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British and Irish Lions vs South Africa LIVE: First test result and reaction in Cape Town

The Lions overcame a 12-3 deficit against the Springboks with a strong second-half display

Harry Latham-Coyle
Saturday 24 July 2021 22:04
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British and Irish Lions in numbers

Dan Biggar’s boot proved the difference as the British & Irish Lions came from behind to beat South Africa 22-17 in an attritional first test in Cape Town on Saturday.

Biggar kicked four penalties and a conversion for a 14-point personal tally to take the Lions to victory after they were 12-3 down at halftime but came back strongly in the second half.

Luke Cowan-Dickie scored the Lions‘ only try with Owen Farrell adding a key late penalty while the Springboks’ points came from a Faf de Klerk try and four first-half penalties from Handre Pollard.

The two teams meet again next Saturday in the second test, also at the Cape Town Stadium.

Maro Itoje won the Player of the Match, telling Sky Sports: “These moments don’t come that often in your career. It’s a real privilege to where this jersey and to win as well is special.

“We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves. We want to come out and do the business next week. We had to tidy up our discipline. We did in the second half and we had the mental fortitude to see it through.”

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TRY! SOUTH AFRICA 17-10 Lions (Faf de Klerk try, 50 minutes)

It’s given! Pieter-Steph du Toit has squirmed the ball against his knees and apparently backwards, and Mapimpi was first on to it, dropping the ball as he is tackled metres from the line straight into the hands of Faf de Klerk, who profits from his teammates’ fine work for the simplest of scores.

Alun Wyn Jones protests but Handre Pollard already has the tee on. Marius Jonker awards one in favour of the Springboks.

Pollard misses from the tee! A simple miss, really, from the left, and that could be a crucial two points missed.

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:20
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Try? South Africa 12-10 Lions, 50 minutes

This is brilliant by Pieter-Steph du Toit. He retreats onto a loose pass but pirouettes like a ballroom dancer, so graceful as he defeats a tackler and strides away.

He gives it to the quicker man Makazole Mapimpi but stays in stride with him, racing on to his chip ahead. He can’t gather cleanly - has it gone forwards from his hands before Faf de Klerk gathers and scores?

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:18
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South Africa 12-10 Lions, 49 minutes

Right, onwards we go, and how that might have riled the South Africans. For the first time in this game they play left and right more adventurously, with Siya Kolisi rampaging down the touchline on the right-hand side.

And is that a score? We are going back upstairs!

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:16
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NO TRY! South Africa 12-10 Lions, 46 minutes

That is a huge moment. It is a huge call. Marius Jonker has overturned the on-field call! Le Roux is offside!

Well well well. You wonder if a neutral TMO might have ruled differently. Certainly on the pictures it seemed entirely unclear whether Le Roux was level or in front, and in those circumstances you would tend to stay with the on-field call, but Jonker rules that he believes Le Roux to be in front. Nic Berry - who had seen the same images from a distance on the big screen - seems a little bit surprised, it must be said, but confirms it is a penalty to the Lions. Le Roux shakes his head. Something tells me we’ll be getting some thoughts on that decision from both head coaches after the game.

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:15
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NO TRY! South Africa 12-10 Lions, 46 minutes

That is a huge moment. It is a huge call. Marius Jonker has overturned the on-field call! Le Roux is offside!

Well well well. You wonder if a neutral TMO might have ruled differently. Certainly on the pictures it seemed entirely unclear whether Le Roux was level or in front, and in those circumstances you would tend to stay with the on-field call, but Jonker rules that he believes Le Roux to be in front. Nic Berry - who had seen the same images from a distance on the big screen - seems a little bit surprised, it must be said, but confirms it is a penalty to the Lions. Le Roux shakes his head. Something tells me we’ll be getting some thoughts on that decision from both head coaches after the game.

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:15
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TRY? The TMO will check! South Africa 12-10 Lions, 46 minutes

The on-field decision is a try but is Willie Le Roux onside?

South Africa had cleverly worked the ball down the five-metre channel on the left, Damian De Allende breaking a tackle and getting his arms free to send Lukhanyo Am on further.

Am kicks ahead, and Le Roux has enough speed to beat a chasing Elliot Daly to the ball. But is he in front of Am?

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:12
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South Africa 12-10 Lions, 45 minutes

SMASH! Duhan van der Merwe absolutely pulverises Kwagga Smith as the number eight takes a high box kick, but Tom Curry can’t quite pilfer the ball at the ruck for the Lions.

South Africa play to the left, and they might just have scored!

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:10
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TRY! South Africa 12-10 LIONS (Luke Cowan-Dickie try, 44 minutes)

And it rolls right over! Luke Cowan-Dickie just about finds his jumper at the tail and races to add his input at the back of the maul, hitching his chariot upon his forward mates as they begin to drive through the South African bodies. It goes down within a metre of the line and Cowan-Dickie has his hands on the ball, squirming it forward the requisite distance to get it down, just about, against the white line.

Dan Biggar converts. An immediate score for the Lions, and how they needed that.

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:09
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South Africa 12-3 Lions, 43 minutes

Luke Cowan-Dickie just about finds his man, and the maul gets rolling...

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:07
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South Africa 12-3 Lions, 42 minutes

Ali Price brings his forwards around the corner and asks them to make the hard carries in succession, eventually stepping back to allow them immediate access to pick and drive.

Penalty advantage coming for a high tackle by South Africa as Robbie Henshaw meandered, and after Stuart Hogg fails to skip between the green shirts, back we will come. Dan Biggar wastes little time - he’s kicking for the corner.

Harry Latham-Coyle24 July 2021 18:06

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