The British and Irish Lions have beaten the South African Springboks 22 to 17 in the first test match of the 2021 Series
The British and Irish Lions have overcome the tour’s rocky start to produce the unlikely result of a win in the home of the world champions. The Lions didn’t begin the game ho they would have hoped, a number of sloppy penalties gave Springboks fly-half Handre Pollard multiple opportunities to kick at goal.
Pollard earned his side 6 points in within the opening 20 minutes, despite a response from Lions out-half Dan Biggar, Pollard added two more penalty kicks to the Springboks scoreline. An uncharacteristic miss from Biggar followed by a 55m attempt by Elliot Daly, brought the try-less first half to an end with a scoreline of 12-3 to the Springboks.
The Lions began the second-half an entirely different team, England hooker Luke Cowan-Dickie was at the finishing end of a powerful Lions maul, rewarding the tourists for their first bit of momentum all game. With the first try of the game on the Lions side of the scoreboard, the Springboks were hellbent on crossing the line next.
Springboks fullback Willie Le Roux had a stellar try disallowed due to being off-side by a miniature margin. However, it didn’t take long for the Springboks to get on the scoreboard as scrum-half Faf de Klerk gathered and finished a loose ball to earn his side their first try.
Despite de Klerk’s try, Pollard’s missed conversion showed how spooked the world cup winners really were. Three additional penalty kicks from Biggar put the Lions in front for the first time all game, while the South African’s struggled to recreate the momentum they had in the first half.
The Springboks failed to turn opportunities into points as the game entered its final quarter. Pollard missed what could have been a lead gaining penalty kick, only to be followed by another disallowed try from Munster’s Damian De Allende.
More and more penalties were coming in favour of the Lions, but none more essential than when England’s Owen Farrell stepped up to convert a penalty into points once again. Without hesitation, Farrell nailed the 77th minute penalty to seal the final score for the tour’s first test. 22 – 17 in favour of the visitors.
The second test of the series and potential decider will take place in Cape Town once again on Saturday July 31st at 5pm! Full highlights of the game can be seen here: