World Gatland expects 20 minutes of 'hell' against Springboks
Losing Lions got more out of match than South Africa - Gatland
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland said his players were "pretty bullish" despite losing 17-13 by South Africa A at the Cape Town Stadium on Wednesday. "The players were pretty bullish in the changing room.""I thought we got more out of tonight than South Africa," said Gatland. "The players were pretty bullish in the changing room.
British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland expects 20 minutes of "hell" from the kick-off of the first Test against world champions South Africa in Cape Town on Saturday.
Speaking less than an hour before the 1600 GMT kick-off, the New Zealander said: "We are going face 20 minutes of hell. It will be tough and hard, an arm wrestle, and we must maintain our discipline."
Pre-match media coverage has been dominated by the physicality the Springboks will bring to a match to be played behind closed doors because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Alun Wyn Jones restored as captain and Test contender - Gatland
"A lot of players put their hands up tonight," said British and Irish Lions coach Warren Gatland after his team defeated the Stormers 49-3 at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday. He said this was justified after seeing a much-changed A team lose 17-14 to the Bulls in an earlier match at the stadium on Saturday. "It has been a brilliant week for us because we got exactly what we wanted in terms of Wednesday and what is coming next week."I do not think we would have got that with the A team that they put out against the Bulls. We possibly would not have been tested like we were on Wednesday.
Queried about the fact that only two Lions' combinations have played together on tour, Gatland said: "I do not foresee any problems. All our combinations have worked well during training this week."
The Lions have played five matches in South Africa ahead of the first Test, hammering four franchise teams severely weakened by the absence of their Springboks and losing narrowly to South Africa A.
South Africa have won eight, lost four and drawn one of the 13 previous Test series, with the rivalry beginning 130 years ago.
South Africa: Willie le Roux; Cheslin Kolbe, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Makazole Mapimpi; Handre Pollard, Faf de Klerk; Kwagga Smith, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (capt); Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth; Trevor Nyakane, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche
Replacements: Malcolm Marx, Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Lood de Jager, Rynhardt Elstadt, Herschel Jantjies, Elton Jantjies, Damian Willemse
Coach: Jacques Nienaber (RSA)
Lions: Stuart Hogg; Anthony Watson, Elliot Daly, Robbie Henshaw, Duhan van der Merwe; Dan Biggar, Ali Price; Jack Conan, Tom Curry, Courtney Lawes; Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Maro Itoje; Tadhg Furlong, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Rory Sutherland
Replacements: Ken Owens, Mako Vunipola, Kyle Sinckler, Tadhg Beirne, Hamish Watson, Conor Murray, Owen Farrell, Liam Williams
Coach: Warren Gatland (NZL)
Referee: Nic Berry (AUS)
British and Irish Lions win first test over South Africa after tense second-half comeback .
The British and Irish Lions rugby team has triumphed over South Africa in a tense 22-17 victory after trailing in the first half. © PA The British and Irish Lions managed to pull it out of the bag in the second half A try from Luke Cowan-Dickie in the second half sparked a Lions comeback in Cape Town after finishing the first half 12-3 down thanks to South African Handre Pollard kicking four penalties.