Incessant TMO calls become so annoying
The Rugby Paper|July 25, 2021
With the first Test over, I can’t help thinking that the only way this series will be completed is if the result is different next week.
JEFF PROBYN

Unlike a usual tour, where the series is guaranteed by the number of traveling fans spending money with full stadiums in different venues across the host nation, this tour is now solely based in Cape Town with the teams locked in a bubble for the next two weeks.

If the result is the same next week, there is no reason to play the last game in a series that would have been decided and a third Test which would have no real meaning other than the hope of a clean sweep, just the same as it was in 1997.

With the Lions having won the first two Tests in ‘97 (16-25 and 15-18) and therefore the series, the team for the third game had some player changes but were unable to complete a Bok's whitewash going down 35-16 in the final Test.

Now South Africa is in the throes of a third covid wave with over two million infections (plus riots on the streets) so the need to play the third Test of a decided series seems to be an unnecessary risk for all involved.

Given the threat to the families and partners I assume the Lions party will have to be locked in isolation for a week in a hotel near to the airport when they return, ending what will have been the strangest tour undertaken by any Lions squad.

No one should underestimate the efforts of all those involved; especially Lions chairman Jason Leonard, in making this tour happen against all the odds and what it will mean for the Home Unions even with a reduced financial Lions windfall.

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