14 Jun 2009

Lions suffer big scare against Western Province

6:59 am on 14 June 2009

The British and Irish Lions have survived the biggest scare of their South African rugby tour to beat Western Province 26-23 at Newlands in Cape Town.

The Lions had to call on a 76th-minute penalty from replacement fullback James Hook to avoid a shock upset against a side that failed to shine in the Super 14 as the Stormers.

The tourists seemed set for their fifth successive triumph when they led 18-9 with a minute to go in the first half, thanks to tries by wings Tommy Bowe and Ugo Monye and two penalties and a conversion by first five Stephen Jones.

But Western Province, without four Springboks not released by national coach Peter de Villiers, threatened to upset the form book as they kept chipping away at the Lions' lead.

A try by fullback Joe Pietersen made the score 23-23 with 15 minutes to go.