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South Africa v Lions third Test as it happened

Third Test, Johannesburg:

South Africa 9-28 Lions (Full-time)

SCORES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)

606: DEBATE

To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Pranav Soneji

1625: Thanks for all your input today, tremendous game - just a shame the series didn't depend on the result. Over and out for another four years...

Smellslikesalmon on 606: "I'm a Bok fan but I'm actually quite glad the Lions won as the squad and Geech deserve it. The spirit has been excellent."

1602: But despite the europhia of victory, the South Africans are celebrating a series victory with the trophy as Victor Matfield sprays a humungous bottle of lager over his team-mates. Nice response from the Lions players, who clap their opponents for their achievements. Equally, they head towards their supporters, the men and women who have travelled in their thousands, to applaud their unerring commitment through thick and thin.

TrojanOtter on 606: "Three memorable games, two worthy adversaries, one great series; plenty of incident, lots of what-ifs - total commitment from both sides. Long live the Lions."

1558: What a ripper of a Test, but am I the only person still muttering "what if"? Yet another herculean effort from both sides - I have no idea how those players are still walking let alone alive after 80 minutes of bone-crushing hits. The 28-9 scoreline is the best performance by a Lions side in South Africa. And the defeat continues South Africa's hoodoo with referee Stuart Dickinson. The Springboks have now lost their last four matches in which the Australian has officiated.

Smellslikesalmon on 606: "Well played Lions. You deserved the win."

FULL-TIME: SOUTH AFRICA 9-28 LIONS

80 mins: Shane Williams is monumentally clattered by Victor Matfield, but still the Welsh winger is undeterred. The Lions slow down the ball, intelligently recycling the ball to eat up the last remaining seconds. But they give away a penalty just seconds before the hooter as South Africa desperately rampage downfield. But the ball rolls away into touch as the Lions salvage some pride.

78 mins: Yet another robust scrum from the Lions pack allows Ellis to punt the ball to South Africa's 22m line. Time for percentage rugby - stick it up your jumper boys.

76 mins: Rob Kearney is penalised for going in off his feet 10m from his own tryline. The Springboks, with little choice, go for the line-out. Once again Matfield takes the catch, sets up the attack which sees Odwa Ndungane touch down in the corner, despite the attentions of Tommy Bowe. Stuart Dickinson goes to his video referee Bryce Lawrence, who examines plenty of camera angles. Is the winger's foot in touch as he grounds the ball? I say yes - and so does the New Zealand TMO. The decision is met by a huge chorus of cheers from the Lions supporters.

72 mins: PEN SOUTH AFRICA 9-28 LIONS
The Springboks have lost all discipline, conceding yet another penalty as Stephen Jones adds yet another kick.

70 mins: PEN SOUTH AFRICA 9-25 LIONS
Mike Phillips kicks through an errant South Africa pass on the 22m line, but the ball is touched down by a South Africa shirt. Something has incensed Phillips, who is blowing a gasket at something or other. It all descends into a "99-lite", although no punches are thrown. After consolation from touch judge Christophe Berdos, Stuart Dickinson says Heinrich Brussow is the guilty party, although watching the replay, all the flanker was doing was pushing Phillips away from the maelstrom. Anyways, up steps Stephen Jones for three points - surely the match too. Whoops! Sorry for my earlier mistake - the Springboks have NOT scored 69 points.

68 mins: PEN SOUTH AFRICA 9-22 LIONS
Martyn Williams is caught for not releasing on the deck, although John Smit opts for a kick at the posts. Up steps Morne Steyn, who sends the ball straight through the uprights.

65 mins: You sometimes have to wonder what goes through the head of Frans Steyn. The replacement attempts a drop goal from inside his own 40m line. He makes brilliant contact with the ball, but watches helplessly as it sails last the left-hand upright.

63 mins: Ugo Monye is floored by a savage hand-off from Frans Steyn as Stephen Jones is pinged for not rolling away after tackling Nokwe. Unsurprisingly, the Springboks kick for touch in search of their first score of the afternoon.

60 mins: The Springboks are pinged for a penalty just inside the Lions half. Stephen Jones decides the kick is too far for his range, passing the ball over to Rob Kearney. The full-back gives it an almighty welly with his left boot, but cannot find the direction.

57 mins: Brilliant full-back play from Francois Steyn, on for the indifferent Kirchner, who has had a debut to forget. He collects the ball from inside his 22m line, skips away from two tacklers and thumps the ball a good 50m downfield.

