THE BRITISH and Irish Lions came from behind in spectacular fashion to edge the first Test 22-17 against South Africa in Cape Town.
Warren Gatland’s side found themselves 12-3 down at half-time but battled back to win thanks to 14 points from Dan Biggar, Luke Cowan-Dickie’s try and a late Owen Farrell penalty.
Maro Itoje put in a near-perfect performance for the Lions in Cape Town[/caption]
The on-field celebrations were muted after the match as the Lions seemed to know they got out of jail.
But the history books will note it as a win which is all that matters.
Here’s what SunSport’s man in Cape Town – Jonny Fordham – thought of the Lions’ individual performances.
STUART HOGG – 8
Waited eight years, started badly, but finished like a superstar.
ANTHONY WATSON – 7
Competed hard in the air, would have wanted more ball in hand, though.
ELLIOT DALY – 7
Smoked by Am early on. Fell just short with a long-range pen.
ROBBIE HENSHAW – 9
Immense, only error was dropping the ball when through.
Robbie Henshaw was seriously impressive as Warren Gatland’s side came from behind to win[/caption]
DUHAN VAN DER MERWE – 8
Almost scored, earned his spot. Shut up the doubters.
DAN BIGGAR – 8
Shanked early kicks before recovering. Emptied the tank.
ALI PRICE – 9
Not one missed kick and kept the pace up. Superb debut.
Ali Price was superb on his Lions debut[/caption]
RORY SUTHERLAND – 7
Late call-up for Wyn Jones, but did the job before Vunipola finished it.
LUKE COWAN-DICKIE – 8
A dream debut try in his first Test. Superb scenes.
TADHG FURLONG – 7
More impact needed in the loose against the green giants.
Tadhg Furlong will hope to have more of an impact next time out[/caption]
MARO ITOJE – 10 – STAR MAN
Snaffled a key turnover in his own 22. Phenomenal. A Machine.
ALUN WYN JONES (C) – 7
Played the full 80 less than a month after a dislocated shoulder.
COURTNEY LAWES – 8
What a warrior. Always stood up. A titanic display.
Courtney Lawes put in a solid display of his own[/caption]
TOM CURRY – 7
Done for a late hit on De Klerk, but nailed Kwagga Smith to set-up first try.
JACK CONAN – 8
Showed his neat feet in the second half.
Owens 7 (on for Cowan-Dickie, 57), Vunipola 7 (on for Sutherland, 57), Sinckler 8 (on for Furlong, 67), Beirne 6 (on for Lawes, 73).
H Watson 6 (on for Curry, 57), Murray 7 (on for Price, 64), Farrell 8 (on for Daly, 66), Williams 8 (on for Van Der Merwe, 71).
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Owen Farrell came off the bench and kicked the final points[/caption]
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Le Roux 7, Kolbe 6, Am 7, De Allende 8, Mapimpi 6, Pollard 8, De Klerk 7; Nche 8, Mbonambi 7, Nyakane 8, Etzebeth 7, Mostert 6, Kolisi 7 (c), Du Toit 8, Smith 4.
SOUTH AFRICA REPLACEMENTS
Marx 5 (on for Mbonambi, 41), Kitshoff 5 (on for Nche, 41), Malherbe 4 (on for Nyakane 41), De Jager 5 (on for Mostert, 64).
Elstadt 5 (on for Smith, 64), H Jantjies, E Jantjies 6 (on for Pollard, 71), Willemse 6 (on for Le Roux, 67).
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