1971 British Lions tour to New Zealand

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1971 British Lions Tour to New Zealand
Date 12 May  – 14 August
Coach(es) Carwyn James
Tour captain(s) Wales John Dawes
Test series winners British and Irish Lions (1–2)
Top test point scorer(s) Wales Barry John (30)

In 1971 the British Lions toured New Zealand, also playing two matches in Australia. Despite losing the first match to Queensland the tour was a great success, the Lions winning the test series against the All Blacks. They are still the only Lions side to have won a test series in New Zealand. The side was captained by John Dawes, coached by Carwyn James and managed by Doug Smith.

Although the Lions had done poorly when touring New Zealand in 1966 (they lost all four tests to the All Blacks), the seeds had been sown for the successful series of 1971. Wales had won the Grand Slam in the Five Nations Championship in 1971, and appropriately supplied more players than any other Home nation to the touring squad. Both the coach and captain were also Welsh. This was the only tour to result in a Lions victory over the All Blacks, a major factor in their victory was self belief. Gerald Davies explained, "...somewhere along the line it becomes a mental thing...We grew in confidence; we came to believe it was possible to beat the All Blacks."[1]

The Lions won the first test in Dunedin 9–3,[2] with a penalty goal to the All Blacks, and two penalties and a try, (scored by Ian McLauchlan) to the Lions. Several Lions players later admitted they were overconfident following their initial test victory. The Lions were hence convincingly beaten 22–12[3] in the second test in Christchurch, with the All Blacks outscoring them five tries (Bob Burgess (2), Sid Going, Ian Kirkpatrick, pen try) to two (Davies (2)). The third test match was played at Athletic Park, Wellington. The Lions did not make the same mistake they had in Christchurch, resulting in a 13–3 win,[4] the Lions scored two converted tries and a drop goal. The All Blacks managed only a try.

Following the third test the Lions led the series 2 – 1. The final game played in Auckland would require an All Black victory for New Zealand to draw the series. A draw or Lions victory would give the Lions a series win. Scores were level 8–8 at half time with a try, conversion and penalty each. The first 15 minutes of the second half saw the Lions land a penalty goal and the All Blacks score a try. With the scores tied 11–11, Lions fullback JPR Williams received the ball 45 metres out and attempted a drop goal, it was successful and put the Lions ahead 14–11. Williams' drop goal was the only one he ever landed in his test career. The All Blacks could only manage three further points from a penalty to draw the game and give the Lions the series.[5]

Squad[edit]

Backs[edit]

  • Chris Wardlow (Northampton and England) was an original selection but withdrew due to injury. His place was taken by Chris Rea

Forwards[edit]

1 Derek Quinnell later played for Wales but had not been capped at the time of the 1971 tour. 2 Peter Dixon had not played for England at the time of his selection for the 1971 tour but then won his first cap against the President's Overseas XV on 17 April 1971 three weeks prior to the squad's departure for Australia.

Results[edit]

Match Date Opponent Location Result Score
Match 1 12 May Queensland Brisbane Lost 15–11
Match 2 15 May New South Wales Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney Won 12–14
Match 3 22 May Counties-Thames Valley Pukekohe Won 3–25
Match 4 26 May King Country-Wanganui Wanganui Won 9–22
Match 5 29 May Waikato Rugby Park, Hamilton Won 14–35
Match 6 2 June New Zealand Māori Eden Park, Auckland Won 12–23
Match 7 5 June Wellington Athletic Park, Wellington Won 9–47
Match 8 9 June South Canterbury-Mid Canterbury-North Otago Timaru Won 6–25
Match 9 12 June Otago Carisbrook, Dunedin Won 9–21
Match 10 17 June West Coast-Buller Greymouth Won 6–39
Match 11 19 June Canterbury Lancaster Park, Christchurch Won 9–14
Match 12 22 June Marlborough-Nelson Bays Blenheim Won 12–31
Match 13 26 June New Zealand Carisbrook, Dunedin Won 3–9
Match 14 30 June Southland Invercargill Won 3–25
Match 15 3 July Taranaki New Plymouth Won 9–14
Match 16 6 July New Zealand Universities Athletic Park, Wellington Won 6–27
Match 17 10 July New Zealand Lancaster Park, Christchurch Lost 22–12
Match 18 14 July Wairarapa-Bush Masterton Won 6–27
Match 19 17 July Hawke's Bay Napier Won 6–25
Match 20 21 July Poverty Bay-East Coast Gisborne Won 12–18
Match 21 24 July Auckland Eden Park, Auckland Won 12–19
Match 22 31 July New Zealand Athletic Park, Wellington Won 3–13
Match 23 4 August Manawatu-Horowhenua Palmerston North Won 6–39
Match 24 7 August North Auckland Whangarei Won 5–11
Match 25 10 August Bay of Plenty Tauranga Won 14–20
Match 26 14 August New Zealand Eden Park, Auckland Drew 14–14

