THE LIONS suffered a heartbreaking defeat in the deciding game of their three-match series to South Africa in Cape Town.
Warren Gatland’s side conceded a penalty with 90 seconds remaining and Morne Steyn stepped up to give the Springboks a 19-16 victory.
Josh Adams impressed for the Lions despite their defeat[/caption]
Finn Russell replaced Dan Biggar and slotted in impressively in the side[/caption]
But there were still some positives for the Lions as Josh Adams impressed going forward with his electric pace.
And Finn Russell, who came on for the injured Dan Biggar after 11 minutes, was exceptional off the bench.
Here’s what SunSport’s man in Cape Town – Jonny Fordham – thought of the Lions’ individual performances.
LIAM WILLIAMS – 6/10
Finally started and put his money where his mouth was as he dominated in the air, but well-beaten by Kolbe for the try.
JOSH ADAMS – 8
Tour top scorer, made his Test debut and always looked to attack and show his need for speed, just needed the ball more.
Adams carried the ball well for the Lions[/caption]
ROBBIE HENSHAW – 8
Won a key turnover deep inside the Bok 22 to pile the pressure onto the world champions. Gave it his all and smashed anything that moved.
BUNDEE AKI – 7
Another debutant alongside his best mate Henshaw and was loving it out there. Could hear his booming voice all over Cape Town as he bossed the defence.
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DUHAN VAN DER MERWE – 6
Kept his place and the big South African managed to get his head down and run at his compatriots a few times, best game, but still found it tough.
DAN BIGGAR – 5
Missed a penalty and then went down injured after just 11 minutes with a knee problem. Though supersub Finn Russell, his replacement, was sensational on his Test debut.
ALI PRICE – 7
Took his game to the next level with his mate Russell stepped off the bench. Ran, kicked, sniped – but also knocked-on to hand the Boks a dangerous scrum on the edge of the 22.
WYN JONES – 8
Absolutely buried himself after waiting two games for this memorable moment. Huge at the scrum and the breakdown. Shame to see him leave injured.
KEN OWENS – 7
Scored the first half driving maul try and should have had another if it wasn’t for Tom Curry just popping out of the side of the pack as they rattled to the try line.
TADHG FURLONG – 8
Locked down the scrum and carried hard – had the edge in the early scrums and tighthead looked back to his carrying best also.
MARO ITOJE – 8
Set-up Owens’ try and punched holes in the Boks defence with some tasty line breaks.
Itoje set up Owens’ try with his usual physicality[/caption]
ALUN WYN JONES (c) – 6
Twelve Tests and almost-certainly now out at the age of 35 as he became the first player to play all Tests in four consecutive tours.
COURTNEY LAWES – 7
Ran himself into the ground after getting fit to start every single Test. Neat footwork to move the Boks close to the gainline.
TOM CURRY – 6
Played and started all three Tests on his first tour aged just 23. Who many more Lions tours ahead of him and he will be a series winner in 2025.
JACK CONAN – 6
Carried well, stuck his head in at the breakdown and hit hard – but dropped an easy ball under pressure to hand the Boks an attacking scrum in enemy territory.
FINN RUSSELL – 9
Played like Lionel Messi at times and proved his doubters wrong by showing he can control a high-pressured game at this level. Brilliant to watch and brought joy and excitement back to the Lions shirt.
Russell was the Lions’ standout player on Saturday[/caption]
Cowan-Dickie 6 (on for Owens, 54), Vunipola 7 (on for W.Jones, 44), Sinckler 7 (on for Furlong, 59), Beard 5 (on for AW Jones, 61), Simmonds 7 (on for Conan, 61), Murray 7 (on for Price, 59), Russell STAR MAN (on for Biggar, 11), Daly.
Le Roux 6, Kolbe 8, Am 6, De Allende 7, Mapimpi 5, Pollard 8, Reinach 5; Kitshoff 6, Mbonambi 5, Malherbe 5, Etzebeth 4, De Jager 7, Kolisi (c) 6, Mostert 7, Wiese 4.
SOUTH AFRICA REPLACEMENTS
Marx 6 (on Mbonambi, 55), Nyakane 6 (on for Kitshoff, 61), Koch 5 (on for Malherbe, 56), Van Staden 5 (on for Kolisi, 56), Smith 5 (on for De Jager, 54), Jantjies 5 (on for Reinach, 64), Steyn 8 (on for Pollard, 65), Willemse 5 (on for Le Roux, 79).