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The sixth Rugby League World Cup was held in France in October and November 1972. Australia started as the favourites to retain the trophy they had won just two years previously. New Zealand had beaten all three of the other nations in 1971 and France were expected to be tough opponents on their home soil. In the event Great Britain confounded most expectations by running out worthy winners and levelling their tally of World Cup wins at 3–3 with the Australians.

1972 (1972) World Cup  ()
Number of teams4
Host country France
Winner Great Britain (3rd title)

Matches played7
Attendance62,456 (8,922 per match)
Points scored240 (34.29 per match)
Top scorerUnited Kingdom John Holmes (26)
Top try scorerAustralia Bob Fulton (5)
 < 1970
1975

The final was held at Stade Gerland in Lyon. Great Britain played Australia and in the end, with scores level and unchanged after extra time, claimed the cup on league placing.

This was the last World Cup to be played under the four-tackle rule.

SquadsEdit

VenuesEdit

The games were played at various venues in France.

Marseille Paris Toulouse
Stade Vélodrome Parc des Princes Stadium Municipal
Capacity: 55,000 Capacity: 48,712 Capacity: 37,000
     
Perpignan Pau Grenoble
Stade Gilbert Brutus Stade du Hameau Stade Lesdiguières
Capacity: 13,000 Capacity: 12,000 Capacity: 12,000
     

Final VenueEdit

Lyon
Stade de Gerland
Capacity: 45,000
 

ResultsEdit

28 October
France   20 – 9   New Zealand
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Attendance: 20,748

France kicked off the tournament by sharing six tries with the Kiwis but a massive penalty count in their favour allowed the French to dictate play, their five goals and a drop goal to none by the Kiwis proving decisive.

29 October
Great Britain   27 – 21   Australia
Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan
Attendance: 6,300

At Perpignan a monumental struggle finally went Britain's way 27–21 against the Kangaroos, for whom Bobby Fulton grabbed three tries in a lost cause.

1 November
France   4 – 13   Great Britain
Stade Lesdiguières, Grenoble
Attendance: 5,321

Britain overcame France 13–4 to qualify for the final with outstanding second-rower Phil Lowe scoring two tries.

1 November
Australia   9 – 5   New Zealand
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 8,000

New Zealand gave Australia a hard time, the first half being scoreless, before going down 5–9.

4 November
Great Britain   53 – 19   New Zealand
Stade du Hameau, Pau
Attendance: 7,500

Britain hammered New Zealand 53–19, a World Cup record score, with young stand-off John Holmes collecting 26 points (10 goals, 2 tries) – another World Cup record.

5 November
France   9 – 31   Australia
Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
Attendance: 10,332

Australia had to beat France at Toulouse to reach the final in the last game of the preliminaries, a task which proved well within their capabilities.

Final standingsEdit

Team Played Won Drew Lost  For  Against Difference Points
  Great Britain 3 3 0 0 93 44 +49 6
  Australia 3 2 0 1 61 41 +20 4
  France 3 1 0 2 33 53 −20 2
  New Zealand 3 0 0 3 33 82 −49 0

FinalEdit

11 November 1972
Great Britain   10 – 10
(AET)
  Australia
Tries:
Clive Sullivan
Mike Stephenson
Goals:
Terry Clawson (2)
[1] Tries:
John O'Neill
Arthur Beetson
Goals:
Ray Branighan (2)
Stade de Gerland, Lyon
Attendance: 4,231
Referee: Georges Jameau  
 
 
 
 
 
 
Great Britain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Australia
FB 1   Paul Charlton
RW 2   Clive Sullivan (c)
RC 3   Chris Hesketh
LC 4   John Walsh
LW 5   John Atkinson
SO 6   John Holmes
SH 7   Steve Nash
PR 8   Terry Clawson
HK 9   Mike Stephenson
PR 10   David Jeanes
SR 11   Phil Lowe
SR 12   Brian Lockwood
LF 13   George Nicholls
Substitutions:
IC 14   Bob Irving
IC 15
Coach:
  Jim Challinor
FB 1   Graeme Langlands (c)
RW 2   John Grant
RC 3   Mark Harris
LC 4   Geoff Starling
LW 5   Ray Branighan
FE 6   Bob Fulton
HB 7   Dennis Ward
PR 8   John O'Neill
HK 9   Elwyn Walters
PR 10   Bob O'Reilly
SR 11   Arthur Beetson
SR 12   Gary Stevens
LK 13   Gary Sullivan
Substitutions:
IC 14   Fred Jones
IC 15
Coach:
  Harry Bath

