Fitzgerald's Lions secure perfect preparation
Ciaran Fitzgerald led his Lions to victory on this day in 1983 © Getty Images
It was the only time in history the Lions played Manawatu, when the north islanders were in their pomp. The Lions won 25-18 but it was an acrimonious battle as the Lions complained of being kicked, trampled on and hit off-the-ball.
Ciaran Fitzgerald and Iain Paxton had head wounds, and Graham Price had stud marks on his back. The match was played in strong winds and Manawatu scored first when Matene Love kicked a dropped goal and Finlay also did later in the half. Olly Campbell also dropped a goal for the Lions and at half-time the home side were leading 9-3.
The Lions turned on the style in the second-half when they scored three tries to Manawatu's one. Trevor Ringland got two and Iain Paxton one for the visitors but Manawatu fullback, Mark Finlay, performed the rare feat of scoring in all four ways - try, conversion, penalty and drop goal.
Guy Easterby and Justin Bishop answered tries from James Dalton and Kenny Logan to put Ireland 12-10 ahead before a David Humphries penalty and a Shane Horgan try gave the home side a 20-10 half-time lead. Ireland maintained that 10-point lead until the 65th minute when Terblanche broke through the cover for the first of two late tries. Humphries had a chance to give Ireland victory with an injury-time penalty but missed the target.
Across the Irish Sea, meanwhile, Munster defeated Leinster 19-9 in the RaboDirect PRO12 Grand Final at Thomond Park. Doug Howlett and Keith Earls both crossed for the victors, who also forced a late penalty try as they denied their provincial rivals a league and Heineken Cup double. Leinster, just seven days on from being crowned champions of Europe after a stunning come-from-behind win over Northampton Saints, managed just three penalties from Jonathan Sexton.
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