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Wallace: Belief Is Still There That We Can Do It

Wallace: Belief Is Still There That We Can Do It

Munster and Ireland back rower David Wallace is hoping Ian McGeechan gives him another chance to face South Africa in Pretoria next weekend, having made his Lions Test debut in Durban on Saturday.

David Wallace followed in the illustrious footsteps of elder brother Paul by playing in the first Test against South Africa in Durban, but ended on the losing side as the World champions triumphed 26-21.

After their whirlwind start, which saw skipper John Smit score within five minutes, the ‘Boks looked set to swamp Wallace and company when they stretched out to a 19-point lead at the start of the second half.

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But then came the Lions’ fight-back and, by the end, Paul O’Connell’s men had outscored their hosts by three tries to two – and bombed almost half-a-dozen other chances.

Now they have to go to Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria next Saturday and win to keep the three Test series alive.

Wallace wants to be a part of the revenge mission and firmly believes the Lions can turn things around.

“It was an unbelievable experience to be involved in the Test team. I would love to get another chance,” said Wallace.

“We definitely believe we can still do it. We know its going to be very hard to win the next two games, especially at altitude, but there were plenty of positives to take out of the first Test and we have to back our fitness.

“We gave them such a lead at the start and we were always chasing it. That made life difficult for us.

“Their kicking game was very good, but we felt we could do damage when we moved the ball. We’ve got to start Pretoria as we ended in Durban.

“The sense in the crowd was that we could go on and win the game. There was a huge belief building, but then it just didn’t materialise.

“But to have come back from where we were and end up within striking distance gives us huge confidence for the next two Tests.”

Wallace was part of a Lions pack that was left stunned by the ferocity of the Springboks assault in those early exchanges.

Local favourite ‘The Beast’ – Tendai Mtawarira – almost single-handedly wrecked the Lions with a powerful scrummaging performance.

“I wasn’t sure what was going on in the front row – only the props and hookers know that – but it seemed to improve all right during the game,” added Wallace.

“But it’s definitely something we need to work on this week. In those first 15 minutes we let in a try and conceded a string of penalties and they just seemed to be racking up the points – it was very frustrating and annoying.”