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banner Friday, 27 April, 2001, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Guscott puts the boot in
Jeremy Guscott and the Lions
Guscott celebrates his winning drop goal
South Africa 15-18 Lions
Second Test 1997

The Lions went to Durban fresh from a 25-16 victory in the first Test in Cape Town. Confidence was high and preparations had gone well.

But the beaten Bok skipper Gary Teichmann had promised the Lions a hot reception. He kept his promise as the home side made a furious start, their forwards mauling and driving the Lions deep into their own half.

Matt Dawson the Lions scrum half remembers how frantic a beginning it was.

"When we ran out I remember there was so much noise from the British supporters, which was impressive but then when they ran out we all looked at each other, it was very intimidating, very noisy and very passionate," Dawson recalled.

Jenkins on target

"We knew that they were going to be motivated to make amends for the week before but that lifted us that extra step we needed, because the first three or four minutes after that was relentless but we managed to hold their pressure.

In fact the Lions spent 80 per cent of the match defending bravely against wave upon wave of Springbok attacks and had to rely on ace goalkicker Neil Jenkins, with five from five, to keep them in the game.
Matt Dawson
Dawson: atmosphere was intimidating

The Boks had no such luck, missing six straightforward kicks and undoing all the good work of their rampant forwards.

They ran in three tries to nil, but in the new era it is penalties which still win matches, Jenkins landed another to tie the scores with six minutes to go.

And then came the drop goal that few will ever forget.

A last ditch effort by the Lions forwards saw them come within 10 metres of the line, the ball flew out to centre Jeremy Guscott who slotted it home - and give the Lions their first series win since 1974.

Dawson remembers it took awhile for their achievement to sink in.

"We didn't really understand what we'd done until a couple of days down the line when we realised that the Test series had been won."

The Lions went on to lose the last game in Johannesburg 35-16 but the job had already been done.

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See also:

 |  Lions Down Under
The pass that won the series
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All Blacks exact revenge
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Victory at last in NZ
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Against all odds
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