1977 | New Zealand & Fiji

Lions Team 1977 New ZealandAfter 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.

18/05/1977
Wairarapa/Bush
Wairarapa/Bush 13-41 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wairarapa/Bush
Wairarapa/Bush
Memorial Park
21/05/1977 14:30
Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay 11-13 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Hawkes Bay
Hawkes Bay
McLean Park
25/05/1977 15:00
Poverty Bay/East Coast
Poverty Bay/East Coast 6-25 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Poverty Bay/East Coast
Poverty Bay/East Coast
Rugby Park
28/05/1977
Taranaki
Taranaki 13-21 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Taranaki
Taranaki
Rugby Park
01/06/1977
Wanganui/King County
Wanganui/King County 9-60 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wanganui/King County
Wanganui/King County
Taumarunui
04/06/1977
Manawatu/Horowhenua
Manawatu/Horowhenua 12-18 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Manawatu/Horowhenua
Manawatu/Horowhenua
Palmerston North
08/06/1977
Otago
Otago 7-12 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Otago
Otago
Carisbrook
11/06/1977
Southland
Southland 12-20 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Southland
Southland
Rugby Park
14/06/1977
NZ Universities
NZ Universities 21-9 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A NZ Universities
NZ Universities
Lancaster Park
18/06/1977
New Zealand
New Zealand 16-12 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand
New Zealand
Athletic Park
22/06/1977 14:30
S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago
S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago 6-45 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago
S/Mid Canterbury/North Otago
Fraser Park
25/06/1977 14:30
Canterbury
Canterbury 13-14 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Canterbury
Canterbury
Lancaster Park
29/06/1977
West Coast/Buller
West Coast/Buller 0-45 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A West Coast/Buller
West Coast/Buller
Westport
02/07/1977
Wellington
Wellington 6-13 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Wellington
Wellington
Athletic Park
05/07/1977
Marlborough/Nelson Bays
Marlborough/Nelson Bays 23-40 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Marlborough/Nelson Bays
Marlborough/Nelson Bays
Lansdowne Park
09/07/1977
New Zealand
New Zealand 9-13 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand
New Zealand
Lancaster Park
13/07/1977 15:00
New Zealand Maori
New Zealand Maori 19-22 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand Maori
New Zealand Maori
Eden Park
16/07/1977 14:00
Waikato
Waikato 13-18 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Waikato
Waikato
Rugby Park
20/07/1977 14:30
New Zealand Juniors
New Zealand Juniors 9-19 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand Juniors
New Zealand Juniors
Athletic Park
23/07/1977 14:30
Auckland
Auckland 15-34 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Auckland
Auckland
Eden Park
30/07/1977
New Zealand
New Zealand 19-7 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand
New Zealand
Carisbrook
03/08/1977 14:30
Counties/Thames Valley
Counties/Thames Valley 10-35 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Counties/Thames Valley
Counties/Thames Valley
Pukekohe Stadium
06/08/1977
North Auckland
North Auckland 7-18 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A North Auckland
North Auckland
Okara Park
09/08/1977 15:00
Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty 16-23 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Bay of Plenty
Bay of Plenty
Rotorua
13/08/1977 14:30
New Zealand
New Zealand 10-9 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A New Zealand
New Zealand
Eden Park
16/08/1977
Fiji
Fiji 25-21 British & Irish Lions
British & Irish Lions
A Fiji
Fiji
Buckhurst Ground
SurnameFirst namePlayedPointsLast appearance
BeaumontBill20812/07/1980
BennettPhil2622816/08/1977
BevanJohn12416/08/1977
BrownGordon40 +13616/08/1977
BurcherDavid152016/08/1977
CobnerTerry111206/08/1977
CottonFran32 +2027/05/1980
DugganWillie14 +1813/08/1977
EvansGareth17 +12416/08/1977
EvansTrevor14016/08/1977
FaulknerCharlie3016/08/1977
FenwickSteve121513/08/1977
GibsonMike67 +112409/08/1977
HayBruce222812/07/1980
HortonNigel4008/06/1977
IrvineAndy37 +527412/07/1980
KeaneMoss11 +1009/08/1977
MartinAllan21 +1608/07/1980
McGeechanIan28 +21916/08/1977
MorganDoug12 +29813/08/1977
NearyTony21 +12016/08/1977
OrrPhil14 +3408/07/1980
PriceGraham37816/07/1983
QuinnellDerek31 +21208/07/1980
ReesElgan184408/07/1980
SquireJeff30 +22425/06/1983
SquiresPeter92013/07/1977
ViarsJean-Francois3016/08/1977
WheelerPeter23812/07/1980
WilliamsBrynmor10 +21230/07/1977
WilliamsClive18 +3812/07/1980
WilliamsJJ25 +18830/07/1977
WindsorBobby26416/08/1977
Overall Stats
Played26Biggest Win60 - 9 (British & Irish Lions v Wanganui/King County 1977)
Total Points Scored607Most Points In A Match60 (British & Irish Lions v Wanganui/King County 1977)
Total Tries Scored83Most Tries In A Match11 (British & Irish Lions v Wanganui/King County 1977)
Total Conversions Scored43Most Conversions In A Match8 (British & Irish Lions v Wanganui/King County 1977)
Total Penalty Goals Scored63Most Penalty Goals In A Match5 (British & Irish Lions v Bay of Plenty 1977)
Total Drop Goals Scored0Most Drop Goals In A Match0 ( v )
Most Appearances9 (Dan Cole)Highest Attendance57,000
Top Points Scorer114 (Leigh Halfpenny)Total Home Attendance713,000
Top Try Scorer4 (Alex Cuthbert)
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