History points in Geech’s favour

Ian McGeechan knows all about having to hit back after losing a first Test with the British & Irish Lions. [more]

History points in Geech’s favour

Ian McGeechan knows all about having to hit back after losing a first Test with the British & Irish Lions.

The canny Scot masterminded revenge wins over the 1989 Wallabies and 1993 All Blacks after seeing his sides slip to defeat in the opening Test. And in 1989 he was able to win the series 2-1.

In fact, McGeechan has never lost a second Test match as a Lions player or head coach. His record of five wins out of five should give his players heart and belief as they head to Loftus Versfeld for Saturday’s must win game against the Springboks.

Both McGeechan and tour manager Gerald Davies have insisted that the series of three Tests should be looked at as a whole, rather than singling out the first game as being the most vital.

Now they will have to call on all of McGeechan’s powers to try to turn around the 26-21 defeat to the Boks in Durban last weekend. So, if you are looking for a few straws to clutch onto as the big game in Pretoria approaches, try some of these.


Ian McGeechan has never lost a second Test match as a Lions player or head coach. He was a winner as a player in 1974 and 1977 and as head coach in 1989, 1993 and 1997.


The Lions came from behind in 1989 to win the series against the Wallabies after losing the opening Test.


A French referee was in charge of the three second Test matches that Ian McGeechan won as a coach. There is a French official this weekend.


Ian McGeechan scored a drop goal as the Lions won in Pretoria in 1974, inflicting a record defeat on the Springboks, 28-9.


The Lions have won three of their four Test matches played at Loftus Versfeld.

Ian McGeechan has never lost a second Test with the Lions

Ian McGeechan’s second Test record as a British & Irish lions player and head coach:

Date: 22 June, 1974
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Series result: South Africa 0, Lions 3, 1 Draw

South Africa 9 British Lions 28
HT: 3-10 Attendance: 63,500

South Africa: I McCallum; C Pope, P Whipp, J Snyman, G Germishuys; G Bosch, P Bayvel; N Bezuidenhout, D Frederickson, H Marais [capt], K de Klerk, J Williams, M du Plessis, J Ellis, D MacDonald

Scorers: Pens: G Bosch 2; DG: G Bosch

Lions: JPR Williams; W Steele, I McGeechan, D Milliken, JJ Williams: P Bennett, G Edwards; I McLauchlan, R Windsor, F Cotton, G Brown, W McBride [capt], R Uttley, F Slattery, M Davies

Scorers: Tries: JJ Williams 2, P Bennett, G Brown, D Milliken; Con: P Bennett; Pen: P Bennett; DG: I McGeechan

Referee: Cas de Bruyn (South Africa)

Date: 9 July, 1977
Venue: Lancaster Park, Christchurch
Series result: New Zealand 3, Lions 1

New Zealand 9 British Lions 13
HT: 6-13 Attendance: 50,000

New Zealand: C Farrell; B Williams, B Osborne, M Taylor, L Jaffray; A McLellan, S Going; V Stewart, T Norton [capt], B Johnstone, A Haden, F Oliver, I Kirkpatrick, K Eveleigh, L Knight

Scorers: Pens: B Williams 3

Lions: A Irvine; JJ Williams, I McGeechan, S Fenwick, G Evans; P Bennett [capt], B Williams; F Cotton, P Wheeler, G Price, B Beaumont, G Brown, D Quinnell, T Cobner, W Duggan

Scorers: Try: J Williams; Pens: P Bennett 3

Referee: Brian Duffy (New Zealand)

McGeechan led the Lions to a series victory over the Wallabies in 1989

Date: 8 July, 1989
Venue: Ballymore, Brisbane
Series result: Australia 1, Lions 2

Australia 12 British Lions 19
HT: 12-6 Attendance: 20,525

Australia: G Martin; I Williams, L Walker, D Maguire, D Campese; M Lynagh, N Farr-Jones [capt]; M Hartill, T Lawton, D Crowley, B Campbell, S Cutler, S Tuynman, J Miller, S Gourley

Try: G Martin; Con: M Lynagh; Pens: M Lynagh 2

Lions: G Hastings; I Evans, S Hastings, J Guscott, R Underwood; R Andrew, R Jones; D Sole, B Moore, D Young, P Ackford, W Dooley, M Teague, F Calder [capt], D Richards

Scorers: Tries: J Guscott, G Hastings; Con: R Andrew; Pens: R Andrew, G Hastings; DG: R Andrew

Referee: Rene Hourquet (France)

McGeechan masterminded a second Test victory over the All Blacks in 1993

Date: 26 June, 1993
Venue: Athletic Park, Wellington
Series result: New Zealand 2, Lions 1

New Zealand 7 British Lions 20
HT: 7-9 Attendance: 39,000

New Zealand: J Timu, J Kirwan, F Bunce, E Clarke, I Tuigamala, G Fox, J Preston, C Dowd, S Fitzpatrick [capt], O Brown, R Brooke, M Cooksley, J Joseph, M Jones, Z Brooke

Scorers: Try: E Clarke; Con: G Fox
Lions: G Hastings [capt]; I Evans, J Guscott, S Gibbs, R Underwood; R Andrew, D Morris; N Popplewell, B Moore, J Leonard, M Johnson, M Bayfield, B Clarke, P Winterbottom, D Richards

Scorers: Try: R Underwood; Pens: G Hastings 4; DG: R Andrew

Referee: Patrick Robin (France)

Date: 28 June, 1997
Venue: Kings’s Park, Durban
Series result: South Africa 1, Lions 2

South Africa 15 British Lions 18
HT: 5-6 Attendance: 52,400

South Africa: A Joubert; A Snyman, P Montgomery, D van Schalkwyk, P Rossouw; H Honiball, J van der Westhuizen; O du Randt, N Drotske, A Garvey (D Theron 67), H Strydom, M Andrews, R Kruger (F van Heerden 50), A Venter, G Teichmann (F van Heerden 3-5, captain)

Scorers: Tries: P Montgomery, A Joubert, J van der Westhuizen
Lions: N Jenkins; J Bentley, S Gibbs, J Guscott, A Tait (A Healey 76); G Townsend, M Dawson; T Smith, K Wood, P Wallace, M Johnson [capt], J Davidson, L Dallaglio, R Hill (N Back 57), T Rodber (E Miller 76)

Scorers: Pens: N Jenkins 5; DG: J Guscott

Referee: Didier Mene (France)

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