New Zealand’s Dunedin has its place in Lions folklore

There are few more picturesque sights in New Zealand than the tree-clad hinterlands of Dunedin - and it's provided a fitting background for many legendary British & Irish Lions duels over the years. [more]

New Zealand’s Dunedin has its place in Lions folklore

There are few more picturesque sights in New Zealand than the tree-clad hinterlands of Dunedin – and it’s provided a fitting background for many legendary British & Irish Lions duels over the years.

The city itself is lies on the south-eastern coast of Otago, with the Forsyth Barr Stadium – opened in 2011 – just down the road from the region’s famous harbour.

Dunedin is also home to New Zealand’s oldest university and has felt like a home away from home for a certain number of the Lions’ contingent after initially being formed as a Scottish settlement in the 1840s.
 
The native Maori first settled down on the coast as far back as 1100 but the eventual gold rush attracted migrants from China to France.
 
Visitors can revel in the era’s Victorian and Edwardian architecture, while museums and gardens celebrate the city’s diversity.
 
And nestled between sea and foothills there is typically an abundance of wildlife, including the world’s only mainland albatross colony.

Forsyth Barr Stadium is home to Super Rugby’s Highlanders but to date the Lions have played all their Dunedin Tests at the now-demolished Carisbrook, an All Blacks fortress so revered it earned the moniker ‘The House of Pain’.
 
The Tourists can trace their history at the ground back to 1908 and New Zealand certainly inflicted a painful defeat, as a 23,000-strong crowd witnessed a 32-5 victory for the hosts.
 
However, the Lions exacted their revenge on their return more than two decades later, grabbing two tries to the All Blacks’ one in 1932 to secure a 6-3 victory.
 
Yet their most famous triumph at the venue came in 1971, as Scotland prop Ian ‘Mighty Mouse’ McLauchlan kicked off the Tour with a try to set up a 9-3 triumph and the Lions’ first-ever series win on New Zealand soil.
 
Fortunes since then has dipped after two successive defeats, the last of which was in New Zealand’s four-Test clean sweep in 1983. 
 

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