Boks set to learn what difference a week makes

Sports | REUTERS 30 Jul 2021

South Africa will be hoping an additional week of work on the training pitch will provide them with the necessary physical prowess to overcome the British and Irish Lions in tomorrow's second Test and level the three-game series.

A fitter Lions roared back from a nine-point half-time deficit in the first Test to win 22-17 and pile the pressure on the home country, whose preparations had been hampered by Covid-19 infections.

While the world champions Springboks started strongly, the Lions cleverly kept the ball in play longer than usual in an attritional match, sucking the energy out of the hosts and forcing them into fatigue-filled errors.

It allowed the tourists to come back for a major morale-boosting win at the Cape Town Stadium, the venue for all three Tests.

South Africa were also caught under the high ball, notably No 8 Kwagga Smith, who has given way to Jasper Wiese in tomorrow's team. Coach Jacques Nienaber also sought to strengthen the front row with the selection of Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe to counter the Lions' decision to bring Maka Vunipola back into their starting lineup.

Vunipola made a strong cameo appearance as a substitute in the first Test.

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