As pandemic has loomed over Boks-Lions pantomime‚ first Test enters stage right

It is perhaps a sign of the times that so little of the pre-match hype for an occasion as august as the opening Test between SA and the British & Irish Lions has focused on the rucks, mauls, scrums, kicks, tackles – the actual building blocks that make ...

2021-07-24 12:41:00 AM

It is perhaps a sign of the times that so little of the pre-match hype for an occasion as august as the opening Test between SA and the British & Irish Lions has focused on the rucks, mauls, scrums, kicks, tackles – the actual building blocks that make ...

It is perhaps a sign of the times that so little of the pre-match hype for an occasion as august as the opening Test between SA and the British & Irish Lions has focused on the rucks, mauls, scrums, kicks, tackles – the actual building blocks that make a game.

Image:Ashley Vlotman/Gallo ImagesIt is perhaps a sign of the times that so little of the pre-match hype for an occasion as august as the opening Test between SA and the British & Irish Lions has focused on the rucks, mauls, scrums, kicks, tackles — the actual building blocks that make a game.

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The pandemic and its affect has commanded almost all the attention and even before a ball is kicked it has ensured a Test series like no other.When the Springboks and the Lions emerge from their respective bio-bubbles on Saturday and dispose of the sideshows, they will provide answers to many of the teasing subplots that have emerged in the build-up to this series.

Given the limited time they have spent as a group in recent combat the question that Springboks have had to contend with most is their state of readiness.You got the sense in the pre-match online media conference that assistant coach Mzwandile Stick had been asked this before. “We had three years with these guys. People must make peace with that. headtopics.com

“I think 13 of these players started the World Cup final. Ox Nché is the only starter who was not with us at the World Cup.“If you say we are underdone, jeez, we have been with these guys for three years. It is something people must make peace with, and the fact that we are living in challenging times. Other teams as well,” reminded Stick.

The Springbok who will perhaps be the poster boy for the measure of his battle readiness is captain Siya Kolisi, who completed Covid-19 protocols and complied with fitness tests.He is not the only one to return in the nick of time. “After the guys (who had to isolate) came back into the squad you could feel the vibe and energy. They know what it takes. They are pro enough to know when to switch on,” said Stick.

Kolisi declared himself ready and raring to go and the Springboks as a collective had better be too. They need to hit the deck running.Opening Tests against the Lions tend to determine the series winners. In this matchup, the last time series honours were in the balance as deep as the third Test was in 1968 after the second Test was drawn in Port Elizabeth. When the Boks play the Lions 1-0 tends to translate to 2-0.

It is perhaps for that reason too familiar faces and hands were called on in the Bok ranks. There is no time to ease into the series. Read more: Times LIVE »

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Springboks, Lions set for Test series like none beforeCapacity crowds, including thousands of visiting supporters, created a vibrant atmosphere when the Lions lost the Test series 2-1 on their last tour in 2009. So many bitcon traders on Twitter are trickster Lindastouff thank you for opening my eyes to their ways now I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to help others I don't care about springbok racists

First Bok Test tensions: Lions furious with switch of TMOAhead of the first Test against the Springboks on Saturday, there has been a change of the Television Match Official, which has upset the British and Irish Lions.

Kolisi declares Boks ready to 'give everything' against LionsHaving overcome plenty of challenges over the last few months, Springbok captain Siya Kolisi says his players are ready for whatever the British and Irish Lions throw at them. KenBorland

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Lions slam World Rugby for 'lack of foresight' on Jonker TMO appointmentBritish & Irish Lions assistant coach Robin McBryde believes World Rugby showed a lack of thorough planning after the appointment of SA's Marius Jonker as the Television Match Official (TMO) for the first test against the Springboks. utterly STUPID decision that makes ZERO sense LionsSA2021