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Page last updated at 12:01 GMT, Saturday, 13 June 2009 13:01 UK

Western Province v Lions as it happened

Result: Western Province23-26 Lions



To get involved use 606 or text us your views & comments on 81111. (Not all contributions can be used)

By Mark Orlovac

1553: Right troops, it is time to sign off. Hopefully this time next week we will be celebrating a first Test victory. It's not long now. Thanks for your company and all the chat. See you soon, it's been emotional.

Lions scrum coach Graham Rowntree: "That was a good hit out for us. It was a hard game, it was intense and the lads have come through it."

BBC_tyrants/Knowsit17: "Orbandsceptre, better break out the salt and pepper then as it's nowhere near as decided as you think. ROG had a bad game last time and Jones had half of one this time."

Wesbrownshair on 606: "Murray is the best scrummager on tour for me, should be given a full game on Tuesday. If Mears were to pick up a knock then we might as well go home, Ford and Rees aren't up to it."

1543: Well, well. The Lions hang on and remain unbeaten after five games. It wasn't superb but that was not the Test team, and there were plenty of plus points. I reckon Vickery will now start after his performance, with Murray on the bench after he won two penalties late on. Hines did well this afternoon but there are still plenty of questions hanging over the back row. Martyn Williams will have made the selectors stand up and think, the pundits on the telly are talking about playing him with David Wallace on the blind-side. Hmmm.

sheridansharks on 606: "Big win, that will be vital in the Tests as we have proved we can grind out wins."

Orbandsceptre27 on 606: "If Jones starts the first Test... I'll eat my own hand!"

FULL-TIME: Western Province 23-26 Lions

79 mins: WP prop JD Moller, who is up against Murray, again infringes at the scrum and the Lions gratefully batter the ball downfield.

78 mins: Pressure, pressure, pressure from WP. They try and give the ball some width but the move comes to a halt because of a forward pass. That could be it.

77 mins: PENALTY Western Province 23-26 Lions
Good work from Murray at that scrum as the front rows collapse. The Lions win the penalty and Hook smacks it over from half way despite the swirling wind. Brilliant.

73 mins: The Lions hold firm at scrum time in their own 22, very solid. The visitors clear and they win a free-kick at the subsequent line-out. They'll take the scrum, not surprising really.

72 mins: It's all happening now. Keep with me. A flowing Lions back-line move ends when Simon Shaw knocks on inside the WP 22. The home side go quickly and Andy Powell produces a massive hit on Duane Vermeulen that I can hear from here. The Welsh number eight is penalised for not using his arms but he stays on the field.

68 mins: The home crowd are up for this now. Every tackle by a WP player is greeted by massive cheers. The ball is fired into the 22 but Monye does well to make the mark. Replacement lock Simon Shaw takes a quick line-out to Monye, who is engulfed by the WP defence. Poor. The Lions are panicking at the moment, they need to settle down. Tom Croft comes on for Joe Worsley.

67 mins: Hook has an immediate opportunity to make his mark but he fires a long-range penalty wide.

64 mins: James Hook is on for full-back Rob Kearney, who has a dead leg.

63 mins: TRY Western Province 23-23 Lions
Interesting, very interesting. Lock Anton Van Zyl crashes his way into the Lions 22 and the ball is spread out to Joe Pietersen who dives over in the corner despite the attention of Murray. Willem De Waal misses the conversion.

60 mins: PENALTY Western Province 18-23 Lions
That man Willem De Waal keeps chipping away doesn't he. The fly-half slots another penalty after Martyn Williams goes into a ruck from the side. Euan Murray on, Phil Vickery off.

58 mins: Joe Pietersen spills another high ball and the Lions get a penalty. The tourists decide to go for touch but Jones gets his angles all wrong and he thumps the ball out of the back of the in-goal area. Scrum to Western Province, poor from Jones.

55 mins: TRY Western Province 15-23 Lions
Very patient work from the forwards as the Lions camp on the WP line. They pick and go, pick and go before open-side flanker Martyn Williams grabs the ball and finds a gap near the corner, after knocking an unfortunate defender into the middle of next week. Jones misses the conversion from the touchline.

53 mins: All Lions now. They get into the WP 22 after a bullocking run from Monye but the ball is lost in contact and the home side can clear to touch.

51 mins: WP have plenty of ball but the Lions defensive line is strong, it has Shaun Edwards' mark all over it. The home side have runners in front of the man in possession and the Lions win the scrum. Edwards will be pleased with that.

monarchming on 606: "Yep,it looks like the management favour Phil Vickery over Euan Murray which I find hard to understand as I think the Englishman has had his day. Also for the brutal full-on approach from the Springbok forwards it's got to be Nathan Hines."

