1972: Great Britain
1972 Rugby League World Cup
The World Cup returned to France for the first time since the opening series of 1954. The home team opened the competition with a 20-9 win over New Zealand at Marseille, to the joy of 20,000 spectators. The following day Great Britain and Australia measured up against each other, and the Lions won an entertaining contest 27-21, much to the surprise of most keen judges.
The Brits went on defeat France (13-4) and the Kiwis (53-9). For the second Cup in a row the Lions had won all their pool games, and watched on as Australia and the French battled it out to settle their opponents in the Cup Final. Under the captaincy of Graeme Langlands, the Kangaroos exuded class across the field, taking a 31-9 victory at Toulouse.
Late in the Final the Australians were ahead 10-5 and looked to have again “stolen” the Cup from the Lions. Clive Sullivan rallied his British troops, and they scored a converted try to square the contest at 10-10 with barely minutes to play. The score remained deadlocked at the final whistle, forcing the Cup Final into 20 minutes of extra-time. Having won all their pool matches though, a draw was good enough for Great Britain, and they managed to keep the Australians at bay until fulltime, thus claiming their third World Cup title.
Great Britain 10 - 10 Australia
November 11th 1972
Referee: G Jameau (France)
Great Britain: Charlton, Sullivan (C), Hesketh, Walsh, Atkinson, Holmes, Nash, Clawson, Stephenson, Jeanes, Lowe, Lockwood, Nicholls. Sub: Irving
Tries: Sullivan, Stephenson. Goals: Clawson 2
Australia: Langlands (C), Grant, Harris, Starling, Branighan, Fulton, Ward, O'Neill, Walters, O'Reilly, Beetson, Stevens, Sullivan
Tries: O'Neill, Beetson. Goals: Branighan 2
1972 World Cup Results
France beat New Zealand: 20 - 9 at Marseille. Attendance: 20,748
Great Britain beat Australia: 27 - 21 at Perpignan. Attendance: 6,324
Australia beat New Zealand: 9 - 5 at Parc des Princes, Paris. Attendance: 8,000
Great Britain beat France: 13 - 4 at Grenoble. Attendance: 5,321
Great Britain beat New Zealand: 53 - 19 at Pau. Attendance: 7,500
Australia beat France: 31 - 9 at Toulouse. Attendance: 10,332