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Star man Maro Itoje has the final say as Lions comeback seals opening test win against South Africa

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South Africa's Cheslin Kolbe competes in the air with British & Irish Lions' Robbie Henshaw.

South Africa's Cheslin Kolbe competes in the air with British & Irish Lions' Robbie Henshaw.

©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Luke Cowan-Dickie of British & Irish Lions stretches over to score their side's first try during the 1st Test between South Africa & British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium.

Luke Cowan-Dickie of British & Irish Lions stretches over to score their side's first try during the 1st Test between South Africa & British & Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium.

Getty Images

Alun Wyn Jones of the British & Irish Lions runs at Kwagga Smith of South Africa during the Castle Lager Lions Series, First Test match at the Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa.

Alun Wyn Jones of the British & Irish Lions runs at Kwagga Smith of South Africa during the Castle Lager Lions Series, First Test match at the Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa.

PA

Dan Biggar of the British & Irish Lions during the Castle Lager Lions Series, First Test match at the Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa.

Dan Biggar of the British & Irish Lions during the Castle Lager Lions Series, First Test match at the Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town, South Africa.

PA

Man of the match Maro Itoje of the British & Irish Lions.

Man of the match Maro Itoje of the British & Irish Lions.

PA

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South Africa's Cheslin Kolbe competes in the air with British & Irish Lions' Robbie Henshaw.

It seemed fitting that it was Maro Itoje who popped up in the final play to rip the ball free of South African hands and ensure that it was the British and Irish Lions who tasted victory in the opening Test.

The England lock had been a menace even when the Springboks had put themselves into what appeared to be a winning position through their 12-3 first half lead, so it was only right and proper that he had the final say as the World Cup winners desperately tried to rescue a contest that, to them, had mysteriously slipped away.


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