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Page last updated at 16:23 GMT, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 17:23 UK

Emerging Springboks v Lions as it happened

Result: Emerging Springboks 13-13 Lions



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By Ben Dirs

2016: Right, the arguments will rage long into the evening, late into the week, and won't stop until the Lions squad is named on Thursday. Who knows, or dares to dream, what names will turn up on Ian McGeechan's team sheet? My wildcard is Simon Shaw... and on that bombshell, I'll say good night and thanks for reading...

Tinoflyer on 606 "Shane Williams was not good enough. The big one tonight will be Fitzgerald v Monye. Simon Shaw in for Alun Wyn Jones, hopefully, and Hook for Stephen Jones. Ellis did alright, but not enough to unsettle Phillips."

wheezie on 606 "Fitz is not within a country mile of making the Test team (barring injury). Promising player and I look forward to seeing him play during what I'm sure will be a long and successful career, but needs another 10 Tests under his belt to be a serious contender."

andrewmallan on 606 "Thought Hines did enough to at least get on the bench, if not on from the start. We need an enforcer and someone who won't take a backward step, and he is the man."

munsterchris on 606 "There were very few positives to take from the game, but O'Gara, Ford, Flutey and O'Callaghan can't have done their chances any harm."

smurfs on 606 "ROG being taken off after half-time despite playing very well presumably is indicating that he'll be starting in the second Test?"

hunterlevi on 606 "Shaw in the Test team maybe, Vickery seems to have made amends. Still very up in the air on the wing - Bowe stays in (although he was poor in the first Test) but Fitz may just scrape in ahead of Monye. However, I feel that would not be quite right."

FULL-TIME: You probably have to say the Emerging Springboks deserved that, they were the better, more cohesive side in the second half. And you can see what that means to them, they go wild on the siren. Bit sloppy from the Lions, and it's difficult to know if anyone has enhanced their chances of a Test call-up - Martyn Williams maybe... Ronan O'Gara? Luke Fitzgerald? Shane Williams had a decent little period... so many questions unanswered...

79 mins - TRY Emerging Springboks 13-13 Lions
The Boks have snatched a late one! A few phases strung together - first Vermuelen almost burrows over, before Adams sends it right and Danwell Demas dives over unopposed in the corner... they're not leaving this kick to the flaky Earl Rose, and what a kick that is from De Waal from out on the touch-line, the ball arcing between the uprights as the siren screams across the ground.

78 mins: Bit of humpty from Vickery, putting in a big hit on Potgieter, and if this is his last game in a Lions jersey, he's done himself proud with this eye-catching cameo.

76 mins - PENALTY - Emerging Springboks 6-13 Lions
with a clutch kick, and he makes no mistakes from just right of the posts.

75 mins: Mears is on now for Ford... penalty for the Lions at scrum-time, with Vickery making life uncomfortable for his opposite number. Simon Shaw also making his presence felt there...

73 mins: Alain Rolland has a schoolmasterly word with the boys in the front row - "everything was OK before you came on" - before Newman makes some hard yards. Earls' clearance hasn't got much about it, and the Boks run it back... but that's better from Earls, collecting another kick from De Waal and sending it back with interest.

71 mins: Ford (apologies, Mears isn't on) goes too long at the line-out, Martyn Williams clawing at thin air at the back, before James Hook tries to force something, stepping outside his man and scurrying clear. But there's another knock-on...

70 mins: De Waal again with a naughty little prod over the top, but Basson is bundled into touch. Ellis wriggles clear, before Shaw shows gossamer hands for a big man, scooping up a stray ball, and the Lions make fully 50 metres.

67 mins: The Boks steal the ball at the breakdown, and the human wrecking ball that is Tiaan Liebenberg brings it clear. Mears on for Ford at hooker, and, interestingly, Wallace has replaced Powell in the back-row, with Martyn Williams remaining on the field.

65 mins: Interestingly, Monye is on for Luke Fitzgerald. Not sure what that means, I'll leave you to work it out. Good take from Ellis, and here's James Hook with a doozy of a clearance kick, the ball curling across the field and bobbling into touch just five metres out. Vickery on for Hayes in the front row...

