In 1978 the New Zealand national rugby union team, the All Blacks, toured Britain and Ireland. They were the eighth All Black team to undertake a full tour of the countries and became the first to achieve a Grand Slam in beating the national teams of Ireland, Wales, England and Scotland. The previous seven touring parties had either lost or drawn at least one international, or had not played all four nations.
The tourists played eighteen matches, winning seventeen and losing one. Their sole defeat was by Munster at Thomond Park, Limerick. This was the first time that an All Black team had been beaten in Ireland and it remained the All Blacks' only defeat by any Irish team until they lost to the Ireland national team in 2016. The Munster victory inspired a subsequent stage play, Alone it Stands.
Although the All Blacks won their four internationals, three of the matches remained undecided until close to the end. The match against Ireland was level 6–6 at the end of normal time and was settled by Andy Dalton's try in injury time. Against Wales, a 78th-minute penalty goal by replacement full-back Brian McKechnie turned a 12–10 deficit into a 13–12 win. In the Scotland game the All Blacks led 12–9 going into injury time and a drop goal attempt by Ian McGeechan, which would have tied the scores if successful, was charged down and led to a breakaway try for New Zealand by Bruce Robertson.
The All Blacks opened the scoring with a dropped goal by Bruce, with Ward's penalty making the score 3–3 at half-time. Bruce put the visitors ahead again with a further dropped goal before Ward levelled again with another penalty. The score remained at 6–6 as the game went into injury time but an unconverted try by Dalton after Donaldson's break from a line-out gave New Zealand a 10–6 victory. Rothmans Yearbook called it a "tense, if unspectacular, struggle in perfect playing conditions" and asserted that the All Blacks "deserved their narrow victory" after winning 31 of the 40 line-outs in the game.