As it happened: British and Irish Lions first test victory over South Africa
What a match. What a win.
It’s far from over, but we take a 1-0 lead in the #CastleLionsSeries #LionsRugby #BoksvLions pic.twitter.com/VSRYCIaPoM
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) July 24, 2021
The British and Irish Lions’ three-test tour of South Africa is officially underway and Warren Gatland’s side have got off to a winning start, coming from behind to narrowly beat the 2019 World Cup winners at the Cape Town Stadium.
Ahead of the Lions’ second test against the Springboks on Saturday, which the visitors are now firmly favoured to win on sites like Betdaq, let’s take a look back at the action from last weekend’s victory. Read on to find out more…
14th minute – Penalty to South Africa – 3-0
After a nervy start, in which neither side could really hold on to the ball and put together a solid number of phases, the Lions were eventually penalised for one of the players failing to roll away after a tackle. It wasn’t the best of kicks from South Africa’s number 10, Handre Pollard. But it sailed between the posts to give the hosts the lead nonetheless.
17th minute – Penalty to South Africa – 6-0
The Springboks were awarded another penalty just three minutes later after a moment of ill-discipline from Tom Curry. The flanker hit Faf de Klerk, his Sale Sharks teammate, late and the referee was quick to the award the penalty. Pollard’s kick from around the 22-metre line doubled South Africa’s lead.
20th minute – Penalty to the Lions – 6-3
After dishing out two penalties in quick succession, the Lions were awarded one of their own in the 20th minute. Damian De Allende was deemed offside for breaking the line too early, and Dan Biggar replied with a pin-point 40-metre strike.
27th minute – Penalty to South Africa – 9-3
South Africa extended their lead back to six points with a third penalty from Pollard in the 27th minute. Elliot Daly was penalised for being off his feet and the Springbok’s fly-half converted from the 22 once again.
31st minute – Penalty to South Africa – 12-3
The Lions gave away their sixth penalty of the game in the 31st minute, and Pollard, who was faced with his toughest kick, didn’t look fazed by the distance and angle as he converted from just beyond the 40-metre line.
HT – South Africa 12-3 Lions
Gatland’s side were left reeling from missed opportunities late in the first half. Biggar dragged his penalty from the left touchline wide of the left post in the 36th minute, and Daly missed another three-point effort just three minutes, as his 55-metre effort fell short of the crossbar.
44th minute – Try for the Lions – 12-10
The Lions came out firing in the second half, and they were quickly rewarded for their efforts, as Luke Cowan-Dickie touched down for the first try of the game just four minutes in. The hooker latched on to the back of a Lions maul and helped push his teammates forward. The maul collapsed just one metre from the line, but Cowan-Dickie was able to force the ball over. Biggar converted to close the gap to two.
50th minute – Try for South Africa – 17-10
Just when the Lions were looking for a way back into the game, they were pegged back once more. South Africa were denied a try by the TMO just minutes earlier, but this one counted as de Klerk caught a dropped ball from Makazole Mapimpi on the line and touched down. Holland missed the conversion.
53rd and 56th minute – Back-to-back penalties for the Lions – 17-16
Biggar converted two penalties inside three minutes to claw the Lions back to within one point of the hosts. Kwagga Smith was penalised for ripping the ball from Alun Wyn Jones for the first penalty, and the Welsh fly-half converted the straight-forward attempt. His second penalty was another fairly simply kick, and he sent the ball through the uprights with ease.
63rd minute – Penalty for the Lions – 17-19
Clearly filled with confidence after his two quick kicks moments before, Biggar converted his toughest penalty to give the Lions the lead for the first time in the game. Starting his run off the left touchline, the Welshman beautifully dispatched from an extremely tight angle to give the Lions a two-point lead.
78th minute – Penalty for the Lions – 17-22
After surviving a scare as a South Africa try was ruled out by the TMO for a knock-on, Owen Farrell coolly converted his first penalty of the game, wasting as much time as he could in the process.
FT – Victory for Gatland’s men – 17-22
With a converted try needed for the hosts to nick the game, the Springboks were pilling on the pressure on the Lions. However, the visitors’ defence remained resilient and after 12 intense phases, Maro Itoje stripped the ball of South Africa and Stuart Hogg kicked it into the stands to secure a first-test victory.