47 mins: PENALTY 15-18 Lions
Another penalty for WP. The Lions defensive line is adjudged offside, harsh, and Willem De Waal collects another three points.

46 mins: Andrew Sheridan gives away a penalty but Willem De Waal misses the kick from inside his own half.

42 mins: Nice tackle from Worsley as Duane Vermeulen goes on the charge near halfway.

41 mins: WP start the game. More rubbish kicking, apart from one from Kearney which trickles into touch in the WP half.

WestAwake on 606: "Powell is NOT having a good game at all.... he is covering good ground, but not actually doing anything positive. Keraney is having a great game, but he will not make the starting 15 for the first Test. Monye? Well I don't think he has done enough, just yet...."

Hmm, interesting. I reckon Monye has played well.

1454: Main chat in the office following the half-time whistle - James Hook, does he merit a place on the bench over Ronan O'Gara? Should Joe Worsley start the Tests? And is there a place for Kearney? My responses to those questions - yes, no, no.

Deano_mac on 606: "O'Gara has not been playing that well, his decision making has been poor at times and he would struggle against the Boks back row. Hook brings something different and can cover centre as well."

rightRobbiesKeen on 606: "Powell is better than he was in his last game but still a far way off Heaslip. He'd be mauled in the Tests."

WeAreTheIndustry on 606: "I can see Powell on the bench for the first Test, he's quick and his ferocity matches that of the Saffers. Definitely not a starting berth but give his a chance as an impact player off the bench i would say, he always puts his heart into it."

HALF-TIME Western Province 12-18 Lions

40+2 mins: PENALTY Western Province 12-18 Lions
The Lions go to ground as they defend a catch-and-drive and we think Andrew Sheridan is penalised. De Waal lands the penalty with the last kick of the half.

39 mins: Donncha O'Callaghan steals a WP line-out in the Lions 22. The Lions attack but after Monye is taken to ground, the Lions support is slow and weak and WP win the ball back. That's not the first time this half the breakdown work has not been up to scratch.

38 mins: We start again. Gio Aplon coming on for Chavhanga with the sub and Gcobani Bobo swapping wings.

nowthennathan on 606: "Bowe and Monye making a strong case to start next week. Bowe is a certainty now - simply awesome pass."

37 mins: Ouch. WP wing Tonderai Chavhanga runs into the elbow of Rob Kearney as he attempts a tackle and promptly collapses into the turf. The medical staff rush on and play is stopped as he receives treatment. That could be it for him this afternoon.

35 mins: TRY Western Province 9-18 Lions
Have some of that. And it's that man Bowe again. The Lions go through the phases, the ball is spread wide and Bowe comes off his wing to join the attack as it goes left. He powers through three tackles before deftly popping the ball up for the charging Monye, with the Harlequins man sliding into the corner. Brilliant. Jones lands the extras.

sheridansharks on 606: "What a finish by Bowe, he is pure class."

32 mins: WP are on the charge now but blind-side flanker Pieter Louw is penalised for going at the side as his side get into the Lions 22.

28 mins: TRY Western Province 9-11 Lions
That's more like it. The Lions sweep across the field, with Andy Powell and Martyn Williams providing a key link, and Ospreys wingTommy Bowe shows his strength by brushing off the defence and then rolling over to get the ball down. Test spot anyone? Jones misses the conversion.

27 mins: DROP-GOAL Western Province 9-6 Lions
WP wing Tonderai Chavhanga makes a wonderful catch out wide as the home side attack. Monye dives into a ruck off his feet, WP kick to the corner and after a couple of phases, Pietersen has the simple task of slotting over.

25 mins: Maybe it's the weather, maybe it's the penalties, but this game has no rhythm at the moment. The Lions attack, Martyn Williams goes into contact but the support does not get there quick enough and the Welshman is penalised for not releasing the ball.

23 mins: Stephen Jones is placed under an enormous amount of pressure in his own 22 and his clearance kick goes about as far as my driver, ie 10 metres. WP spread the ball out wide but they infringe at a ruck and the Lions can clear.

Fahey's Right Peg on 606: "The Lions need to calm down a bit, too many of them look like this is their last shot for the team."

19 mins: DROP-GOAL Western Province 6-6 Lions
WP take advantage of the indiscretion and after getting into Lions territory, Willem De Waal fires over the drop from over 40m out.

17 mins: The Lions have some good ball but again they do not make a lot of ground. A poor pass from Ellis doesn't help matters. Jones kicks away possession and as WP attack, Kearney is penalised for not rolling away from the tackler.

15 mins: Great kick from Kearney to touch. WP have a line-out on their own 22 which is gathered nicely and they clear.

13 mins: More indiscipline from WP as they go into a ruck off their feet. Jones has another kick at goal but the strong wind holds the ball up in the air and it falls short.

