History repeats itself as Steyn wins second Lions series for Springboks

Cape Town (AFP) –


History repeated itself as Morne Steyn kicked a late penalty to give South Africa a 19-16 win over the British and Irish Lions in Cape Town on Saturday and a 2-1 series triumph.

In 2009, Steyn landed a late penalty from his own half to give the Springboks an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series they also won 2-1.

Now 37, Steyn replaced fly-half Handre Pollard with 15 minutes remaining and almost immediately slotted a penalty to give South Africa a 16-13 advantage.

Rival fly-half Finn Russell, an early replacement for the injured Dan Biggar, levelled with his third penalty of the match five minutes from time.

Then, with one minute remaining in a tense tussle, the Springboks were awarded another penalty and Steyn calmly scored to edge the hosts ahead again.

The drama was not over, though, as the Lions were awarded a scrum inside South African territory, offering them a chance to snatch a dramatic victory.

However, it was not to be as the tourists were penalised at the set piece, Steyn booted the ball into touch and French referee Mathieu Raynal signalled the end of the match.

It was an historic series victory as no team has succeeded in the 130-year rivalry between South Africa and the Lions after losing the first Test.

The Springboks went down 22-17 in the opener this time and hit back with a 27-9 triumph last weekend to level a series played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Winger Cheslin Kolbe scored the lone South African try, which Pollard converted to put the home team 13-10 ahead after trailing by seven points at half-time.

The rest of the Springbok points came from four penalties with Pollard, who finished the match on 502 Test points, and Steyn slotting two each.

Hooker Ken Owens claimed a pushover try for the Lions and Russell, kept out of the team by an ankle injury since July 7, contributed 11 points from a conversion and three penalties.