After last weekend’s fightback to win the opening match 22-17, the tourists had the chance to seal their first series win in South Africa – and only their fifth ever in the country – since 1997 with a game to spare.
However, despite leading at half-time in a fiery, emotional contest that featured no shortage of scuffles, Warren Gatland’s side were dominated after the interval, with tries from Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am and 17 total points from the boot of fly-half Handre Pollard securing a deserved 27-9 triumph for the reigning world champions.
It sets up an enormous, winner-takes-all Third Test meeting back at the Cape Town Stadium next Saturday night (August 7), with the series on the line.
Follow Lions vs South Africa Second Test reaction LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below!
Jaques Nienaber on Erasmus video controversy
South Africa head coach Jacques Nienaber was inevitably asked about *that* Rassie Erasmus video by Sky Sports…
“Rassie, as director of rugby, had something on his mind, on his heart, that he wanted to get across,” he said.
“For us, we discussed it, that is the message which went out from his side. From our side, we just stayed focused and did the rugby stuff on the field.”
Looking ahead to the third Test, Nienaber said: “We will go and do our same process.
“I thought we had guts and grinded it out, but there are a lot of things we can still improve on.
“We will go back to our process, work through it, look what went well, what can we improve and take it from there.”
Siya Kolisi reaction
“For me as a leader, it was the toughest week I have ever had to face, with everything that is happening,” the Springbok skipper said on Sky Sports.
“Everyone was making sure we focused on the things we could fix. We knew we made a lot of mistakes last week.
“We had to go back to what works as an individual for you, what we know as a team and what we can fix.
“We focused on what we could fix on the pitch, like the line-outs and scrums, making sure we did not give away penalties.”
Looking ahead to the series decider, Kolisi said: “It is game on, we are going to go again, nothing different.
“We are just going to try what we did today even harder.”
Warren Gatland reaction
Here’s Lions coach Warren Gatland speaking to Sky Sports…
“It is going to be a challenge for us now, there is no doubt,” he said. “At half-time we were very happy with the way the game was going, then we were slow in the second half, very stop-start and could not get any momentum.
“They did a good job slowing that down and we gave away some soft penalties as well, so need to address that with the discipline. We have an opportunity to go back and train hard, making sure we stay together and it is a cup final for them next week.”
Gatland added: “The players have to quickly put the disappointment behind them.
“They have worked incredibly hard over the past seven weeks or so, it is about making sure we don’t drop our heads and making sure we are positive in the way we prepare.
“We will look at the tape, criticise some performances and see if we need to bring a few fresh faces in. There is a lot of competition in the squad if we do make changes.”
Henshaw: We have to come back stronger
“We have to pick ourselves up next week and come back stronger,” Henshaw added.
“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.”
“Momentum swings both ways,” Lions centre 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.”
A fully deserved win for the reigning world champions, who dominated that second half.
The series is levelled at 1-1, with a massive decider to come at Cape Town Stadium next Saturday.
What an occasion that will be.
PENALTY! South Africa 27-9 Lions | Handre Pollard 81′
81 mins: The last action of the game is another successful penalty from Pollard.
80 mins: Penalties, turnovers, effective high-ball bombardment – South Africa have worked their gameplan to perfection in this second half.
Once last kick from Pollard with the clock in the red…
77 mins: No problem with either tackle and we come back for the Boks penalty.
Lions captain Alun Wyn Jones’ bloody nose and ear wounds tell the tale of this physical battle.
77 mins: South Africa have yet another penalty, but we’ll also have a check on that tackle from Mostert on Farrell.
And also Am’s tackle on Elliot Daly…
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Publish date : 2021-07-31 19:20:03