Kings 8-20 Lions FT
SCORES AND MAJOR INCIDENTS (all times BST)
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1548: Six matches, six wins - and that was one of the toughest tests the Lions have yet faced. Problems again at the breakdown, but they've made it through. Four days on, and we'll be in Durban for the first Test. We're almost there...
FULL-TIME:Kings 8-20 Lions
79 mins: Turnover under the Lions posts. That should pretty much be that.
78 mins: One final charge from the Kings, and the home crowd roar their approval.
76 mins: Fine scrummaging from the Lions, and Ref Owens gives another pen. ROG kicks deep into enemy territory.
74 mins: Nel has a charge - knock-on.
71 mins:TRY Mbiyozo, Kings 8-20 Lions
They go out left, the first pass goes loose but the excellent Mbiyozo gathers and crashes over. Conversion missed, which could make a difference to the next nine minutes.
70 mins: VDW breaks through before being felled by Worsley. Kings scrum five metres out.
68 mins: CONV O'Gara, Kings 3-20 Lions
68 mins: PENALTY TRY, Kings 3-18 Lions
It was coming, and Ref Owens has seen enough. Boos from the crowd, but there can't be too many complaints there.
67 mins: Another pen as the scrum is pulled down. Serious Lions pressure.
66 mins: Free-kick given from the fourth phase - offside against the Kings. They'll tap and go...
64 mins: Rees comes on for Ford. ROG kicks into space and Fitzgerald smashes Stick into touch. Lions line-out five metres out.
61 mins: Will this be another sin-binning? Yup - Skeate's got his marching-orders for playing the ball on the ground, again and again and again. Pen just inside halfway - but ROG's kick hits the upright.
59 mins: Great off-load from Powell to find Earls. He's half-through before the grabbing hands haul him back - but the ball is then turned over again. Sloppy...
57 mins: Great work by Shaw in the tackle area. Big shift from the England stalwart today.
55 mins: Earls has a dart before finding Monye and Flutey on the overlap - the centre chips ahead, but the ball doesn't quite fall his way.
53 mins: Slow ball from the Lions forces O'Gara to kick again, despite having men out wide.
51 mins: Tight old decision, that try - looked initially like Ugo had knocked it on, but the ball went fractionally backwards. Great vision from ROG.
50 mins: CONV O'Gara, Kings 3-13 Lions
Wonderful extras from way out wide.
49 mins:TRY Monye, Kings 3-11 Lions
Cross-kick from ROG - Monye is racing towards the loose ball, touches it down after an almighty fumble with Turner and starts to celebrate. Is it given? It is!
48 mins: ROG chips ahead and has a dash - the defence gets there first, but play is called back for an earlier offence. It's the Kings now who are giving away a few pens as the pressure shifts a fraction.
46 mins: Wasted again. Shaw has a rumble off the line-out, but Powell goes off his feet and the Kings can clear.
45 mins: ROG kicks another pen deep into touch.
43 mins: PEN O'Gara Kings 3-6 Lions
Super slot, that - lovely rhythm on the kick, and the Lions lead...
42 mins: Worsley powers off the back of the lineout to make some yards before ROG's pass falls between two players. There's some fisticuffs at the breakdown, and that's a pen to the Lions - 40m out on the right. ROG will have a pop at the posts.
40 mins: We're underway again, and there's confusion in the Lions forwards as O'Callaghan makes a solo breakaway. Turnover.
HALF-TIME: Kings 3-3 Lions
Whoosh. Brutal, brutal half of rugby from the Southern Kings - they've smashed into every breakdown, thundered into every tackle, and the Lions are right up against it.
From madderz on 606: "I'm sat in my office refreshing the text updates. This is going to look bad when my quarterly review comes round."
38 mins: Van der Westhuyzen pushes the kick right. The Lions are hanging on for the break.
37 mins: Lions line-out on halfway, but their ball is sloppy and the Kings slam into the breakdown - pen for holding on.
35 mins: Desperate last-ditch tackling from the Lions as the Kings batter through the first two tackles. Monye then has a chance to counter-attack but the ball is turned over again. Messy, messy performance from the tourists.
33 mins: The Lions go through the phases midway inside the oppo half, but the Kings are defending with meaty relish.
30 mins: Scrappy again just inside the Lions half. O'Gara kicks to touch from a pen.
28 mins: Blair tries to go up the short side but his pass fails to find Fitzgerald, and the ball rolls into touch. VDW ready to return from the sin-bin.
26 mins: PEN O'Gara, Kings 3-3 Lions
Easy slot - think the pen might have been for offside - and the Lions have a foothold at last.
25 mins: Smash - Wylie Human slams into Earls as the Irishman tries to flick on a slow pass. Wylie Human? Barely human, more like - the man's a monster...
23 mins: What a break from Earls - he dances through three tackles and burst free, but - gaghh! throws a huge forward pass with Fitzgerald in acres on the left. Should have been five points.
22 mins: Blair knocks on coming off the base of the scrum. Huge pressure on the breakdown from the Kings. Brutal.
20 mins: Big Lions pressure five metres out. The forwards make successive smashes before the ball is spread wide to Fitzgerald. BANG! WALLOP! Two men crash into the Irishman, he goes backwards and is then pinged for holding on.
From stirling-flanker on 606: "Hook and Murray off already. Lineout not working. D'Arcy and Flutey missing tackles. Earls having a 'mare. Not looking good."
18 mins: My giddy aunts - Flutey is absolutely clattered late by VDW - high, late and certain yellow card. Off you go, son. Super break initially from Hougaard, but he lost the ball in the tackle and Flutey was kicking clear when he was cut in half.
17 mins: The Lions are struggling to gain any control. Their clearing kicks are poor, their forwards having chunks taken out of them by the steaming Kings.
