Class of 2013 can stand tall

So how good were the 2013 British & Irish Lions in comparison to their predecessors? They were only the ninth team in 29 Lions tours to win a series of three of more Tests and ended a 16 year long wait for a series win. [more]

Class of 2013 can stand tall

So how good were the 2013 British & Irish Lions in comparison to their predecessors? They were only the ninth team in 29 Lions tours to win a series of three of more Tests and ended a 16 year long wait for a series win.

 

They bucked the recent trend in Australia by winning the first Test and the series – in 1989 and 2001 the team that won the opening international went on to lose the series – and they became the seventh Lions side to beat the Wallabies.

Their record of eight wins in 10 games gave them an 80% success rate on tour – the 12th highest winning per centage of 29 tours – but they managed the second highest aggregate of points per game and the fifth highest try ratio per game.

In the Test series they cracked the 2009 high of an average of 24.66 points per game with a record 26.33 and their third Test score of 41 points added 10 to the previous best recorded by Mike Campbell- Lamerton’s 1966 tourists against Australia in Brisbane.

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Tries were only worth three points 47 years ago, but even at five per try the 1966 side would only have matched the 41 points. Sam Warburton’s men’s 79 points in the three Test series also matched the great side of 1974.

Willie John McBride’s unbeaten squad marched through South Africa unbeaten in 1974, winning the series 3-0 with the fourth and final Test drawn. They scored 79 points in four Tests at an average of 19.75 points per game.

The 2013 Lions scored 79 points in three Tests at an average of 26.33 points. Even with the extra point for a try the Class of ’74 would have been well short of the 2013 tourists’ Test average.

Plenty, then, for the head coach Warren Gatland and his players to feel proud about as they reflect on the 125th anniversary tour by the Lions. And what if Leigh Halfpenny had kicked that 55 metre penalty in the last seconds of the second test in Melbourne?

LIONS TEAM POINTS AND TRIES ON TOUR

 
Tour Points Tries Per Game Test Pts Test Tries Per Test Win %
1888 300 (35) 120 8.57 / 3.43 NA NA NA 77
1891 226 (20) 91 11.3 / 4.55 11 (3 v SA) 4 2.75 / 1.33 100
1896 310 (21) 65 14.76 / 3.09 34 (4 v SA) 6 8.5 / 1.5 90.5
1899 333 (21) 64 15.85 / 3.04 38 (4 v Aus) 9 9.5 / 2.25 85.7
1903 229 (22) 48 10.40 / 2.18 10 (3 v SA) 2 3.33 / 0.66 50
1904 284 (19) 51 14.94 / 2.68 50 (3 v Aus 10 16.66 / 3.33 84.2
        3 (1 v NZ) 0 3 / 0  
1908 323 (26) 78 12.42 / 3 8 (3 v NZ) 2 2.66 / 0.66 61.5
1910 290 (24) 68 12.08 / 2.83 23 (3 v SA) 5 7.66 / 1.66 54
1924 176 (21) 43 8.38 / 2.04 15 (4 v SA) 4 3.75 / 1 38
1930 624 (28) 126 22.28 / 4.5 34 (4 v NZ) 7 8.5 / 1.75 71.4
        5 (1 v Aus) 1 5 / 1  
1938 414 (24) 79 17.25 / 3.29 36 (3 v SA) 5 12 / 1.66 70.8
1950 570 (29) 111 19.65 / 3.82 20 (4 v NZ) 3 5 / 0.75 75.9
        43 (2 v Aus) 7 21.5 / 3.5  
1955 457 (25) 105 18.28 / 4.2 49 (4 v SA) 10 12.25 / 2.5 76
1959 842 (33) 165 25.51 / 5 41 (2 v Aus) 7 20.5 / 3.5 81.8
        42 (4 v NZ) 9 10.5 / 2.25  
1962 401 (25) 73 16.04 / 2.92 20 (4 v SA) 4 5 / 1 64
1966 524 (35) 98 14.97 / 2.8 42 (2 v Aus) 7 21 / 3.5 65.7
        32 (4 v NZ) 4 8 / 1  
1968 377 (20) 55 18.85 / 2.75 38 (4 v SA) 1 9.5 / 0.25 75
1971 580 (26) 95 19.23 / 3.65 48 (4 v NZ) 6 12 / 1.5 88.5
1974 729 (22) 107 33.13 / 4.86 79 (4 v SA) 10 19.75 / 2.5 95.5
1977 607 (26) 83 23.34 / 3.19 41 (4 v NZ) 3 10.25 / 0.75 80.8
1980 401 (18) 47 22.27 / 2.61 68 (4 v SA) 7 17 / 1.75 83.3
1983 478 (18) 58 26.55 / 3.22 26 (4 v NZ) 2 6.5 / 0.5 66.7
1989 360 (12) 50 30 / 4.16 50 (3 v Aus) 3 16.66 / 1 91.7
1993 314 (13) 33 24.15 / 2.53 51 (3 v NZ) 2 17 / 0.66 53.8
1997 480 (13) 56 36.92 / 4.30 59 (3 v SA) 3 19.66 / 1 84.6
2001 452 (10) 58 45.2 / 5.8 66 (3 v Aus) 7 22 / 2.33 70
2005 353 (13) 19 27.15 / 3 25 (1 v Arg) 1 25 / 1 63.6
        40 (3 v NZ) 3 13.33 / 1  
2009 319 910) 34 31.9 / 3.4 74 (3 v SA) 7 24.66 / 2.33 63.6
2013 387 (10) 44 38.7 / 4.4 79 (3 v Aus) 6 26.33 / 2 80
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