Bruising win for the Lions
Murray and Hook both injured in hard-fought victory
Last Updated: 16/06/09 3:53pm
Murray: Injured his ankle
The British and Irish Lions were left counting the cost after a bruising 20-8 victory against the Southern Kings.
With the first Test against South Africa coming up on Saturday, the Lions lost prop Euan Murray and fly-half James Hook during a ferocious opening period.
Murray, who had been in the running to start against the Springboks in Durban, needed crutches to get back to the changing rooms after damaging his ankle after eight minutes.
And he was joined in the treatment room by Hook five minutes, with the Osprey having to be helped off the field.
De Wet Barry, Frikkie Welsh, Jaco van der Westhuyzen, Wylie Human and Ruan Vermeulen all got stuck into the tourists - who were left battered and bruised.
The in-your-face tactic from the Kings paid dividends early on as the Lions failed to get into their stride.
In particular, head coach Ian McGeechan will have been disappointed with his side's work around the breakdown - with Joe Worsley, Nathan Hines and Andy Powell doing little to strengthen their Test claims.
However on the positives, Ronan O'Gara impressed as Hook's replacement, Simon Shaw was a constant menace around the park while the scrum looks a real threat.
The Lions found themselves 3-0 down after two minutes with van der Westhuyzen slotting over a penalty.
And the score could have been worse as Jaco Engels and Francois Hougaard were both denied try-scoring chances by desperate tackles from Ugo Monye and O'Gara.
However, with van der Westhuyzen sin-binned for a late challenge on Riki Flutey, the Lions were able to claw their way back into the game.
Keith Earls made a couple of scything breaks but lacked the finish, before O'Gara levelled the match on 27 minutes after a collapsed scrum.
However the Lions failed to build on some encouraging spells and it was the Kings who almost scored the first try.
Marco Wentzel started the move with a delightful chip and chase before Wylie Human came charging through off the flank. Fortunately O'Gara was on hand, though, to save the day with a crucial tackle.
And it was the Irish fly-half who was next to score, slotting over his second penalty just after the interval.
That score gave the Lions the push they needed, with O'Gara pulling the strings as his kicking pegged the hosts back.
It was from an O'Gara kick that saw the Lions score the first try, with Monye pouncing on the loose ball after he and Mat Turner missed the initial bounce. O'Gara added the extras.
The try took the wind out of the hosts, who suddenly found chances hard to come by as the Lions forced them back.
The Lions put the game beyond doubt on 69 minutes, with the forwards doing the work.
Opting to go for the set-piece from a penalty, the Kings were guilty of collapsing the scrum. A second collapsed scrum followed immediately leaving Nigel Owens no option but to award the penalty try. O'Gara converted.
The Kings, though, refused to give up and they were rewarded for their efforts with a try from Mpho Mbiyozo with seven minutes left.