The Lions keep a clean sheet on the wins v losses, but this was a test for them for sure. Western Province would not lie down, after the first half lead the Lions gained, the Province battered their way back in and Lions winning with a bit of luck.
The test players have definitely made their claim now, Tommy Bowe was outstanding. Monye was good with a great defence and a lot of pace, but not sure if he will be in the starting 15.
The match was a much needed test for the Lions, how did give far too many penalties away and would not survive against the Spring Bok playing in that manner.
Match Report from the fans!
The Lions Tour accelerated a gear on Saturday as a huge number of British & Irish fans poured in to Cape Town wearing all manner of fancy dress outfits and fired up for a party! A special mention has to go to the group of fans in "Morph" all in one, red lycra outfits who braved some very wet & windy weather at Newlands when they would have been wishing for warmer temperatures, but all who were there enjoyed a pulsating game against a very fired up & organised Province side.
The Lions had patches of superb, cohesive rugby with both forwards and backs working well together - there were a couple of very slick moves, notably when Tommy Bowe cut through the defence after some great work by the forwards to float a pass to Ugo Monye arriving at full pace to score in the corner. James Hook also put in a strong claim for a place on the bench in the First Test, and it was his 40 metre penalty with 4 minutes left that earned the Lions a hard fought 26-23 victory.
However, there were also far too many penalties conceded and concerns about the break down, where South Africa are past masters, will need to be sorted out fast if the Lions are to win any good attacking ball on Saturday.
But there is no doubt that whatever happens in the rugby, the Lions fans are here to have a good time & Durban had better watch out as there is an army or outfits from lycra to kilts heading their way!!
Riki Flutey gets his first start for Lions and Martyn Williams is fit to play and roaring to go. Williams who has been out due to injury needs to impress to have a chance at a Test Sport. Croft & Wallace have shown some great skill and are threatening to take the test spots as flankers.
Vickery starts also leading the team as Captain. Should be a thrilling game, a lot of Lions players need to prove their point to get into the test team. Flutey job is hard one with the O'Driscoll & Roberts partnership showing to be world class.
Powell starts at 8 and needs to up his game. Jones will prove that he is the 1st choose fly half, whilst Ugo will contest for the debatable wing slot.
Western Province will be without their South Africa stars such as Schalk Burger and Jean de Villiers, but still put together a tight and strong team.
Bowe will want to show off his skills again after his great performance against the Golden Lions, with this being the penultimate game before the first test.
Common Lions.. lets get the first 100 point game on the board! Come back for results, match report & now Video Highlights!