Oldest Lion was in side who beat Kiwis

THE oldest former member of the British and Irish Lions, Gus Black, has died at the age of 92.

He was a halfback who earned six caps for Scotland and toured New Zealand with the 1950 Lions, the last British Isles side to travel to this country by boat.

Black played in the first two tests against the All Blacks inside the great Irish first five-eighth Jackie Kyle.

The first test, at Carisbrook, was a 9-9 draw and the All Blacks won the second test, at Lancaster Park, 8-0.

Black also played against the Bay of Plenty-Poverty Bay-East Coast combined side in a match played in Gisborne.

The Gisborne Herald rugby writer of the era knew the art of faint praise.

He wrote that Black played “a patchy game”.

“He was never outstanding in orthodox play behind the British Isles’ scrum or lineout. He got the ball away smartly enough as a rule, but not with the speed of an international halfback.

“He was continually overrun by the home forwards.”

The Lions, who played much of the game with 13 players in the days when injured players were not replaced, won 27 to 3, and scored five tries to none.

Only last year, Black recounted an incident from the drawn first test when he made a break from a scrum, but did not see the unmarked Welsh winger Ken Jones outside him.

“I shall go to my grave knowing I shall never forgive myself for not beating them,” he said.

Jones, another great player in a star-studded Lions backline, scored a famous 50-metre try in the fourth test at Eden Park, but the All Blacks won in Auckland and also in the third test at Athletic Park.

Black played for the Scotland side who defeated the Kiwis, the New Zealand Army team that toured Britain and France after World War 2.

THE oldest former member of the British and Irish Lions, Gus Black, has died at the age of 92.

He was a halfback who earned six caps for Scotland and toured New Zealand with the 1950 Lions, the last British Isles side to travel to this country by boat.

Black played in the first two tests against the All Blacks inside the great Irish first five-eighth Jackie Kyle.

The first test, at Carisbrook, was a 9-9 draw and the All Blacks won the second test, at Lancaster Park, 8-0.

Black also played against the Bay of Plenty-Poverty Bay-East Coast combined side in a match played in Gisborne.

The Gisborne Herald rugby writer of the era knew the art of faint praise.

He wrote that Black played “a patchy game”.

“He was never outstanding in orthodox play behind the British Isles’ scrum or lineout. He got the ball away smartly enough as a rule, but not with the speed of an international halfback.

“He was continually overrun by the home forwards.”

The Lions, who played much of the game with 13 players in the days when injured players were not replaced, won 27 to 3, and scored five tries to none.

Only last year, Black recounted an incident from the drawn first test when he made a break from a scrum, but did not see the unmarked Welsh winger Ken Jones outside him.

“I shall go to my grave knowing I shall never forgive myself for not beating them,” he said.

Jones, another great player in a star-studded Lions backline, scored a famous 50-metre try in the fourth test at Eden Park, but the All Blacks won in Auckland and also in the third test at Athletic Park.

Black played for the Scotland side who defeated the Kiwis, the New Zealand Army team that toured Britain and France after World War 2.

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