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We cast an eye over this weekend's Premier League action and pick out the highlights.
|Home team||Away Team|
||26 - 21||
80 A classic Test match - it was all the Lions after Brussow's try. O'Driscoll and Roberts were simply magical, while the character of the side shone through. The Lions had their chances with Monye, Bowe and Phillips all going close. Unfortunately the scrum and the lineout cost them dear - while the discipline around the breakdown needs to be reassessed.
80 Januarie clears the ball into touch - and the Boks cling on for the win.
79 The Lions are attacking hard, but the Boks win the penalty...
78 Conservative kick to the corner from Jones - Boks snaffle the lineout but knock on.
78 O'Driscoll is down receiving treatment.... he is alright though.
77 Roberts breaks through, but Steyn gets his hands to the ball when Bowe looked like he could be through.
77 Big hoof forward from Jones and Januarie spills it. Scrum 10m into the Boks' half.
76 Jones converts... five in it
75 Roberts is held up just short... but Phillips crashes over... can we have a famous win.
74 Another penalty to the Lions - surely a yellow card must be coming?
74 The Lions turn over the Boks scrum... what a finish to the game.
73 Oh no... Monye drops the ball going for the line - another so close moment.
72 The Lions have Boks worried as some good hands take s them back into the 22, winning another penalty.
70 The Lions are roaring and have Steyn in bother... however the ref awards the scrum to the Boks.
69 Jones converts
69 At last for the Lions as Croft scores his second... Roberts makes the inroads before quick ball finds O'Driscoll. Croft takes the scoring pass
68 The Lions are pushing and probing right on the line but the defence is strong...
67 Williams is on for Wallace
66 The Lions have the Boks under intense pressure... and the home side are now getting pinged at the breakdown
65 Still the Lions press and O'Driscoll's chip almost finds Bowe in the corner.
64 Habana almost intercepts but the play is pulled back for a Lions penalty.
63 The Lions have been more positive since the Brussow try and they hammer away at the line again.
61 Great work from Roberts and O'Driscoll drives Pietersen back and the Lions forwards pile in,
60 Great kick from Pienaar pins the Lions back
59 Good drive from Roberts is followed by a good charge from Croft, but Monye is taken out off the bal chasing Jones' chip ahead.
57 One up for Kearney as he makes a fine catch under pressure from Habana
56 Fantastic clearing kick from Phillips ses the Lions back into the Boks half.
55 But the Lions lose possession after Rees is flagged for punching
55 So close again... this time Bowe cuts through, the Boks get a hand in to knock the ball on.
54 Back to back lineout successes has the Lions going forward now...however at 26-7 down it seems all too late.
53 The Lions have stepped up their play - but O'Driscoll gets isolated and another penalty is conceded.
52 The Boks clear their line, but the Lions scrum is now functioning well.
51 Rees comes on for Mears...
51 Another close one for the Lions as Phillips stretches out an arm close to the line - but Botha dislodges the ball
50 First chance for Jones to make an impact... and at last a solid scrum allows O'Driscoll to break
48 Pienaar adds the extras.
47 And from the drive, Brussow crashes over. The Lions really need to show their character.
46 Another penalty to the Boks as the maul is collapsed. The Lions are at sixes and sevens here - and the hosts step up the pressure by going for the corner.
46 Vickery is off for Adam Jones... right call.
45 A superb drive from the Boks takes them into the Lions half... although they head back for a penalty the damage to the Lions has been done.
44 Booming boot from Kearney recovers the situation after the Boks disrupt the lineout.
43 Relief for the Lions as they get on the right side of the referee at the lineout.
42 Great take from the kick-off by Roberts and the Lions are probing the Boks defence - only for a silly penalty to give away possession
41 No changes for either side as Jones gets the second half underway...
The Lions have got lots of work to do at the interval... the lineout and the scrum are just not functioning. Vickery is being penalised almost every scrum now, although the Beast is not going in straight. On the positive front, the Lions attack looks classy with Roberts and O'Driscoll finding the holes.
40 Fortunately Pienaar misses his kick.
39 The Lions are penalised at the scrum - and Vickery is given a final warning by the referee.
38 Jones counters and looks clear but the ref makes an error in pulling play back. Problem for the Lions though as Lee Byrne is replaced by Rob Kearney
37 The Lions try to counter but the Boks defence holds firm.
35 Pienaar rubs the salt into the wounds of the Lions with another successful kick...
34 The Lions kicking game is just awful as they gift possession to the Boks and the tourists are pinged again.
33 Pienaar takes his time to pick up the three points...
32 Scrum collapses and it is a penalty to the Boks... Vickery is having all sorts of issues with The Beast.
31 The game has drifted into some pointless kicking... poor all round
29 David Jorge reckons the Boks are too strong for the Lions - however he seems to overlook the way the tourists have cut loose in attack.
28 O'Connell is penalised for hands in the ruck - but Steyn misses the penalty.
27 The Lions are over again through Tommy Bowe, but they are pulled back for crossing as Byrne gets his timing a little out.
26 Steyn tries a long range drop goal... but it is an appaling effort.
24 Jones converts to bring the Lions back into the game.
23 The Lions win one of the Boks' lineout and the tourists are one the front foot. Quick hands release the backs and O'Driscoll finds Croft on the inside for the try.
22 David Wallace is hammered in a tackle and carried into touch...
21 The ref has ruled the challenge from Croft was illegal, awarding the Boks another penalty... and Steyn slots it over
20 The Lions scrum is turned over again and it takes a superb challenge from Croft to stop du Preez.
19 There is no doubting the Boks are fired up for this with some fearsome tackles - 12 years of hurt showing.
18 Things are going from bad to worse for the Lions, with another lineout lost. And Pienaar makes them pay with a beautiful kick.
