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Friday, 27 April, 2001, 16:53 GMT 17:53 UK
Return to scenes of glory
Nick Farr-Jones (l) and Robert Jones
Robert Jones in action against Australia in 1989
The Australian rugby union team will get the chance to avenge one of their longest-standing Test losses when the Lions tour there again this summer.

It is 12 years since the sides last met and the Lions walked away victorious, but times have changed - this time they take on the World Champions.

It seems almost incomprehensible now to think that until 1989 the Lions only played the Wallabies to warm up for what was then seen as the tougher challenge in New Zealand.

  British Lions v Australia
1930: Australia 6-5
1950: Lions 19-6; Lions 24-3
1959: Lions 17-6; Lions 24-3
1966: Lions 11-8; Lions 31-0
1989: Australia 30-12; Lions 19-12; Lions 19-18

In fact, the sides had only officially met on seven occasions before 1989 and the Lions lost just once.

But Australian rugby came of age in the 1980s.

The side whitewashed the home nations on a tour to Britain in 1984 and followed that up by crushing England in two Tests in 1988, so a full-blown Lions tour was perhaps just reward.

Evidence of their strength was obvious from the opening weeks of the 1989 tour, as the tourists scraped through their first major provincial matches.

Wallabies romped home

They beat Queensland by just four points, 19-15 and New South Wales by 23-21.

But it was still a confident Lions side which ran out for the first Test at the Sydney Football Stadium, although over-confidence was probably their downfall.

The forwards failed to dominate, they struggled at set pieces and they allowed the now-legendary half back pairing of Michael Lynagh and Nick Farr-Jones to run amok.

Australia ran in four tries to one and romped home to a 30-12 victory.

The stunned Lions had plenty of soul-searching to do and it was a more focussed side which turned out at Ballymore in Brisbane the following week for the second Test.


Coach Ian McGeechan made five changes. Wade Dooley and Mike Teague came into the forwards, while Rob Andrew, Scott Hastings and Jeremy Guscott made up an entirely new midfield.

Revenge was a must but their ferocious approach saw the game digress into an ill-tempered and violent affair, which was slammed for days after by the Australian media.

However, for all the criticism, it was a gutsy effort by Lions.

They regained their dominance up front while Welshman Robert Jones at scrum-half and Andrew outside him, directed the back line just like their counterparts had done in the first Test.

All this said, the match was only won in the last five minutes.

Down 12-6 at the break, an Andrew penalty took it to 12-9 before some concerted forward pressure and superb tactical kicking by Jones brought two decisive tries from Gavin Hastings and Jeremy Guscott. The match was won 19-12.

That pass
Ieuan Evans and David Campese
Evans was tasked with keeping 'Campo in check

While many will recall the final Test in Sydney as an exciting match in which the Lions forwards once again dominated, there was really only one moment that will be forever etched in the memory.

The result hinged on a moment of madness by the otherwise rugby genius that is David Campese.

Now commonly referred to as "that pass", Campese decided to try and run the ball out from his own try line and threw a calamitous pass to the unsuspecting Greig Martin.

Ieuan Evans, who had been tasked with keeping Campo in check, pounced and scored to give the Lions the lead.

Both sides kicked another two penalties each before the close but it was in the end the decisive try.

It saw the Lions win by a point 19-18 - enough to clinch the series.

But 2001 is a whole new ball game - Australia are not only world champions now but they will still be reeling from that loss to England in November - revenge will be their only aim.

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