An empty Cape Town Stadium was the venue that witnessed the Lions defeat the Springboks 22 points to 17 in the first Test of three to be hosted in the Mother City.
Try – Faf de Klerk Penalties – Handre Pollard 4
British and Irish Lions:
Try: Luke Cowan-Dickie Conversion: Dan Biggar Penalties: Biggar 4, OwenFarrell
Lions defeat the Springboks in first Test
The Springboks controlled the first half, feeding off Lions mistakes. It was the Lions who were scrappy in the first half, conceding unnecessary penalties. This was turned on its head in the second half, with the Springboks losing their composure, conceding penalties and slipping tackles. This allowed the Lions to start to string together phases, allowing them back into the game. It was the change in game plan by the Lions in the second-half that changed the game for them. The Springboks inability to compete in the air was the difference between the two teams.
The Springboks had a try disallowed in the 71st minute due to an earlier knock on, that was their only scoring opportunity other than the try scored by Faf de Klerk after a great recovery after a poor pass in midfield was recovered by Pieter-Steph du Toit and he made a great run downfield.
Lions won the aerial game:
It was the kicking game that won this one for the Lions. The Springboks were unable to deal with the pressure of the continual bombardment. Too many kick receipts or chases were knocked on, allowing the Lions the opportunity to move up the field and continue to apply pressure.
The challenge of the second Test
The second Test will be a tasty affair. The Lions were tested for only the second time on this tour. The other outing where they were tested was in the South Africa “A” game. For the Springboks, this was their first run-out as a full squad. They also lost ten days of training due to positive COVID tests in their camp. With both squads being expected to learn and improve from this outing, the second Test promises to be another exciting contest.
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