Saturday, June 27, 2009
A last minute penalty from the darling of Loftus, Morne Steyn, decided the fate of the 2009 British & Irish Lions as they went down 28-25 to the Springboks in Pretoria in an epic contest. The Springboks win the series, 2-0.
It was a thrilling Test match that served up plenty of ferocity and quality play from both sides. The Lions led up until the 74th minute, with a win looking on the cards.
They had scored early through Rob Kearney while Schalk Burger was in the sin bin for what was described by the assistant referee as a clear eye gouge. The try was converted by Stephen Jones, who also kicked two penalties and a drop goal.
JP Peterson scored off the back of a lineout for the Boks, but it was the Lions who led at half time after having a large majority of the possession for the second week running.
The Springboks fought back in the second half though, scoring through Bryan Habana and Jaque Fourie, both of which were coolly converted by replacement flyhalf Morne Steyn.
A courageous late penalty from Jones, who looked like he had just badly injured his leg, took the match to 25-25, with a draw on the cards.
As the Boks pushed closer into drop goal territory, they hastily had a shot from far out. The ball was kicked down field, then hoofed back, before Ronan OGara launched an up and under.
OGara himself chased, but took Fourie Du Preez out in the air, earning the home side a shot at the win from within their own half.
Morne Steyn stepped forward and landed the kick of his life under immense pressure, winning the game for the Springboks and helping to secure the series win.