1938 | South Africa

Lions Team 1938 South AfricaAs the last Lions of the pre-war era set off for South Africa against a backdrop of looming conflict, their on-field prospects were considered similarly black.

They were by no means a weak side but were at least half a dozen stars short of being the best of British, and in Danie Craven's Springboks they were up against the unofficial world champions.

In the bare facts of the final analysis, the Lions lost the Test series 2-1 but they played a full part in three of the most memorable Tests ever seen in South Africa, scored more points than any previous visiting team and enjoyed a riotous time off the field.

The tourists were managed by Major Bernard 'Jock' Hartley and captained by Ireland forward Sam Walker. Although they missed some leading names of the day, including Wilf Wooller and Cliff Jones, they produced some bright performers of their own in winning 17 of their 24 matches.

Among the stand-out players were centre Harry McKibbin, hooker Bill Travers and back-rowers Laurie Duff, Bob Alexander and Blair Mayne.

South Africa went into the series on the back of successive series victories in Australia and New Zealand, while the tourists had established themselves as an attractive, free-scoring side after a hesitant start to their schedule.

The Lions led three times in the opening half of the first Test but ultimately succumbed 26-12 to what Craven rated as one of the best Springbok performances of all time.

In the second international, the Lions had another opponent to contend with - the 96-degree heat of what became known as the Tropical Test. Duff scored the Lions' first try of the series but the sapping heat contributed to their 19-3 defeat.

With the series sealed, the Springboks went into the final Test overconfident and under-prepared. That should not detract from one of the great rugby fightbacks, though, as the Lions, fielding a record eight Irishmen, overturned a 13-3 half-time deficit to win 21-16.

11/06/1938 15:30
Border Bulldogs
Border Bulldogs 8-11 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Border Bulldogs
Border Bulldogs
Recreation Ground
15/06/1938
Griqualand West
Griqualand West 9-22 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Griqualand West
Griqualand West
Kimberley
18/06/1938
West\\\'n Province Town/Countr
West\\\'n Province Town/Countr 11-8 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A West\\\'n Province Town/Countr
West\\\'n Province Town/Countr
Newlands
22/06/1938
South Western Districts
South Western Districts 10-19 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Western Districts
South Western Districts
Recreation Ground
25/06/1938
Western Province
Western Province 21-11 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province
Western Province
Newlands
29/06/1938
Western Transvaal
Western Transvaal 9-26 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Transvaal
Western Transvaal
Olen Park
02/07/1938
Orange Free State
Orange Free State 6-21 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Orange Free State
Orange Free State
Springbok Park
06/07/1938
Orange Free State Country
Orange Free State Country 3-18 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Orange Free State Country
Orange Free State Country
Loubser Park
09/07/1938
Transvaal
Transvaal 16-9 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Transvaal
Transvaal
Ellis Park
13/07/1938
N-E Transvaal
N-E Transvaal 12-20 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A N-E Transvaal
N-E Transvaal
Caledonian Ground
16/07/1938
Cape Province
Cape Province 3-10 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Cape Province
Cape Province
De Beers Stadium
20/07/1938
Rhodesia
Rhodesia 11-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Salisbury Sports Ground
23/07/1938
Rhodesia
Rhodesia 11-45 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Hartsfield Ground
30/07/1938 15:30
Transvaal
Transvaal 9-17 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Transvaal
Transvaal
Ellis Park
06/08/1938 16:00
South Africa
South Africa 26-12 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Ellis Park
13/08/1938
Northern Province
Northern Province 26-8 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Northern Province
Northern Province
Kingsmead
17/08/1938
Natal
Natal 11-15 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Natal
Natal
Woodburn
20/08/1938
Border Bulldogs
Border Bulldogs 11-19 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Border Bulldogs
Border Bulldogs
East London
24/08/1938
North-East Districts
North-East Districts 3-42 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A North-East Districts
North-East Districts
Burgersdorp
27/08/1938
Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings 5-6 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings
St George's Park
03/09/1938
South Africa
South Africa 19-3 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Crusaders Ground
10/09/1938 16:00
South Africa
South Africa 16-21 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Newlands
17/09/1938
Western Province Universities
Western Province Universities 16-19 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province Universities
Western Province Universities
Newlands
21/09/1938
Western Province Country
Western Province Country 12-7 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province Country
Western Province Country
Newlands
SurnameFirst namePlayedPointsLast appearance
AlexanderRobert141817/09/1938
BoyleVesey176317/09/1938
ClementBill61209/07/1938
CouchmanStan11621/09/1938
CromeyGeorge11621/09/1938
DancerGerry15617/09/1938
DuffLaurie141217/09/1938
GilesJimmy152017/09/1938
GravesBob13317/09/1938
GrieveCharles9821/09/1938
HowardBill10821/09/1938
JenkinsViv115027/08/1938
JonesElvet123421/09/1938
LeylandRoy5630/07/1938
MacRaeDuncan111806/08/1938
MayneBlair20021/09/1938
McKibbinHarry163221/09/1938
MorganEddie14303/09/1938
MorganGeorge111221/09/1938
NicholsonBasil10621/09/1938
PurchasGriff8321/09/1938
ReynoldsJeff141903/09/1938
TannerHaydn10303/09/1938
TaylorRussell165303/09/1938
TraversBunner21321/09/1938
UnwinJim2310121/09/1938
WalkerSam201221/09/1938
WatersJock12921/09/1938
WilliamsIvor7321/09/1938
Overall Stats
Played24Biggest Win42 - 3 (British & Irish Lions v North-East Districts 1938)
Total Points Scored414Most Points In A Match45 (British & Irish Lions v Rhodesia 1938)
Total Tries Scored79Most Tries In A Match11 (British & Irish Lions v Rhodesia 1938)
Total Conversions Scored37Most Conversions In A Match6 (British & Irish Lions v Rhodesia 1938)
Total Penalty Goals Scored25Most Penalty Goals In A Match4 (British & Irish Lions v South Africa 1938)
Total Drop Goals Scored7Most Drop Goals In A Match1 (British & Irish Lions v Cheetahs 1938)
Most Appearances9 (Dan Cole)Highest Attendance36,000
Top Points Scorer114 (Leigh Halfpenny)Total Home Attendance237,796
Top Try Scorer4 (Alex Cuthbert)
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