South Africa force third Test decider after strong second-half display

2 August 2021

The British & Irish Lions will have to wait one more week for an opportunity to finish the series after the Springboks overturned a first-half deficit to beat the tourists 27-9.

Head Coach Warren Gatland made three changes to the line-up that saw his side secure victory in the first Test.

A rip-roaring first half saw the Lions take a 9-6 lead into the break, with Dan Biggar kicking three penalties to Handre Pollard’s two at the Cape Town Stadium.

But just as the visitors had done in their first Test victory, the Springboks turned the game around and scored two tries through Makazole Mapimpi and Lukhanyo Am.

Pollard added three more penalties to extend the hosts’ advantage and ensure the Lions face a final Test decider as they look to secure only a third series win in South Africa.

Anthony Watson made his second Test start in a row on Saturday while Taulupe Faletau made his first appearance of the series replacing Jack Conan in the 60th minute.

“We were happy at half-time but in the second half we just didn’t get anything going," Gatland stated at full time. “Mo momentum, no real opportunity to play, nothing at all from the kick returns – whether from us or them.

“That was disappointing, and we’ve probably also given away some penalties. In fairness to them, they scrummaged well in the second half and got some reward from that.

“As I say, we were happy with the way the first half had gone and felt going into half-time we’d carried well, we’d got forward momentum, but we didn’t achieve that at all in the second half.

“The players are obviously very disappointed but next Saturday is a cup final and that’s the way we’ve got to look at it and prepare. There are a few things we’ve got to tidy up.” 

“It’s 1-1 and South Africa put a huge amount of emotion into that game so now we’ve got that chance next week to hopefully secure the series win.”

The third and final Test will be at the Cape Town Stadium and you can watch it on Sky Sports at 17:00 on Saturday 7th August.

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