The French public seemed uninterested in a final that did not involve the home team, as just over 4,200 spectators turned up. The game will always be remembered by the British for their captain Clive Sullivan's wonderful long distance try[2][3] and by the Australians for perhaps "the greatest try never scored",[4] later shown on TV to be legitimately scored by Australian fullback Graeme Langlands but disallowed by French referee Georges Jameau.[5] Mike Stephenson scored the 73rd-minute try that helped Great Britain level the scores and secure the World Cup.[6] Had Aussie winger Ray Branighan succeeded with a 79th-minute penalty or Bob Fulton landed one of three drop goal attempts in the last five minutes, the cup could easily have gone to Australia. But for the first time in the competition's history the scores were level at full-time. An additional twenty minutes extra time was played, but no further score resulted, and Great Britain were awarded the cup by virtue of a better position in the table.

Group stageEdit

The 1972 Rugby League World Cup group stage was the main component of the 1972 Rugby League World Cup, with the top two nations qualifying for the World Cup Final. The group consisted of hosts France as well as Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand.

LadderEdit

Team Played Won Drew Lost  For  Against Difference Points
  Great Britain 3 3 0 0 93 44 +49 6
  Australia 3 2 0 1 61 41 +20 4
  France 3 1 0 2 33 53 −20 2
  New Zealand 3 0 0 3 33 82 −49 0

France vs New ZealandEdit

Saturday 28 October
France   20 – 9   New Zealand
Tries:
Jean-Marie Bonal (2)
Andre Ruiz
Goals:
Bernard Guilhelm (4)
Jean-Marie Bonal (1)
Field Goals:
Marius Frattini (1)
[7] Tries:
Phillip Orchard (2)
Mocky Brereton
Goals:
Stade Vélodrome, Marseille
Attendance: 20,748
Referee: Georges Jameau  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
France
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Zealand
FB 1   Roger Toujas
RW 2   Serge Marsolan
CE 3   Michael Moliner
CE 4   Andre Ruiz
LW 5   Jean-Marie Bonal
SO 6   Bernard Guilhelm
SH 7   Marius Frattini
PR 8   Francis de Nadai (c)
HK 9   Jacques Franc
PR 10   Jacques Garzino
SR 11   Victor Serrano
SR 12   Serge Gleyzes
LF 13   Michel Anglade
Substitutions:
IC 14   Charles Zalduendo
IC 15
Coach:
FB 1   John Whittaker
RW 2   Phillip Orchard
CE 3   John O'Sullivan
CE 4   Roy Christian (c)
LW 5   Mocky Brereton
FE 6   Dennis Williams
HB 7   Brian Tracey
PR 8   Mita Mohi
HK 9   Bill Burgoyne
PR 10   Bob Paul
SR 11   Doug Gailey
SR 12   Peter Gurnick
LK 13   Murray Eade
Substitutions:
IC 14   Graeme Cooksley
IC 15   Tony Coll
Coach:
  Des Barchard

France kicked off the tournament by sharing six tries with the Kiwis but a massive penalty count in their favour allowed the French to dictate play, their five goals and a drop goal to none by the Kiwis proving decisive.


Great Britain vs AustraliaEdit

Sunday 29 October
Great Britain   27 – 21   Australia
Tries:
John Atkinson
Phil Lowe
Dennis O'Neill
Mike Stephenson
Clive Sullivan
Goals:
Terry Clawson (6/6)
[8] Tries:
Bob Fulton (3)
Tommy Raudonikis



Goals:
Graeme Langlands (4)
Field Goals:
Bob McCarthy (1)
Stade Gilbert Brutus, Perpignan
Attendance: 6,324
Referee: Claude Teissiere  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Great Britain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Australia
FB 1   Paul Charlton
RW 2   Clive Sullivan (c)
CE 3   Chris Hesketh
CE 4   John Walsh
LW 5   John Atkinson
SO 6   Dennis O'Neill
SH 7   Steve Nash
PR 8   Terry Clawson
HK 9   Mike Stephenson
PR 10   David Jeanes
SR 11   Brian Lockwood
SR 12   Phil Lowe
LF 13   George Nicholls
Substitutions:
IC 14   John Holmes
IC 15
Coach:
  Jim Challinor
FB 1   Graeme Langlands (c)
RW 2   Stephen Knight
CE 3   Geoff Starling
CE 4   Ray Branighan
LW 5   Mark Harris
FE 6   Bob Fulton
HB 7   Tommy Raudonikis
PR 8   John O'Neill
HK 9   Elwyn Walters
PR 10   Arthur Beetson
SR 11   Bob McCarthy
SR 12   John Elford
LK 13   Gary Sullivan
Substitutions:
IC 14   Dennis Ward
IC 15   Paul Sait
Coach:
  Harry Bath

At Perpignan a monumental struggle finally went Britain's way 27–21 against the Kangaroos, for whom Bob Fulton grabbed three tries in a lost cause.


France vs Great BritainEdit

Wednesday 1 November
France   4 – 13   Great Britain
Try:


Goals:
Jean-Marie Bonal (1)
Victor Serrano (1)
[9] Try:
Phil Lowe (2)
Clive Sullivan
Goals:
Stade Lesdiguières, Grenoble
Attendance: 5,321
Referee: F. Gril  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
France
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Great Britain
FB 1   Roger Toujas
RW 2   Serge Marsolan
CE 3   Michael Moliner
CE 4   Andre Ruiz
LW 5   Jean-Marie Bonal
SO 6   Bernard Guilhelm
SH 7   Jacky Imbert
PR 8   Francis de Nadai (c)
HK 9   Jacques Franc
PR 10   Jean-Paul Sauret
SR 11   Victor Serrano
SR 12   Serge Gleyzes
LF 13   Guy Rodriguez
Substitutions:
IC 14   Charles Zalduendo
IC 15
Coach:
FB 1   Paul Charlton
RW 2   Clive Sullivan (c)
CE 3   Chris Hesketh
CE 4   John Walsh
LW 5   John Atkinson
SO 6   Dennis O'Neill
SH 7   Steve Nash
PR 8   Terry Clawson
HK 9   Mike Stephenson
PR 10   Brian Lockwood
SR 11   Colin Dixon
SR 12   Phil Lowe
LF 13   George Nicholls
Substitutions:
IC 14
IC 15
Coach:
  Jim Challinor

Great Britain overcame France 13–4 to qualify for the final with outstanding second-rower Phil Lowe scoring two tries.


Australia vs New ZealandEdit

Wednesday 1 November
Australia   9 – 5   New Zealand
Tries:
Bob Fulton
Dennis Ward
Goals:
Ray Branighan (1)
Field Goals:
Bob Fulton (1)
[10] Tries:
John Whittaker

Goals:
John Wilson (1)
Parc des Princes, Paris
Attendance: 8,000
Referee: Mick Naughton  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Australia
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Zealand
FB 1   Graeme Langlands (c)
RW 2   John Grant
CE 3   Ray Branighan
CE 4   Geoff Starling
LW 5   Stephen Knight
FE 6   Bob Fulton
HB 7   Dennis Ward
PR 8   John O'Neill
HK 9   Elwyn Walters
PR 10   Bob O'Reilly
SR 11   Gary Sullivan
SR 12   John Elford
LK 13   Paul Sait
Substitutions:
IC 14   Gary Stevens
IC 15
Coach:
  Harry Bath
FB 1   John Wilson
RW 2   Phillip Orchard
CE 3   Mocky Brereton
CE 4   Roy Christian (c)
LW 5   John Whittaker
FE 6   Dennis Williams
HB 7   Brian Tracey
PR 8   Don Mann
HK 9   Bill Burgoyne
PR 10   Doug Gailey
SR 11   Murray Eade
SR 12   Bob Paul
LK 13   Peter Gurnick
Substitutions:
IC 14   Rodney Walker
IC 15
Coach:
  Des Barchard

New Zealand gave Australia a hard time, the first half being scoreless, before going down 9–5.


Great Britain vs New ZealandEdit

Saturday 4 November
Great Britain   53 – 19   New Zealand
Tries:
John Atkinson (2)
John Holmes (2)
Paul Charlton
Chris Hesketh
David Jeanes
Steve Nash
George Nicholls
Mike Stephenson
Clive Sullivan
Goals:
John Holmes (10)
[11] Tries:
Bill Burgoyne
Tony Coll
Murray Eade
John Whittaker
Dennis Williams




Goals:
John Wilson (2)
Stade du Hameau, Pau
Attendance: 7,500
Referee: Georges Jameau  
Man of the Match: John Holmes  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Great Britain
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Zealand
FB 1   Paul Charlton
RW 2   Clive Sullivan (c)
CE 3   Chris Hesketh
CE 4   John Walsh
LW 5   John Atkinson
SO 6   John Holmes
SH 7   Steve Nash
PR 8   David Jeanes
HK 9   Mike Stephenson
PR 10   Brian Lockwood
SR 11   Bob Irving
SR 12   Phil Lowe
LF 13   George Nicholls
Substitutions:
IC 14   David Redfearn
IC 15   Tony Karalius
Coach:
  Jim Challinor
FB 1   John Wilson
RW 2   Phillip Orchard
CE 3   Mocky Brereton
CE 4   Roy Christian (c)
LW 5   John Whittaker
FE 6   Dennis Williams
HB 7   Brian Tracey
PR 8   Don Mann
HK 9   Bill Burgoyne
PR 10   Doug Gailey
SR 11   Murray Eade
SR 12   Tony Coll
LK 13   Peter Gurnick
Substitutions:
IC 14   Warren Collicoat
IC 15   Rodney Walker
Coach:
  Des Barchard

Great Britain hammered New Zealand 53–19, a World Cup record score, with young stand-off John Holmes collecting 26 points (10 goals, 2 tries) – another World Cup record.


France vs AustraliaEdit

Sunday 5 November
France   9 – 31   Australia
Tries:
Andre Ruiz




Goals:
Jean-Marie Bonal (3)
[12] Tries:
Mark Harris (2)
Paul Sait (2)
Bob Fulton
John O'Neill
Elwyn Walters
Goals:
Ray Branighan (5)
Stadium Municipal, Toulouse
Attendance: 10,332
Referee: Mick Naughton  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
France
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Australia
FB 1   Roger Toujas
RW 2   Serge Marsolan
CE 3   Michael Moliner
CE 4   Andre Ruiz
LW 5   Jean-Marie Bonal
SO 6   Michael Mazare
SH 7   Marius Frattini
PR 8   Charles Zalduendo
HK 9   Jacques Franc
PR 10   Jacques Garzino
SR 11   Victor Serrano
SR 12   Francis de Nadai (c)
LF 13   Serge Gleyzes
Substitutions:
IC 14   Bernard Guilhelm
IC 15   Michel Anglade
Coach:
FB 1   Graeme Langlands (c)
RW 2   Ray Branighan
CE 3   Mark Harris
CE 4   Geoff Starling
LW 5   John Grant
FE 6   Bob Fulton
HB 7   Dennis Ward
PR 8   John O'Neill
HK 9   Elwyn Walters
PR 10   Bob O'Reilly
SR 11   Gary Stevens
SR 12   Arthur Beetson
LK 13   Paul Sait
Substitutions:
IC 14
IC 15
Coach:
  Harry Bath

Australia had to beat France at Toulouse to reach the final in the last game of the preliminaries, a task which proved well within their capabilities.


ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Report
  2. ^ Wright, J (23 August 2007). "Rugby League's Greatest Ever Full-back". Times & Star. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 24 June 2012.
  3. ^ Paddy McAteer (22 December 2010) "Whole World in their Hands" Archived 5 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine North West Evening Mail
  4. ^ Kdouh, Fatima (28 November 2013). "We take a look back at the greatest Rugby League World Cup finals of all time". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  5. ^ Chesterton, Ray (24 October 2008). "Langlands denied greatest try ever". The Daily Telegraph. Australia: News Limited. Retrieved 6 February 2011.
  6. ^ Hughes, Ed (31 October 2004). "Caught in Time: Great Britain prepare for 1972 rugby league World Cup final". The Sunday Times. UK: Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  7. ^ France vs New Zealand
  8. ^ Great Britain vs Australia
  9. ^ France vs Great Britain
  10. ^ Australia vs New Zealand
  11. ^ Great Britain vs New Zealand
  12. ^ France vs Australia

External linksEdit