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South Africa 9 British & Irish Lions 28
- Updated: 4th July 2009
The British & Irish Lions finally scored a test match victory after seven continuous unsuccessful attempts with a 9-28 victory against South Africa at Coca Cola Park in Johannesburg.
Man of the match went to Shane Williams who produced an outstanding performance in his last outing as a Lion. It was a tough call to pick Williams for the game as he had been woefully out of form for the whole tour, but the decision proved to be inspired with Williams coming back into form in spectacular fashion.
The tone of the match was set with flanker Martyn Williams tearing into the Springboks and Rob Kearney proving once again that he was solid under the high ball.
The first try came on 22 minutes with Jamie Heaslip making good yards into the Springbok defence before offloading to Williams to run the posts. Stephen Jones bizarrely missed the conversion though when the ball fell off the tee during his run up.
Ten minutes later Williams was released again for a second try when Riki Flutey gathered his own kick and flipped the ball on for Williams to again score unopposed under the posts.
His opposite winger Ugo Monye wrapped up the win with a 70 metre interception try that Bryan Habana would have been proud of. Monye stepped out of the line when facing a 3 on 1 overlap to steal what would have been a certain try for the Boks, to sprint virtually the length of the field to seal the win for the Lions.
The win for the Lions was put down to the decision of head coach Ian McGeechan to take the players on Safari following the second test defeat with the players only returning to training on Wednesday.
The break enabled the Lions to refocus and get themselves together to face the Boks in the last game of the series following such disappointment in the previous two weeks.
The move proved to be inspired with every Lion on the park standing up to be counted and taking the final match of the series to restore some pride in the Lions.