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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the second Test between the Springboks and the British and Irish Lions.

After a week which saw so much focus on coaches and match officials, it’s nice to have some actually rugby to look forward to today.

And what a game we have in store. A win for the Lions will secure the series after their impressive second-half fightback last week, while a Springboks victory would keep the series alive heading into next week’s third and final Test.

We’ll keep you updated on all the action as it happens in Cape Town, with kick-off today at 5pm. As always, do let us know your match predictions in the comment section.

We’ve got you sorted for pre-match reading, starting with Murray Kinsella’s match preview, which you can find here.

It has been a bizarre week in which Rassie Erasmus crossed the line in many people’s eyes, while others felt the Springboks director of rugby simply shielded his team from criticism in the wake of their first Test defeat.

Whatever one’s opinion, there is surely collective relief in the fact that the talking is now finally done and we can watch rugby again later today as the Lions look to seal a series win over the Springboks in the second Test.

It’s another big day for Ireland centre Robbie Henshaw, who chatted to Murray this week. You can read the full interview here.

“All in all, I was happy with the first Test in a Lions jersey and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t perfect but I’m looking to build on it and get better.”

A big day for these three men, too. New Zealand’s Ben O’Keefe is today’s referee, pictured here with South Africa captain Siya Kolisi and Lions skipper Alun Wyn Jones for the coin toss. 

siya-kolisi-at-the-coin-toss-with-ben-okeefe-and-alun-wyn-jones Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO

Less than 30 minutes to kick-off now, here’s a reminder of how the Lions line-up today. 

It’s been some year for Jack Conan. Will the Leinster man cap a superb season with a Lions series win?

jack-conan Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The two teams are out on the pitch. We’re almost ready to go in Cape Town.

3mins

An early penalty for the Springboks and Pollard kicks to the corner. Etzebeth collects the lineout and the Boks maul towards the line, with Mbonambi the man with the ball before it breaks down and turns into a heated exchange between the two teams, with Alun Wyn Jones and Etzebeth squaring off. Ben O’Keefe warns both captains to not let it happen again, and we have a Springboks scrum. 

5mins – South Africa 3 B&I Lions 0

We have our first score of the game, Handre Pollard kicking three points from close range after the Lions were pinged for offside.

8mins

The Lions make their first visit to the Boks’ 22, and after a few strong carries off the back of a lineout Biggar goes for the aerial bomb. Le Roux does well to initially claim the ball under pressure but then knocks on, and we have a Lions scrum. 

11mins – South Africa 3 B&I Lions 3

The Lions get quick ball from the scrum and charge at the Boks line, with Jasper Wiese conceding a penalty for no arms in the tackle. Biggar slots the penalty and the Lions are level in Cape Town.

15mins

A huge defensive effort from the Lions there before they win the ball back, with Mapimpi perhaps harsly pinged for a penalty. That might be one for Rassie’s next video… Some massive hits in the early stages here.

PENALTY - South Africa 3 B&I Lions 6

18mins - South Africa 3 B&I Lions 6

Biggar kicks the Lions into the lead with a well-struck penalty.

Just before that, Kolbe flew into Curry and we had a quick TMO check for a possible head-on-head, but the Boks wing wasn’t penalised. On Sky Sports’ commentary, Sam Warburton was not impressed with Kolbe’s technique. 

20mins

Pollard drags a very kickable penalty wide. A let off for the Lions.

22mins

A big blow for the hosts. Pieter-Steph Du Toit has been struggling with an injury the last few minutes and is coming off, Kwagga Smith entering the action in his place.

23mins 

The Lions are down to 14 men for the next 10 minutes, ver der Merwe with a clear trip on Cheslin Kolbe. Can’t have any complaints with that.

25mins

Oh now… Kolbe could be in trouble here after tackling Conor Murray in the air. We have another mini melee, it’s all getting very heated.

25mins

Kolbe escapes with just a yellow card. He’s probably lucky that wasn’t red, and Murray is certainly lucky he wasn’t hurt after being caught in the air by the South Africa wing. To be fair to Kolbe, he never took his eye of the ball but it was still dangerous play. Both teams now down to 14.

28mins

We are now into the 28th minute of a game that kicked-off 45 minutes ago.

