Planet Rugby

The British & Irish Lions


The stats ahead of Sydney

04th July 2013 17:39


ANZ Stadium

The setting: ANZ Stadium

We give you some interesting stats going into the Sydney showdown between Australia and the Lions.

Historical Notes

This will be the 23rd Test played between sides representing the British Isles and Australia since the inaugural game, which Australia won 13 points to 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, on the 1899 tour. The 'Lions' bounced back to win that series, three Tests to one.

With the current series square to date, the overall historical tally stands at 16 wins for British and Irish Lions teams and six for Australia.

In five of those 16 defeats, Australia was held scoreless.

This is the third consecutive series between Australia and the British Lions which has gone to a deciding third Test. In each of the 1989 and 2001 instances, the side which dropped the opening game rallied to win the series.

The Lions' 29-13 success in the opening Test of 2001 did not lead to a series victory, with Australia recovering to win the final two games in Melbourne and Sydney.

Four of the six Tests won by Australia against the Lions have been claimed in Sydney, although the tourists still hold the overall advantage from games played in the city, having been successful on nine occasions.

Three of the 13 previous Tests in Sydney have been decided by the margin of a single point.

George Smith, who returns after a four-year absence from the Test arena, featured in the 2001 Test in Sydney where Australia beat the Lions 29-23 to claim that series.

Australia v British and Irish Lions in Sydney

1899: Australia 13-3 British and Irish Lions
1899: British and Irish Lions 11-0 Australia
1899: British and Irish Lions 11-10 Australia
1899: British and Irish Lions 13-0 Australia
1904: British and Irish Lions 17-0 Australia
1904: British and Irish Lions 16-0 Australia
1930: Australia 6-5 British and Irish Lions
1950: British and Irish Lions 24-3 Australia
1959: British and Irish Lions 24-3 Australia
1966: British and Irish Lions 11-8 Australia
1989: Australia 30-12 British and Irish Lions
1989: British and Irish Lions 19-18 Australia
2001: Australia 29-23 British and Irish Lions

Referee Notes - Romain Poite (France)

Age: 38
Tests: 24

Romain Poite has refereed Australia on four previous occasions in Tests; most recently last year in London when the Wallabies beat England 20-14 at Twickenham to regain the Cook Cup.

He first encountered the Wallabies in 2009, officiating in a 31-8 win over Italy at Canberra.

Poite was in charge when Scotland edged Australia 9-8 at Edinburgh in 2009, and then again during another one-point nail-biter a year later as England pipped Australia 21-20 at ANZ Stadium. The latter evening represents his only previous experience officiating in Australia, and is an occasion he still cites as one of the favourite involvements of his career to date.

France's highest ranked referee, Poite has conducted the last two Top 14 Finals and took charge of two matches in this year's Six Nations Championship. He also held the whistle when Australia beat the Barbarians by a record 60-11 at Twickenham in 2011.

A former investigator in the French state police, Poite first officiated in the Top 14 in 2004.

ANZ Stadium - Background Notes

Was introduced as a Test venue in 1999 when it became the fifth venue to host Test matches in Sydney following on from the Sydney Showground, the Sydney Cricket Ground, Concord Oval and the Sydney Football Stadium.

Was the home of the 2000 Sydney Olympics (for which the stadium was constructed), and also hosted the opening game, semi-finals, the Bronze Final and the 2003 Rugby World Cup Final.

Has also been the home venue to the NRL rugby league grand final since 1999.

Crowds of over 100,000 attended the first two Bledisloe Cup Tests at the venue in 1999 and 2000.

ANZ Stadium hosted the deciding Test on the last Lions tour in 2001, when Australia came from a match down to win the series, claiming the final game 29-23 in Sydney.

Australia has played 31 previous Tests at ANZ Stadium for 22 wins and nine defeats.

Six of the nine Australian defeats at the ground have been inflicted by New Zealand, with the two teams having shared the spoils six-apiece from the 12 previous trans-Tasman Tests hosted at the venue. Game 13 between the pair at ANZ Stadium will be played to kick-off the second edition of the Rugby Championship on August 17.

England (twice) and Samoa are the other teams to have beaten Australia at ANZ Stadium.

The Wallabies have won just once from their last six at the ground - with three of the defeats being conceded by one-point: to New Zealand in 2009 and 2010, and England earlier in 2010.

For three consecutive Tests through 2009 and 2010, Matt Giteau was the only Australian player to score points in Tests at ANZ Stadium. Giteau scored 22 against France and 18 against New Zealand in 1999, and then 20 against England in 2010. The sequence was finally broken when James O'Connor scored Australia's opening try, 15 minutes into the Bledisloe Cup Test later in 2010. Just for good measure, Giteau signed off with 18 points in his final Test appearance at ANZ Stadium, during the 2011 loss to Samoa.