The Lion Sleeps Tonight

It seems an age since the Lions played Japan at Murrayfield on that muggy June Saturday afternoon, and yet here we are six weeks later with the 2021 tour finally at an end.

In the jungle, the mighty jungle of international rugby,the lions were just a win away, rather than aweem away, from an historic series victory against the Springboks.

So much has happened during that time dislocated shoulders, the inevitable Covid issues, and of course Rassie Erasmus who has gone from watergate to a social media viewing audience only the bloke with a dog called “Fenton” could match.

On Saturday the third and deciding test was won by the Springboks by a three point margin in a match that the Lions could and should have won.

It has been a tough time for all those involved in ensuring this series went ahead, and whilst the quality of the rugby may not have been vintage, a lot of people have worked tirelessly, and made a lot of sacrifices to get the job done.

If nothing else happens as a result of this series, please can we start clearing the playing area of the hoardes of individuals cluttering it up. From squad members warming up and celebrating tries in the in-goal area, to water carriers and medics passing on coaching advice during every break in the game.

Speaking to fans a real bug bear is the fact that those folks who have bought expensive tickets at international matches and are situated behind the posts in the front rows, get eighty minutes plus viewing of players warming up, and in some cases discreetly urinating, in their eye line, of course if South Africa are involved this can extend for up to three hours.

The anticipated Lions tour to Australia in 2025 will surely be a much more joyous affair in so many ways, particularly with a decent rugby man, Dave Rennie in charge of the Wallabies.

My boyhood wonderment and admiration of the Boks has been soured during the test series, and not by the players, I’m angry and saddened that it has been taken from me those who have no right to do so.

But for now we can all take a deep breath and return to more worldly and pressing matters.

So as the exhausted touring party stretch out on the 11 hour 40 minute flight from Cape Town to Heathrow, we can safely say the Lion sleeps tonight.


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