1974 | South Africa

Lions Team 1974 South AfricaAfter making history in 1971 with a first series victory in New Zealand, the Lions found it was payback time when they returned to the Land of the Long White Cloud six years later.

Led onto the field by the great Phil Bennett, coached by 1971 captain John Dawes and managed by the respected Scot George Burrell, the Lions had the raw material to repeat their predecessors' success. However, a combination of on- and off-field factors condemned them to a 3-1 Test series defeat and a tour that most of its participants were happy to forget.

Their backline resources included the likes of Andy Irvine, Mike Gibson, Ian McGeechan, JJ Williams and Bennett himself, while the pack, for perhaps the first time, was superior to the All Black eight, thanks to the power and skill of, among others, Fran Cotton, Peter Wheeler, Graham Price, Bill Beaumont, Gordon Brown, Terry Cobner and Willie Duggan.

And, despite an extreme focus on forward play and the emergence of a siege mentality in the face of a hostile press and one of the wettest New Zealand winters ever, the Lions lost just one of their 21 provincial games and might have drawn the Test series at the very least.

The tourists made an encouraging start to the first Test, but the double blow of a disputed try by Brad Johnstone and a 60-yard interception score by Grant Batty just before the break left them too much to do into the Wellington wind in the second half. The interval scoreline of 16-12 to New Zealand was unchanged at the final whistle.

The second Test was punctuated by acts of violence but it was the Lions who emerged standing, having squared the series with a 13-9 success thanks to a JJ Williams try and three Bennett penalties.

In the third, New Zealand scored three tries to one inside the first quarter of an hour and, with the Lions missing six of their seven kicks at goal, the hosts went on to a deserved 19-7 win.

The fourth Test saw the tourists so dominant up front that the All Blacks were reduced to resorting to a three-man scrum, but again the visitors lost a match they should have won, conceding the decisive try in a 10-9 defeat deep into injury time.

A stopover in Fiji did little to ease the pain, particularly as the Test there was lost 25-21.

15/05/1974
Western Transvaal
Western Transvaal 13-59 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Transvaal
Western Transvaal
Olen Park
18/05/1974 16:00
South West Africa
South West Africa 16-23 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South West Africa
South West Africa
South-West Stadium
23/05/1974
Boland
Boland 6-33 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Boland
Boland
Boland Stadium
26/05/1974 15:30
Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings 14-28 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Eastern Province Kings
Eastern Province Kings
Boet Erasmus Stadium
29/05/1974
South Western Districts
South Western Districts 0-97 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Western Districts
South Western Districts
Van Rieebeck Ground
01/06/1974
Western Province
Western Province 8-17 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province
Western Province
Newlands
04/06/1974 15:30
SAR Federation XV
SAR Federation XV 6-37 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A SAR Federation XV
SAR Federation XV
Goodwood Showground
08/06/1974 15:30
South Africa
South Africa 3-12 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Newlands
11/06/1974
Western Province Universities
Western Province Universities 4-26 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Western Province Universities
Western Province Universities
Newlands
15/06/1974 15:30
Transvaal
Transvaal 15-23 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Transvaal
Transvaal
Ellis Park
18/06/1974
Rhodesia
Rhodesia 6-42 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Rhodesia
Rhodesia
Police Ground
22/06/1974 15:30
South Africa
South Africa 9-28 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Loftus Versfeld
27/06/1974 16:00
Quaggas
Quaggas 16-20 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Quaggas
Quaggas
Ellis Park
29/06/1974
Orange Free State
Orange Free State 9-11 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Orange Free State
Orange Free State
Free State Stadium
03/07/1974 16:00
Griqualand West
Griqualand West 16-69 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Griqualand West
Griqualand West
De Beers Stadium
06/07/1974 15:30
N-E Transvaal
N-E Transvaal 12-16 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A N-E Transvaal
N-E Transvaal
Loftus Versfeld
09/07/1974
African XV
African XV 10-56 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A African XV
African XV
Sisa Dukashe Stadium,Mdantsane
13/07/1974 15:15
South Africa
South Africa 9-26 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Boet Erasmus Stadium
17/07/1974
Border Bulldogs
Border Bulldogs 6-26 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Border Bulldogs
Border Bulldogs
BRU Ground
20/07/1974
Natal
Natal 6-34 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Natal
Natal
King's Park Stadium
23/07/1974
Eastern Transvaal
Eastern Transvaal 10-33 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Eastern Transvaal
Eastern Transvaal
PAM Stadium
27/07/1974 15:30
South Africa
South Africa 13-13 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A South Africa
South Africa
Ellis Park
SurnameFirst namePlayedPointsLast appearance
BennettPhil2723610/09/1977
BergiersRoy9 +1823/07/1974
BrownGordon41 +13610/09/1977
BurtonMike8023/07/1974
CarmichaelSandy16423/07/1974
CottonFran33 +2027/05/1980
DavidTommy92023/07/1974
DaviesMervyn273227/07/1974
EdwardsGareth37 +16127/07/1974
EvansGeoff81603/07/1974
GibsonMike67 +112409/08/1977
GraceTom115223/07/1974
IrvineAndy38 +528112/07/1980
KennedyKen281123/07/1974
McBrideWillie John701327/07/1974
McGeechanIan29 +21910/09/1977
McKinneyStewart8323/07/1974
McLauchlanIan30427/07/1974
MillikenDick132427/07/1974
MoloneyJohn81223/07/1974
MorleyAlan2420/07/1974
NearyTony22 +12010/09/1977
OldAlan45904/06/1974
RalstonChris13027/07/1974
ReesClive61227/06/1974
RipleyAndy82023/07/1974
SlatteryFergus24 +13227/07/1974
SteeleBilly92817/07/1974
UttleyRoger14 +2827/07/1974
WilliamsJJ25 +18830/07/1977
WilliamsJPR27 +23027/07/1974
WindsorBobby26416/08/1977
Overall Stats
Played22Biggest Win97 - 0 (British & Irish Lions v South Western Districts 1974)
Total Points Scored729Most Points In A Match97 (British & Irish Lions v South Western Districts 1974)
Total Tries Scored107Most Tries In A Match16 (British & Irish Lions v South Western Districts 1974)
Total Conversions Scored59Most Conversions In A Match15 (British & Irish Lions v South Western Districts 1974)
Total Penalty Goals Scored56Most Penalty Goals In A Match5 (British & Irish Lions v SAR Federation XV 1974)
Total Drop Goals Scored5Most Drop Goals In A Match2 (British & Irish Lions v South Africa 1974)
Most Appearances9 (Dan Cole)Highest Attendance75,000
Top Points Scorer114 (Leigh Halfpenny)Total Home Attendance306,500
Top Try Scorer4 (Alex Cuthbert)
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