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Our pundits expect Springboks to level series

Mike Jobling and Mike Dias both tipped South Africa to win last week’s opening Test, but the Lions took control of the three-game series by winning 22-17 in Cape Town. Jobling, representing the Lions and Dias, representing the Springboks, expect the series to be decided in the third and final Test on August 7.

Last week, Mike Jobling tipped the Lions to lead at half-time and fade in the second half, but the opposite happened as they overcame a nine-point deficit at the interval to win by five points. Jobling expects the wounded Springboks to come out with a point to prove.

“As we go into the second Test, I must admit the Lions’ second half last week was nothing short of a masterclass in how to be efficient,” Jobling said. “I’m glad the South African water boy got his just deserts for his calamity of touchline tactics! 

“There are some interesting changes in both sides but focusing on the Lions, Mako Vunipola is in after making a positive bench appearance and he plays well into the dynamic of Rory Sutherland off the bench with the ever reliable Ken Owens. 

“I’m not entirely sure what Warren Gatland’s thoughts are with Robbie Henshaw, but he must have something up his sleeve not to pick Bundee Aki.

“My sticking point is with Conor Murray who can close out a game like no other, but he is not a starter in my eyes. Gareth Davies deserves the shot in my opinion. The others I can’t fault for their selection but I would like to see Adams on the bench for a wing option. 

“As far as the game goes, I do believe the Lions will be up against an entirely different beast on Saturday. It will be much more physical and tactical as we did not actually see that much set piece play. I have every confidence in the Lions making it 2-0, but I think we will lose 27-20.”

As for Dias, he wants his side to put in a solid performance for 80 minutes and dominate the set pieces. Dias also likes the make up of the bench which could decide the outcome of this game in the latter stages.

“This is a huge, huge game,” Dias said. “Obviously from a support point of view but also the Test series. Hopefully South Africa can take the win and can play for a full 80 minutes, not just 30 mins! It was would be awesome for the series to go down to the final Test match for the overall winner! 

“I think Jasper Weise coming in was obvious and will make a big difference form a positional point of view and his direct carrying and tackling should make a difference!

“South Africa will look to put a lot of pressure at scrum and lineouts, there is no doubt about it! I like the fact they gone back to 6/2 split with some good players to come on for impact! Having two tightheads on the bench is a strange one though! 

“The Lions will be very confident after last week’s win and having been the better team for 50 minutes of the first game. I’m looking forward to it and I am going for the ‘Boks to win 25-15.” 

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