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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lions Grit Teeth for Springbok Challenge

DURBAN, South Africa -- The 1997 British Lions stand just one match away from securing only their fourth series victory over South Africa on Saturday -- but they are prepared for a powerful resurgence by the resilient Springboks.


The Lions, whose only previous series triumphs on South African soil came in 1891, 1896 and 1974, are fully aware that Gary Teichmann's side will provide much tougher and more intense opposition than in Cape Town.


Despite shading both possession and territory, South Africa made several errors at Newlands and it failed to take many of the chances which came its way in going down to a 25-16 defeat in the first test.


Lions manager Fran Cotton knows that South Africa quite simply has to win at Kings Park to keep the series alive.


"They've only got one chance -- and that's where all the pressure will come from," he said. "But we know South Africa are going to play better than they did on Saturday and we know that we're capable of playing a lot better than we did on Saturday.


"If both of those two things happen, it's going to be one fantastic game of rugby."


Lions captain Martin Johnson, while satisfied with the efforts of his forwards to contain the heavier Springbok pack in Cape Town, expects a tougher task in Durban.


"This test match is going to be a lot more intense and we expect the South African pack to come at us for the full 80 minutes. In Cape Town, they hit us hard for the first quarter and then again straight after the break. I'm sure they'll try to do that for the whole game here in Durban."


While enjoying the advantage of being 1-0 up in the three-match series, Lions coach Ian McGeechan knows the sides were fairly evenly matched in Cape Town.


"I thought that was a good test match. There was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing of possession and I'm realistic enough to know that there were as many chances created by the Springboks as there were by us.


"On the day, we took the key ones or were in position to kick key points -- and it was no more than that. There was very little difference in what actually happened, in rugby terms, last Saturday. We have to evolve from that and adapt accordingly for Durban."


Winger was called up on Thursday to replace injured Ieuan Evans in the only change for the Lions.