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 since 1997 – and only their fifth ever in the country – with a game to spare.
However, despite leading 9-6 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 and bragging rights on the line.
Follow Lions vs South Africa Second Test reaction LIVE with Standard Sport’s blog below!
Jacques 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 lineouts 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 familiar gameplan to perfection in this second half.
One last kick from the tee for 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…
Heather Knight accepts Pakistan tour withdrawal but hopes England Women can check out in long run
ngland captain Heather Knight suggests the controversial decision to pull out of the prepared tour of Pakistan was “taken out of our hands” and insists it is critical for women’s cricket that they pay a visit to the state in the long run.
England’s ladies were because of to tour Pakistan for the initially time ever as aspect of a joint white-ball tour with the men’s staff, who were returning for the first time since 2005.
Even so, after New Zealand withdrew their men’s workforce from their tour of Pakistan very last 7 days due to a “credible threat”, the ECB announced on Monday that it too was pulling the plug.
That has drawn fierce criticism from Pakistan, who are confident they can give a protected experience for going to teams.
Knight insisted verdicts on the viability of a tour are not for players, or even captains, to take care of and defended the ECB’s ideal to make the phone.
Talking immediately after her side’s a few-wicket defeat to New Zealand at Leicester, she reported: “We found yesterday that the board experienced built the final decision for us not to go and it’s higher than our heads a minimal bit.
“I feel the the dialogue and the communication between the board and PCA (experienced cricketers’ association) is a robust a person, and it was a tough situation with what experienced gone on with New Zealand.
“I feel using it out of our palms is most likely the right issue to do and, and that was finished with a perspective to consider and glimpse soon after the gamers.
“It’s for the persons higher than us to make people selections and for us to to get on with them and take wherever they are.
“Hopefully, someday in the potential we’ll be able to go. I do consider it is significant for them, notably in women’s cricket with what is going on in the location.”
Knight had a lot more urgent issues to look at as well, obtaining found her side’s batting falter once more at Grace Road.
England were being bowled out although batting 1st for the 3rd activity in a row, this time for an under-energy 178, and would have been even worse off ended up it not for Katherine Brunt’s defiant 49 not out from amount nine.
New Zealand chased it down for the decline of seven wickets many thanks to Maddy Green’s confident 70 not out, with Brunt also professing four for 22 in a dropping cause.
“It was not a sport we should have to win, win, to be honest, we ended up just brief with the bat once again,” claimed Knight.
“We confirmed true combat, which is a great high quality to have in this staff. But as a top purchase we’re quite disappointed in that dressing room immediately after not putting jointly a overall.
“We know the expertise we have received in that batting line-up but we’ve got to uncover a way to turn it about rather quickly as a group and acquire some obligation for currently being the ones to make a rating.”
Extra reporting by PA.
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