5 Jul 2009

Lions thump Springboks 28-9 to avoid series whitewash

7:51 am on 5 July 2009

The British and Irish Lions avoided a second successive series whitewash when they produced a spirited display of attacking rugby to beat South Africa 28-9 in the third and final Test at Ellis Park in Johnannesburg.

South Africa, having secured the series by winning the first two Tests, made 10 changes for the third and paid the price as the Lions looked far more organised and deservedly led 15-6 at half-time with two tries for winger Shane Williams.

Unlike last week, when the world champions fought back from an 11-point deficit in the latter stages, the Lions maintained the pressure and an interception try by Ugo Monye eased the nerves.

Further penalties from Stephen Jones enabled them to match their 1974 counterparts' record score and winning margin against South Africa, with three Morne Steyn penalties all the Springboks could manage in reply.

The South Africans wore white armbands in protest at lock Bakkies Botha's two-match ban.

Botha was suspended by the International Rugby Board for a dangerous charge on Lions prop Adam Jones in the second Test that left the Welshman with a dislocated shoulder. The Springboks claim Botha was just clearing out a ruck.