It was the final warm up match for the British & Irish Lions ahead of the first test on Saturday and the Southern Kings proved to be no push over.
The Kings came straight out of the blocks and showed they mean’t business with a couple of bruising hits on the Lions to set the stage for a somewhat scrappy and very physical game.
The big hits came thick and fast from the likes of De Wet Barry and Frikkie Welsh who unsettled the Lions backline and drew a number of errors out of the tourists.
The game was low on quality with the Lions spurning a number of opportunities to score before finally Ronan O’Gara, who had his best game in a Lions shirt to date, kicked across the field for winger Ugo Monye to touch down following a bit of a scramble in the in-goal area.
But this score was not until well after the half time interval where the scores were level at 3-3 following a penalty for each side.
The Lions finally took control in the final few minutes through the one area of the game where they had total dominance, in the scrum.
The score came from a succession of penalties against the Kings scrum on their own try line and referee Nigel Owens had had enough and signalled for the penalty try.
With the seconds ticking away on the clock the Kings got some reward for their efforts with their man of the match, Mpho Mbiyozo, touching down in the corner for a well worked consolation try.
With the Lions suffering a couple of early injuries to Euan Murray and James Hook, the team for the weekend’s first test may have altered slightly following this final encounter, but the Lions will be thankful that their key men were not in the firing line otherwise there may well have been further casualties in the medical room.