Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Rugby League World Cup : 1972

GB vs Australia

The sixth World Cup was the same as the previous ones, the same four nations playing each other once. It was the third and final WC played under the four tackle rule. Australia were favourites although New Zealand had a great year in 1971, while hosts France were considered a strong chance too.

In the first match, the hosts defeating NZ 20-9, with goal kicking proving decisive. Nearly 21,000 came along to watch the match played in Marseille. Meanwhile in Perpignan, 6,000 witnessed the GB pull off a surprise won against Australia 27-21.

The second round had GB defeating France 13-4 in Grenoble before just over 5,000 spectators. In the other game, Australia and the Kiwis were scoreless at half time but the Kangaroos eventually got home 9-5 in Paris in front of 8,000 people.

The final games pitted GB against NZ in a place called Pau (7,500 in attendance). GB went "pow" to become the first side in a WC to pass 50 points. The high scoring affair ended up 53-19. Then the winner of the France vs Australia game would join GB in the final. Over 10,000 people in Toulouse saw Australia win comfortably 31-9.

The unfancied GB got through to the final without a loss but had to take on the favoured Aussies. At Lyon 4,000 watched a tight game end 10-10. The first ever extra time at a WC was played with the same result, Therefore GB won on its superior results throughout the tournament.

The six WCs had been identical in format (apart from two not having a final) but it would only once be like this again. Future events would otherwise be very different as the next in the series will show.

The next in the series (1975) is found by clicking here.
The first in the series (1954) can be seen by clicking here.

1st Round 2nd Round 3rd Round GBR 6 +49 FINAL
FRA 20 GBR 27 AUS 9 GBR 13 GBR 53 AUS 31 AUS 4 +20 GBR 10
NZL 9 AUS 21 NZL 5 FRA 4 NZL 19 FRA 9 FRA 2 -20 AUS 10

NZL 0 -49

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