Rugby, the British and Irish Lions and a trip to New Zealand in June are the stuff of legend, but for these two clubs it can only be a dream.
The British and Irish Lions have fought back from a 16-point deficit to clinch a thrilling 16-16 draw with the South Africa A side in their first match of the 2017 Lions tour. Lions captain Sam Warburton kicked the match-winning conversion from the sideline to clinch the series opener against the A side in Johannesburg, as the Lions name a 20-man squad for the final test against the Springboks.
The British and Irish Lions lost the first test of the series but the second test saw them fighting back to win 26-16.. Read more about british and irish lions and let us know what you think.
The aerial combat was fiercely fought the whole time.
|(12) 17 South Africa is a country in Africa.|
|Pollard 4 for De Klerk Pens|
|(3) 22 British and Irish Lions|
|Cowan-Dickie is a good place to start. Biggar, Biggar, Biggar, Biggar, Biggar, Biggar, Biggar, Biggar, Biggar, Biggar, Big|
After coming back from a nine-point deficit at halftime to win 22-17, the British and Irish Lions claimed first blood in the series against South Africa.
After Handre Pollard’s four penalties, the visitors were behind at halftime.
But four minutes after the interval, hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie crawled over from close range to turn the tide.
The world champions’ cushion was temporarily recovered by Faf de Klerk’s scrappy try, but Dan Biggar’s boot and the visitors’ better fitness got them home.
The Lions held off a late assault when Owen Farrell’s penalty three minutes from time was followed by a frantic last-ditch effort from the hosts, who failed to score a try that would tie the game.
The Lions will return to Cape Town Stadium in seven days, aiming for their first series victory in South Africa since the historic 1997 triumph, with the following two Tests being played at the same sea-level site rather than Johannesburg as originally scheduled.
South Africa’s winless run in the city has now lasted since September 2014. After a calm and disciplined first half, the hosts, who have only played one Test in the last 20 months, will be left wondering how the match and momentum got away from them.
Henshaw misses a rare first-half opportunity.
As he broke through at the conclusion of the first half, Henshaw was unable to locate a backup runner.
In the first Test twelve years ago, the Lions were taken off guard by a Springbok barrage of blows and heaviness. They were 19 points behind early in the second half after conceding a try inside the first five minutes.
In the early exchanges, the Lions of 2021 more than matched their hosts physically, with Lukhanyo Am landing a big blow on Elliot Daly in midfield.
Instead, South Africa’s deft kicking game, which forced the Lions to play from deep, and the visitors’ sporadic indiscipline, which included Tom Curry and Elliot Daly, allowed Handre Pollard four attempts at goal and the Boks a 12-3 halftime advantage.
Before Robbie Henshaw wasted the greatest opportunity either side had produced in the last minute of a cagey half, Biggar and Elliot Daly both missed chances to reduce the gap from the tee.
Biggar’s quick hands upset South Africa’s rush defense, allowing the Lions centre to score on a blind-side break. Henshaw couldn’t get a pass off despite having possibilities on either shoulder before full-back Willie Le Roux dislodged the ball with a brilliant cover tackle.
It seemed to be an expensive proposition. Instead, it was a foreshadowing of what was to come.
Cowan-Dickie burrowed over at the back of a moving maul that steamrolled through the heart of the Springbok pack four minutes after the break to start the second half. The Lions seldom returned the stare.
The TMO is in the spotlight.
South Africa’s director of rugby, Rassie Erasmus, reprised his contentious ‘waterboy’ role in the second half but was unable to inspire his team.
Lions coach Warren Gatland had questioned why there was no alternate impartial TMO when New Zealander Brendon Pickerill was unable to travel to South Africa earlier in the week.
After Cowan-score, Dickie’s the focus shifted to Jonker, who had two hair’s-breadth calls in the span of two minutes.
First, Jonker overruled on-field judgment of referee Nic Berry, ruling out Willie Le Roux’s try for an offside that only he could see for sure.
As Makazole Mapimpi’s kick forward created mayhem and De Klerk dotting down in the melee, Jonker could not detect any indication of a knock-on from Pieter-Steph du Toit.
|South Africa||British & Irish Lions|
|245||Metres were transported.||256|
|15||Defenders have been defeated.||19|
|6||Turnovers were the difference.||8|
|14||Penalties have been accepted.||8|
That touchdown, though, was unable to keep South Africa’s momentum from slipping away.
The hosts, who were playing just their second Test since winning the Rugby World Cup final in November 2019, seemed tired and sluggish.
As they came off the bench, their much-touted bomb-squad front row – Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, and Steven Kitshoff – failed to provide the anticipated advantage in the scrum.
And Lions coach Warren Gatland’s belief that South Africa would fade if they kept the pace up and the ball in play was vindicated, much to the joy of the whole team, who poured onto the field after the final whistle.
Because of Covid-19, South African dancers took up positions in the spectators for a match that was played behind closed doors.
The same hour, the same day, and the same XV?
South African scrum-half Faf de Klerk had to deal with Maro Itoje on a regular basis.
Gatland and his coaches had just seven unanimous starters in their different starting lineups when they met earlier this week for their selection meeting.
If Maro Itoje was not one of them, he will undoubtedly be when the backroom reconvenes ahead of the second Test.
The England second row, who was a talismanic figure in the drawn series against New Zealand four years ago, was dominant once again, fighting for every inch and pilfering breakdown ball, including one crucial turnover in the shadow of his own posts.
In the starting back row, Courtney Lawes was a more divisive pick. However, as the match progressed, his aggressive ball-carrying and will to work saw him fight his way into the lead.
The performance of the substitute front row – Mako Vunipola, Ken Owens, and Kyle Sinckler – may also provide food for thought for Gatland, especially in light of Cowan-first-half Dickie’s line-out wobbles.
Courtney Lawes was named player of the match.
Lawes dominated the South African back row, outshining his opponent Siya Kolisi.
South Africa: Le Roux; Kolbe, Am, De Allende, Mapimpi; Pollard, De Klerk; Nche, Mbonambi, Nyakane, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Du Toit, Smith; Nche, Mbonambi, Nyakane, Etzebeth, Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Mostert, Kolisi (capt), Mostert, Kolisi (capt),
Marx, Kitshoff, Malherbe, De Jager, Elstadt, H Jantjies, E Jantjies, Willemse are the replacements.
Hogg; A Watson, Daly, Henshaw, Van Der Merwe; Biggar, Price; Sutherland, Cowan-Dickie, Furlong, Itoje, AW Jones (captain), Lawes, Curry, Conan; Sutherland, Cowan-Dickie, Furlong, Itoje, AW Jones (captain), Lawes, Curry, Conan; Sutherland, Cowan-Dickie, Furlong, Itoje,
Owens, Vunipola, Sinckler, Beirne, H Watson, Murray, Farrell, L Williams are the replacements.
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