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British and Irish Lions beat South Africa in Cape Town

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South Africa and the British & Irish Lions meet for their third series in the professional era of rugby. Both teams have won one series each, the Lions in 1997 (2-1) and the Springboks in 2009 (2-1).

This is the third time the British & Irish Lions will play the defending World Champions, the second time the Lions are playing the Boks after South Africa won a World Cup (1995/97 and 2007/09).

Since 1888 SA vs BIL: Played 46 | SA Won 23 | Lions Won 17 | Drawn 6 | SA Points 600 | Lions Points 516 |

BREAKING: Loosehead prop Wyn Jones (Wales) is a late withdrawal to the British & Irish Lions starting lineup after picking up a shoulder injury in training.

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Rory Sutherland (Scotland) starts in the run-on XV, in place of the Welshman, while Mako Vunipola (England) takes his place on the bench.

Match detail

We are waiting for the kick-off.

1.00: PEEEEP! Nkosi Sikelei’ iAfrika is sung, and we are underway at Cape Town Stadium for the 1st Test of the 2021 British & Irish Lions series.

3.00: South Africa wins an early penalty for offside, but the Lions win territory back after a good kick by Scottish scrum-half Ali Price.

4.00: Lukhanyo Am with a big hit on Elliot Daly sees the Boks win back possession; however, a kicking battle ensues as both teams look for territory.

6.00: South Africa wins another turnover at the breakdown, they go seven phases before losing the ball. A long series of plays ends with Faf de Klerk’s grubber rolls into touch on the Lions’ 10m.

8.00: Pieter-Steph du Toit concedes a penalty at the maul. The Lions set up an attack off the back of the lineout, but a knock-on kills the attack for the visitors.

10.00: The Sprinboks’ scrum wins the first scrum-penalty of the Test, but a Willie Le Roux break gives away possession after the advantage is lost; however, Stuart Hogg’s raking kick rolls over the dead-ball line and gives the Boks a scrum inside Lions’ territory.

13.00: Tom Curry is pinged at the ruck for not rolling away. Before the penalty, the Boks won a free-kick at the scrum to set up the attack.

14.00: PENALTY! Handre Pollard opens the scoring from far out but in front. 3-0

16.00: Maro Itoje runs into the man-monster that is Eben Etzebeth and he is held up. Boks’ scrum in center-field. Faf de Klerk’s clearance kick puts the Lions deep inside their half of the field.

17.00: Tom Curry hit Faf de Klerk late at the previous scrum, so the referee awards the Boks a penalty where the ball went out. Pollard calls for the tee.

18.00: PENALTY! Pollard doubles the Springboks lead. 6-0

19.00: Lukhanyo Am strays offside, Dan Biggar points to the posts.

20.00: PENALTY! Biggar makes no mistake from in front. 6-3

23.00: Maro Itoje is having a good game, his influence has earned his side a turnover in South African territory, and he won a penalty on his try line after a line break by Siya Kolisi put the Boks in the red zone.

26.00: Elliot Daly is pinged for playing the ball off his feet, it was close, but Pollard has an easy three-pointer.

27.00: PENALTY! The 27-year-old flyhalf makes it three from three. 9-3

31.00: PENALTY! Pollard takes advantage of another mistake from the Lions. Luke Cowan-Dickie’s terrible line-out led to the penalty. 12-3

33.00: Kwagga Smith is pinged for not rolling away at the ruck, Biggar kicks to the 22.

36.00: MISS! Biggar misses a relative sitter. 12-3

38.00: Mbongeni Mbonambi tackles Alun Wyn Jones around the neck while the lock was falling, it gives Elliot Daly a long-distance attempt from halfway.

40.00: MISS! Daly’s kick drops short. 12-3

41.00: Robbie Henshaw’s break ends with the Irishman losing the ball forward as Willie Le Roux bore down on the centre.

The halftime score was South Africa 12 British & Irish Lions 3

41.00: PEEEEP! We are back underway in Cape Town, South Africa.

43.00: The Lions win a penalty off the restart, kick to the corner to show their intent. Good call, the visitors look fired up. The Boks change the entire front row. Another penalty against Etzebeth leads to Biggar kicking to the corner.

44.00: TRY! Luke Cowan-Dickie crashes over after a powerful driving maul. 12-8

45.00: CONVERSION! Biggar adds the extras. 12-10

47.00: NO TRY! Willie Le Roux’s try is chalked off for being in front of the kicker. 12-10

50.00: TRY! Pieter-Steph du Toit’s rampaging run ends in a try for Faf de Klerk. Du Toit looked to have knocked on Makazole Mapimpi’s grubber before Mapimpi got tackled on the line. Mapimpi had the ball knocked out of his hand and De Klerk pounced to score. A long TMO review cannot overturn the ref’s call. 17-10

51.00: MISS! Pollard misses from wide. 17-10

53.00: PENALTY! Biggar adds three. 17-13

55.00: PENALTY! Another three for Biggar. 17-16

58.00: The Lions are gaining some ascendency in the scrum to go with their newfound momentum.

61.00: Duhan van der Merwe went close, but a knock-on by Henshaw brings play back to the Boks’ 22.

62.00: The Lions win a penalty at the maul, Biggar looks to the posts.

63.00: PENALTY! Biggar slots the kick. 17-19

64.00: Hamish Watson gives away a penalty for a dangerous tackle on Le Roux. Pollard calls for the tee.

65.00: MISS! Pollard has lost his radar. 17-19

68.00: It’s all Lions at the minute.

72.00: NO TRY! Damian de Allende’s try is chalked off after Cheslin Kolbe knocked on a high ball in the build-up. 17-19

76.00: The Lions are in control in Cape Town.

79.00: PENALTY! Owen Farrell wins the game for the Lions with a last-minute penalty. 17-22

81.00: Hogg boots the ball into touch, and the Lions go 1-0 up in the three-Test series.


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The final score is South Africa 17 (12) British & Irish Lions 22 (3)


South Africa
Tries – De Klerk
Pen – Pollard (4)
Con –
Drop –
Cards –

British & Irish Lions
Tries – Cowan-Dickie
Pen – Biggar (4), Farrell
Con – Biggar
Drop –
Cards –

Match Officials
Referee: Nic Berry (RA)
Assistant Referee 1: Ben O’Keeffe (NZR)
Assistant Referee 2: Mathieu Raynal (FFR)
TMO: Marius Jonker (SARU)


South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois de Klerk, 8 Albertus Smith, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Mbongeni Mbonambi, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche


16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 19 Frans Malherbe, 19 Lodewyk de Jager, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse

British & Irish Lions

15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Robbie Henshaw, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Ali Price, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Rory Sutherland


16 Ken Owens, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Tadhg Beirne, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Owen Farrell, 23 Liam Williams

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