After 240 minutes of gruelling and enthralling test match rugby a single moment, in my opinion, swung the whole game in the favour of the Boks. Games are often won (and lost) by the smallest of margins and this was no different. One incident made all the difference. Schalk Burger’s eye gouge on Lions wing Luke Fitzgerald inside 2 minutes of the second test was a cowardly act – by one of the games so-called ‘hardest men’. The referee got it totally wrong – even after Bryce Lawrence (the touch judge) had clearly said “It’s a yellow at best”. For me, and everyone who’s seen and analysed the footage ever since, it was a clear red and Schalk should have been handed a lengthy, rather than 8 week, ban.
A red card would have meant South Africa playing the remainder of the match, 78 minutes, with 14 men. It was hard enough for the men in green with 15 on the pitch, let alone 14. Maybe it should have been the Lions players wearing ‘justice’ armbands for the 3rd test?.
The Lions, in all 3 tests, had the more attacking prowess (try count reads 7 v 5) and they have scored more points in total. They played some great stuff and really had the world champions rattled on more than one occasion. If only luck and sterner refereeing were in the Lions favour I think we would have seen a different outcome. Great to see the boys make it 2-1 today. It would have been a travesty if this series ended 0-3.
Bring on Australia.