Coach Warren Gatland probably learned more about his players in the first 20 minutes on Saturday when his side were under the cosh from the Queensland Reds than he had in the previous 160 minutes of action on the tour.
He was encouraged that they kept their nerve and came through the match 22-12 winners to remain unbeaten after three games but that sort of strong challenge looks like being the exception rather than the rule outside the tests.
Still mulling his best selection as the tour moves inexorably towards the three-test series, the New Zealander will try out a few new combinations against an opposition that will be just as willing as the Reds but considerably less able.
That does not mean Gatland is not grateful to get another chance to look at players in match conditions as he looks to firm up large parts of his test side before next Saturday's match against the New South Wales Waratahs.
"To be honest, the tour's probably about two matches too short for us, you'd like a couple more warm-up matches before you go into that first test," he said.
"We'd probably need to start formulating that side, particularly going into that Waratahs match, and looking at combinations too."
In a throwback to the days when Lions tours went 20 matches or more, the tourists will face a mix of New South Wales and Queensland players from Super Rugby, big city clubs and more modest outfits in what the Australians call "the bush".
Stuart Hogg starts at flyhalf to give Owen Farrell and Jonny Sexton a rest after the specialist number 10s both featured in all of the first three matches and the Scot will be expected to get plenty of ball out the centres.
The midfield is one of the more difficult selections Gatland has to make and this week's partnership features Ireland's Brian O'Driscoll and Welshman Jamie Roberts, who combined so well in South Africa four years ago.
Gatland's determination to give everybody a fair crack of claiming a test shirt means a distinct "dirt-trackers" team of the sort that would usually contest such midweek matches has yet to emerge.
That commitment now extends to the props called up to replace the injured Cian Healy and Gethin Jenkins with England's Alex Corbisiero starting and Scotland's Ryan Grant on the bench.
Gatland admitted after the Reds match that balancing all the requirements of the tour was tricky.
"You're in a bit of a catch-22 because your whole focus is about the first test, then you have to think about the Reds. Then put a side together for Country, then the Waratahs," he said.
"At training, you're doing things that you're not showing at the moment but you've hopefully got up your sleeve for the first test as well. You're trying to cover all bases. Makes it a little bit difficult at times to manage that."
If Queensland flanker Beau Robinson has recovered from a knock to the head he took on Saturday night, there will be at least one face familiar to the tourists in the Country side.
Coach Cam Blades decided to include players whose origins were in rural areas or who had played rugby outside the cities of the Eastern Seaboard to strengthen his squad.
Combined Country matchday squad: - Nathan Trist, Dale Ah-Wong, Lewie Catt, Tom Cox, Alex Gibbon, Ben Greentree, Tereta-Junior Siakisini, Angus Roberts, Adam McCormack, Michael Snowden, Jarrad Butler, Tim Davidson, Trent Dyer, Beau Robinson, Phoenix Battye, Blake Enever, Richard Stanford, Rikki Abraham, Dylan Evans, Haydn Hirsimaki, Tim Metcher, Tom Kearney, Josh Mann-Rae.
Lions - 15-Sean Maitland, 14-Alex Cuthbert, 13-Brian O'Driscoll (captain), 12-Jamie Roberts, 11-George North, 10-Stuart Hogg, 9-Conor Murray; 8-Jamie Heaslip, 7-Justin Tipuric, 6-Sean O'Brien, 5-Ian Evans, 4-Richie Gray, 3-Dan Cole, 2-Richard Hibbard, 1-Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16-Rory Best, 17-Ryan Grant, 18-Matt Stevens, 19-Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Toby Faletau, 21-Mike Phillips, 22-Jonathan Davies, 23-Leigh Halfpenny.
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)