Martin via text on 81111: "I think Euan Murray is being punished for not attending the pre-departure sessions with a lack of game time. Shame on Northampton."

11 mins: PENALTY Western Province 3-6 Lions
That's one for Vickery. At the scrum he puts opposite number Wicus Blaauw under pressure and the Lions win the penalty. Jones slots it over via an in-off.

9 mins: Pietersen is having a nightmare and another handling mistake gives the Lions an attacking scrum near the WP 22.

From RFU Minder on 606: "Mr Orlovac, please make mine a cold fizzy frothy one with ingredients that show hops, malt, water, molasses and yeast as key ingredients. Thank You."

Wish I could my friend, wish I could.

6 mins: PENALTY Western Province 3-3 Lions
Perfect response for the Lions.WP full-back Joe Pietersen spills a high ball straight to hooker Tiaan Liebenberg, who is in an offside position. Stephen Jones nails his kick.

3 mins: PENALTY Western Province 3-0 Lions
Finally there is a break in play. The aimless kick-feast ends when Harry Ellis is penalised for something I did not quite catch, think offside, and Willem De Waal slots over the penalty.

2 mins: The Lions are going through the phases but are not really getting anywhere. Rob Kearney tries to make something happen but his attempted kick is poor.

1 min: Stephen Jones starts the match. WP collect and clear deep but do not find touch.

BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer at Newlands: "Seems the official who told me the ground would be "almost full" was being, well, economical with the truth. No more than half-full I'd say. They like their rugby here. WP team just got a huge cheer as they ran out."

1358: Phil Vickery leads out his Lions side to the strains of William Orbit's version of 'Adagio For Strings'. Good work. Western Province follow. It's time.

David, Epsom via text on 81111: "Supposed to be watching the game - but stood outside fitting rooms checking text and pausing only to say 'looks lovely darling' every change of dress."

Is that the cricket, Andy Murray or the Lions?

1355: Lots of fans are protecting themselves from the Cape Town elements with very natty pink disposable macs. Tidy. We're almost there folks, just time to get to the fridge and pick out something cold and fizzy.

Malc via text on 81111: "Thank God someone else realises the props have to be Jenks and Murray! Croft is fortunate Ferris is injured and Wallace and Williams are probably a better bet anyway. Hines needs a good showing today to overhaul Wyn Jones despite some average displays from the Welshman. My confidence is building!"

RFU Minder on 606: "This will see which players are filtered to the Test side and which are filtered to the bench and the midweek squads. I think Roberts is already there. Flutey and Monye have an awful lot to do. Philips, Jones, BOD and Byrne are already in the Test - it is up to the players today to prove themselves, score tries and make breaks. Vickery will get another yellow card today - he can't help himself. I also can't see Jenkins losing his Test place - Sheridan should be on the bench."

Dodie_James on 606: "One plea for today - no labouring pick and drives with the scrum-half taking four hours to organise the next wave of forwards to make six inches. If the forwards aren't already in place, get the ball out, and quick!"

1346: Great clips on the telly from the Lions match against Western Province in 1997. James Small v John Bentley etc. It's making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Especially with the words of Jim Telfer played over the top. Blimey.

standoffalot on 606: "I would have liked to have seen Murray start today. Does this mean Vickery is the favourite for the tight head spot?"

Men v Boys on 606: "Stephen Jones and Flutey is a mouth-watering combination as we could see some excellent breaks from the centre - good job Martyn Williams is on the field to back Flutey up."

BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer at Newlands: "Matt Dawson, sitting a few seats along from me in the 5 Live commentary position, has just pointed out the corner where he scored his famous try, after what Lawrence Dallaglio called "the most outrageous dummy in the history of the game" in the Lions' first Test victory here in 1997. Aah, remember the look on the faces of Gary Teichmann, Joost van der Westhuizen, Andrew Joubert and co as he sent them all the wrong way? Wonder if Harry Ellis will attempt something similar today?

"The weather is unbelievable. This squall is now swirling around from every angle, and coming in horizontally into our covered position in the stands. I'm struggling to see my laptop screen! There's a few old-fashioned standing terraces here at Newlands, but most people have retreated backwards under cover as far as they can."

1340: The Lions management have insisted the Test team will not be decided until after the Southern Kings match on Tuesday. Don't know how many of the Test side will start that match but there you go. There are some players that could be in the mix, should they 'put their hands up', so to speak. Flutey, Monye, Vickery, Hines and Martyn Williams are the names I'm thinking of.

1336: A quick reminder of the teams for you. There was a late change for the Lions with replacement scrum-half Mike Blair pulling out. Wales wing Shane Williams, who has slipped down the pecking order for a Test place, comes in to replace him.

