The British and Irish Lions' Maro Itoje was voted the man of the match in the first Test against the Springboks. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters
The British and Irish Lions' Maro Itoje was voted the man of the match in the first Test against the Springboks. Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters

How the British and Irish Lions rated against the Springboks in the first Test

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Jul 24, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The British and Irish Lions drew first blood in their three-match series against the Springboks with a 22-17 win at Cape Town Stadium.

IOL Sport’s Wynona Louw rates the tourists’ starters after the Test.

Stuart Hogg 6/10: Put in a couple of good carries when he got the chance to have a run.

Anthony Watson 7: He showed how dangerous he could be whenever he got the ball. Didn’t get a lot of space, but held his own.

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Elliot Daly 6: Missed a penalty kick in the first half, but given the range, it’s not an occurrence one can base his game on. Conceded a few penalties on the night.

Robbie Henshaw 6: He’ll be kicking himself for losing the ball forward when his team looked promising on the attack just short of halftime, but had a solid overall outing.

Duhan van der Merwe 6: Didn’t have a lot of opportunities to carry the ball and really create something, especially in the first half, but he chased well and contested well in the air.

Dan Biggar 6: Biggar had an opportunity to add three more points as half time approached, but he pulled it to the left. Decent performance overall from the flyhalf and kicked especially well out of hand.

Ali Price 8: His left boot came into the game in the second half effectively so. In fact, it was a major feature, especially as the game progressed to put the Boks under pressure.

British & Irish Lions flank Tom Curry celebrates Luke Cowan-Dickie’s try against the Springboks. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

Jack Conan 7: Put in a busy shift overall and carried well.

Tom Curry 6: Responsible for that penalty conceded in the first quarter, which led to the Boks’ second penalty conversion. Other than that, he was solid.

Courtney Lawes 7: Played his part in getting the Lions some quick ball. Carried well and got involved wherever he could.

Alun Wyn Jones 7: His presence, especially his leadership, is something that never goes unnoticed. Going that long in the match after making such a remarkable comeback from injury was another big ‘check’ in his game.

Maro Itoje 8: The way he can go from contesting a lineout straight into stealing the ball at the very next ruck says a lot about not only his work rate, but also his athleticism. Made a try-stopping steal and was simply everywhere. His defence was rock-solid and was big on the ground. He is a machine.

Tadhg Furlong 6: He wouldn’t have been too happy with that first scrum. There could be no doubt as to who owned the scrums in the first half, but performed a lot better in the first half.

Luke Cowan-Dickie 5: Those overthrows are something you just can’t afford at this level, especially not against opposition like the Springboks. His try – the first one in the game – earned him an extra point.

Rory Sutherland 5/10: Dropped during the last scrum of the first half and, overall, would have wanted to go better at the set-piece.


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