Courtney Lawes has claimed that the Springboks intentionally slowed down the second test, in an effort to conserve energy.
The Springboks got the better of Lawes and his British and Irish Lions team mates last weekend, in a stop-start game in which officiating decisions often took centre stage.
Lawes was writing in a column for The Telegraph ahead of the third decisive test and insisted that the Lions would look to up the tempo against the Springboks after last Saturday’s stagnant encounter.
The hard work in training is over…
…the hard work on the pitch is just beginning ?
— British & Irish Lions (@lionsofficial) August 7, 2021
Courtney Lawes on the Springboks ‘nonsense’.
“It was ridiculous for the first half to have lasted 63 minutes. Fair play to the Springboks, they know their strengths and weaknesses and we did not react well enough and let them impose their game plan on us,” Lawes wrote.
“When you are not able to get them running around and when they’re not tired, then they are going to be good at scrummaging and mauls.
“We are not going to engage in any nonsense that slows the game down. Even if a player is down looking to waste time, we will get our scrum set up and say ‘Look, we are ready to go, what’s going on?’
“We want to put some pressure on them to speed the game up. Last Saturday there was all sorts going on, with players even changing studs. The fact that the first half took so long shows exactly what their game plan was.”
Lions look to attack in final test.
The Lions have only scored one try in the test series so far, which came from Luke Cowan-Dickie off the back of a rolling maul in the first game.
The tourists’ backline have struggled to break down the Springboks’ defence, although they have been afforded limited opportunities due to the insistence on kicking the ball.
Warren Gatland has made four changes to his backline for the final test, which hopefully signals an end to the garryowens and box kicks which have been so prevalent thus far.
Although the Springboks have also engaged in plenty of conservative tactics, it must be said that they have produced more exciting attacking play than their opponents so far, in a forward-dominated test series.