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banner Friday, 27 April, 2001, 12:53 GMT 13:53 UK
Victory at last in NZ
All Blacks v the Lions
One of the many Lions tests played in New Zealand
New Zealand 3-13 Lions
Third Test 1971

The Lions had won the first Test in Dunedin, by kicking their way to a 9-3 victory, but the All Blacks replied with vigour in Christchurch, destroying the visitors 22-12.

So it was all-square going into the third Test in Wellington - this would be the true measure of the Lions side, which until the second Test had been unbeaten in New Zealand in 14 games.

Willie-John McBride, the most capped British Lion, remembers the game with pride.

"In the first 25 minutes we played some superb rugby and by half time we'd built up a reasonable lead, as it was in those days.

"We then hung on in the second half when New Zealand threw everything at us."

The Lions had indeed put on a commanding 13-0 lead by the break, thanks mostly to Gareth Edwards, who many believe had one of his finest matches for the Lions ever that day.
Willie John McBride
McBride was the most capped Lion

Consolation try

Edwards' great Welsh and Cardiff half-back partner Barry John put the Lions ahead with a drop goal after three minutes. Edwards was again in the fore finding the gap and putting Gerald Davies through in the corner.

Another typical burst by Edwards from the back of the line-out, saw a hand-off a quick pass out to John to score.

The All Blacks tried to drag it back but the Lions defence held fast and a Laurie Mains try was the only consolation for the beaten Kiwis.

The Lions went on to draw the last match in Auckland, so the third Test was generally seen as the decider.

For McBride, becoming the first Lions team to win a series in New Zealand was a moment he says "he will always cherish."

"The great All Black Colin Meads once said that we believed in fairytales, we thought we could go out and beat the All Blacks and we didn't have a hope.

"He was quite right. We never really believed we could do it but in 1971 for the first time we believed we could beat them - and we did."

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See also:

 |  Lions Down Under
Against all odds
 |  Lions Down Under
All Blacks exact revenge
 |  Lions Down Under
The pass that won the series
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