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Match Reports - Tuesday 23 June 2009 - 22:47

Emerging Boks 13 British & Irish Lions 13

The Emerging Springboks earned a valuable and deserved draw against the British & Irish Lions to prevent the Lions from beating all their midweek opposition on tour.

In fact, the Lions were probably fortunate not to have lost the game with yet again a poor kicking game dominating the exchanges and neither side being able to get hold of possession.

The conditions in Cape Town did not lend themselves to an open game of running rugby, with torrential downpours during the game and gale force winds hampering the kicks, but this could not be used as an excuse for Ronan O’Gara’s woefully missed penalty from directly in front of the posts in the opening minutes.

With handling in the atrocious conditions difficult, it remained a low scoring game with the only highlight of the first half a wonderful score from rookie full back Keith Earls, who dummied his opposite number to score under the posts shortly before half time.

The period after the interval was not much better with a tactically poor kicking game gifting ball to the Emerging Boks who duly ran it straight back at the Lions.

With the scores set at 10-6 going into the final five minutes, under fire prop Phil Vickery won a penalty for the Lions in kickable range and replacement fly half James Hook duly converted the score to take the Lions to a 13-6 lead.

The Lions then made the most schoolboy of errors by considering the game to have been won and then took their foot completely off the gas and sat back to bask in their success.

The end result of course was for the fired up Emerging Boks to take the game straight to the Lions to attempt to even the game and of course the try duly came with the last play of the match to leave a touchline conversion to tie the match.

With the winds swirling and rain hammering down it was up to replacement Willem de Waal to convert the kick, which of course he duly dispatched with aplomb, to leave the Lions players and fans feeling like this game was not drawn but lost.

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