17 The Boks concede the penalty from the breakdown - but Jones misses the kick. Ronan O'Gara anyone?
15 Good attacks from Byrne and Wallace take the Lions close, but the cover from the Boks is there
13 The Lions win the lineout this time... perhaps eight minutes too late though
12 Croft catches Steyn again from the kick-off but the Boks get the scrum.
11 Pienaar makes it 10-0 with his second successful kick.
10 The scrum was supposed to be their key weapon, but they have been driven off the ball by the Boks and they concede the penalty.
9 The Boks tactics are clear - with Steyn looking to peg them back with his boot.
8 The Lions fans are going mental as a set move from the scrum sees Monye go over in the corner... however Jean de Villiers produces an amazing cover tackle to deny the try.
7 Good response from the LIons as Croft forces the error from Steyn. Lions have a scrum in the Boks' 22
6 Pienaar adds the extras.
5 What a start for the hosts. The Boks hammer away at the Lions line and it is Smith that crashes through.
4 First lineout against the throw for the Boks and the home side are on the attack... a great kick from Pienaar exploits the space and the Lions almost concede.
3 Stephen Jones, though, sees his kick drift just wide... and Steyn hoofs mighty kick deep into the Lions half.
2 First test for Monye as he fields du Preez box kixk, however JP Pietersen is pinged for not being offside.
1 Already there is a late shot on O'Driscoll as he clears his lines...
1 The waiting is finally over as Ruan Pienaar gets the game underway...
... thankfully we should be spared the Power of Four for the Lions!
Now, the delay for the anthems...
... the South Africans have kept the Lions waiting, however the home fans signal that the Boks are ready...
... and O'Connell gets his side in a huddle for a final few instructions...
There is a massive roar from the crowd as the Lions enter the arena...
Oliver in Hastings is backing the Lions to win as they are the better team. One or two South Africans might disagree with you however I think man for man the Lions just have the edge...
The rumours is the Lions have recruited the legendary Willie John McBride to hand out the jerseys today...
The ABSA Stadium is starting to fill up and the Lions are here in force. Already the chant of "Liiiiiiiiiiiiooooooooonnnnnnnssss, Liiiiiiiiiiiiooooooooonnnnnnnssss" can be heard ringing around the ground. The atmosphere is electric...
Personally I believe the Lions will edge it by six - and it is going to be a nervy affair. Feel free to let us know your views by emailing me at email@example.com
There is a great atmosphere in Durban and a general air of confidence among the army of Lions fans. However the feelings is that the Lions need to win this game.
The action gets underway at 2pm, however watch the build up to the action on Sky Sports 1 & HD1 fom 1pm or join us from 1.30pm.
Teams - South Africa: 15 Frans Steyn, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Adi Jacobs, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Ruan Pienaar, 9 Fourie du Preez, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Juan Smith, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 John Smit (c), 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Gurthrö Steenkamp, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Andries Bekker, 19 Danie Rossouw, 20 Ricky Januarie, 21 Jaque Fourie, 22 Morné Steyn.
British & Irish Lions: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Stephen Jones, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 David Wallace, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Paul O'Connell (c), 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 3 Phil Vickery, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Gethin Jenkins.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Adam Jones, 18 Donncha O'Callaghan, 19 Martyn Williams, 20 Harry Ellis, 21 Ronan O'Gara, 22 Rob Kearney.
The waiting is finally over for both sides, with both sets of players fired up for the clash
Welcome to Durban for the first Test between the British and Irish Lions and South Africa.
|Friday 20th December|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs London Irish|
|Saturday 21st December|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Wasps vs Northampton|
|15:00||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th December|
|TBC||Newcastle vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th December|
|15:00||Northampton vs Bath|
|15:00||Worcester vs Saracens|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Exeter|
|15:00||Leicester vs Sale Sharks|
|Friday 3rd January|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 4th January|
|15:00||London Irish vs Worcester|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs Bath|
|Sunday 5th January|
|15:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Friday 7th February|
|19:45||Worcester vs Leicester|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 8th February|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Wasps|
|15:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|Sunday 9th February|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|Friday 14th February|
|20:00||Sale Sharks vs Saracens|
|Saturday 15th February|
|15:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Worcester|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 1st December|
|Newcastle 9 - 35 Harlequins|
|Saturday 30th November|
|Bath 21 - 16 Exeter|
|Worcester 10 - 33 Northampton|
|London Irish 12 - 19 Wasps|
|Saracens 24 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 29th November|
|Gloucester 17 - 22 Leicester|
|Sunday 24th November|
|Wasps 5 - 28 Bath|
|Saturday 23rd November|
|Northampton 18 - 0 Newcastle|
|Harlequins 27 - 19 Gloucester|
|Exeter 9 - 16 Saracens|
|Leicester 20 - 11 London Irish|
|Friday 22nd November|
|Sale Sharks 26 - 10 Worcester|
|Sunday 3rd November|
|Saracens 40 - 3 Newcastle|
|London Irish 14 - 19 Northampton|
|Saturday 2nd November|
|Leicester 16 - 23 Harlequins|
|Gloucester 30 - 32 Wasps|
|Friday 1st November|
|Sale Sharks 16 - 18 Exeter|
|Worcester 6 - 21 Bath|
|Sunday 27th October|
|Newcastle 13 - 11 London Irish|
|Wasps 22 - 12 Leicester|
|Saturday 26th October|
|Northampton 41 - 20 Saracens|
|Exeter 40 - 6 Worcester|
|Harlequins 24 - 3 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 25th October|
|Bath 15 - 13 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Stuart Barnes with skysports.com