Easy money for Morgan

When the 1955 British & Irish Lions played their first game in South Africa there was a prize of £15 on offer for the first player to score a try. [more]

Easy money for Morgan

When the 1955 British & Irish Lions played their first game in South Africa there was a prize of £15 on offer for the first player to score a try.

The 30-strong Lions tour party were given 5 shillings per day (25p) to live on and the players decided to throw 10 shillings each into the kitty for the first try scorer. Or at least that was what was meant to happen.
 
In the end, only 29 players coughed up, as the Cardiff and Wales outside half Cliff Morgan revealed in his autobiography.
 
"Our opening game was against Western Transvaal at Potchefstroom. To avoid the worst of the heat we kicked off at four in the afternoon on a ground that was set like concrete," Morgan wrote.
 
"Although we were living on only five shillings pocket money a day, we decided to put ten shillings each into a kitty which would go to the player who scored our first try. The chance came to me in the second minute of the game.
 
"I took the ball behind a 10-yard scrum, went on the blind side, sold a dummy and dived over to score. So I took the kitty – or almost all of it.
 
"Cecil Pedlow, the Irish wing who was outside me, reckoned that I should have passed the ball and given him the honour, so he refused to pay up. Cecil did get a try of his own soon afterwards, and we were looking pretty good at that moment."
 
In the end, though, Western Transvaal got two dropped-goals and a penalty and the Lions lost 9-6. They would only lose one more game in their next 15 and ended up drawing the series 2-2, with Pedlow and Morgan among the try scorers again the epic 23-22 first Test victory in Johannesburg.

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