by Conor O'Shea

What more can any team do than beat the opposition in front of them and considering the possession that the Lions had during this game the score line in the end was what you would have expected.

The Lions will get a little bit of criticism for not ripping the Sharks apart but they comfortably destroyed one of South Africa's top provinces.

Potentially one of the reasons people have not reacted with too much enthusiasm to some of the Lions' victories is down to the strength of the teams that the tourists have played against.

For me, poor attendances apart, one of the disappointments from this tour is the fact that the Springboks have not released their players to the provincial games and this was a Sharks side shorn of their Springbok players and teams are made by their best players. Just look at the Lions with and without Brian O’Driscoll!

Only time will tell whether Peter de Villiers, the South African coach, has got it right. Will his players be undercooked from lack of game time come the first Test? In my mind the series is over for the Lions if they cannot win that opening Test and de Villiers’ strategy may play into the Lions' hands.

So what did we learn about the fight for selection for the first Test match and how did the Irish players fare overall in that race? Jamie Heaslip has now almost inked himself in as the No 8, as he has so much more all round ability than Andy Powell. He will also have the prospect of facing the most athletic and powerful number eight in world rugby in Pierre Spies.

Alongside Heaslip in that back row will be David Wallace and looking at the way the Lions used Tom Croft in a really strong lineout performance and given Stephen Ferris's hugely unfortunate injury, the back row from the Natal game look the likely Test back row.

Gethin Jenkins and Lee Mears will be in the front row and the big call will between Phil Vickery and Euan Murray at tight head. Given the coaches knowledge of the former England captain there could be a surprise selection on the tight head but the Western Province game will decide a lot.

Second row alongside Paul O'Connell will still be hotly debated. The big question is whether the two second rows from the Natal game can actually play together in the Tests or will they be too similar. The chance for Donnacha O'Callaghan to stake his claim will hopefully come this weekend, but he has to have the game of his life.

The back line is taking shape too. I really feel that Mike Phillips takes too much out of the ball and looks for himself too much and come the Test matches that could be an issue, but his individual try just after half time finished the game as a contest and that is the ability he has.

I just wonder with the backs outside him in Lee Byrne, Brian O’Driscoll et al, is he going to bring the best out of them? But Phillips will be the No 9 come Test time and it will mean Ronan O'Gara will have to settle for the bench, yes he made a few mistake handling wise but his kicking from ground has been world class. How he must be yearning for Tomas O’Leary.

Out wide Luke Fitzgerald just looks like he belongs. Shane Williams should not get selected on form and Ugo Moyne may be just ahead of Fitzgerald at this stage, but Fitzgerald should at least be in the match day 22 and to me he looks like the type of guy who will make a difference if given his head. A lot will depend on how the back three perform this weekend, but it will be a real debate.

Overall there is something unreal so far about watching the matches, only against the Cheetahs did you feel it was what Lions tours are about with real bite to the game, but hopefully this weekend we will see a full house at Newlands and the tourists involved in another full on scrap.

If Peter de Villiers is risking things in not releasing his probable Test team for the provincial matches, Ian McGeechan's risk is not playing his full Test side together once as a unit before that game on 20 June. Whoever loses they will look back and wonder and we will all tell them I told you so!!!!

Here's to moving on to bigger and better things on Saturday but well done the Lions, you can do no more.