World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

1972 Rugby League World Cup

1972 (1972) World Cup  ()
Number of teams 4
Host country  France
Winner  Great Britain (3rd title)

Matches played 7
Attendance 62,456 (8,922 per match)
Points scored 240 (34.29 per match)
Top scorer John Holmes (rugby league) (26)
Top try scorer Bob Fulton (5)
 < 1970

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.

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.


  • Squads 1
    • Australia 1.1
    • France 1.2
    • Great Britain 1.3
    • New Zealand 1.4
  • Results 2
    • Final standings 2.1
    • Final 2.2
  • References 3
  • External links 4



The Australian team was coached by Harry Bath


Great Britain

The Great Britain team was coached by Jim Challinor

New Zealand

Mita Mohi


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
Australia  21–27  Great Britain
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 half 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 standings

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



Great Britain: Robert "Bob" Irving; Coach: Jim Challinor

Australia: Graeme Langlands (c); John Grant, Mark Harris, Geoff Starling, Ray Branighan [2 goals]; Bob Fulton, Dennis Ward; John O'Neill [1 try], Elwyn Walters, Bob O'Reilly, Arthur Beetson [1 try], Gary Stevens, Gary Sullivan.

11 November
Australia  10–10
 Great Britain
Stade de Gerland, Lyon
Attendance: 4,231
Referee: Georges Jameau (France)

The French public seemed uninterested in a final that did not involve the home team, as less than 4,500 spectators turned up. The game will always be remembered by the British for their captain

  • 1972 World Cup at
  • 1972 World Cup at
  • 1972 World Cup Final at
  • at Great Britain won the World Cup
  • 1972 World Cup Final at
  • 1972 World Cup data at
  • 1972 World Cup at

External links

  1. ^ Wright, J (23 August 2007). "Rugby League's Greatest Ever Full-back". Times & Star. Retrieved 24 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Paddy McAteer (22 December 2010) "Whole World in their Hands" North West Evening Mail
  3. ^ Kdouh, Fatima (28 November 2013). "We take a look back at the greatest Rugby League World Cup finals of all time".  
  4. ^ Chesterton, Ray (24 October 2008). "Langlands denied greatest try ever".  
  5. ^ Hughes, Ed (31 October 2004). "Caught in Time: Great Britain prepare for 1972 rugby league World Cup final".  


was played, but no further score resulted, and Great Britain were awarded the cup by virtue of a better position in the table. extra time 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 Bob Fulton succeeded with a 79th-minute penalty or Ray Branighan Had Aussie winger [5] Mike Stephenson scored the 73rd-minute try that helped Great Britain level the scores and secure the World Cup.[4]

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.