James Hook makes a burst in the opening stages against Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.
Huw Evans Picture Agency
The British and Irish Lions dethroned Southern Kings 20-8 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in a bruising encounter in Port Elizabeth to maintain their unbeaten record on tour.
The Lions may have preserved their tour record but once again key players left the fray injured during the match. Wales fly half James Hook and Scotland prop Euan Murray both departed inside the first 13minutes due to the physical nature of the game.
Several Lions would have hoped to press a late claim for Saturday's Test side but the home side's tigerish and abrasive defence ensured it wasn't a game where individuals stood out.
The Southern Kings opened the scoring through former Leicester fly half Jaco Van der Westhuyzen in the third minute and there after the Lions had to withstand wave after wave of ferocious defence as the home side tore into the Lions.
Having lost Hook and Murrary early on, the Lions struggled to settle but got back on even terms in the 27th minute when replacement Ronan O'Gara landed a penalty in a game which lacked cohesion as both sides made numerous mistakes.
O'Gara edged the Lions ahead after 44 minutes when he booted a second penalty, but Welsh referee Nigel Owens was having to work overtime to keep a lid on proceedings. Twice he issued warnings to the rival captains.
O'Gara took matters into his own hands in the 50th minute when his cross field kick eluded the Southern Kings defence and Ugo Monye dived on the loose ball to rack up his fourth try of the tour. O'Gara added the conversion to take the Lions to a 13-3 lead.
The one area where the Lions dominated - the scrum - proved the next source of scoring when the Lions had the home pack back peddling near their own try-line. Owens had no hesitation in awarding a penalty try and with O'Gara landing the easy conversion, the Lions had jumped out to a 20-3 lead.
However the Southern Kings battled back and saw impressive flanker Mpho Mbiyozo crash over from close range, cutting the deficit to 12 points.
However time wasn't on the Southern Kings' side as the Lions held on in their most demanding match of the tour so far. It may have been tough and uncompromising and physically challenging, but it was nothing compared to what the world champions will throw at them at Durban on Saturday.
Scorers: Southern Kings: Try: Mbiyoso; Pen: Van der Westhuyzen Lions: Tries: Monye, penalty try; Cons: O'Gara (2); Pens: O'Gara (2)
Wales Head Coach Rob Howley talks to WRU TV's Sebastian Barrett about the 36-man squad he has just named for the forthcoming Under Armour series, which includes two uncapped players, Ospreys duo Sam Davies and Rory Thornton.
Head coach Rowland Phillips is deligthed he can now call BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park home for his Wales Women's side, who launch their international season next month with games against Scotland and UK Armed Forces in the heart of the capital city.
Wales Sevens star Sam Cross has put his home town club of Brynmawr on the map after winning a silver medal at the Rio Olympics with Team GB. His club have now honoured him by naming their players bar after him, as WRU TV discovered at the official launch, recently.
One of the newest members of the Principality Premiership, Bargoed admit it's proving to be a steep learning curve at the highest level, but are determined to become a force to be reckoned with. WRU TV visited the club last weekend when they took on Llanelli.
Table-topping Aberavon travel to north Wales to tackle RGC 1404 as both teams defend unbeaten starts to the season in the Principality Premiership. WRU TV's Graeme Gillespie visited the Wizards to see how their preparations were going for the game of the weekend.
The Half a Game initiative is currently sweeping across Wales and proving a major success. The scheme aims to give every young player at least half a game every weekend. WRU TV recently visited a festival in Narberth where clubs have fully embraced the initiative.
Both Bargoed and Swansea were seeking their first win of the Principality Premiership season this afternoon. It proved a fruitful day for the hosts - not only did they win, but Bargoed claimed a try bonus point.
Cardiff managed to keep their unbeaten record at home intact, but only just as Bridgend made them work extremely hard before the Blue and Blacks secured a hard fought Principality Premiership win at the BT Sport Arms Park last night.
Former Wales back row Andy Powell gives a guided tour of The Wern, home of Merthyr RFC, who are determined to prove a lot of people wrong and make their mark in their first season in the Principality Premiership.