him out of the original squad with a barnstorming display, capped by a superb finish for his try.
The Springboks may have Pierre Spies, but in Croft, Stephen Ferris - his thunderous finish from halfway completed the rout - Jamie Heaslip and Powell, the Lions also have big men who can shift through the gears.
With such a solid platform to work from, the Lions backs found room to strut their stuff, and did so with ruthless precision.
Half-backs Mike Phillips and Stephen Jones were in total command, and will take some shifting as the likely Test pairing, despite Ronan O'Gara's solid opening effort.
Jones also linked superbly with Jamie Roberts and Brian O'Driscoll, another combination that sparkled on their first outing together, the angles of running and support lines a joy to behold.
If Roberts and O'Driscoll are already inked in for the Tests, Tommy Bowe should be joining them.
When two tries are the least impressive aspects of a winger's work, he must be doing something right, and Bowe created four more tries with his appetite for work, clever running and sumptuous offloads.
Ugo Monye also showed searing pace and can be pleased with his two-try Lions debut, one defensive lapse apart when he and O'Driscoll got sucked in for the Golden Lions try.
So far ahead were the Lions, they could afford to field Phillips and Bowe in the centre by the end, and scored a further 14 points when Monye's departure had reduced them to 14 for the final eight minutes.
Despite all the attacking prowess on show however, what must have pleased the coaches more than anything was the defensive solidity right up to the final whistle.
Leading 67-10 approaching the final knockings, the tourists could have been forgiven for slacking off.
But the likes of Jenkins in particular were still throwing themselves into the fray on their own line with such relish that the hosts were denied a second try at the death.
Not one player took a backward step, demonstrating exactly the spirit and survival skills that will be required come the Tests.
The Lions are up and running, they have bared their teeth, and the juices are well and truly flowing. The Cheetahs are next up in Bloemfontein. Bring on Saturday.