21 Jun 2009

Springboks hold off Lions surge to win first Test

6:52 am on 21 June 2009

The South African rugby team has survived a late fightback by the British and Irish Lions to win the first Test 26-21 in Durban.

Tries by captain John Smit and flanker Heinrich Brussow together with some accurate goalkicking put South Africa 26-7 ahead early in the second half and seemingly in control.

The Lions fought back superbly, though, as flanker Tom Croft added a second try to his first-half effort and halfback Mike Phillips scampered over to set up a thrilling finale..

Only once before, against Australin in 1989, have the Lions lost the first Test and come back to win the series.