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

Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am scored tries to turn the tide after a 9-6 deficit at half-time

Harry Latham-Coyle
Saturday 31 July 2021 20:06
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British and Irish Lions in numbers

South Africa’s backs Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am scored second half tries as the Springboks beat the British & Irish Lions 27-9 to win Saturday’s second test at the Cape Town Stadium and level the series.

Handre Pollard added five penalties and a conversion for a 17-point contribution while the Lions points all came off the boot of Dan Biggar in a niggly and ill-tempered contest that again was one for the purists rather than the enthusiast.

The result sets up a decider next Saturday after the Lions had won an attritional first test 22-17.

The Lions were 9-6 up at halftime but the Springboks bounced back with a dominant second half performance that turned the tide of the game.

“Momentum swings both ways,” Robbie Henshaw said on Sky Sports. “South Africa came out in the second half and got a bit of an edge on us in an arm-wrestle game. But a positive is that in the final Test next week, it is all to play for, which makes it exciting.

“We have to pick ourselves up next week and come back stronger. It is all to play for next week. It is finals rugby and at the top level. Everyone is going to be up for it, so it is going to be an exciting week.”

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Lions vs South Africa: On to the Third Test!

Plenty to talk about from Warren Gatland, there - it could be a busy week as the two sides trade barbs, much as Gatland stressed he was not keen to engage in a “war of words”.

One apiece, then, with the series perfectly poised for a deciding game this time next week. Cape Town Stadium has a week to ready itself for the final encounter of a spiky, spicey series with everything on the line.

We’ll be back here for that, and we’ll have everything covered in the build-up to the Third Test across The Independent. Until then, thank you very much for joining us, and do stay safe and well.

Dominant South Africa beat Lions in ill-tempered Test to set up decider

Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am scores tries for the Springboks to level the series at 1-1

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 20:06
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Lions vs South Africa result: Warren Gatland reacts

“I said selection had been tough and there are a lot of players for whom it was a toss of a coin in terms of who we selected. The non-23 did a great job this week helping the players prepare. We’ll spend the next couple of days reviewing the game and then looking at the best 23 we think to put out. We have got lots of options in terms of bringing in guys to give us some more energy and momentum.

“Sometimes games go like that. We knew a lot of aerial stuff was coming and we worked on it a lot during the week. Obviously, Liam Williams was disappointed and he is one that could come into contention. We could put the same team out and give them another chance.”

Warren Gatland, Head Coach of British & Irish Lions looks on during the warm up

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:57
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Lions vs South Africa result: Warren Gatland on Rassie Erasmus

“We’ve got systems and processes in place. Hopefully World Rugby does look at making sure everyone follows the protocols. I think that is important. We deal with the referees through World Rugby. I just hope it doesn’t get to a situation where people air their views on Twitter and not through proper channels. I found it quite strange that that approach was taken.”

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:55
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Lions vs South Africa result: Warren Gatland reacts

“I was happy with that first half performance. We didn’t get anything in the second half to be able to gain any momentum. The game was very slow and they did a good job managing that. It was difficult to get that rhythm.

“The referee was continually talking to them about trying to speed things up. We will look at trying to get more tempo into the game. It was very, very stop-start.

“We were pretty happy with our carrying in the first half. The ground conditions are difficult - there was a scrum penalty against Tadhg Furlong for going down and his feet just went completely under him. Sometimes that happens in a game. The way they defend and rush up is quite tough. There were a couple of opportunities when we should have looked to put the ball through the hands.”

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:53
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Lions vs South Africa result: Warren Gatland reacts

On the Rassie Erasmus video: “I thought it was pretty interesting. There has been enough said on that. I don’t really want to comment on that because I want to let other people take care of that. The last thing that we need is a war of words and being accused of doing certain things. It is amazing how the narrative changed about the TMO. I was accused of questioning his integrity and I didn’t make one comment leading up to the game last week.We will talk to the referee and hopefully get some feedback, and give him some feedback.

On the Cheslin Kolbe yellow card: “I’m not going to comment on the referee’s decision. It didn’t look great from where I was.”

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:50
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Lions vs South Africa: Changes

Warren Gatland should be with us shortly, but I’d anticipate a number of changes for next week. At first glance, I think the back three will look very different, and he might look to freshen up the back a bit, too - the back row didn’t quite work today. It could be a third centre combination in three weeks.

Much might depend on how the players come out of this game. That was a properly brutal contest, and a long one.

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:46
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Lions vs South Africa result: Siya Kolisi reacts

“It was the toughest week I have had as captain. It was huge. We knew it. It was the same pressure we felt in the World Cup but now even more, because it only happens every 12 years.

“As a team, we go back to what we know. With our system, with the team. You can’t control everything. That’s what we focussed on.

On the referee: “That’s nothing personal. I’ve worked with Ben O’Keeffe before and he came to me afterwards and said thank you.

“It’s game on. We are going to go again, and try and do what we did today but even harder.”

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:35
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Lions vs South Africa result: Robbie Henshaw reacts

We should be hearing from Warren Gatland reasonably soon, but first some reaction from one of the Lions with pride wounded:

“Momentum swings both ways,” Robbie Henshaw said on Sky Sports. “South Africa came out in the second half and got a bit of an edge on us in an arm-wrestle game. But a positive is that in the final Test next week, it is all to play for, which makes it exciting.

“We have to pick ourselves up next week and come back stronger. It is all to play for next week. It is finals rugby and at the top level. Everyone is going to be up for it, so it is going to be an exciting week.”

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:31
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Lions vs South Africa result: Bench impact proves key

As predicted, the substitutes had a huge role to play. South Africa’s decision to send on Lood de Jager and shift Franco Mostert to the back row proved a turning point - the extra lineout jumper and long-limbed defender made a massive difference, and de Jager was virtually faultless after he was introduced. Similarly, Malcolm Marx, Trevor Nyakane and Vincent Koch added plenty in the front row. Conversely, you’d say that Kyle Sinckler, Rory Sutherland and Ken Owens particularly struggled after being brought on.

An 18 point winning margin reflects a more one-sided game than the one that unfolded but the Lions were very much second best in that last 40 minutes.

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:28
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South Africa 27-9 Lions

It wasn’t a hugely enticing spectacle, but it wasn’t a game short of talking points. Credit to Ben O’Keeffe and the other officials - there were times, in the first half particularly, when it appeared the game may spill over and out of control, but they managed to keep it in something like fighting shape.

There will be a decider, then. Same time, same place for that next week - and things could hardly be better poised. Somehow, you doubt it’ll be a quiet week.

Lukhanyo Am of South Africa scores a try

Harry Latham-Coyle31 July 2021 19:20

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