16 mins: Big tackle from Monye on the massive Engels. Like stopping a dumper-track that one.
14 mins: Agghh - VDW is almost through there with a fantastic angle, and if his pass goes to hand the Kings are in. It falls loose, however, and the Lions hang on.
12 mins: More bad news for the Lions - Hook is being helped off the pitch. Ronan O'Gara on in his place. Hook's being taken straight to the dressing-room.
From Betsenbell on 606: "Southern kings forwards are clearly psyched, Lions need to play the corner game for the next few phases to calm it down and get into the game properly."
10 mins: Van der Westhuyzen leaves that one well short. Every bit as physical as you'd expect, this ding-donger.
9 mins: Has Hook stolen that? No - hands in the ruck, and that's another pen to the Kings. This pitch looks a shocker, by the way - very sandy underfoot. No wonder Murray turned his ankle.
8 mins: Quick thinking from Blair - a fast free-kick after the Kings bring down a scrum, and Fitzgerald is only inches from grabbing a pass to go free down the left.
7 mins: Hook is now sitting up, but he looks like his Tuesday is Sunday week at the mo. Mike Blair gives him a "You okay?" nod. Euan Murray's in trouble here too - he's limping off, and Adam Jones will come on to replace him.
7 mins: Series of drives from the Lions go nowhere, but then there's a lovely scything break from Hook - no-one coming in on support, though, and the ball is turned over. Hook clobbered there - worrying signs of a neck injury here...
5 mins: Much better from the Lions - super scrum that marches down the field until the Kings have to give away a pen. Hook goes for touch.
3 mins: Ooof - Gordon D'Arcy is clobbered late by Welsh. Nasty business. Lions on the back foot early on.
1st min:PEN Van der Westhuyzen, Kings 3-0 Lions
Penalty to home side after Shaw goes offside on the short side - easy land from bang in front 30m out.
1359: Here come the players - roars and whistles from the crowd as the two teams rumble out onto the pale green turf.
From Robbo277 on 606: "With Monye, Fitzgerald and Earls as our back three, I can't see us getting into too much of a kicking war! Should hopefully be a very exciting game before the more serious stuff on Saturday.
From BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer in PE: "Half-a-dozen names in the Southern Kings side today that Lions fans may recognise. Springboks centre De Wet Barry - who's been known for the odd 'clothes-line' tackle in his time - has just left Harlequins, while wing Wylie Human (Bath and Northampton), centre Frikkie Welsh (Bath), wing Matthew Turner (Bristol), fly-half Jaco van der Westhuyzen and lock Marco Wentzel (both Leicester) have all played in England's Premiership. "
1344: Relatively empty at either end, the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, but decent numbers along the touchlines. Bright sun overhead.
From BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer in PE: "It's actually blowing a gale outside the stadium, but because of the design of his new venue and the protection it affords, conditions down at pitch level shouldn't be too bad. James Hook is down there practising his goalkicking, while scrum-half Mike Blair, who has passed a fitness test, is going through some passing drills with Rob Howley. Geech looking very relaxed, munching on an apple, taking in the scene."
From Robsandy on 606: "My thoughts about this afternoon- quite an exciting team on paper. A monsterous pack should hopefully be balanced by a very quick and attack-minded backline. I thought Earls was more a full-back than a centre anyway, so I'm glad to see him there."
1335: Got to get something off my chest early doors - had my first Lions dream for three weeks last night. Can't remember how it started, but at some point I got the nod for a full-contact training session. "I've got a hamstring injury - I'll be rubbish," I said to Geech. "Just see what you can do," he said. "I've got faith in you." Worked out alright, too - seemed to be playing some sort of utility-back role, and had a go at BOD at one point for not looking for the off-load, but no calamitous interceptions or daft pens given away.
From BBC Sport's Bryn Palmer in PE: "Bright and breezy day here in Port Elizabeth, with half the pitch bathed in sunshine. Bit different from Newlands. This is the first ever game at the brand-new Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, and it's looking spick and span ready for its opening matinee.
"There's quite a few spectators in already with an hour until kick-off, and every sign we might see the biggest crowd of the tour so far. Some of the Lions have just wandered out for their first gander at the stadium, including Ugo Monye, who will now be starting on the right wing, with Shane Williams starting on the bench having suffered a spot of tummy trouble yesterday."
1330: Afternoon all - everyone in good shape? Last pre-Test rumble it is, and a big day for Ugo Monye. Will he be Ugo-a-go-go or Ugo-a-no-no come the final whistle?
Southern Kings: Mangweni; Human, Welsh, Wet Barry, Turner; Van der Westhuyzen, Hougaard; Engels, Kuun, Vermeulen, Wentzel, Skeate, Mbiyozo, Tyibilika, Nell.
Replacements (from): Westraadt, Buys, Payi, Stride, Fowles, Stick, Watts, Fortuin, Grimes, Coetzee.
Lions team: Earls (Munster & Ireland); Monye (Harlequins & England), Flutey (Wasps & England), D'Arcy (Leinster & Ireland), Fitzgerald (Leinster & Ireland); Hook (Ospreys & Wales), Blair (Edinburgh & Scotland); Sheridan (Sale & England), Ford (Edinburgh & Scotland), Murray (Northampton & Scotland), Shaw (Wasps & England), O'Callaghan (Munster & Ireland) (capt), Hines (Perpignan & Scotland), Worsley (Wasps & England), Powell (Cardiff Blues & Wales).
Replacements: Rees (Scarlets & Wales), Jones (Ospreys & Wales), Croft (Leicester & England), Wallace (Munster & Ireland), Ellis (Leicester & England), O'Gara (Munster & Ireland), S Williams (Ospreys & Wales).
Standby: Bowe (Ospreys & Ireland)