Home Sport It’s all or nothing in third Test

It’s all or nothing in third Test

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Damian de Allende of the Springboks tackled by Ali Price of the British & Irish Lions, during their first British & Lions Tour Test. Picture: Phando Jikelo, African News Agency (ANA)

The match will also mark a big occasion for Springbok centre Damian “Doogz” de Allende, who will play in his 50th Test for the national team.

THE SPRINGBOKS will look to become the first team in 12 years to beat the British and Irish Lions in a series when the two teams cross swords at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday at 6pm.

In a match that Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber describes as similar to a World Cup final, the scoreboard reads 1-1 heading into the finale with the visitors having won the first Test 22-17 before the Boks struck back to win the second 27-9.

Nienaber knows that to get a repeat result of that second Test, Siya Kolisi and his teammates will have to play out of their skins.

The coach says of the series decider: “If you take a World Cup final, I think the pressure in this game is going to be similar. Between the World Cup and a British and Irish Lions series, it’s as big as it gets.”

The last team to win this particular “final” was the 2009 Springboks, with the Lions beating Australia 2-1 in their series in 2013 and then playing to a 1-1-1 series draw with New Zealand in 2017.

The match will also mark a big occasion for Springbok centre Damian “Doogz” de Allende, who will play in his 50th Test for the national team.

Of De Allende’s achievement, Nienaber adds: “It doesn’t get any bigger than earning a 50th Test cap in a series decider against the British and Irish Lions.

“We are excited for Damian and we know what it will mean to him and the team to win this match. He has been a key figure in the Bok team in the last few seasons and it gives us great pride to see him achieve this feat.”

Meanwhile, three-time Lions tourist and a member of the squad that lost to South Africa in 2009, Ronan O’Gara, is not confident about the visitors’ chances going into the final match of the series.

Speaking after the second Test, the Irishman said: “I think it’s a major advantage now to South Africa.

“They have an established game plan that they have huge trust in. It’s one think knowing the ball is coming in the air, so what Lions need to do this week is, they don’t select wingers or back three people who are good at counter attack, I think they select people who are good in the air.

“They [South Africa] ruled the air this afternoon and unless the Lions sort that out, it will be the same result again.

“Where I’m scratching my head a little bit is that the Lions don’t have an established style of play, so trust is huge when it comes to shoot-outs and finals, so for me it’s hard to see what style of play we’re going to have to beat the world champions at home.”

FACT BOX

Third Test: August 7 at 6pm

Cape Town Stadium (no spectators)

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

Assistant referees: Nic Berry (Australia), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand)

TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

Teams

SOUTH AFRICA: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handré Pollard, 9 Cobus Reinach, 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Franco Mostert, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Morné Steyn, 23 Damian Willemse. Coach: Jacques Nienaber

BRITISH & IRISH LIONS: 15 Liam Williams, 14 Josh Adams, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Bundee Aki, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Ali Price, 8 Jack Conan, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Courtney Lawes, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Ken Owens, 1 Wyn Jones. Replacements: 16. Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Sam Simmonds, 21 Conor Murray, 22 Finn Russell, 23 Elliot Daly. Coach: Warren Gatland

OVERALL RECORD

Played: 48

South Africa wins: 24

Draws: 6

British & Irish Lions wins: 18

LAST FIVE MEETINGS

2021 South Africa 27-9 British & Irish Lions Cape Town

2021 South Africa 17-22 British & Irish Lions Cape Town

2009 South Africa 9-28 British & Irish Lions Johannesburg

2009 South Africa 28-25 British & Irish Lions Pretoria

2009 South Africa 26-21 British & Irish Lions Durban

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