1977 Rugby League World Cup
The 1977 World Cup returned to the traditional tournament system, while the Welsh and English team combined resources and played as Great Britain. Matches were played in Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland and Christchurch. Despite playing all their games at home, the New Zealanders could only manage one win, and with France failing to taste victory at all, Australia and Great Britain met in the Cup decider.
In the preliminary matches the Kangaroos easily defeated Britain 19-5 in Brisbane, and there seemed little standing in the way of Australia claiming its fifth World Cup crown.
The Lions though played with a dogged determination, and were only 10-7 behind at halftime. The Kangaroos eventually won the Final 13-12, but by all accounts the British were dreadfully unlucky. As the Lions’ winger Stuart Wright took an intercept and raced away for a try under the posts, the referee awarded Great Britain a penalty for Australian infringement instead of allowing an advantage. Towards the close Lions fullback George Fairbairn missed a long-distance penalty goal.
Australia 13 - 12 Great Britain
June 25th 1977
Referee: Billy Thompson (England)
Australia: Eadie, McMahon, Cronin, Gartner, Harris, Peard, Kolc, Veivers, Geiger, Randall, Beetson (C), Higgs, Pierce. Sub: Fitzgerald
Tries: McMahon, Gartner, Kolc. Goals: Cronin 2
Great Britain: Fairbairn, Wright, Holmes, Dyl, Francis, Millward (C), Nash, Thompson, Elwell, Pitchford, Casey, Bowman, Hogan. Subs: Gill, Smith
Tries: Pitchford, Gill. Goals: Fairbairn 3
1977 World Cup Results
Australia beat New Zealand: 27 - 12 at Auckland. Attendance: 18,000
Great Britain beat France: 23 - 4 at Auckland. Attendance: 10,000
Australia beat France: 21 - 9 at Sydney. Attendance: 13,321
Great Britain beat New Zealand: 30 - 12 at Christchurch. Attendance: 9,000
Australia beat Great Britain: 19 - 5 at Brisbane. Attendance: 27,000
New Zealand beat France: 28 - 20 at Auckland. Attendance: 8,000