1968 Rugby League World Cup
The World Cup returned to the international rugby league scene in 1968, and another four Cup competitions would be held in the following decade. For the first time, the tournament was hosted by two nations (matches were shared between Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland) and a mandatory Final was scheduled to decide the champion team.
The Kiwis failed to overcome France and Australia in home matches, and, after losing to Great Britain in Sydney, finished winless. France produced a stoic 7-2 win over Great Britain Lions in Auckland, hoisting them into the Final against the undefeated Australians.
Few of the experts gave the French a show of beating the Johnny Raper led Kangaroos on their own turf. However, Sydney fans still held strong memories of the attractiveness of “French-style” rugby league of the 1950s, and the SCG held a buoyant 54,000 when the opening whistle blew. While France put in a spirited display, they could not produce the attacking flair needed to put points on the Aussies, and lost 20-2.
Australia 20 - 2 France
June 10th 1968
Referee: John Percival (New Zealand)
Australia: Simms, Williamson, Langlands, Greaves, Rhodes, Fulton, Smith, Wittenberg, Jones, Beetson, Thornett, Raper (C), Coote. Sub used: Ramussen
Tries: Williamson 2, Greaves, Coote. Goals: Simms 4
France: Cros, Pelerin, J Gruppi, Lecompte, Ledru, Capdouze, Garrigues, Sabatie, Begou, Ailleres (C), De Nadai, Marracq, Clar
1968 World Cup Results
Australia beat Great Britain: 25 - 10 at Sydney. Attendance: 65,256
France beat New Zealand: 15 - 10 at Auckland. Attendance: 18,000
Australia beat New Zealand: 31 - 12 at Brisbane. Attendance: 23,608
France beat Great Britain: 7 - 2 at Auckland. Attendance: 15,760
Australia beat France: 37 - 4 at Brisbane. Attendance: 32,662
Great Britain beat New Zealand: 38 - 14 at Sydney. Attendance: 14,105