The British & Irish Lions made it five out of five at Newlands as they snuck home with a 26-23 win over a well structured and determined Western Province in Cape Town.
Wing Tommy Bowe had another classy performance, scoring a try and then setting up flying colleague Ugo Monye with a lovely pass. Martyn Williams also crossed, as Stephen Jones got two penalties and two conversions.
For the home side Willem De Vaal commanded well from flyhalf, adding two penalties and a drop goal to go with the one from fullback Joe Pietersen, who also finished off a classy try.
It was one of the better matches weve seen so far on this tour, with a rainswept Newlands providing a great atmosphere as the locals got behind their beloved side who refused to give in.
It was the bruising matchup that the Lions perhaps desired ahead of the Test series, as Western Province stood up in the physicality stakes and did their utmost to silence the touring British & Irish supporters.
A late James Hook 50m penalty was ultimately the difference between the two sides, as the Lions have once again come close to a tour loss, but managed to produce just enough to maintain that unbeaten record.
“I’m glad to have won my first match as Lions captain,” said prop Phil Vickery who captained the side on the day.
“It was a great game, played in a great spirit, with lots of physicality. This was traditional Lions rugby. Fantastic, although our execution at times was poor.”