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Mick Galwey with fans before the game today in Durban
Billy Stickland
Springbok Hang On
6 June 2009, 4:02 pm
By Pat Geraghty
The Lions almost pulled off one of the great come-back wins in rugby before going down 26-21 in Durban today
They trailed 19-7 at half time and went further behind when Henrich Brussow scored in the 46th minute but then after the Boks had made a raft of changes the Lions came roaring back with tries from Tom Croft - his second of the game - and Mike Phillips and were desperately unlucky not to have snatched this one in the closing stages that they totally dominated.

The Lions pack had to play second fiddle for the opening side but their backline with Brian O'Driscoll and Jamie Roberts forming a very potent centre partnership posed threats nearly every time they got the ball. In contrast the Springbok backs rarely if ever managed to spread the ball for the entire game.

John Smit opened the scoring with an early try that Ruan Pienaar converted. Ugo Moyne crosssed for the Lions but was held up in the tackle before Roberts and O'Driscoll combined to send Tom Croft over for his first try.

In the second half when Brussow scored his side's second try it looked like the Boks would pull away but whether it was a case of taking their foot off the pedal or the Lions simply playing their way into the game, the Bols will have been mighty relieved to have heard Bryce Lawrence's final whistle

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