British & Irish Lions centre Robbie Henshaw believes South Africa may look to move the ball more in the second test at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday as they face a do-or-die scenario with the series on the line.
The Lions lead 1-0 in the three-match contest following their deserved 22-17 first test win, and the Springboks have been talking this week about how desperate they are to win a series that only comes around every 12 years for them.
Henshaw says that passion and desire from the home side will not only make them potentially more physical, but also a little more expansive in their outlook, deviating away from a forward-based game.
“It’s going to be a massive challenge for us again. They’re going to be emotionally driven,” Henshaw told reporters. “Backs to the wall, they’re a dangerous team. And we know that. They’re going to be well up for it. We just need to be ready to match their power and the fire they’re going to bring.
“They might want to play a bit more, have their dangerous men get more touches on the ball. We need to be ready for that. There could be some new trick plays, things we haven’t seen.”
The Lions roared back from 12-3 down at halftime to win the first test with an excellent second half display and Henshaw said they must repeat that performance, and perhaps more.
“There’s a huge onus on us to go out there and back it up. We know last week wasn’t perfect in any sense, it was a really a kind of arm wrestle,” he said.
“We’ll be looking to make sure we keep pressure on them. We need to be patient and stay in our system and make sure we stick to our game plan.”
Henshaw had an excellent opportunity to score in the series opener when he burst towards the try-line, but knocked on under pressure from Bok fullback Willie le Roux with runners clear either side of him. He said he was easily able to put that disappointment aside.
“Just look for the next moment, because it’s gone. I wanted to make sure the next thing I do is as positive as it can be. Make sure you don’t compound error on error,” he said.