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Lions warm-up for Test with sixth win

  • Story Highlights
  • British Lions claim sixth straight win ahead of first Test against South Africa
  • They claim a bruising 20-8 victory over the Southern Kings at Port Elizabeth
  • Lions win with Ugo Monye try, a penalty try and 10 points from Ronan O'Gara
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(CNN) -- British and Irish Lions boss Ian McGeechan saluted his team's composure after a bruising 20-8 victory over the Southern Kings in their final warm-up before Saturday's first Test against world champions South Africa.

Lions lost flyhalf James Hook with a head injury early in their victory over Southern Kings.

Lions lost flyhalf James Hook with a head injury early in their victory over Southern Kings.

The Lions lost prop Euan Murray (ankle) and fly-half James Hook (head) inside the first 15 minutes at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth.

But they recovered to make it six wins out of six courtesy of a Ugo Monye try, a penalty try and 10 points from substitute fly-half Ronan O'Gara who kicked two penalties and two conversions.

Murray has undergone an ankle x-ray, which has revealed no fracture, while Hook suffered a knock to the head and will undergo further assessment.

"They (Southern Kings) wanted to make a game of it," McGeechan told PA Sport. "It was pretty full on, and we had to keep enough composure to win the game, which was the very pleasing aspect of it.

"A penalty try proved technically that we kept our heads. We kept doing damage where it hurt them most. We've come out with a win -- our composure was very important.

"I am really proud of the discipline we showed -- it showed the players' focus -- and they got their just reward."

McGeechan's focus now turns to the Test in Durban. He is due to announce his line-up on Thursday and admitted: "There are close calls in a number of areas."

Southern Kings coach Alan Solomons was pleased his side had given the Lions a punishing physical examination, although Van der Westhuyzen and lock Ross Skeate were yellow-carded.

"I had been a little bit worried up front," said Solomons. "They picked a very big pack, but it worked to our advantage, because they struggled at the breakdown.

"We know they are a very physical side -- they've made their intent known to try and beat South Africa physically. I felt we competed well throughout.

"We were certainly determined not to give them an easy ride physically. We didn't want to disappoint them."

Solomons, the former Ulster and Northampton coach, believes the Lions must beat South Africa in Durban on Saturday -- or struggle to stay in the three-match Test series.

He added: "They simply have to win the first Test. If they don't, they will make a rod for their own backs with two games on the High Veld.

"Yes, one or two late hits occurred today, but the Lions are hardly angels, I would say. I don't think there was anything untoward.

"I believe the Test match on Saturday is going to be a massive physical contest. If the Lions lose, they've got a very difficult road ahead. It's a massive Test match with a huge amount at stake."

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