History not in British & Irish Lions’ favour after defeat

British and Irish Lions players line up to shake hands with New Zealand All Black players after their Test match between New Zealand and the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland on June 24, 2017. Picture: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
British and Irish Lions players line up to shake hands with New Zealand All Black players after their Test match between New Zealand and the British and Irish Lions at Eden Park in Auckland on June 24, 2017. Picture: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images
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The British and Irish Lions have been beaten 30-15 by New Zealand in the first Test in Auckland and history suggests it will be difficult for Warren Gatland’s tourists to bounce back.

How the opening match has shaped past Lions series:

Dejected Lions fans look on following their team's 30-15 defeat during the first test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park on June 24, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

Dejected Lions fans look on following their team's 30-15 defeat during the first test match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the British & Irish Lions at Eden Park on June 24, 2017 in Auckland, New Zealand. Picture: David Rogers/Getty Images

:: There have been 28 previous Lions Tours on which official Tests were played, and 33 series in all - on five occasions, the Lions visited Australia and New Zealand in combined tours.

:: The result of the first Test has matched that of the series on all but eight occasions.

:: Three of those exceptions came when the first Test was drawn - against South Africa in 1903, New Zealand in 1950 and South Africa again in 1962.

:: Only twice in the last 87 years has a team lost the opener and recovered to win the series - Australia in 2001, after the Lions won the opener 29-13, and the Lions themselves after losing the first Test 30-12 on their previous encounter with the Wallabies in 1989. Ieuan Evans’ try and five Gavin Hastings penalties earned a 19-18 win in the decider.

:: Before that, the most recent occasion was in 1930 when the Lions opened with a 6-3 triumph over the All Blacks but lost the four-match series 3-1.

:: The 1989 series was the first time in 90 years that the Lions had won a series after falling behind - they overcame an opening 13-3 loss to beat Australia 3-1 in 1899.

:: The only drawn series occurred in 1962 in South Africa, when the Lions opened with a 23-22 win but had to share the series 2-2.

:: Twice, Lions ‘series’ have consisted of just a solitary match - against New Zealand in 1904 and Australia in 1930 during combined tours of the two nations.

:: In addition there have been two unofficial tours of Argentina, with the Lions winning all four Tests in 1927 and a one-off match in 1936. England also toured the South American country in 1910, winning their only Test with a squad containing three Scottish players which was in some quarters branded as ‘Combined British Isles’, at the same time as the Lions’ trip to South Africa.

:: The Lions’ record also includes the inaugural 1888 tour to New Zealand and Australia, which featured no Tests and several games of Australian rules football, and a home defeat to a Rest of the World XV in 1986.

(All data from www.lionsrugby.com)