Hastings' Lions fall at final hurdle
Gavin Hastings swaps shirts with John Timu after the series defeat in 1993 © Getty Images
Gavin Hastings's Lions lost 13-30 to the All Blacks in series deciding third Test in Auckland. In what was the final Lions Test of the amateur era, the tourists led 10-0 early on but were blitzed in the second-half. Kiwi captain Sean Fitzpatrick was ungracious in victory. "It wasn't an enjoyable series. The Lions were negative in the first two Tests but our desperation was greater than theirs." Hastings was more upbeat. "We don't feel we've let anyone down …we've contributed an awful lot to world rugby. The tour also ended against a backdrop of doubt about the future of Lions tours with fears the new World Cup would kill them.
In only the second match of the New Zealand leg of their tour, the Springboks were thumped 23-6 by Wellington in front of 38,000 spectators at Athletic Park. Full-back Mick Williment was the chief tormentor, scoring 14 points with the boot - the first a 40-metre drop-goal - and journalist Terry McLean noted "the Wellington team bashed the Springboks with power in the forwards and precision in the team play." Trailing 17-3 at the break, the tourists never look like getting back into a match played in bitter cold.
As part of the first Lions tour the visitors undertook 19 Aussie Rules matches in Victoria and South Australia. In the third such game the tourists were beaten by Port Melbourne on the East Melbourne Cricket Ground by seven goals and 15 behinds to six goals, 11 behinds.
The Springboks were rampant at Brisbane's Exhibition Ground where they disposed of a strong Australian XV 36-3 in front of a capacity crowd of 25,000. Louis Babrow and Freddie Turner each scored try hat-tricks and Gerry Brand landed six conversions for the tourists. The Cairns Post rather sniffily said it was "not the kind of game to live long in the memory" as "the play was too one-sided to be of quality".
The French opened their tour of New Zealand with a disappointing 24-19 defeat by Marlborough at Landsdowne Park in Blenheim. A near-capacity crowd expected the French to be too strong but their handling was sloppy and slowly Marlborough opened up a lead; midway through the second half they were 24-11 ahead before a late French rally.
Tom Kiernan's Lions scored a good 22-19 win over Northern Transvaal at Loftus Versfeld. Ken Goodall, flown out to replace the injured Barry John, last only one match before he was also ruled out as a result of a broken arm sustained in the game.