Trebell on 606: "Really open and attractive and the pack have dominated possession much better."
Your thoughts on 606

54 mins: TRY SOUTH AFRICA 6-22 LIONS
Zane Kirchner floats a pass intended for Wynand Olivier 10 metres from the Lions line, only to see the telescopic arm of Ugo Monye collect the ball and run a full 90m to touch down under the posts. Jongi Nokwe, the fastest man in the South Africa side, is in pursuit but cannot catch the flying Quins winger, who celebrates his first score in a red shirt - redemption from the first Test possibly. Sean Edwards goes absolutely bonkers on the sidelines as Stephen Jones adds the extras.

52 mins: Replacement scrum-half Ruan Piennar makes a superb darting break right through the middle, spreading the ball wide for Kirchner, but the full-back drops the ball as Tommy Bowe's desperate tackle does its job. But the Springboks earn a penalty from the resulting scrum and kick to touch, signalling their intention for the score.

50 mins: The Lions are once again pinged for not releasing on the deck, although replacement hookers Du Plessis and Ford are having a right old ding-dong on the floor. Referee Dickinson summons both captains to demand a stop to the extras.

48 mins: Basic error from full-back Zane Kirchner, who is adjudged to have brought the ball back into his own 22m before clearing to touch. The Lions spread the ball wide from the resulting line-out, but once again are penalised for not releasing in the tackle.

46 mins: The 14 Lions players are stretched to the limit as Odwa Ndungane sprints through the middle, but is brought down by the equally fleet-footed Ugo Monye. Time for Simon Shaw to return.

44 mins: More sizzling exchanges from the Lions as they pound the Springboks line, first through Tommy Bowe and then Stephen Jones, but Andrew Sheridan is penalised for not releasing just inches from the Springbok's tryline, but superb snaffling from Juan Smith and Heinrich Brussow to earn the penalty.

41 mins: Rob Kearney's high kick causes mayhem as the Boks defenders prance around attempting to get their fingers on the bobbling ball, which is nabbed by a red shirt. The Lions play a tight game, recycling the ball effectively through the forwards, only for the Boks to turn over possession. Still, encouraging start. South Africa have replaced hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle with Bismarck du Plessis, who began in both the first and second Tests.

Chris, Liverpool, text 81111: "It was Kearney's kick at the end. Very poor after such an immaculate half from the Irishman."

To paraphrase an Alan Partridge episode, "like a man in orthopaedic shoes, I stand corrected." Cheers Chris. Time for the second half...

ospreylian1 on 606: "Half-time and things are looking good but they have to stay focussed for the first seven minutes of the second half. Flutey, Kearney, Vickery and Shane are all stepping up. Keep going Lions we know you can do it."

HALF-TIME: SOUTH AFRICA 6-15 LIONS

40 mins: PEN SOUTH AFRICA 6-15 LIONS
Victor Matfield wins the line-out as Du Preez feeds Wynand Olivier, who is nailed by opposite number Riki Flutey - and the Boks are penalised for not releasing on the floor. But Stephen Jones' clearance kick does not find touch, allowing Du Preez for one last attack. The Lions are penalised at the ruck and Morne Steyn adds three points with the last action of a pulsating half. I'm spent already - and we've got 40 more minutes to go.

39 mins: South Africa earn a penalty five metres from the Lions line, which Juan Smith takes quickly, only to be brought down by a man nowhere near the 10m retreat. Stuart Dickinson gives Paul O'Connell a stiff talking to as Morne Steyn kicks to touch for one last push for a first-half score.

37 mins: The talismanic Simon Shaw is sent to the sin-bin after the touch judge spots an errant knee into the back of Fourie du Preez as he collected a loose ball. Fair call I say. The number nine felt the full effect of 19 stones of Wasps muscle.

35 mins: Relentless stuff from the Lions, who are battering the shell-shocked Springboks defence to all parts of Ellis Park right now. Jamie Heaslip does a decent Bakkies Botha impression at a ruck, although I doubt he will get penalised for that. Replacements are called as Joe Worsley goes off and on comes Tom Croft, while Matthew Rees is replaced by Ross Ford, his first taste of Test action.

33 mins: TRY SOUTH AFRICA 3-15 LIONS
Oh my days, what a try! Simon Shaw turns over South Africa ball and Mike Phillips feeds Riki Flutey, who's cheeky left-foot chip bounces awkwardly in front of Nokwe on the 22m line, allowing the England centre to flick the ball into the path of Shane Williams, who touches down under the posts for the second time in the first half. This time Stephen Jones ensures the ball is secure on the kicking tee before adding the two points.
30 mins: Impressive handling skills from the Lions backs, with Stephen Jones and Riki Flutey combining to feed try scorer Shane Williams, who bursts down the left flank, but his left-footed kick towards the post cannot find any chasers in red shirts. But still, another promising break from the tourists.

