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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of today’s third and final Test between South Africa and the British and Irish Lions.

The series so far hasn’t been to everyone’s taste, but at least we go into the final game with everything to play for. After coming from behind to win the first Test, the Lions were comprehensively beaten in Cape Town last week as the Springboks levelled the series. Can Warren Gatland’s team turn it around today? It’s certainly a big ask given just how limited they looked seven days ago, but they certainly have the players – with a new-look back three and the inclusion of Bundee Aki and Ali Price capable of injecting some tempo and purpose into their game.

We’ll bring you all the action as it happens from the Cape Town Stadium, where kick-off today is at 5pm. As always, do let us know your predictions in the comments.

Of course, the hope is that this series ends with an entertaining bang and that the action on the pitch is what we recall most when thinking back to the 2021 Lions series in years to come. There are more than enough world-class players to make this a contest to remember even without supporters in Cape Town Stadium.

Can the Lions emulate the class of ’97? You can read Murray Kinsella’s match preview here.

A massive day for Bundee Aki. He starts for the Lions alongside his Ireland teammate, and good friend, Robbie Henshaw.

bundee-aki-before-the-game Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

The teams are out on the pitch, just five minutes until kick-off now. 


Lots of kicking, as expected, in the opening stages here. The Lions win an early penalty as Pollard knocks-on trying to field a high ball.


Dan Biggar drags his penalty effort wide to the left. He’ll be disappointed with that one. 


A clever turnover from Eben Etzebeth, nicking the ball off Alun Wyn Jones at the breakdown. The Springboks then get their phase game going, with Am making a good break down the left, with the play eventually called back for a South Africa penalty. Dan Biggar currently getting some treatment on his right leg, and looks in some discomfort. 


Well now, this changes things. Biggar is off with that leg injury, and Finn Russell is on.

12mins – South Africa 3 B&I Lions 0

A straight-forward penalty for Pollard puts the Springboks ahead. Really interesting now to see if Finn Russell’s introduction changes the Lions’ approach. The Scotland out-half hasn’t played in four-and-a half weeks, and now has almost 70 minutes of a Lions Test game ahead of him. No pressure, Finn.


A big scrum win for the Lions hands Russell an early chance to get up and running as he lines up a shot at the posts, and nails the kick. The Lions are on the scoreboard in Cape Town.

19mins – South Africa 3 B&I Lions 3

This is better from the Lions. They get their running and offload game going and eventually win a penalty, with Russell kicking for the corner instead of going for the posts. He’s started well.

19mins – South Africa 3 B&I Lions 10

How about that? Itoje wins the ball at the front of the lineout and the Lions maul at the line, with Ken Owens powering over for the opening try of the game. Russell converts and the Lions move into a 10-3 lead. Really good work by the tourists there.


Liam Williams with a big take overhead under pressure, that’s why he’s in the team this week. 


The Lions kick to the corner, and again it’s Owens driving at the line from the maul, but Tom Curry gets pinged and South Africa get the penalty. 


Just before that, Liam Williams carried into contact when Josh Adams was free on his right in a great position. A big missed opportunity.


Maro Itjoe makes a great linebreak but Damian de Allende shows great strength over the ball to force the penalty.

34mins – South Africa 3 B&I Lions 10

The Lions are looking good here but should really have more points on the board considering the amount of possession and territory they’ve enjoyed. Hopefully this doesn’t come back to bite them.

37mins – South Africa 6 B&I Lions 10

And now the Boks win the penalty at the scrum following a big shove. Pollard lines up the kick and splits the posts. 


Another missed opportunity for the Lions. They win the penalty, go for the corner, but Etzebeth steals in to win the ball ahead of Alun Wyn Jones at the lineout. The Lions get a second chance though as they quickly win the penalty, and we have a five-metre scrum. Conan carries off the back but hits a brick wall, as does the next man up, Itoje. 