64 mins: A raft of changes by the Boks, and here's Heini Adams marmalising it 60 metres into the Lions half. Hook goes on the burst... but Ellis knocks on...

63 mins: The Boks look like they really fancy this, with De Waal now pulling the strings at fly-half. The Lions shovelling down the line when they need somebody to take the ball on, before Shane Williams shows off his footballing skills once again, poking through another sweet little kick.

60 mins: Hook's howitzer rolls and ends up resting on the Boks dead-ball line, and the referee brings back play deep into the Lions half. The Boks then spurn a penalty chance, Deysel going on the charge - they're looking for a try and a win here - but Rose doesn't turn down the opportunity twice... maybe De Waal should have stepped up there, that was a horrible connection from Rose.

57 mins: Simon Shaw on for Donncha O'Callaghan... wait, bit of confusion, it's Nathan Hines coming off instead... Powell with a typically wild man pick-up and go from the back of the scrum, before Hook slices a high ball. Difficult for Hook to shine in these conditions. decent crowd, by the way, just shy of 40,000...

55 mins: Bit of class from Shane Williams, tapping and going and letting fly with a pin-point clearance. And here he is again, collecting another De Waal bomb in the Lions 22 before bringing it clear. Another turnover, and De Waal pins the Lions deep into their own half once again.

53 mins: Ellis holding his shoulder as fine rain turns to stair rods once again. We could see Blair in a minute. Here's a rare sighting of Shane Williams, collecting a decent clearance from sub fly-half Willem de Waal, but Keith Earls' attempted clearance is off the outside of his boot.

51 mins: Martyn Williams steering a Lions rolling maul 10 metres into Boks territory, but it rather disintegrates and Hook is forced to take the hit. The Lions regroup, and now Worsley has a go... Hook on the switch with D'Arcy, but there's a turnover... loose from Newman, slinging a pass forward on the counter...

48 mins - PENALTY - Emerging Springboks 6-10 Lions
The Lions engage with vigour, wheel the scrum, before the scrum is reset. Earl Rose tries to pull a rabbit out of his hat from the set-piece, but Flutey's got no time for that nonsense, upending the Boks fly-half a few metres out. Hines getting punchy, not sure what that's all about... PENALTY FOR OFF-SIDE! Rose makes no mistake, the Lions in deep...

47 mins: The Boks trying to get their rolling maul going, before Vermaak, who's having more and more influence on this game, sends up another teasing bomb, which Keith Earls is unable to deal with. Five metre scrum...

45 mins: It looks like O'Callaghan may have scored after hacking the ball through, but that's some fine cover defence from Potgieter, diving across, Superman style, and just touching down ahead of the Munster lock.

44 mins: The Lions driving the Boks back again, before Vermaak puts up an impeccably-weighted kick for right-wing Basson. The Lions win it back, however, and O'Gara threads a smart kick into the Boks half. On comes James Hook for Ronan O'Gara, a switch that is open to interpretation...

42 mins: Rose and Newman look for the switch in midfield, but Newman knocks on... big rumble from the Lions pack, and neat from Ellis with the kick to touch.

41 mins: No changes on either side, here's Earl Rose kicking off... Ellis goes to collect, comes up short and the ball ricochets off his knees. The mercurial Earl Rose goes for the drop, and slices it well right...

Rick S on 606 "I don't think either of the half-backs have done anything to threaten the incumbents - Ellis has been OK apart from the error at the back of the scrum, but there's always something a bit clumsy about him, while O'Gara has kicked well but shown up his defensive weakness."

Wilmo on 606 "Can't help feeling that O'Gara is not the player the Lions need against the Boks. I rate him very highly and his kicking is exemplary, but does he play the game in the manner that the Lions need in order to defeat the Boks?"

Givitalash on 606 "Powell is atrocious. So much talent going to waste because of his woolly brain. What's the point in swatting a tackler aside and then running into touch? Fitzgerald is looking very sharp. A good break, strong defence and great mobility around the field in general."

RFU Minder on 606 "Powell and Williams have been all over the place. Plain to see. Ellis has been average not good. ROG has been average not good. Fitzgerald has just won a place on the plane back home and only Earls is doing OK so far in the backs."

