Highlights on Off The Ball

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Highlights on Off The Ball


Lions bounce back from first loss to crush the Stormers

The British and Irish Lions took to the field for the final time before the start of the test ser...

The British and Irish Lions took to the field for the final time before the start of the test series against South Africa when they took on the Stormers in Cape Town.

The Lions came into the match having suffered their first defeat of the year against a Springbok-laden South Africa 'A' on Wednesday, with Warren Gatland suggesting that that was the test that they needed.

The Stormers, on the other hand, were looking to prove that it is not just a test team that can compete with Europe's best.

One of the main talking points before the match, however, was the return of Alun Wyn Jones after his dislocated shoulder just three weeks earlier.

The first 20 minutes were the most evenly balanced that had been seen in the provincial warm-up games to this point, with neither side able to cross over the whitewash in the opening quarter.

It was the home side that eventually got the first points on the board as Tim Swiel slotted a penalty on the stroke of 20 minutes.

It took almost half an hour for the Lions to find the goal line, after a break away from Tadhg Furlong down the centre of the park was eventually finished off by Adam Beard. The new face in the squad Marcus Smith added the conversion to take the lead for the visitors.

After the initial wait to find the tryline, it took less than five minutes for the Lions to do it again, as another run from Furlong was eventually finished off by Luke Cowan-Dickie, who bashed his way over the line to add seven to their lead.

The Lions finished off the first half with a slightly more flattering scoreline than the match would have suggested, as Jonny Hill added a third try to their tally after some brilliant handling put him away in the corner.

Smith converted to take the visitors out to a 19-point lead at half time.

Cowan-Dickie Lions Stormers

The Lions continued where they had left off in the first half, building up the phases inside the Stormers' half before ultimately scoring 10 minutes into the half.

It was Jack Conan who received a pass in the gap from Smith, and then ran the 40 metres to the try line to ad to the visitors' lead. Smith maintained his 100% record on his Lions debut.

The game began to open up more as the second half went on, however the Lions were unable to reach their high-flying scores of the previous provincial warm-up matches.

The Stormers' cover defence was much better than had been the case with the Sigma Lions and Sharks, meaning that the tourists needed to make use of the close quarters more often than out wide.

The forwards got their fifth try of the night, this time through Zander Fagerson and a pick-and-go, to extend the lead to 32 points with 10 minutes left to play.

With time almost up on the clock, Louis Rees-Zammit managed to get the first try for the backline that had been lighting up South Africa all series, after a break away from deep inside the Lions' own half from Smith.

The debutant added the conversion, maintaining a solid performance in his first match in South Africa.

The visitors were not finished yet, however, as they opened up down the touchline to release Sam Simmonds away on the inside, who scored under the posts, making the conversion easy for Smith.

With time up on the clock, the Lions won a penalty to kick the ball out to win 49-3, and set the stage for the first test next weekend.

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Anthony Watson British And Irish Lions Bundee Aki Cheslin Kolbe Chris Harris Conor Murray Dan Biggar Iain Henderson Jacques Nienaber Josh Adams Josh Navidi Ken Owens Kyle Sinckler Liam Williams Lions Louis Rees-Zammit Lukhanyo Am Maro Itoje Morne Steyn Owen Farrell Rassie Erasmus South Africa Springboks Taulupe Faletau Tom Curry Warren Gatland Wyn Jones