They work the ball infield, with Price eventually getting isolated in possession and the Lions turnover the ball, Kolisi doing the damage for the Boks. That’s another missed opportunity for the Lions.


With the clock in the red we have a TMO check for a Jasper Wiese clean-out. The decision is no foul play. 

South Africa 6 B&I Lions 10

So, the Lions ahead at the break but they will feel they should have a more comfortable lead given the opportunities they’ve had. A massive second-half ahead.

The second-half has just kicked off. Another Boks backlash incoming?


The Lions forced into an early second-half change. Mako Vunipola is in for Wyn Jones.

46mins – South Africa 6 B&I Lions 10

The Springboks go through the phases and hit double-digits for the first time in the game. Pollard eventually goes for the kick but Conan does really well to get in and make the block. That’s a great defensive effort from the Lions.

47mins – South Africa 6 B&I Lions 10

Tom Curry pinged for not moving away, and the Boks get the penalty. It’s straight in front of the posts but a fair distance out, and Pollard’s kick strikes the post. 


We’re currently with the TMO, checking a potential high tackle from Finn Russell on Cheslin Kolbe.


The decision is penalty only. Russell deemed not to have crouched enough into the tackle, but there is mitigation as Kolbe slipped just before the contact, and Pollard gets another shot at the posts.

And Pollard misses again… The Lions hang on to their four-point lead.


Fifteen minutes into the second half and the Lions have hardly been out of their own half.

Oh hang on, we’re going to the TMO for a potential knock-on.

57mins – South Africa 13 B&I Lions 10

The try is given. Am did really well to get the ball into Le Roux’s hand, with the Springboks fullback making a great break before playing in Kolbe. The Toulouse superstar still had a fair bit to do, but beat two defenders to dot down in style. We then had a TMO check for a potential knock-on in the build up, but the try is given, with Pollard kicking the extras. The Lions now three points down and looking in a bit of trouble. They just haven’t got going in the second half.


Conor Murray is on for Ali Price. He’s got 20 minutes to try help swing the game

Here’s that Kolbe try. One of the best finishers in the world in action.


Adam Beard now in for Alun Wyn Jones, who was playing in his 12th Lions Test match today. 

64mins – South Africa 13 B&I Lions 13

The Lions level the game. Russell wins the penalty after a pushed in the back off the ball by Wiese, then steps up and slots the kick. 


The Springboks are emptying their bench now. Morne Steyn and Herschel Jantjies have both been introduced.

67mins – South Africa 16 B&I Lions 13

Steyn gets an early shot at the posts, and the 37-year-old nails the kick. A quality kick from the veteran out-half and the hosts lead by three with just over 10 minutes left to play.



A sloppy penalty conceded by Etzebeth allows the Lions kick to the corner. Lawes rises high to win the lineout, and the Lions bash at the Boks’ line. Vunipola thinks he’s over but Mathieu Raynal says he’s been held up, and we’ll have a five-metre scrum


A few problems around the scrum, and South Africa eventually win the scrum penalty. That’s a massive moment.

76mins – South Africa 16 B&I Lions 16

Another sloppy penalty from South Africa. Henshaw makes a superb break before being brought to ground, and as Murray sets, Am comes around the side and cleans the scrum-half out. Russell sizes up the posts and the scores are level with five minutes to play.

79mins – South Africa 19 B&I Lions 16

It’s all gone very 2009 as Steyn sinks the penalty to put the Boks three points up. The Lions have a minute left to save this.


South Africa 19 B&I Lions 16

Wow. What an ending… Just like in 2009, Morne Steyn is the hero as he sinks the winning penalty to take the series for the Boks.

The Lions will feel that was one that got away given the opportunities they let slip by in the first half, but the Springboks responded in impressive fashion in the second period.

We’ll have a full report and all the reaction from Cape Town shortly. Thanks for joining us, we’ll see you all in four years!

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Ciarán Kennedy


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