So, with just 80 minutes of rugby to go, who are the contenders for the British and Irish Lions player of the tour?
It’s a tricky one because the hammering endured in the second Test has weakened the case for a number of players while knocking others out of the reckoning altogether.
On the other hand, it has strengthened the argument for a couple of individuals who weren’t involved in the 27-9 defeat to the Springboks.
Here, then, is our list of candidates, all of whom have the chance to put their hands up for consideration in the Test series decider.
The English second row’s man-of-the-match performance in the first Test victory guarantees his presence high up in this list.
His three turnovers during that 22-17 win in Cape Town were crucial, while it was a real all-action display from the 26-year-old, who has generally shown up strongly at the lineout, breakdown and in defence on tour, while delivering his usual high work-rate.
Amid an increasingly outplayed side, he was one of the few players who still emerged with some credit in terms of his performance in the second Test.
He is class on so many levels and if the Lions are to win the series this weekend you feel he is certain to have a big part to play.
Having been a bolter of a squad selection, the Leinster No. 8 has ended up being picked to start all three Tests.
In terms of his stats on tour, he is right up there.
His four outings have seen him make 50 carries for 134 metres, while he has also put in 27 tackles, beaten nine defenders with his good footwork and won three turnovers.
Warren Gatland has made a point of praising his accuracy and solidity, hailing him as a player who doesn’t make mistakes and does what is asked of him.
Speaking to my South African counterparts, Conan had been a real positive surprise to them with his performances up until the second Test.
He was less effective in that game, with the Lions on the back foot for much of the time, but Gatland has kept faith in him for the decider, where he has the chance to finish off on a high.
Up against the seasoned pairing of Conor Murray and Gareth Davies, Scotland’s Price was by some distance the least experienced of the three scrum-halves selected in the tour party.
But he has emerged as the pick of the bunch, with his speed, both of service and around the park, while his pinpoint box kicking was an important aspect in the Lions coming on strong in the first Test.
As such, he was somewhat unfortunate to lose his spot for the Cape Town re-match, with Murray taking over at No. 9.
Price is now back in the jersey and will have a key role to play in terms of the higher tempo the Lions are looking for this weekend.
He sat out a couple of games through injury, but when on board he has probably been the most solid presence in the back-line and one of the first names on the team-sheet.
Has put in 38 tackles during his four starts, while making 94 metres from 24 carries, and winning three turnovers.
Having started at No. 12 in the first two Tests, he now moves out one, as Bundee Aki comes in to renew a centre partnership which goes back a long way.
It will be fascinating to see how Henshaw fares in the wider channel up against the outstanding Lukhanyo Am.
Fit-again Lions prop Wyn Jones
(Image: Getty Images)
Going into the first Test, Jones had arguably been the player of the tour, hugely impressing the South African pundits.
He had scrummaged so strongly, he had been combative over the ball and looked a real threat with his hard yard carrying near the line, being rewarded with a try against South Africa A.
But then disaster struck, as a shoulder infection forced his late withdrawal from the team for the first Test and also kept him out of the re-match.
Happily, he is now fit again and able to take his place on the loosehead, where he will have a crucial role to play in helping to shore up the scrum.
In doing so, he follows in the footsteps of the likes of Graham Price, Dai Young, Adam Jones, Gethin Jenkins, Denzil Williams, Howard Norris, Clive Williams, Staff Jones, Ian Stephens, John O’Shea and Ray Prosser as Welsh Lions Test props. It’s a proud lineage.
The Northampton forward wasn’t so prominent in the second Test, but up until then he’d had a fine tour, going particularly well in the opening Test triumph.
He’s put in 34 tackles in all, carried for 86 metres and beaten six defenders, while he’s been a primary source of lineout ball.
The set-piece possession he provides will no doubt have been a key factor in him retaining the No. 6 berth for the series decider, while the coaches will also be looking for him to impose himself physically.
What a strange tour it has been for him.
Eight tries in his first three outings, then the high of sharing in the birth of his first child as he watched on via Zoom, and then he finds himself left out of the Tests.
It’s a weird one and the omission people have found hardest to get their heads round, with Adams having also made 266 metres and beaten 13 defenders in total.
Now he gets his long overdue chance and, if he produces a big performance, finding his way to the whitewash in trademark fashion, he could yet emerge as a genuine contender for man of the tour, especially after everything that has happened to him along the way.