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Peter Jackson

One tour, 5 Tests, 1959

One tour, 5 Tests, 1959

In 1959, it was the Lions' great fortune to have a peerless pair of wings in Peter Jackson and Tony O'Reilly. The latter man commanded the greater public profile, but across New Zealand the former was no less of a crowd-puller or pleaser.

The duo duelled for the record of most tries scored on tour in New Zealand and with 40 minutes of the tour to run they stood level on 16 apiece, tying another Lions great, Ken Jones, who had set the benchmark nine years earlier.

Jackson had pulled level with O'Reilly and Jones with a typically spectacular opening try in the fourth and final Test, only for his Irish team-mate to power over in the second half to take the record outright.

Although that score kept Jackson out of the record books, his place in Lions legend had already been assured by both the rate and manner of his scoring in Australia and New Zealand. The Coventry and England man grabbed three tries on his Lions debut and averaged better than one a game in scoring 19 from 18 appearances on tour, adding two four try hauls in two other matches.

A Grand Slam winner with England in 1957, he was once described as "a cross between Nijinsky and Stanley Matthews". Certainly, Jackson dazzled New Zealand audiences with his blurring footwork and mazy runs.

Few of his touchdowns were ordinary and it was fitting that he should produce a spectacular effort to open the try-scoring in the fourth international, at Eden Park. An uneventful half-hour in, Jackson looked to have few options when he took a long, one-handed pass from O'Reilly 30 yards from the New Zealand line and with three All Blacks blocking his path.

But off he went, weaving his way past the first defender, deceiving the second with a simultaneous dummy and side-step, and then bearing down on the last man, jinking from foot to foot while holding the ball two-handed directly in front of him.

Before the spell he cast was broken, Jackson was gone, clear and over the line ahead of a despairing tackle from one of those he had deceived. The entire crowd rose to salute him and hail a great try from a Lions great.

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