Waratahs clash closing in

by Staff Writer

The clock is ticking and Wednesday this week marked 200 days to go to one of the biggest non-Test matches on next year's British & Irish Lions tour to Australia, against the NSW Waratahs.

The first game played by the Lions on Aussie soil was against New South Wales at the Association Cricket Ground on 2 June, 1888. The Lions, led by England international Robert Seddon, won 18-2 with six tries in all, including two from Walter Bumby.

It cost one shilling to get into the ground and two shillings and sixpence extra to sit in the stand. There was a crowd of up to 18,000 at the game, including the Governor of New South Wales, Lord Carrington.

That was the first of three wins over NSW on that tour and, in total, Seddon’s side played seven matches in Sydney, winning five and drawing two – the two draws coming against Past and Present Schools XVs.

The Lions were big winners in Sydney in 2001, overpowering the Waratahs 41-24 in a game of nine tries, and they haven’t lost to New South Wales since 1959.

The Lions’ overall record against the NSW Waratahs is: P20 W15 D1 L4. There were 11 wins in a row on the tours of 1888, 1899, 1904 and 1908 until New South Wales triumphed 6-3 on 22 August, 1908.

The other home wins in the fixture came in 1930, 28-3, in 1950, 17-12, and in 1959, 18-14. The 6-6 draw came in 1966.

The side the Lions face next June will be coached by former Heineken Cup winning boss Michael Cheika and will be packed full of Wallaby squad members, but can they post a fifth win over the Lions?

No other Australian province has beaten the Lions as many times. In fact, the Waratahs are only one win behind the Australian national team in victories over the Lions in exactly the same number of matches.

The 2013 game against NSW Waratahs is at the Allianz Stadium on Saturday, 15 June. The other game the Lions will play in Sydney will be the third and final Test against the Wallabies on 6 July at the 83,500 capacity ANZ Stadium, the main venue for the 2000 Olympic Games.

NSW Waratahs v British & Irish Lions

1888

NSW 2, Lions 18

NSW 6, Lions 18

NSW 2, Lions 16

1899

NSW 3, Lions 4

NSW 5, Lions 11

1904

NSW 0, Lions 27

NSW 6, Lions 29

NSW 0, Lions 5

1908

NSW 0, Lions 3

NSW 0, Lions 8

NSW 6, Lions 3

1930

NSW 10, Lions 29

NSW 28, Lions 3

1950

NSW 6, Lions 22

NSW 17, Lions 12

1959

NSW 18, Lions 14

1966

NSW 6, Lions 6

1971

NSW 12, Lions 14

1989

NSW 21, Lions 23

2001

NSW 24, Lions 41

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