Scotland Wales Northern Ireland
BBC Homepage feedback | low graphics version
BBC Sport Online
You are in: In Depth: Lions Down Under  
Front Page 
Rugby Union 
Rugby League 
Other Sports 
Sports Talk 
In Depth 
Photo Galleries 
TV & Radio 
BBC Pundits 
Question of Sport 
Funny Old Game 

Around The Uk

BBC News

BBC Weather

banner Monday, 2 July, 2001, 12:07 GMT 13:07 UK
Controversy in the camp

BBC Sport Online's roving fan Mark Webster and his motley band of Lions supporters offer the Aussies some much needed advice.

As the team assembled at 0900 GMT in the airport bar, all national prejudices were set-aside over a few large gin and tonics.

The Australian psychological warfare started early when our flight was delayed. Right from the outset they seemed determined to make sure we missed the first Test.

The management unrelentingly forced us to immediately embark on a rigorous training session through the bars of Sydney
Even our attempts to smash David Boon's long haul drinking record were thwarted as the airline mysteriously 'ran out' of Victoria Bitter.

On arrival in Sydney, team morale suffered another blow with the news that we had missed our connection to Surfer's Paradise and would be forced to spend the night in Sydney.

It wasn't easy. Even after a gruelling 27-hour trip, the management unrelentingly forced us to immediately embark on a rigorous training session through the bars of Sydney.

Finding the regime too arduous, two key team members went AWOL only to reappear the next day minutes before the Gold Coast flight.

Management accepted the players' apologies for their late arrival and insisted the matter would be dealt with internally. Case closed.

First casualty

During the mid air training session, the first tour casualty occurred as Dave 'Chunder Monster' Campbell broke down and was forced to occupy the toilet for the duration of the flight.

"I am not feeling too clever at the moment, but I am confident I will be fit for the first Test," he later told the awaiting media.

"Unfortunately, John Eales and Co failed to show for the 0300 start"
After a brief stop at the hotel we headed straight for the Gabba to begin our pre-match warm up.

The mood in the Aussie camp was overconfident. The level of Lions support clearly shook the Wallabies, as the game developed into a home fixture for the men in red.

Our early efforts to break down national rivalries had been successful, as Mark 'Diamond Geezer' Webster launched into Bread of Heaven and Phil 'Braveheart' Richardson relished with gusto the melodies of Swing Low Sweet Chariot.

As the annihilation began, the sea of red totally drowned the fading Wallaby army, as try after try took the atmosphere to unprecedented heights, and total strangers became best friends.

Paul 'Seamus O'Reilly' Curran, a veteran of several previous tours later sobbed, "This is the greatest day of my life, I love you all."

After the boys on the park had done their bit, it was our turn to take centre stage and the singing and dancing continued long into the Brisbane night.

'Bob Dire'

As the players surfaced the next day, fortunately injuries were limited to bad heads and sore throats.

At the morning press conference, Bob Dire bleated "Lions - more like Cheaters! Did you see the way Robinson violently trampled the grass as he rounded Latham for the first try?

"And O'Driscoll blatantly failed to stop after he ran through our entire team. If they're going to be like that, I'm not playing anymore."

Having spotted a flaw in the Aussie game, we decided to organise a line out training session.

Unfortunately, John Eales and Co failed to show for the 0300 start outside Shooters Bar in Surfer's Paradise.

We persevered nonetheless, and with the kind assistance of the Queensland Police Sport Photography Unit produced our very own training guide (shown above).

It should make the second Test more of a challenge for the Mighty Lions at least.

Search BBC Sport Online
Advanced search options
Links to top Lions Down Under stories are at the foot of the page.

Links to other Lions Down Under stories

^^ Back to top