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July 22 down the years
Unwelcome and under-fire Springboks start tour
High security before the start of the Springboks tour ...and things only got worse © Unknown

The Springboks opened a troubled tour of New Zealand with a 24-6 win against Poverty Bay in Gisborne. It was a series which had attracted considerable opposition for months before the side even arrived and although the government was called on to ban it in view of its commitments under the Gleneagles Agreement, they decided not to interfere due to their public position of "no politics in sport". Any hope the rugby could take place in an atmosphere close to normality ended in the first game as protesters managed to break through a fence. Although the game was not disrupted, some protesters were injured in chases with the police. Across the country there were more than 100 arrests in various protests against the tour which centred on attacking grounds where matches were scheduled to be played.

The Lions squared their series in Australia, winning the second Test 11-0 in the first international match ever staged in Brisbane. The Lions scored tries through Charlie Adamson, Gwyn Nicholls and Alan Smith in front of 15,000 fans at the Exhibition Ground. Australia's captain Mullineux dropped himself from the team for the rest of the tour, with Frank Stout taking the captain's role for the remaining tests. The decision by Matthew Mullineux, the instigator, planner, and manager of the British team, to replace himself with Charles Adamson after the first Test was seen as the tour's turning point.

Australia squared the series with South Africa with a thumping 21-6 Test win in Durban. Ron Biilmann landed three conversions and a penalty in the Wallabies' four tries to one success.

The first French Test on New Zealand soil ended in a 13-6 win for the All Blacks at Eden Park, Auckland. Winger Donald McKay and centre Terence O'Sullivan crossed for tries in front of a crowd of 60,000. The French led 6-5 at the break thanks to two drop goals but were much lighter in the pack and there was general credit for them having run the home side so close.

In one of their best tour performances Karl Mullen's Lions demolished Auckland 32-9, Lewis Jones contributing 17 points.

The Lions bounced back from their weekend Test disappointment, beating West Coast/Buller 58-3. English wings Peter Jackson and John Young each score four tries for the visitors.


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