x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Defeat grounds Shaw

A little over 80 minutes after starting his debut Test in the British & Irish Lions jersey, the veteran look admitted to a feeling of devastation.

Simon Shaw, the veteran lock, has known his fair share of disappointment in an international career which spans more than 13 years. Yet, a little over 80 minutes after starting his debut Test in the British & Irish Lions jersey, he admitted to a feeling of "devastation" as an injury-time penalty cost his side the chance to level the series against South Africa. "It's devastating to have lost, especially in that fashion," reflected Shaw, 35, who was a member of the midweek side on the victorious Lions tour to South Africa in 1997.

"Even if we'd drawn and taken it to the last game it would have been some comfort. It's not a way to finish. "Geech [the Lions coach Ian McGeechan] has said we should be proud of ourselves but we've lost the series and that's what we came to win. It's difficult to lift anyone right now. Shaw, the second-row enforcer, was named man-of-the-match, although Stephen Jones, Morne Steyn and Rob Kearney ran him close.

"I'd have rather been taken off at half-time for playing poorly than won man-of-the-match and lost," he said. "I would rather have won this game and played badly - but that's how it goes." The Lions were walking wounded by the end, with Gethin Jenkins the major casualty, leaving the field with a suspected broken cheekbone following a clash of heads with Bryan Habana. It was a crucial blow for the Lions, who had asserted control at scrum-time, and punctured the Boks momentum

McGeechan added: "We had the game there for the winning, but it is a game that has slipped away from us. "We should have gone on to win it, that is why we are disappointed. I thought the Springbok front five were looking weary at times." pradley@thenational.ae