Boks bring World Cup-level playing to even out British & Irish Lions Test series

In a do-or-die encounter at the Cape Town Stadium, both sides showed little dominance in the first half in what became a heated affair.

Springbok captain and flanker Siya Kolisi at the end of the second rugby union Test match between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions at The Cape Town Stadium in Cape Town on 31 July 2021. Picture: Rodger Bosch/AFP

The Springboks have shown their mettle - last seen in the Rugby World Cup - and beat the British and Irish Lions 27-9 and levelling the series on Saturday night.

In a do-or-die encounter at the Cape Town Stadium, both sides showed little dominance in the first half in what became a heated affair.

Referee Ben O’Keeffe needed to intervene on a number of occasions with both captains warned to talk to their players after angry exchanges between the teams. And to make matters worse for the Boks, Pieter-Steph du Toit left the field injured, looking very despondent from the sidelines.

The game then saw two yellow cards with British and Irish Lions winger Duhan van der Merwe sent off for illegally tripping Cheslin Kolbe, who himself was sent off for tackling a player in the air.

The visitors almost saw a try via Robbie Henshaw, but after the TMO studied numerous angles, it was found that the ball went forward.

The first half was tense, with both sides battling to gain a footing against the other. With the halftime score 9-6 in favour of the visitors, it was still anyone’s game.

But when the players returned, the situation changed, with the Boks shifting into top gear and reminding supporters why they are World Champions.

Flyhalf Handre Pollard launched a short kick, which was caught by Makazole Mapimpi who went over the line.
This put the Boks in the lead 11-9, but Pollard missed the conversion. The flyhalf missed a few on the night, but this didn’t keep the Boks back.

A while later, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk kicked forward, which saw Lukhanyo Am win the race to dot the ball down. The television match official was called on once again and after many angles were inspected, the try was awarded.

Pollard converted and the Boks then poured on the pressure, showing the performance of World Champions. This saw 21 unanswered points for the Boks in the second half.

Most of the remaining game saw the Springboks in the visitor’s half with a number of penalties successfully kicked by Pollard.

Next Saturday’s decider promises to be an epic encounter at the Cape Town Stadium with South Africans set to return to their TV’s while longing for an end the COVID-19 lockdown and a return to stadiums to watch their team.

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