The All Blacks entered the test at the Grand Old Lady of Athletic Park one-up after a slightly scratchy 16-12 win in the series opener in Christchurch.
And they had recent history hanging over them. In the previous two years (against the Barbed Wire Boks and the Wallabies) the All Blacks had won the first test of series only to drop the second. In Wellington. The previous two Lions tours from the 1970s sat at 1-1 after the second test.
Playing with a decent breeze behind them the All Blacks went into the break ahead 9-0. A Loveridge try down the blindside following a forward drive being the only try of the game. It looked as if it would not be enough.
Athletic Park games were always measured by how much of an impact the wind would have. That one was seen as a 12-15 pointer
From “Men in Black” However, the second half proved a triumph for the home pack and for Loveridge, who gave a superb display which ranked him among the great halfback of all time. Although no points were added, the All Blacks came close to scoring on many occasions.
The performance of the New Zealand pack was quite remarkable and the ease with which it demolished the visitors’ vanguard surprised even the most ardent All Black supporters.”
The All Blacks grew in confidence from that match, and took out the final test in Eden Park of a demoralised opponent in style to complete the white-wash.
It was a game people still talk about today, and how Loveridge, and the pack in front of him, completely owned a match under adversity.
It was gutsy, strong and clinical.
Let’s face it; that half was Warrenball well before Warrenball was invented.