Controversial Fox kick devastates Lions
Fox's controversial kick won the All Blacks the First Test
© Getty Images
A cruel last-minute penalty decision against the Lions gave All Black Grant Fox the chance to kick the goal that won the opening Test, 20-18, in Christchurch. The Lions got off to a poor start, conceding a controversial try inside two minutes as Ieuan Evans and Frank Bunce both landed over the tryline claiming possession of Fox's high kick. The Lions battled back to play some excellent rugby in the second half and took an 18-17 lead with a minute to play thanks to six Gavin Hastings penalties, only for New Zealand to win 20-18 with a highly controversial penalty from Fox.
A row erupted after New Zealand's selectors decided not to pick any Maori players for the tour of South Africa. Even though the South African board had left the composition of the team to the New Zealanders, the NZRFU claimed the decision was "in the best interests of the Maoris". The debate rumbled on … and on.
New Zealand gave coach Graham Henry the perfect start to his reign as England suffered a heavy 36-3 loss at Dunedin's 'House of Pain.' The All Blacks cut the world champions to pieces with a stunning first-half display which saw them go into the break 30-3 up thanks to tries from Carlos Spencer, Doug Howlett and Joe Rokocoko. Daniel Carter kicked 21 points as the All Blacks cruised to a commanding win which was their first success against the English since the 1999 World Cup. "We looked slow and lethargic we were a yard slower than the team in black," said England coach Sir Clive Woodward. "We looked tired and were not our usual selves. We lost fair and square and made errors we don't normally make."
Jacques Fouroux's France beat the USA Eagles 33-14 in a full Test in Chicago. Jean-Pierre Romeu contributes 25 points. The win was ample revenge for the French who were beaten 17-3 in the Olympic Games final of 1924 when the sides had last met.
England centre Mike Weston was the Lions' Man of the Match in their 14-6 defeat of South-West Africa in Windhoek scoring a try, a conversion and penalty goal.
England full-back Bob Hiller kicked four goals to steer the Lions to a 25-5 win in a mid-week fixture against the North-West Cape at Upington.
The Lions beat Otago 21-9 to record the first win by a British/Irish team over the province since 1930. In only his fifth match in the country, Barry John reached 78 points, a new record for a Lion in New Zealand.