Sport Rugby

Thursday 14 December 2017

Flashback to 2001: Lions bloodied but unbowed after McRae sparks brutal war

The Lions will face the New South Wales Waratahs for the 21st time today and currently lead 15-4 overall, with one draw in 1966.

However it is the memory of their last meeting, in 2001, which remains the most notorious.

The hosts had made their intentions plain inside the opening five seconds when Tom Bowman was yellow-carded for his forearm smash into the nose of the Lions captain, Martin Johnson.

Referee Scott Young managed to keep a lid on things until the second half before all hell broke loose.

Duncan McRae's brutal assault on Ronan O'Gara kicked off a series of punch-ups that led to Brendan Cannon, Cameron Blades, Phil Vickery and Danny Grewcock being sent to the sin bin after the intervention of touch judge Stu Dickenson.

With McRae dismissed, a game of 13 against 12 ensued for a 10-minute period midway through the half, with the Lions ultimately prevailing 41-24.

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