30mins

The Lions beginning to hit their groove, with Conan and Henshaw showing great hands before play breaks down with a knock-on. This has been a very scrappy opening 30 minutes.

32mins – South Africa 6 B&I Lions 6

Pollard levels the score with a massive penalty. Mapimpi coming across to do some really impressive work there before the Lions were pinged.

34mins 

And now Mapimpi concedes a penalty at the other end and the Lions go to the corner. They go to the back of the lineout but Mostert gets the steal ahead of Lawes. 

36mins

Robbie Henshaw might have a try here. We’re going for a TMO check.

No try! Siya Kolisi does really well to stop Henshaw dotting down after the Leinster centre collected Murray’s clever chip. 

37mins – South Africa 6 B&I Lions 9

No try for Henshaw but the Lions don’t leave empty-handed as Biggar slots another penalty. Faf de Klerk smashed Conor Murray off the back of the Lions scrum in the lead-up to that Henshaw no-try and was probably lucky to escape a card.

HT: South Africa 6 B&I Lions 9

Half-time in Cape Town, and the Lions lead 9-6. It took 65 minutes to play that half. Lots of penalties and lots of niggle, with the Lions coming closest to scoring a try with Henshaw held up by Kolisi just before the break.

We’ll be back shortly with all the second half action.

The second-half has just kicked off in Cape Town. A massive 40 minutes of rugby ahead.

46mins – South Africa 11 B&I Lions 9

That was just superb from the Springboks, who look really fired up after the break. They win a big scrum, then from a lineout produce a massive maul. With the Lions stretched, Pollard kicks towards Mapimpi, who shows real quality to cut inside and finish what was an excellent passage of play. Pollard will be kicking himself however as he is off target with the conversion.

What a start to the second half. Game on.

52mins

The Lions have a chance to move back into the lead but Dan Biggar smacks a penalty off the post. 

Here’s that South Africa try. Top class from the Boks.

57mins

A couple of changes in the last few minutes. The Lions have replaced their entire front row and Owen Farrell has also come in for Dan Biggar. The Boks have brought in Lood De Jager in a bid to improve their lineout work. 

59mins

Ali Price has come on for Conor Murray.

60mins

The Boks are really putting the Lions under pressure in the air, and Van der Merwe is having a tough time out there now. Jack Conan has just come off for Toby Faletau. 

It looks like we have a second South Africa try. We’re going to the TMO.

62mins – South Africa 18 B&I Lions 9 

Lukhanyo Am manages to dive onto De Klerk’s clever kick through and dot down. We have a TMO check and it looks a very tight call, but Ben O’Keefe decides the Boks centre was in control of the ball. Pollard converts and the hosts move nine points clear. Rassie Erasmus wasn’t happy with the officials last week, but that call certainly went their way.

64mins

Faf de Klerk has just left the action with an injury. Ken Owens and Eliot Daly both on for the Lions. It’s worth pointing out that the pitch is cutting up really badly now. 

68mins

Another change for the Boks, Damian Willemse in for Mapimpi, who had a really strong game. The hosts enjoying all the play now and getting so much joy in the air. This one is slipping away from the Lions.

72mins – South Africa 21 B&I Lions 9

Pollard slots another penalty and that might be that for the Lions. The tourists have less than 10 minutes to turn this around. Warren Gatland has just thrown Tadhg Beirne into the action.

75mins

South Africa are totally dominating this game now. They have a scrum inside the Lions half and get a huge push on the Lions, who have struggled to deal with the hosts’ physicality in this second half. 

77mins – South Africa 24 B&I Lions 9

Pollard kicks another penalty off the back of that massive Boks’ scrum. He’s had a superb second half.

78mins

Into the last two minutes of play and the Lions are struggling to get out of their half. The bench has made a massive difference for South Africa today. The pressure they are putting on the Lions is incredible. 

Full-time – South Africa 27 B&I Lions 9

Well, how about that? Absolute dominance from South Africa in that second half as the Boks level the series. They bossed the skies in Cape Town as the Lions struggled in the air. THe tourists also couldn’t live with South Africa’s physicality as the second half wore on, with the Boks’ bench hugely influential.

The good news is we now have a huge third Test to look forward to next week. Thanks for joining us this evening, we’ll have a full match report and all the reaction from both camps shortly.

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Ciarรกn Kennedy

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