In atrocious conditions the Emerging Springboks had the better of the second half and so came back to force a draw with a try and wide conversion on the final whistle.
Newlands Stadium, Cape Town was the venue and although the game started with just the pitch wet, it soon offered the players all extremes of weather. It was the Lions who seemed to adapt to the conditions best as they exerted pressure and within 3 minutes had the chance to take the lead, the penalty was missed. So it was on 8 minutes that O’Gara posted the first points as the Emerging Springboks continued to be punished by the referee. 0-3. Almost immediately the Boks were given a chance but Earl Rose also had problems with the swirling wind and failed to convert. 15 minutes and Lions pressure on the Emerging Boks line resulted in a well worked move seeing Keth Earls beat defenders and go in under the posts. This gave Ronan O’Gara an easy conversion and the Lions went out to 0-10. The Emerging Springboks were now getting into the game and putting pressure on the Lions and they had a couple of chances to take points but Rose failed to convert, however on 35 minutes he managed to dissect the posts and the Lions lead was reduced to 3-10. This score remained at half time.
The second period and on 44 minutes Hook came on for O’Gara and we all expected the Lions to take a grip especially as they had the wind behind them. But it was the Emerging Boks who scored another penalty on 49 minutes 6-10. The conditions were taking there toll and many unforced errors were happening making the game a bit of a lottery. However on 61 minutes the Emerging Boks had another penalty miss and in fact it was Hook who extended the Lions lead to 6-13 on 76 minutes with a penalty. We expected at this stage that the Lions would go on to a complete set of non test wins, but the Emerging Boks had other ideas and a well worked move right on full time saw Danwell Demas go in out wide.
Emerging Springboks 13 Lions 13
Try: Demas Con: De Waal Pens: Rose 2
Try: Earls Con: O’Gara Pens: O’Gara, Hook
Emerging Springboks: Zane Kirchner, Luzuko Vulindlu, Deon van Rensburg, Morgan Newman, Bjorn Basson, Earl Rose, Jano Vermaak; Wian du Preez, Bandise Maku, Werner Kruger, Steven Sykes, Wilheim Steenkamp, Dewald, Potgieter (capt), Jean Deysel, Duane Vermeulen.
Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg (for Maku, 52), Pat Cilliers (for Du Preez, 64), Franco van der Merwe (for Sykes, 64), Jacques Botes (for Deysel, 64), Heini Adams (for Vermaak, 64), Willem de Waal (for Van Rensbug, 52), Danwel Demas for Basson, 73).
Lions: Keith Earls, Shane Williams, Riki Flutey, Gordon D’Arcy, Luke Fitzgerald; Ronan O’Gara (capt), Harry Ellis; Tim Payne, Ross Ford, John Hayes, Donncha O’Callaghan, Nathan Hines, Joe Worsley, Martyn Williams, Andy Powell.
Replacements: Lee Mears (for Ford, 75), Phil Vickery (for Hayes, 67), Simon Shaw (for Hines, 57), David Wallace (for Powell, 68), James Hook (for O’Gara, 45), Ugo Monye (for Fitzgerald, 65). Not used: Mike Blair
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Although the quality is not very good, we thought we would bring you the last minute highlights: