The city of Port Elizabeth's incredibly rich rugby history with the famed British & Irish Lions continues in 2021 when the northern men visit the friendly city for the 14th successive time in 14 tours, dating back to 1891.
D-DAY for Ticket Ballot Registration at www.lionstour2021.co.za
There have been two famous wins for Eastern Province against the Lions, with the 1924 locals beating the Lions 14-6 and the class of 1955 historically shutting out the Lions in a 20-0 win at the Crusaders Ground.
The Springboks have also battled the tourists in some memorable Test matches, with the most recent being at the 'old' Boet Erasmus Stadium in 1980, when legendary Springbok flyhalf Naas Botha kicked a penalty, conversion and drop goal to secure the Boks a 12-10 third-Test win. It was also the match that secured the Boks the four-Test series.
The Lions did not play Test matches in Port Elizabeth in 2009 and 1997 but they did face the wrath of a gallant Eastern Province in 1997 and they emerged 20-8 winners against the Southern Kings in a titanic struggle in 2009 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. The home side trailed 6-3 on the hour and it was only in the final quarter that the Lions sealed the victory.
The Lions, made up of the best players from England, Wales, Ireland and South Africa, tour South Africa once every 12 years and 2021 promises to be the biggest rugby extravaganza of the year and one of the most watched sporting events globally.
The demand for tickets, by way of the official Ticket Ballot system, has been huge among South African residents and the tour organisers have urged locals to maximise Wednesday's final day of the Ticket Ballot in registering and applying for match-day tickets.
No tickets will be sold on match day in 2021 for any of the eight tour matches and ticket purchases also can't be made through traditional outlets, like the provincial unions. All ticket applications have to be done online through the Tour’s official South African website www.lionstour2021.co.za.
The Lions traditionally have a travelling support of between 20 000 and 30 000, but the majority of tickets for all eight matches, including the three-Test series against the world champions Springboks, have been made available to South African residents.
The tour organisers have also ensured affordability and accessibility, with tickets for the Port Elizabeth match on 7 July costing between R100 and R350. The R100 tickets are available only to SA residents.
Historical British & Irish Lions results in Port Elizabeth:
2009: British & Irish Lions v Southern Kings 20-8 (Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium)
1997: British & Irish Lions v EP 39-11 (Boet Erasmus)
1980: British & Irish Lions v EP 28-16 (Boet Erasmus)
1974: British & Irish Lions v EP 28-14 (Boet Erasmus)
1968: British & Irish Lions v EP 23-14 (Boet Erasmus)
1962: British & Irish Lions v EP 21-6 (Boet Erasmus)
1955: British & Irish Lions v EP 0-20 (Crusaders Ground)
1938: British & Irish Lions v EP 6-5 (St Georges Park)
1924: British & Irish Lions v EP 6-14 (Crusaders Ground)
1910: British & Irish Lions v EP 14-6 (Port Elizabeth Ground)
1903: British & Irish Lions v Port Elizabeth 15-0 (Crusaders Ground)
1903: British & Irish Lions v EP 12-0 (Port Elizabeth Ground)
1896: British & Irish Lions v Port Elizabeth 26-3 (Port Elizabeth Ground)
1896: British & Irish Lions v EP 18-0 (Port Elizabeth Ground)
1891: British & Irish Lions v Port Elizabeth 22-0 (Crusaders Ground)
1891: British & Irish Lions v EP 21-0 (Crusaders Ground)
Remembering the EP locals who downed the mighty British & Irish Lions
The 1955 EP team that beat the British & Irish Lions 20-0:
15. F Griffiths, 14. S Visagie, 13. S Pearson, 12 R Nieuwenhuizen, 11. K Watson, 10. T Mills, 9. N Singleton, 8. D Schonken, 7. W Cunningham, 6. R Johnson, 5. R Griesel, 4. D Staples, 3. N Fick, 2. C Kroon, 1. A du Plooy
The 1924 EP team that beat the British & Irish Lions 14-6:
15 F Anderssen, 14. J Slater, 13. A Coetzee, 12. C Keey, 11. T Jefferys, 10. T Michau, 9. J Fourie, 8. D Coetzee, 7. T White, 6. J Wilken, 5. W Jacobs, 4. W Crockhart, 3. A van Heerden, 2. M Loftus, 1. J Dold
British & Irish Lions versus Springboks in Port Elizabeth:
1980: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 10-12 (Boet Erasmus)
1974: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 26-9 (Boet Erasmus)
1968: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 6-all (Boet Erasmus)
1955: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 8-22 (Crusaders Ground)
1938: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 3-19 (Crusaders Ground)
1924: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 3-all (Crusaders Ground)
1910: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 3-8 (Crusaders Ground)
1896: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 8-0 (Crusaders Ground)
1891: British & Irish Lions v Springboks 4-0 (Crusaders Ground)
Overall history between the British & Irish Lions & Springboks:
Springboks 23 wins, Lions 17 wins and 6 draws.
Average score: Lions 11 Springboks 13
How Does the Ballot Process Work?
Applicants will use the ballot to apply for tickets to their preferred match, ticket category, ticket quantity and, where applicable, hospitality package.
After the ticket ballot application phase has been completed there will be a computerised selection process. Applicants will then be notified if they have been successful in securing their preferred tickets.
Why a Ticket Ballot?
The ballot system is used in all global major sporting events and is the fairest method of obtaining tickets. Registration and entry into the ballot will not automatically entitle applicants to match-day tickets and the purpose of the registration and entry into the ballot places the applicant in the draw.
Full 2021 tour schedule:
Saturday 3 July: British & Irish Lions v Stormers - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Wednesday 7 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa Invitational - Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, Port Elizabeth
Saturday 10 July: British & Irish Lions v Sharks - Kings Park, Durban
Wednesday 14 July: British & Irish Lions v South Africa 'A' - Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Saturday 17 July: British & Irish Lions v Bulls - Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Saturday 24 July (first Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - FNB Stadium, Johannesburg
Saturday 31 July (second Test): Springboks v British & Irish Lions - Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Saturday 7 August (third Test): Springboks vs British & Irish Lions - Ellis Park, Johannesburg.
The ticket ballot process is as follows:
- The ballot opened on Wednesday, 2 September at 10h00 at www.lionstour2021.co.za;
- South African residents will be able to select tickets for all eight matches (to a maximum of eight tickets per match);
- Ballot closes on Wednesday, 16 September at 23h59;
- The draw will take place by a computerised selection process;
- All registered users will be advised by email whether they have been successful or not before the end of September;
- Payment will automatically take place on the credit card used for submitting your ballot application if you are successful and;
- Seat allocation and tickets dispatch (courier or electronic) will take place in the second quarter of 2021.
Hospitality packages are available for all matches - ranging in price from R2 495 (excl. VAT) for a midweek game to R8 995 (excl. VAT) for a Test match. Those interested should email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Similarly, tickets can be accessed as part of a tour travel package by contacting SA Rugby Travel on email@example.com or 021 525 2515.
Ticket prices for the Lions' matches against the Stormers at Cape Town
Stadium, the Sharks at Kings Park and the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld range
in price from R250 to R600.
Tickets for mid-week matches against a SA Invitational team in Port Elizabeth and against SA 'A' at Mbombela Stadium are even cheaper ranging from only R100 to R350.
The cheapest Test match ticket is R500 - less than the price of a ticket to a 2019 Springbok Test - and increases to R1 250 and R2 000 to the top-priced ticket of R3 000.