July 27 down the years
Controversy abounds as Boks tame 'Invincibles'
Willie-John McBride leads the Lions out for the final Test of the historic 1974 tour © Getty Images

The British & Irish Lions remained unbeaten but lost their 100% winning record when they were held to a 13-13 draw at Johannesburg by the Springboks in the fourth and final Test. Referee Max Baise was the hero and villain for the Lions, allowing Roger Uttley's controversial try - the ball hadn't been grounded - before disallowing another for flanker Fergus Slattery in the dying seconds. Baise admitted that his incorrect decision for Uttley's try was "the worst" of his career, while Slattery later said: "He awarded a five yard scrum. Baise ran in behind the goal line after (my) break from the 22 down the touchline. He was in the wrong place basically."

There was a near-disaster late in the evening as the SS Victoria departed Auckland for Australia carrying the Anglo-Welsh team. Percy Down, the England forward, survived falling overboard after leaning over to say goodbye to a well-wisher. England centre Henry Vassall missed the boat after partying with lady-friends and sailed for Sydney the next day.

Legendary All Black wing Jonah Lomu underwent a kidney transplant - he had been on dialysis three times a week for almost a year. Following the operation the iconic wing was out of action until a return to the game in 2005 but his comeback was never really successful, which was hardly surprising.

The NZRFU announced South Africa's tour would proceed despite widespread international and domestic condemnation of their stance. The government's anger was apparent but it maintained it could not interfere, although it gave police powers to cancel any match on security grounds. Prime minister Robert Muldoon warned that the violent tactics of the anti-apartheid protesters risked alienating the ordinary people who had until then opposed the tour.

An All Black side packed with talent beat France, the reigning Grand Slam Five Nations champions, 9-3 in Wellington to go two up in the three-Test series.

Reg Skrimshire's dropped goal proved to be the the winning score for the Lions in a 7-5 verdict against East London, the tourists' fifth consecutive victory in nine days.

Cape Colony inflicted a 19-0 defeat on the Lions in Kimberley. The result equalled the then record losing margin suffered by a touring side in South Africa.

The Springbok midweek team kept a clean sheet, winning 11-0 against West Coast/Buller at Greymouth in the last match before the Test series began.

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