TEST DRAWN AT DUNEDIN
BRILLIANT PLAY BY KYLE
The British Isles Rugby team surprised its most enthusiastic supporters with a greatly improved display when it played a drawn game in the first Test against New Zealand at Carisbrook.
On the run of the play the British Isles Team was unlucky not to win. Each side scored two tries and kicked a penalty goal.
The weather was almost perfect and the ground in excellent order. The crowd was estimated at 35,000.
The display by the NZ team for three quarters of the game was most disappointing. Only in the last 20 minutes did the forwards ruck as they are expected to in New Zealand. It was then that the backs began to handle surely and run determinedly.
The British forwards, who had been soundly beaten by Otago, showed renewed vigour. It was the backs, however, on whom the British team’s success turned and as a combination they were superior to the New Zealand backs.
The first halve
Eight minutes after the start, Robins opened the scoring with a good goal from 40 yards out. The kick-off was marked by Mullen, who gained a good stretch of ground, and the British Isles backs had the crowd on its toes with a good bout of passing by Preece, Macdonald and Matthews, which badly beat several New Zealand backs before a knock-on spoilt the movement. A penalty saved New Zealand when the British Isles backs and forwards attacked.
Beatty went round on the blind side, but his kick was charged down, and from a penalty Robins had a shot from 40 yards out, the ball going just outside the posts.
Johnstone and Meates almost scored after following up fast. Twice in succession Preece intercepted Beatty’s pass and Preece and Jones narrowly missed a try, Meates saving by putting out the ball.
In two passing rushes the New Zealand backs went away in a style that promised results. Bevan sent to Beatty and Elvidge, the latter being well tackled by Matthews and when play swung back across the field, Jones effectively stopped Cherrington with a fine tackle. There was more passing, and Beatty kicked instead of sending out to Meates, who was in a scoring position. Roper dropped Matthews with a good tackle and the British Isles were in trouble when Macdonald slipped as he was taking the ball.
Scott earned applause for clever handling and a long kick. At half-time the British Isles led by 3 point to 0.
The Second Spell
Early in the second half, Elvidge dropped two easy passes and he made another error, when in passing rush sent a bad pass to Roper. After the British Isles had gained ground by quick breaks from the line-outs, Cherrington made a poor attempt to take an awkward pass from Roper. Kyle who had been playing well, capped his efforts when he took a short punt from Bevan. He went through a gap in the New Zealand backs and raced for the line with Scott and Cherrington converging on him. Kyle fooled them both and scored wide out. The kick missed.
Cherrington picked up a rolling ball and raced to the open, set the backs going, but Roper spoilt a good chance by holding on too long in an attempt to break through. Cherrington next got the side into trouble when he sent a wild kick towards his own goal-line, only the cleverness of Scott saving the position.
Robins and Clifford for the British Isles and Simpson, Skinner and Johnstone for New Zealand, led the hard forward rushes without result, and only brilliant work by cleaver stopped a try when Roper cut through and centre kicked.
The New Zealand backs opened up a passing rush in which Bevan, Beatty, Elvidge and Roper handled, Roper cutting in ‘in fine style’ to open New Zealand’s scoring with a try.
The whistle called Jones back after he seemed on the way to a try after snapping up a ball that Elvidge had knocked on. Evans retired to the side-line with an injury, and soon afterwards Kyle raced through a gap in the New Zealand line: when blocked, he sent a long kick to the corner flag and Ken Jones scored.
Clifford was ruled offside, and Scott kicked a penalty goal. Scott narrowly missed another shot and Kyle gained 30 yards with a tricky run and kick. With six minutes to go. Bevan worked the blindside and Elvidge shot up to take a pass and make a beeline through the British backs. He scored a fine try. Scott’s kick failed.
Beatty, Bevan, Elvidge and Roper were working well together, but failed to pierce the defence, and there was no further score.
Only 15 penalty kicks were given. 9 to Britain and 6 to New Zealand.
There were 106 line-outs during the game, in which the British Isles had a slight advantage.
At least 40 scrums of which New Zealand held control.
New Zealand: 9
Elvidge (try), Roper (try), Scott (penalty)
British Lions: 9
Robins (penalty), Jones (1 try), Kyle (1 try)
Eric Tindill (Wellington)
R.W.H Scott, W.A Meates, R.A Roper, N.P Cherrington, R.R Elvidge (Captain), G.E Beatty, V.D Bevan, P.A Johnstone, J.R McNab, L.R Harvey, R.A White, P.J.B Crowley, J.G Simpson, A.M Hughes, K.L Skinner
W.B Cleaver, K.J Jones, J Matthews, I Preece, R Macdonald, J.W Kyle, A.W Black, P.W Kininmonth, J.W McKay, D.J Hayward, E.R John, R.T Evans, J.T Clifford, K.D Mullen (Captain), J.D Robins
1950 British Lions Tour Scrapbook