HALF-TIME: Fine clearance from Harry Ellis, and there goes the siren. Decent enough half from the tourists, although there were signs that the hosts were clawing their way back in it in the last 10 minutes. Martyn Williams has been eye-catching, and it's not ideal conditions for catching eyes...

38 mins: Earls does pretty well there, leaving the ball in play, stepping into touch, before bringing the ball out of his 22 and hammering clear. The Boks run it back however, and here's Kirchner with the grubber... but Basson is beaten by the skidding ball.

35 mins - PENALTY - Emerging Springboks 3-10 Lions
The Boks steal a scrum, and thrust to within 10 metres of the Lions line. Sharp work from scrum-half Vermaak, nicking the ball from under Ellis's nose and scurrying clear. Penalty to the Boks, and Rose clips over the three points to make it interesting.

34 mins: Martyn Williams with a quick tap and go, and the Lions put a few phases together. But Earl Rose counters after another turnover, only for Luke Fitzgerald to make a crucial tackle Bjorn Basson on the right wing.

32 mins: Powell with a ramrod hand-off on Deysel, but eventually he's dragged into touch by a gaggle of Boks defenders. The Boks ship it right, but there's not much quarter being given by the Lions back-line, and there's another turnover...

30 mins: Martyn Williams with a neat touch-down to Ellis from the line-out, and the England scrum-half goes snaking through the Boks defence before falling on his backside. The ball ends up in the hands of Hines... and then out again and the Boks bring the ball clear.

27 mins: The Lions are off-side as Rose is charged down by Worsley and Flutey pounces on the loose ball. Vermaak with a wild pass, the Boks knock on, and O'Gara finds touch. O'Gara's been pretty handy with the leather in some pretty horrendous conditions.

26 mins: Earls under another bomb from Rose, and he looks to counter. But there's another turnover, before the Boks are whistled for a questionable forward pass when looking to snipe down the right flank.

25 mins: Williams under the Garryowen from Rose, but he's unable to keep those twinkle-toes in play. Rose finds half a metre, but the ball plops out like a bar of soap in the tackle.

21 mins: Shane Williams standing out on the right wing, looking distinctly unimpressed with this weather, as O'Gara puts up a bomb, which Zane Kirchner takes comfortably. Andy Powell comes charging back, before Flutey makes the half-break... and knocks on. The mistakes coming thick and fast as the rain cascades on Newlands...

19 mins: Tim Payne is pinged for not binding, and the Boks have a chance of a penalty... oh my word, just as Earl Rose puts the ball down, a squall of hailstones blows across the ground and the fly-half yanks his effort well left.

17 mins: Six phases of play from the Boks, but they're turned over again and D'Arcy brings it clear. Muscular hit from Flutey, but Earls spills the ball under a hefty hit from Dewald Potgieter and the Boks have the scrum.

14 mins - TRY - Emerging Springboks 0-10 Lions
Andy Powell collects the box kick from Vermaak and comes barrelling back into the Boks forwards. Bit of Aussie Rules, before full-back Kirchner tries to be too clever, chipping the ball into the hands of Martyn Williams. Williams off-loads, Flutey is pointed to the corner, but cuts back inside. And there's Keith Earls, stepping off his left, sliding past Vermaak and touching down under the sticks. O'Gara slots the extras...

11 mins: Springboks off their feet again, this time Cheetah loose-head Du Preez, and O'Gara is able to relieve the pressure.

9 mins: Fitzgerald with a poor kick for territory when under little pressure, and here's the powerful Duane Vermeulen on the rumble... Rose grubbers through, Earls slides and collects, and the Munster man is hustled into touch a few metres from the Lions try-line.

8 mins - PENALTY - Emerging Springboks 0-3 Lions
O'Gara makes no mistake this time, slotting three points from bang in front...

7 mins: Here's Shane Williams with his first touch, and he does well, spinning and pirouetting out of trouble and breaking two or three tackles. And here's Luke Fitzgerald, another rival for the left wing spot, punching through the Boks midfield before being hauled down with no-one to off-load to. O'Gara with a penalty attempt...

