Tuesday, June 23, 2009
The British & Irish Lions suffered their first non-Test hiccup in Cape Town earlier tonight as they drew with the Emerging Springboks after a frantic last minute of rugby in atrocious conditions.
Keith Earls, playing at fullback, scored the first and only try for the Lions as the rain pelted down on a soaked Newlands. Despite the weather, roughly 40 000 turned out to see the match, adding further fuel to the argument that the devout Cape fans should have been afforded a Test match.
Running the ball in those conditions proved challenging, but the Lions tried when they could, as they looked to have an edge in the first half after Earls' nicely taken try.
It was confrontational and tight, with the Lions leading 13-6 and looking as though they'd come away with another midweek win after James Hook slotted a penalty three minutes from time.
The Emerging Boks were awarded a penalty and Earl Rose kicked for the corner, which led to a really well worked lineout move. The ball was recycled, and replacement Willem De Waal spun it out wide to another replacement, wing Danwell Demas, who dived over for a great try.
The conversion was from the touchline as the rain poured down once again, but being the seasoned professional that he is, De Waal kept his nerve and slotted the kick beautifully, earning the home side a memorable 13-13 draw.
Note: This clip includes an interview with Willem De Waal from after the match.