Alun Wyn Jones warns Lions to expect backlash from South Africa in second Test

Lions took a 1-0 series lead after coming from behind to beat the Springboks 22-17 on Saturday

Alun Wyn Jones has said the British and Irish Lions are not getting carried away after winning the first Test against South Africa and expects a strong response from the hosts.

The Lions kicked off the three-match Test series with a come-from-behind 22-17 win over the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday, fighting back from being 12-3 down at halftime.

Win the second Test on Saturday, also at the Cape Town stadium, and the Lions will wrap up the series with a match to spare. However, captain Jones is predicting a backlash from the world champions and has called on the Lions to find another level.

"Knowing the calibre of the player and the attitude our opposition have, we have to be better again, first and foremost within ourselves. But we also have to deal with what we know is going to come next weekend," Jones, 35, said on Sunday.

"We know what we’ve achieved but we also know what we haven’t achieved. There is still plenty to do and this is a three-Test series.

"There were smiles after the game. In any sport, you have to enjoy moments like this as they don’t come round very often. But the focus will come pretty quickly on Sunday and Monday when we’re straight back into it.

"We are only a third done and that message has already been planted. It’s a time for everyone to take stock of where we are and be ready to move on to next weekend."

Jones, who played the entire game despite dislocating his shoulder only a month ago, said the Lions had not panicked after four penalties put the Springboks nine points ahead at halftime.

"We were pretty composed at halftime. I wouldn’t say disappointed, probably more frustrated by the fact we put pressure on ourselves," he said.

"Our kicking game got better in the second-half and the set piece became prevalent, so we can be pleased. But there are definitely things to work on from the early part of the game."

After Saturday's second Test, the series will conclude with the third match on August 7.

Updated: July 25th 2021, 12:38 PM
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