28 mins: Fourie du Preez makes a fine break from the base of the scrum, slipping a pass to fleet-footed winger Jongi Nokwe, but he is forced out wide and his pass inside is intercepted, allowing the Lions to regroup.

25 mins: TRY SOUTH AFRICA 3-8 LIONS
A barracking run from Jamie Heaslip, who gets up off his feet and continues his run after the Springboks fail to hold on to him in the tackle and the number eight slips an inside pass to Shane Williams, who touches down under the posts. The Springboks claim his one-handed pass was forward, but referee Dickinson ignores their protests and awards the score. However, Stephen Jones fails to add the two points from in front of the posts when the ball tipples off the kicking tee. Bizarre.

22 mins: Pulsating run from Jacque Fourie, set up beautifully by partner Olivier, but a huge hit from Joe Worsley stops Ryan Kankowski in his tracks. The ball is spread wide to Ndungane, who looks set to cross the tryline, only to be grassed by an incredible tackle from Matthew Rees just metres from the whitewash. And more importantly, the ball is turned over and the Lions clear the danger.

Dunc, Edinburger, text 81111: "Armbands for Botha?! I reckon the Lions should have sported eye patches for Burger."

19 mins: Poor hands from winger Jongi Nokwe just as the Boks look for a gap on the flanks. The resulting scrum sees the Springboks front row getting a right old pummelling, although referee Dickinson tells Phil Vickery to hit straight, with England prop looking perplexed. South Africa are penalised when the scrum goes down for the fourth time, but a free-kick rather than a long-arm penalty.

14 mins: A typically sniping break from scrum-half Fourie de Preez allows Morne Steyn to take a pop at the posts with a drop-goal, but his kick is an absolute howler, landing a good 10 metres in front of the posts, although centre Wynand Olivier puts Ugo Monye under intense pressure as the winger attempts to kick to touch.

12 mins: More brilliance from Rob Kearney, who successfully chases his high, hanging kick in the Springbok half. However, Jones' clever grubber behind winger Odwa Ndungane is penalised as the chasing Riki Flutey was in front of the kicker.

10 mins: PEN SOUTH AFRICA 3-3 LIONS
Shane Williams slices his clearance kick and from the resulting line-out, South Africa are awarded a penalty when a red shirt is penalised for not rolling away from the tackle. Up steps last week's hero Morne Steyn, who kicks over a simple penalty on the 22m line. These South Africans don't like trailing one little bit.

8 mins:PEN SOUTH AFRICA 0-3 LIONS
A brutal first scrum from the Lions front row, forcing Boks hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle to pop up as Stuart Dickinson awards the penalty. Up steps Stephen Jones, who slots over a simple kick from just outside the 22m line. First blood Lions.

7 mins: Rob Kearney is on fire - the full-back collects the ball just outside his 22m line and sprints 30m to South Africa's 40m line, but the ball is knocked on as the ball is spread wide. Encouraging start for the tourists.

6 mins: Solid defence from the Boks, who clear the danger, with Zane Kirchner clearing deep into Lions territory.

5 mins: How's about this for a stat - the last three times that Stuart Dickinson has officiated a South Africa match, the Boks have lost every game. He penalises them once more, allowing the Lions to head inside their 22m line.

3 mins: Great hands from the Lions as Rob Kearney, Stephen Jones and Martyn Williams break from inside their 22m and head towards the Springbok 40m line. Referee Dickinson penalises Heinrich Brussow for offside, giving Stephen Jones the opportunity to slot the first points of the match from 45m. But the fly-half skews his kick, much to the delight of the home fans behind the post.

1 min: The Beast gives away an early penalty for going in off his feet, allowing Stephen Jones to clear his lines.

1404: Morne Steyn gets the match under way.

1401: Australian Stuart Dickinson takes charge of the Test. Meanwhile South Africa are wearing white armbands in protest at Bakkies Botha's two-week ban for a dangerous charge. Hmmm, not too sure about that.

1359: Here come the Springboks, led by the irrepressible John Smit, along with lots of new faces. Full-back Zane Kirchner is not too dissimilar to Saracens flyer Richie Haughton in appearance.

1357: BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer in Johannesburg on Twitter: "Masses of red shirts here again, especially all round the lower tier, but the hosts' pricing policy has backfired. Plenty of empty seats."

A huge cheer erupts around Ellis Park as the men in red make their appearance, although the colossal Simon Shaw eschews the sprint for a casual saunter.

Pete (furious), Tooting, text 81111: "On call at work, should be ok, work has sky. Disaster, some idiot has built a scaffolding tower in front of the dish! Damn damn damn dammit! So here I am."

