Lions Captain Paul O'Connell is tackled by South Africa's Juan Smith
Lions Captain Paul O'Connell is tackled by South Africa's Juan Smith
Lions Final Flourish
7 July 2009, 3:20 pm
By Editor
The Lions salvaged a test win in the final game of the series this afternoon in Johannesburg, defeating the South Africans 28-9.
It may have been a 2-1 series win to South Africa but the Lions restored all pride and character with this afternoons consolation victory in the Coca Cola Park.

Leading 15-6 at halftime the Lions were able to match their first first half performance this week as they continued to attack and dominate after the break. Rob Kearney was once again influential at fullback and the front five, with the return of Vickery, certainly answered their critics in the scrums.

Shane Williams found his way to the try line on two occasions in the first half and the Lions extended their lead with an intercepted try from Ugo Monye in the 54th minute. Stephen Jones' boot kept adding the points and ultimately put the Lions out of reach of any South African comeback.

Munster's John Hayes made his test appearance as he replaced Vickery after 55 minutes.

Paul O'Connell after the win "It was a tough week mentally for everyone and we really dug deep there with guys producing some great scores. Today is a big moment in a lot of our careers."

Ian McGeechan commented on the victory "This was massive, the players were superb, they picked themselves up, and to play like that again they are an outstanding group of players. I was highly delighted with the effort of everyone today."

Lions: Robert Kearney, Ugo Monye, Tommy Bowe, Riki Flutey, Shane Williams, Stephen Jones, Mike Phillips, Andrew Sheridan, Matthew Rees, Phil Vickery, Simon Shaw, Paul O'Connell capt, Joe Worsley, Martyn Williams, Jamie Heaslip. Replacements: Ross Ford, John Hayes, A-W Jones, David Wallace, Tom Croft, Harry Ellis, James Hook.

South Africa: Zane Kirchner, Odwa Ndungane, Jaque Fourie, Wynand Oliver, Jongi Nokwe, Morne Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Tendai Mtawarira, Chiliboy Ralepelle, John Smit, Johann Muller,Victor Matfield, Heinrich Brussow, Juan Smith, Ryan Kankowski Replacements: Bismarck du Plessis, Guthro Steenkamp, Deon Carstens, Steven Skyes, Pierre Spies, Ruan Pienaar, Frans Steyn.

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