British and Irish Lions vs South Africa LIVE: Second test latest score and updates in Cape Town
The British and Irish Lions look to take the tour series with victory in the second Test over South Africa in Cape Town. A brutal first Test saw Warren Gatland’s men emerge with a storming victory after rallying in the second-half.
And now the pressure is on the Springboks to respond, though there is great tension ahead of the second meeting after comments from Boks captain Siya Kolisi, who claimed he felt disrespected by referee Nic Berry: “I didn’t feel respected and I feel I wasn’t given a fair opportunity.”
Kolisi’s comments and those of Mzwandile Stick have fanned the flames before kick-off, with Lions centre Robbie Henshaw maintains the camp is anticipating a wounded South Africa to move the ball more in what promises to be an emotional encounter.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge for us again. They’re going to be emotionally driven,” Henshaw told reporters. “Backs to the wall, they’re a dangerous team. And we know that. They’re going to be well up for it. We just need to be ready to match their power and the fire they’re going to bring. They might want to play a bit more, have their dangerous men get more touches on the ball. We need to be ready for that. There could be some new trick plays, things we haven’t seen.”
Follow live updates from Cape Town in the second Test with South Africa in a must-win scenario and Gatland’s Lions one win away from greatness.
Lions vs South Africa: Siya Kolisi speaks to Sky Sports
Sky Sports have just shown an exceptionally powerful interview with South Africa. It’s been an odd week for Kolisi, and a tough one, too, I’m sure, and he spoke emotionally about how he felt he is treated as a captain, and many of the wider stories of this Lions tour.
Lions vs South Africa: Memories of Durban
It is, of course, twelve years since the Lions were last involved in a Second Test in South Africa, and that clash in Durban remains at the forefront of the collective rugby mind. It’s an uncomfortable watch, at times, particularly given how player welfare has come on since then, but it seems likely that both sides may just look to raise the brutality this afternoon – they won’t be short of motivating factors.
It was South Africa one ahead on that occasion, securing a dramatic victory to seal the series. Morne Steyn, he of the coolest head on that occasion, has been part of the Springboks’ squad this summer, and will undoubtedly have shared some of his insights, while the Lions have been reflecting on history, too:
A 22-17 win in the first Test has left the Lions on the brink of history.
Lions vs South Africa: Warren Gatland makes three changes
“There’s no pressure on the Lions as such,” says two-time tourist Sean O’Brien on Sky Sports, though I’m not sure the players would agree. It is a huge opportunity for this Lions side, however, with the focus very much on South Africa, particularly after the Rassie Erasmus video.
Having won the battle for control in the second half in part one of this series, Warren Gatland will be looking for a better start this time around. There are signs in his selection that a degree of solidity is preferred, with Chris Harris’ defensive nous required ahead of a quiet Elliot Daly, and Conor Murray nudging Ali Price to the bench after a strong performance to help see the game out seven days ago.
Mako Vunipola exorcised a few World Cup ghosts by winning his individual battle with Frans Malherbe this time last week, and his impactful half-hour or so earns him the starting loosehead’s shirt.
Lions vs South Africa: Springboks team in detail
As mentioned, it is three changes for South Africa from the start, and a notable bench reshuffle, too. The introduction of Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe didn’t quite have the impact Jacques Nienaber hoped last weekend, so the props are in from the start for Test Two. At the back of the scrum, it’s a welcome to the series for Leicester Tigers juggernaut Jasper Wiese, who has cruel intentions with ball in hand and is a statement selection for South Africa having lost the collisions in the second half a week ago.
On the bench, it’s back to the 6-2 split for the Springboks, with Marco van Staden and Kwagga Smith the back-row cavalry ready to reverse the trends of the opening clash.
Springboks XV: 1.Steven Kitshoff, 2.Bongi Mbonambi, 3.Frans Malherbe; 4.Eben Etzebeth, 5.Franco Mostert; 7.Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6.Siya Kolisi,8.Jasper Wiese;; 9.Faf de Klerk, 10.Handre Pollard; 12.Damian de Allende, 13.Lukhanyo Am; 11.Makazole Mapimpi, 14.Cheslin Kolbe, 15.Willie Le Roux.
Bench: Marx, Nyakane, Koch, de Jager, van Staden, Smith, H.Jantjies, Willemse
Lions vs South Africa: Braced for a Bok-lash
Even before all that has come, the Lions were bracing for a better South African performance this week. Each of Maro Itoje, Alun Wyn Jones and Warren Gatland used their press conferences in the immediate aftermath of First Test to emphasise that the victory must not be wasted and underline that they felt South Africa would come back stronger. With extra motivation having fallen behind in the series, and an extra week in legs that have played little Test match rugby since World Cup victory, the Lions are bracing for a Bok-lash:
The Lions enter Saturday’s second Test at Cape Town Stadium in a position of strength
Lions vs South Africa: Erasmus studies
As if this Lions series needed any more animosity or intrigue. After a thrilling opening encounter last weekend, the release of Rassie Erasums’ hour-long diatribe about referee Nic Berry and his officiating team was a surreal twist on an odd week that had already brought accusations of burner Twitter accounts, with an unconventional coach firmly straying from the accepted path with an extraordinary video.
That is not to say he was not correct in many of his 26 observations of the First Test, but to criticise and call out the officials in such a manner is unprecedented. Berry is on assistant refereeing duties today, with Ben O’Keeffe (who has already had an eventful month, as we may get to later) of New Zealand the man with the whistle. One wonders what will be going through their heads now.
South Africa captain Kolisi had his say on the performance of Nic Berry and assistant coach Stick accused the Lions of starting the war of words.
Lions vs South Africa: The week that was
It’s been quite a week in Lions-land…
Off-the-field matters have taken centre stage rather than the first Test victory for the Lions
Lions vs South Africa: Monye on Erasmus comments on referee
“This is a once in a generation opportunity [for Erasmus],” former England wing Ugo Monye said on Rugby Union Weekly.
“The prospect of them losing the Test series by 7pm on Saturday is unthinkable.
“The only thing that matters is winning and you do whatever you can to make sure your team has the best chance of winning.
“Every elite coach is an absolute control freak and now he is trying to control something which most people can’t control – the performance of the referee.”
Lions vs South Africa: Team news
The Lions have made three changes to the starting XV, with Conor Murray, Chris Harris and Mako Vunipola coming in. Dan Biggar will play fly-half subject to the approval of a concussion consultant.
South Africa follow suit with three changes, Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe both in as props and Jasper Wiese at No8. Ox Nche is out with a neck injury and Marco van Staden replaces Rynhardt Elstadt as loose forward cover.
Lions vs South Africa: Prediction
Harry Latham-Coyle: The Springboks will be looking for a big reaction and they’ll do enough to level the series here with a win.