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Lions comeback falls short in loss to South Africa A


Lions comeback falls short in loss to South Africa A

Wyn Jones South Africa A

A try from Wyn Jones was not quite enough for the British & Irish Lions who slipped to their first defeat of their Tour to South Africa, beaten 17-13 by South Africa A.

In what was effectively a fourth Test against a side with nine World Cup starters, the Lions trailed 17-3 at half-time as the home side were clinical when chances came their way.

Wales prop Jones powered his way over early in the second half, and Owen Farrell’s penalty cut the deficit to four points with just under half an hour remaining.

But despite the momentum seemingly having shifted their way, the Lions could not quite complete the comeback.

South Africa A made a flying start, with Sbu Nkosi going over after just 12 minutes, with Morné Steyn having already opened the scoring.

Following Steyn’s penalty, it was an Eben Etzebeth chargedown of Owen Farrell which allowed Damian de Allende to release Nkosi.

With Steyn’s conversion, the home side led 10-0, but Farrell responded with the first penalty of the game for the Lions.

A loose kick was pounced upon by Cheslin Kolbe, the winger slicing between Chris Harris and Louis Rees-Zammit before releasing Lukhanyo Am for the second try.

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Trailing 17-3, the Lions responded, with a long passage on the home line, with Faf de Klerk then Marco van Staden sent to the sin-bin as a result.

The Lions could not score before half-time, Jones denied for a double movement. He got his try early in the second half however, forcing his way over from close range after good work from Anthony Watson in the build-up.

Another Farrell penalty cut the deficit to four points and the comeback was well and truly on.

However South Africa A held firm and eventually saw out the match with a final scrum.

The Lions will now look ahead to the Stormers on Saturday, before the first Test next Saturday.