1903 | South Africa

Lions Rugby 1903 South AfricaBy the turn of the century, the days of easy pickings for the British & Irish tourists were gone for good. Having lost just one of 40 matches on their first two visits to South Africa , the Home Unions representatives could win only half of their 22 contests when they returned in 1903 and lost the Test series 1-0 with two internationals drawn.

The visitors' forward pack contained the captains of England, Ireland and Scotland, respectively Frank Stout, Alf Tedford and Mark Morrison, the latter also leading the side, which was managed by Johnny Hammond, who had now figured in all three tours to South Africa.

The three-quarter line was not considered of the same quality as the pack, with Wales centre Reg Skrimshire the only truly outstanding back. Skrimshire scored a superb try in the first Test - dummying a drop at goal before bursting through the South African defence - but had to play in every game to shore up the tourists' backline.

However, despite also including future Lions captain David 'Darkie' Bedell-Sivright and three other Scottish and Irish internationals, the pack never achieved its expected dominance and the tone of the tour was set by an opening sequence of three consecutive defeats.

Nevertheless, the tourists were unlucky not to have won the first Test, which ended in a 10-10 draw at the Wanderers ground in Johannesburg. The remaining two internationals were played in conditions of contrasting extremes; the second Test on bone hard ground at altitude in Kimberley, the third in a mud bath at Newlands.

The tourists were again good value for a draw at Kimberley - this time 0-0 - but had to concede second best in Cape Town as two tries and a conversion gave South Africa an 8-0 victory and their first series success. If it was any consolation to the beaten tourists, it would be more than half a century before their conquerors next lost a series at home.

09/07/1903
Western Province Country
Western Province Country 13-7 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province Country
Western Province Country
Newlands
11/07/1903
Western Province Towns
Western Province Towns 12-3 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province Towns
Western Province Towns
Newlands
13/07/1903
Western Province
Western Province 8-4 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province
Western Province
Newlands
18/07/1903
Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth 0-15 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Port Elizabeth
Port Elizabeth
Crusaders Ground
20/07/1903
Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings 0-12 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings
Crusaders Ground
22/07/1903
Grahamstown
Grahamstown 7-28 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Grahamstown
Grahamstown
Grahamstown
25/07/1903
King Williams Town
King Williams Town 3-37 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A King Williams Town
King Williams Town
King Williams Town
27/07/1903
East London
East London 5-7 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A East London
East London
East London
01/08/1903
Griqualand West
Griqualand West 11-0 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Griqualand West
Griqualand West
Kimberley Athletic Ground
04/08/1903
Griqualand West
Griqualand West 8-6 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Griqualand West
Griqualand West
Kimberley Athletic Ground
08/08/1903
Transvaal
Transvaal 12-3 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Transvaal
Transvaal
Wanderers Ground
11/08/1903
Pretoria
Pretoria 3-15 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Pretoria
Pretoria
Pretoria
13/08/1903
Pietermaritzburg
Pietermaritzburg 0-15 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Pietermaritzburg
Pietermaritzburg
Pietermaritzburg
15/08/1903
Durban
Durban 0-22 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Durban
Durban
Albert Park
19/08/1903
Witwatersrand
Witwatersrand 0-12 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Witwatersrand
Witwatersrand
Johannesburg
22/08/1903
Transvaal
Transvaal 14-4 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Transvaal
Transvaal
Wanderers Ground
26/08/1903 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 10-10 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Wanderers Ground
29/08/1903
Orange River County
Orange River County 16-17 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Orange River County
Orange River County
Ramblers Ground
02/09/1903
Griqualand West
Griqualand West 5-11 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Griqualand West
Griqualand West
Kimberley Athletic Ground
05/09/1903 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 0-0 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Kimberley Athletic Ground
10/09/1903
Western Province
Western Province 3-3 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province
Western Province
Newlands
12/09/1903 15:00
South Africa
South Africa 8-0 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Newlands
SurnameFirst namePlayedPointsLast appearance
Bedell-SivrightDavid212831/08/1904
CaveWilliam19612/09/1903
CollettGilbert203012/09/1903
DavidsonIan132226/08/1903
GibsonTom19012/09/1903
GillespieJohn192912/09/1903
GreigLouis17912/09/1903
HancockPat16312/09/1903
HarrisonEdward20410/09/1903
HindAlfred3013/07/1903
HosackJimmy4315/08/1903
MorrisonMark19312/09/1903
NeillRobert13312/09/1903
ScottWilliam22912/09/1903
SkrimshireReg226112/09/1903
SmythRobbie16312/09/1903
StoutFrank412612/09/1903
TedfordAlfred181512/09/1903
WalkerEdward9312/09/1903
WallaceJames11329/08/1903
WallaceJoseph18012/09/1903
Overall Stats
Played22Biggest Win37 - 3 (British & Irish Lions v King Williams Town 1903)
Total Points Scored231Most Points In A Match37 (British & Irish Lions v King Williams Town 1903)
Total Tries Scored49Most Tries In A Match9 (British & Irish Lions v King Williams Town 1903)
Total Conversions Scored16Most Conversions In A Match5 (British & Irish Lions v King Williams Town 1903)
Total Penalty Goals Scored4Most Penalty Goals In A Match1 (British & Irish Lions v Western Province Country 1903)
Total Drop Goals Scored10Most Drop Goals In A Match1 (British & Irish Lions v Western Province Country 1903)
Most Appearances9 (Dan Cole)Highest Attendance6,000
Top Points Scorer114 (Leigh Halfpenny)Total Home Attendance16,000
Top Try Scorer4 (Alex Cuthbert)
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