Bulls coach Frans Ludeke was careful not to attach much significance to his team's 38-32 victory against the Lions at Orlando Stadium on Saturday.
The young Bulls side registered a hard-fought win after a fantastic start to the clash in which they scored two tries in the first 20 minutes.
But this dominance was short-lived as the Lions attacked the advantage line and tightened their defence, which resulted in the team bouncing back strongly to match the Bulls' four tries.
While the most encouraging aspect for Ludeke was the tremendous talent showed by some of his young players, particularly centre Jan Serfontein and wing Sampie Mastriet, Lions assistant coach Swys de Bruin singled out his team's fighting spirit and attack as the main positives in the clash.
"We had a very good pre-season so the expectations on the players this weekend were big," said Ludeke.
"It was encouraging to see them implement what we have been doing at training.
"Obviously there are things we can work on, so we got what we wanted from the clash."
Zoning in on the areas of the Bulls' game that needed attention, Ludeke said: "We could do better at retaining the ball in contact situations because there were a few chances we wasted and we would like to be more accurate in our execution in general.
“But it was the first game of the year so one expects that. The competition starts in three weeks and that is when we want to be at our best."
The Bulls will line up against the Cheetahs in Polokwane next Saturday in their second and final warm-up game, and although the team is expected to be vastly different with the return of their Springboks, Ludeke was confident that the team would be ready for the demands of Super Rugby.
In the Lions camp, captain and prop JC Janse van Rensburg was disappointed about suffering their first defeat of the season, although he recognised the positives.
"There was some good running rugby, but unfortunately we made too many mistakes, many of which were on the Bulls' 22. I also felt that we were hungrier to win last week (against the Cheetahs) and as a result we used our chances better.
“But I am glad that the team played until the end and it was a good experience for many of our players because it was the biggest game they have played up to now."
With the Lions set to face the Southern Kings at Ellis Park next week, Janse van Rensburg said although the match was important, their main objective was to be in top form for the Super Rugby promotion-relegation clashes against South Africa's last-placed team later in the season.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.