The 1997 Lions knew a win in the second rubber would secure series victory and Martin Johnsonâ00s men achieved just that.
Despite being outscored by three tries to nil by the reigning world champions, the Lions ran out 18-15 winners courtesy of five Neil Jenkins penalties and a dramatic late drop goal from Jerry Guscott.
Whereas the Boks failed with all six of their attempts at goal in a thrilling encounter, Jenkins finished with a 100-per-cent record under the greatest of pressure, while Guscott made a mockery of his status as an unaccomplished striker of the ball as he cemented his place in Lions folklore with three minutes remaining at Kingâ00s Park.
http://www.lionsrugby.com/ took a look back through the archives and found the following article from Rob Andrew in the August 1997 edition of Rugby World. Hereâ00s what the 1989 and 1993 Lions tourists had to say about the nature of that famous victory. We think the former Wasps and Newcastle fly-half describes that historic encounter pretty accurately and weâ00d love to be able to read the newest generation of pundits praising a similar outcome on Saturday afternoon.
â00Playing Test matches is all about finding a way to win â00 it all comes down to having the character to succeed,â0 said Andrew, who made 13 appearances for the Lions across two tours.
â00Itâ00s about saying to yourself, â00Somehow we are going to win this, we are not giving upâ00.
â00Thatâ00s exactly what the Lions did to win a remarkable victory in Durban. They had far less possession and far less territorial advantage than the Springboks, but they pushed the text books aside, put their heads down and produced a game of thrust and counter thrust.
Jerry Guscott's drop goal won the second Test for the 1997 Lions
â00Neil Jenkins was fantastic. His kicking was immaculate. He was forced to absorb an immense amount of pressure under the high balls that were reigning down on him â00 but he still managed to calm himself enough to plant every one of his kicks.
â00Itâ00s easy to underestimate the value of a good kicker until a match like this comes along. Kicking in a Test match is extremely difficult. Itâ00s like a side show to the main event. You have to stand there alone and know that only you can make a difference.
â00Jenkins did that in some extremely pressurised situations. He kept the Lions in the game as Joost van der Westhuizen, Pecry Montgomery and Andre Joubert all went over to score.
â00The other way in which the Lions stayed in touch with the Boks was by keeping their shape as all manner of attacking moves were thrown at them. It allowed them to defend brilliantly from the kick-off to the whistle. The moment of glory came with Guscottâ00s drop goal three minutes from time. It confirmed him as a player of the highest class, and it showed the knowledge the team had gained on this tour.
â00Really great players make the right decisions. They react in the right way when confronted with an opening. Guscott is not an expert drop-goal kicker â00 he had only kicked two in his life before this tour. But, when the opportunity presented itself, he seized the moment.
â00There can be no sporting moments more pressurised than that. When you take a drop goal you have to extract the ball from the chaos of open play, compose yourself enough to see the posts, see the ball, and make it.
â00The team deserve the highest praise for coming through an ultimate mental and physical challenge.â0
The 2009 Lions face something similar this weekend. Hereâ00s hoping then come through such a challenge with an equal amount of success.