5 mins: That's better from O'Gara, pinning the Boks right back in their own half with a drilled penalty kick to touch... O'Callaghan at the line-out, and the Lions still keeping it tight... but they're shoved off the ball five metres out and the Boks clear their lines.

3 mins: O'Callaghan goes for a rumble, but is knocked backwards. The Lions playing it tight, and they get some reward for their patience with a penalty under the posts - Boks off their feet at the breakdown... that's not great from O'Gara, who's snatched it left of the uprights...

1 min: Ireland's Alain Rolland is the first Irishman to referee a Lions games since the 1800s, apparently... here's skipper O'Gara with the kick-off... turnover for the Lions, Flutey releases D'Arcy, but the Irish centre is forced out.

1809: Excellent, already been accused of racism on 606 for pointing out that it rains a lot in Munster. That Ray Mears, what a racist he is - he was on the telly the other night saying it hardly ever rains in parts of Australia. Players are out, we'll have some play in a minute...

Bryn Palmer, BBC Sport in Cape Town "Delightful scene of veteran journos singing along to 'Daydream Believer' booming round the stadium at the moment. Lions fans who have braved the elements in good spirits. Plenty of Wales flags as usual."

1806: Two new faces in the boiler room, with Tim Payne and John Hayes sandwiching hooker Ross Ford. And we've got the fourth Irish skipper of the tour, with Ronan O'Gara leading the side tonight.

1800: Ten minutes until kick-off, and news reaches me from Bryn Palmer in Cape Town that, as well as tipping it down, it's "ruddy freezing". Still, at least the British and Irish lads should be used to this. In fact, the Munster boys will be lapping it up, it should be right up their alley.

1754: It really does look filthy at Newlands, and we haven't got many fans in yet. Last time out, in 1997, the Lions gave this mob a 22-51 tonking, with John Bentley running it from all parts, but I'm not sure anyone's expecting the same tonight. Expect this to be an attritional, 15-rounder.

1745: Ronan O'Gara still believes he's got a chance of nicking the number 10 shirt from Stephen Jones, but good luck trying to show off your Swiss Army Knife of skills in these conditions. But what about Martyn Williams at open-side? Not sure David Wallace did enough to cement his place last Saturday, a big showing from Williams tonight will give the Lions coaching staff plenty of food for thought...

mikeyphil1 on 606 "The Emerging Boks have been training with the senior squad in the run up to the Tests, and nine of their players have already played the Lions.

"With the Lions fielding two veteran stodgy old props who have only just arrived off the plane, and a comparatively lightweight back division, it's not going too far to suggest they might take a real hiding this evening - 30 or 40 points!"

Simon Austin, BBC Sport in Cape Town "Deja vu at Newlands, with the same driving rain and fierce winds we saw here on 13 June, when the Lions beat Western Province. This time the tourists face the Emerging Springboks, who are likely to be quite tasty.

"Ian McGeechan thinks they will be the stiffest opposition his Lions side have faced outside of the Tests. Zane Kirchner is rated by many as the best full-back in South Africa and Earl Rose was South Africa's fly-half when they played Namibia last month."

1730: Good day. I know, I know, Andy Murray's on the other side, but he's going to stroll that one, surely? Far more pressing questions to be answered in Cape Town, where the Lions are playing their final 'dirt-track' game of the tour against Emerging Springboks, with kick-off at 1810 BST.

The problem is, it's more likely to be a mud bath than a dirt track at Newlands, with Bryn Palmer - our man in South Africa - reporting of "severe weather warnings, seven-metre waves and 85kph winds".

Shane Williams, looking to bump Ugo Monye from the left wing for Saturday's second Test, would have preferred it hard under foot, as might Luke Fitzgerald... but the chaps up front might welcome a puddle or two...

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see also
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Springboks recall flanker Burger
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Lions eye changes for second Test
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Hook passed fit for Lions bench
22 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Emerging Springboks 13-13 Lions
23 Jun 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions call for Wasps prop Payne
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South Africa 26-21 Lions
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Guscott's drop for glory
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Lions squad selector
07 May 09 |  Rugby Union
2009 Lions: Squad & results
09 Jul 09 |  Rugby Union

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