What do the Springboks need to do to bounce back from defeat to the B&I Lions?
- The Springboks suffered a 17-22 defeat to the British & Irish Lions in the first of three tests
- It was the Springboks first match since the World Cup final win over England in November 2019
- The sides meet in the second test on Saturday 31 July at the Cape Town stadium
As expected, the first test match between the Springboks and British and Irish Lions lived up to the hype.
It was a tight affair, in the first ever rugby test match to be played at the Cape Town Stadium, sadly it had to be played in front of empty seats due to the restrictions on gatherings.
The Springboks took a 9-0 lead courtesy of the boot of Handre Pollard, but the visitors fought back valiantly to overturn the deficit in the second half.
Thanks largely to flyhalf Dan Biggar, the British & Irish Lions managed to secure a five-point victory to give the Lions a 1-0 lead in the three match series.
So where did it go wrong for the the World Champion Springboks?
For some reason, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe and Malcolm Marx were subdued. They weren't their usual, effective selves. The Boks lost an opening scrum, they lost a penalty in the first or second minute of the second half. Suddenly the momentum of the game had shifted.Craig Ray - Daily Maverick Sports Editor
There were a few calls that went against the Springboks. They didn't react well to those, I don't the Springboks bench was effective. It wasn't the 'bomb squad' we became used to.Craig Ray - Daily Maverick Sports Editor
A lot of it is to do with the fact that their build up has been disrupted through lack of game time for twenty-one months, and also Covid problem throughout the buildup to this series, so there were a lot of factors counting against the Boks.Craig Ray - Daily Maverick Sports Editor
There's no reason to believe that the Springboks can't come back and win, but at the same token, the Lions are not behind the Springboks in any way either. It's going to be a tight series all the way through.Craig Ray - Daily Maverick Sports Editor
It's not unusual for a turnaround to happen. Go back to 2017, the Lions lost the first test against the All Black and won the second test. In 2013 the Lions beat Australia in the first test, the Wallabies won the second test. But I think the Springboks have got to get some selections right.Craig Ray - Daily Maverick Sports Editor
I think the biggest issue for the Springboks is Duane Vermeulen's absence. They haven't found a replacement. Poor old Kwagga Smith in the second half when they started going high with those kicks, he got smashed back. And Duane Vermeulen doesn't get smashed back that easily in contact.Craig Ray - Daily Maverick Sports Editor
The second test between South Africa and the British & Irish Lions takes place at the Cape Town stadium this Saturday. Kick off is at 18h00
Scroll to the top of the article to listen to the interview.
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