I've just had a text from a mate at a wedding in Manchester who wants plenty of mentions of "munches" and "boshes". Which is probably what he will be doing to the buffet in a few hour's time.

Smellslikesalmon on 606: "Looking forward to seeing this SA centre combination, arguably better than the one starting last week."
Your thoughts on 606

1352: Our colleagues at BBC Weather tell us the sun is out in the rarefied climate of Johannesburg, some 2000m above sea level, although the temperature is a positively Arctic 14 degrees compared with what we have experienced in Blighty over the past week.

Meanwhile, BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer Twitters: "A light breeze blowing around the stadium which could affect the kickers, but sun's out and pretty good conditions out there otherwise"

1349: BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer in Johannesburg on Twitter: "Some Lions not involved today just appeared in media centre. ROG still got lovely black eye. Earls tucking into a Castle. Is he old enough?"

1347: That Bryn Palmer, he's been digging around the annuls of South African rugby history and come up with these nuggets: "Statistically speaking, Ellis Park has been the Boks' happiest hunting ground since their readmission to Test rugby in 1994. They have lost only two of the 19 matches they have played there since."

And more ominously: "The Lions haven't won the final Test of a series for 20 years. The last time was in Sydney in Australia in 1989, when David Campese famously threw out a wild pass on his own line and Ieuan Evans dived on the loose ball for the match-winning try."

1344: BBC Sport's Simon Austin in Johannesburg on Twitter: "Boks going through their warm up at ellis park. SA journos think de v has picked his form team this weekend."

1340: Cruel. The only word to describe last week's result. "If only" are two words I have been uttering with alarming frequency this week, along with "should my eyes be sweating like this?" Just how do you pick yourselves up from a gut-wrenching defeat like Pretoria? Lions coach Ian McGeechan has made eight changes, the majority enforced, with England centre Riki Flutey making his debut alongside Tommy Bowe, who switches from wing to outside centre, while Joe Worsley replaces Tom Croft at blindside flanker. Prop Phil Vickery, who was unceremoniously "owned" by Tendai "the Beast" Mtawarira in Durban, has a shot at redemption, while Wales duo Shane and Martyn Williams make their first Test appearances on tour.

South Africa coach Peter de Villiers has made 10 changes in total. Schalk Burger and Bakkies Botha are both suspended, so in come lock Johann Muller and flanker Heinrich Brussow, while full-back Zane Kirchner makes his international debut.

South Africa: Kirchner; Ndungane, Fourie, Olivier, Nokwe; M Steyn, Du Preez; Mtawarira, Ralepelle, Smit, Muller, Matfield, Brussow, Smith, Kankowski.
Replacements: B du Plessis, Steenkamp, Carstens, Sykes, Spies, R Pienaar, F Steyn

Lions: Kearney; Monye, Bowe, Flutey, S Williams; S Jones, Phillips; Sheridan, Rees, Vickery, Shaw, O'Connell, Worsley, M Williams, Heaslip.
Replacements: Ford, Hayes, Alun-Wyn Jones, Wallace, Croft, Ellis, Hook.

Nathan, the pub (where else?), text 81111: "The Lions have been so unlucky in the previous Tests. I just hope with every fibre in my body that we give the Boks a thrashing today. If not, I'd settle for more of the same from the last two Tests. With different victors obviously."

1333: Some sad news just in - prop Adam Jones needs surgery on torn shoulder ligaments, an operation which is likely to keep him out of action for the Ospreys and Wales for at least six months.

Archie100 on 606: "A big good luck to Phil Vickery before today's game. I loved his comment in the press this morning 'you know you have had a bad game when your wife and mum phone to say they still love you'."
Your thoughts on 606

1328: First the Lions and now Andy Murray. Doesn't bode well for the Ashes, but that's another story entirely. You can bet your bottom dollar (if you still have one in your pocket after backing Britian's number one at Wimbledon) that coach Ian McGeechan does not want to be on the wrong end of a 3-0 clean sweep. That should be plenty of motivation for this new-look Lions side at Ellis Park. Let's have your thoughts on this match via text 81111 (with the word "Rugby" before your message) or the 606 website (link above).

1325: BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer in Johannesburg on Twitter: "Extraordinary article in Weekender paper here about 'whingeing Lions' and two 'drab' Tests so far. You wonder whether SA really wants them..."

1320: Things I have learned this week: 1) There are a lot of songs called Heartbreaker. 2) Peter de Villiers has the strangest South African accent I have ever heard. 3) Jogger's nipple is marginally less painful than watching Morne Steyn's gut-wrenching penalty sail over the posts in Pretoria last week. Why Ronan, WHY??!!!



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