British Lions must beat South Africa in Cape Town, says Saracens' Itoje
- Credit: PA
Saracens Maro Itoge insists the British Lions mission to claim the series bragging rights over South Africa cannot be completed until they repeat their victory in Cape Town this Saturday.
The 26-year-old lock played an inspirational role in assisting Warren Gatland’s troops overturn a nine-point half-time deficit to defeat the current world champions 22-17 in the opening three-match test series at The Mother City.
Fellow Saracens star Elliot Daly was also in the starting line-up as an outside centre while Owen Farrell, who scored the game’s final points with a last minute penalty, and Mako Vunipola made their introductions during the second half.
Hackney-born Northampton Saints lock Courtney Lawes also played.
Exeter Chiefs Luke Cowan-Dickie scored The Lions only try while Northampton Saints fly half Daniel Biggar slotted home 14 points between the posts.
Itoge is refusing to get carried away with the result, going into Saturday’s second test with The Springboks.
He believes the game will matter more if they can claim victory which will hand them the series outright with one test to spare.
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“Obviously this was a great win but I’m a man who likes to look at history and see how other tours have unfolded,” he said.
“Winning a Test match with the Lions is rare. We only play once every four years and it’s unique but this win will mean nothing unless we go out and win next weekend.
“So while this is a great win I’m proud to be part of, we know that we need to do a job next weekend. That’s when it really counts.”
Head coach Gatland has made three changes to The Lions starting fifteen when battle re-commences at Cape Town Stadium including Sarries prop Mako Vunipola coming in for Edinburgh’s Rory Sutherland while Daly is replaced by Gloucester’s Chris Harris.