CAPE TOWN : Flanker Courtney Lawes has called for one final push from the British & Irish Lions to secure a momentous series win against world champions South Africa and urged the team to express themselves at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
The tempestuous series is locked at 1-1 after the Lions’ opening 22-17 victory was followed by a 27-9 win for the Springboks in which they dominated the tourists with their physicality in the final 20 minutes.
It has been the strangest of Lions tours, with no crowds and the players cooped up in their bio-secure hotels, but it comes to an end with a final 80 minutes and a chance for either side to claim victory.
"It’s massive for us, we have given an awful lot to this tour and for each other," Lawes told reporters on Friday.
"It means a great deal to us, we have to go out there and express ourselves and show that. It would be a massive achievement to win a tour in South Africa."
Lawes will be a key part of efforts to counter the Boks’ power but, as coach Warren Gatland and captain Alun Wyn Jones have echoed this week, he said they will look to avoid confrontations that slow the game down and allow the hosts to catch breath.
"There are very legal ways in rugby to be physical, we showed that in the first half (last weekend) but in the second we got it wrong. We are looking to correct our mistakes. The discipline is a massive part of that.
"We can't get too caught up in the niggle, scrapping and that sort of stuff. It slows down the game and that doesn't help us. We are fit team, we want to run around and have the ball in hand. We need to speed the game up as much as possible."
Lawes was injured when the Lions squad was announced for the tour but has gone on to play all three games in an unchanged back row that includes fellow flanker Tom Curry and number eight Jack Conan.
"We have a good balance and we work well together. We complement each other," he said.
"We have a last team run today and then a big hit-out tomorrow, and then it is all done. That makes it easier to just put it all out there on the field and give all you have got."
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)