The matches[edit]

First Test[edit]

26 June 1971
 New Zealand 3–9 British and Irish Lions
Pen: McCormick Try: McLauchlan
Pen: John (2)

NEW ZEALAND; Fergie McCormick, Bruce Hunter, Bryan Williams, Wayne Cottrell, Ken Carrington, Bob Burgess, Sid Going, Jazz Muller, Tane Norton, Richie Guy, Peter Whiting, Colin Meads (c), Alan McNaughton, Ian Kirkpatrick, Alan Sutherland

LIONS; Williams, Gerald Davies, Dawes (c), Gibson, Bevan, John, Edwards (rep Hopkins), Lynch, Pullin, McLauchlan, McBride, Thomas, Taylor, Dixon, Mervyn Davies.

Second Test[edit]

10 July 1971
 New Zealand 22–12 British and Irish Lions
Try: Burgess (2)
Going
Kirkpatrick
penalty try
Con: Mains (2)
Pen: Mains
Try: Davies (2)
Pen: John
Drop: John
Lancaster Park, Christchurch
Referee: John Pring New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND; Laurie Mains, Bruce Hunter, Howard Joseph, Wayne Cottrell, Bryan Williams, Bob Burgess, Sid Going, Jazz Muller, Tane Norton, Richie Guy, Peter Whiting, Colin Meads (c), Alan McNaughton, Ian Kirkpatrick, Alex Wyllie

LIONS; Williams, Gerald Davies, Dawes (c), Gibson, Duckham, John, Edwards, Lynch, Pullin, McLauchlan, McBride, Thomas, Taylor, Dixon, Mervyn Davies.

Third Test[edit]

31 July 1971
 New Zealand 3–13 British and Irish Lions
Try: Mains Try: Davies
John
Con: John (2)
Drop: John
Athletic Park, Wellington
Referee: John Pring New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND; Laurie Mains, Bruce Hunter, Howard Joseph, Wayne Cottrell, Ken Carrington, Bob Burgess (rep Mick Duncan), Sid Going, Jazz Muller, Tane Norton, Richie Guy, Colin Meads (c), Brian Lochore, Alan McNaughton Ian Kirkpatrick, Alex Wyllie

LIONS; Williams, Gerald Davies, Dawes (c), Gibson, Duckham, John, Edwards, Lynch, Pullin, McLauchlan, McBride, Brown, Quinnell, Slattery, Mervyn Davies.

Fourth Test[edit]

14 August 1971
 New Zealand 14–14 British and Irish Lions
Try: Cottrell
Lister
Con: Mains
Pen Mains (2)
Try: Dixon
Con: John
Drop: Williams
Pen: John (2)
Eden Park, Auckland
Referee: John Pring New Zealand

NEW ZEALAND; Laurie Mains, Ken Carrington, Mick Duncan, Phil Gard, Bryan Williams, Wayne Cottrell, Sid Going, Jazz Muller, Tane Norton, Richie Guy, Colin Meads (c), Peter Whiting, Ian Kirkpatrick, Tom Lister, Alex Wyllie

LIONS; Williams, Gerald Davies, Dawes (c), Gibson, Duckham, John, Edwards, Lynch, Pullin, McLauchlan, McBride, Brown, Taylor, Dixon, Mervyn Davies.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Palenski, R: Century in Black, 100 Years of All Black Test Rugby, page 122. Hodder Moa Beckett Publishers Ltd, 2003
  2. ^ 11–3 in today's scoring system.
  3. ^ 32–16 in today's system.
  4. ^ 17–5 in today's system.
  5. ^ If the same scores had been recorded in today's system, the All Blacks would have won 18–16.

J.B.G. Thomas (1971) The roaring Lions (Pelham Books)

External links[edit]