GREAT Britain started their tour in erratic fashion, beating Western Districts and Riverina, but losing to Newcastle and Sydney.
A crowd of 50,889 turned out for the Sydney match at the SCG, with Jack Doughty, a Souths Rabbitohs star, stealing the show in his rep debut by scoring three tries.
Fullback, Clive Churchill brought off several magnificent try saving tackles and kicked seven goals from eight shots.
Britain’s coloured Welsh winger, Billy Boston, 19, was given little room to move, but crossed for one try, set up by centre, Doug Greenall.
The British side experienced a nightmare trip to Australia, delayed 14 hours when their plane was unable to land in Rome because of fog, with the flight diverted to Nice in France.
Based at exclusive Vaucluse on their arrival in Sydney, the Lions ventured to Bathurst for their first game, and impressed with a 29-11 win over Western Districts, with the crowd 5,281.
The Courier-Mail’s Jack Reardon covered the tour from start to finish, including the welcoming dinner at the New South Wales Leagues Club, with oysters, king prawns, curried lobster, roast chicken, ham, fried fish, braised sausages and mushrooms on the menu, followed by ice cream and fruit.
Who said Australians didn’t know how to eat before cultural diversity?
Anyway, Reardon wrote that it was a great achievement by the Poms to be able to run at all, after such a feast.
The tourists second match at Newcastle drew a crowd of 25,716, but Britain’s pack failed to fire as the locals hung on for an 11-10 win.
Lock, Barry Levido and five eighth, Bobby Banks were Newcastle’s stars. Levido, a clerk from Cessnock, hurled himself into knee high tackles, thumping the British forwards to the ground.
In the next match against Riverina at Wagga Wagga, the locals put up a great show before going down 36-26 with 18-year-old halfback, Doug Cameron scoring two tries against the tourists.

One response to “FLASHBACK: May 1954

  1. Steve,

    I have added this one to the RLCM newsletter.

    I was going to tell you, I was at the SCG Test in 1954.

    But in researching for that game, I discovered I was wrong.

    I was thinking of the game a young Peter Diamond marked Billy Boston, it must have been in 1957? I sat on the old grandstand side at the halfway mark.

    I keeping adding what you send, they continually get rotated monthly.

    Regards Gary Roberts

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