Lions: Rob Kearney; Tommy Bowe, Keith Earls, Riki Flutey, Ugo Monye; Stephen Jones, Harry Ellis; Andrew Sheridan, Matthew Rees, Phil Vickery, Donncha O'Callaghan, Nathan Hines, Joe Worsley, Martyn Williams, Andy Powell.
Replacements: Ross Ford, Euan Murray, Simon Shaw, Tom Croft, Shane Williams, James Hook, Gordon D'Arcy.

Western Province: Joe Pietersen; Tonderai Chavhanga, Morgan Newman, Peter Grant, Gcobani Bobo; Willem De Waal, Dewaldt Duvenage; Wicus Blaauw, Tiaan Liebenberg, Brok Harris, Martin Muller, Anton Van Zyl, Pieter Louw, Duane Vermeulen, Luke Watson (captain).
Replacements: Hanyani Shimange, JD Moller, De Kock Steenkamp, Zandre Jordaan, Conrad Hoffmann, JJ Engelbrecht, Gio Aplon.

BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer at Newlands: "It's absolutely lashing down again, and the Lions have retreated to the shelter of their dressing room. The WP side, though, are having a huddle on the pitch, in defiance of the elements. And now they're going through their drills again. The worst of it is passing over, and the Lions are back on the pitch again. You'd have thought they'd be used to this sort of weather."

the1withpace on 606: "Byrne, Moyne and Bowe look to be a good Test back three! But I'd really like to see Flutey partnered with BOD, Roberts is playing superb but I think Flutey at his best could really add something."

From anon, via text on 81111: "Your test team is just about there - I'm not sure about Hines but aside from Shaw I'd be happy for any of the locks to play. I'd play Fitzgerald on the left wing - he looks hungry and in great shape, and his skill levels are very high, which is where Monye loses out."

1324: I would be lying if I wasn't looking forward to this day but it was almost overshadowed by the very disturbing images I found on the wires of naked students taking part in a game of rugby before the New Zealand v France Test. They are not for the faint-hearted, believe me.

Betsenbell on 606: "I like the look of Fitzgerald, he looks to have some serious pace. Did you see him jog beside BOD going flat out before he scored his try? Bowe and Fitzgerald for me."

BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer at Newlands: "Wales prop Adam Jones, not even in the 22 today, is out on the pitch attempting a bit of kicking with Neil Jenkins, the 1997 Lions hero who joined this squad in South Africa 48 hours ago. Ah, this is more like it. The hair-bear one has now got it out of the way and left "Jenks" to supervise a bit of punting practice with Stephen Jones, who's starting at fly-half today, and James Hook, who's on the bench."

1316: It's fish and chips time in the office but, because I'm so good, I'm avoiding such temptation and am tucking into a humble cheese and salad sandwich. On brown bread. Hope the wife is reading this because she won't believe me when I tell her the strength of my willpower.

Anyway, there is a feeling that the Springboks have missed a trick by not letting their Test stars play in the provincial games against the Lions. "To rest is to rust," as Lions assistant coach Shaun Edwards would say. The theory goes that while the Boks have been sheltered in their training camp, the Lions have been gaining momentum over the last couple of weeks and going into the Test series. What do you think?

From daveyboyo on 606: "Western Province are a good side, and the back-row have a handful in Luke Watson since he loves to run the ball. But they are also capable of playing really, really terribly. Lions by 20+ with WP getting two tries."

1311: It would be a bit churlish to ask for your Test team if I didn't give you mine. To be honest a lot of these are nailed on, but here we go anyway. Shoot me down if you want to...

Byrne; Bowe, O'Driscoll, Roberts, Monye; S Jones, Phillips; Jenkins, Mears, Murray, Hines, O'Connell, Croft, Wallace, Heaslip.

BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer at Newlands: "I'm high up in the top of the main stand at Newlands looking over at what should be the stunning backdrop of Table Mountain. Unfortunately it's covered in cloud and it is so grey here they've just turned the stadium floodlights on already. A passing shower has mercifully stopped, although you wouldn't bet on it being the last of the afternoon."

PaddyWho on 606: "Monye is favourite for the Test place by default - he's only had one game, so needs to prove himself today."

1304: Let's not beat around the bush, there is plenty to discuss this afternoon. Ryan Jones, the team selection for this afternoon, the tour so far, who will make the Test team, predictions for the Test series, as well as rugby elsewhere - like the little matter of France winning in New Zealand for the first time since 1994.

Now, this is the bit where I need your input. Get involved via text on 81111 or on 606 using the link provided. Let's be having you…

1300: Hello you. The sun is out (in south west London anyway), the Lions are about to start their fifth tour game, and we've only got seven days until the first Test against South Africa. Isn't it good to be alive?

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