1970 Rugby League World Cup

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Template:Infobox rugby league international tournament The fifth Rugby League World Cup was held in Great Britain in 1970. Britain, fresh from defeating Australia in the Ashes during their Australasian tour earlier in the year (the last time as of 2017 that they would win The Ashes), were hot favourites, and won all three of their group stage games, including defeating Australia 11–4. All the other nations lost two games each, and Australia qualified for the final largely on the back of an impressive tally of points against New Zealand.

The final was held at Headingley, Leeds. Although Great Britain dominated the possession, the Kangaroos were able to exploit their chances, and ran out unexpected winners in a scrappy game that became known as the "Battle of Leeds".

Australian centre Bob Fulton was named the official player of the tournament.

After winning the tournament, the Australian team put the World Cup trophy on display in the Midland Hotel in Bradford. From there it was stolen and remained unseen for the next 20 years.[1]

Squads[edit | edit source]

Australia[edit | edit source]

Template:Australia squad - 1970 World Cup champions

France[edit | edit source]

Template:France squad - 1970 World Cup

Great Britain[edit | edit source]

Template:Great Britain squad - 1970 World Cup

New Zealand[edit | edit source]

Template:New Zealand 1970 Rugby League World Cup squad

Venues[edit | edit source]

Headingley in Leeds hosted a group game between Great Britain and Australia and also hosted the World Cup Final.

Leeds Wigan Bradford
Headingley Central Park Odsal Stadium
Capacity: 30,000 Capacity: 40,000 Capacity: 40,000
South Stand, Headingley Stadium during the second day of the England-Sri Lanka test (21st April 2014) 001.JPG Central park kop.jpg Odsal Stadium - geograph.org.uk - 60082.jpg
Swinton Castleford Hull
Station Road The Boulevard Wheldon Road
Capacity: 35,000 Capacity: 16,000 Capacity: 15,000
GB v AUS 09-11-1963 at Station Road 1.jpg The Boulevard rugby league ground Hull.jpg Wheldonroadmainstand.jpg

Results[edit | edit source]

Template:Rugbybox Australia beat the Kiwis easily at Wigan in the opening fixture with Eric Simms repeating his form of the 1968 tourney by landing a record ten goals.

Template:Rugbybox Britain came from 0–4 behind to defeat Australia 11–4 at Headingley with Syd Hynes scoring the game's only try.

Template:Rugbybox The try of the tournament was scored by the sensational French winger Serge Marsolan against New Zealand in a mud-bath at Hull. Marsolan ran from behind his own line for a try fit to win any match but the lackadaisical French lost 15–16.

Template:Rugbybox The French put up a great fight against Britain in vile conditions, only to lose 0–6 at Castleford to three penalties from Ray Dutton.

Template:Rugbybox Britain eliminated New Zealand from the tournament, cruising to victory with five tries to three.[2]

Template:RugbyboxThis incredibly exciting game has been described as the tournament's piece de resistance. Aussie centre Bobby Fulton scored a try within seconds of the kick-off – probably the quickest ever in international matches. However, with ten minutes to go and the scores level at 15–15, the French stole the game when stand-off half Jean Capdouze dropped a monster goal. The Kangaroos' loss to France meant it was Australia's superior points differential (on the back of their pointsfest in the opening game against New Zealand) alone that got them into the final with the undefeated Great Britain team.

Table[edit | edit source]

Team Played Won Drew Lost  For  Against Difference Points
Template:Rl 3 3 0 0 44 21 +23 6
Template:Rl 3 1 0 2 66 39 +27 2
Template:Rl 3 1 0 2 32 37 −5 2
Template:Rl 3 1 0 2 44 89 −45 2

Final[edit | edit source]


Template:Football kit Template:Football kit
FB 1 Template:Leagueicon Ray Dutton
RW 2 Template:Leagueicon Alan Smith
RC 3 Template:Leagueicon Syd Hynes
LC 4 Template:Leagueicon Frank Myler (c)
LW 5 Template:Leagueicon John Atkinson
SO 6 Template:Leagueicon Mick Shoebottom
SH 7 Template:Leagueicon Keith Hepworth
PR 8 Template:Leagueicon Dennis Hartley
HK 9 Template:Leagueicon Tony Fisher
PR 10 Template:Leagueicon Cliff Watson
SR 11 Template:Leagueicon Jimmy Thompson
SR 12 Template:Leagueicon Doug Laughton
LF 13 Template:Leagueicon Mal Reilly
IC 14 Template:Leagueicon Chris Hesketh
IC 15 Template:Leagueicon Bob Haigh
England Johnny Whiteley
FB 1 Template:Leagueicon Eric Simms
RW 2 Template:Leagueicon Lionel Williamson
RC 3 Template:Leagueicon John Cootes
LC 4 Template:Leagueicon Paul Sait
LW 5 Template:Leagueicon Mark Harris
FE 6 Template:Leagueicon Bob Fulton
HB 7 Template:Leagueicon Billy Smith
PR 8 Template:Leagueicon John O'Neill
HK 9 Template:Leagueicon Ron Turner
PR 10 Template:Leagueicon Bob O'Reilly
SR 11 Template:Leagueicon Bob McCarthy
SR 12 Template:Leagueicon Ron Costello
LK 13 Template:Leagueicon Ron Coote (c)
IC 14 Template:Leagueicon Ray Branighan
IC 15 Template:Leagueicon Elwyn Walters
Australia Harry Bath

Having retained the Ashes, Great Britain were favourites to win the final,[3] which would become known as the 'Battle of Headingly'[4] due to its brutality. However it went completely against expectations as Britain failed to play any decent football despite overwhelming possession. The Kangaroos led 5–4 at half-time with a try to Australian three-quarter, Father John Cootes. They went on to utilise their meagre chances to the full, running out 12–7 victors. The game itself was an extended punch-up. The only surprise was that it took 79 minutes before anyone was sent off. Two sacrificial lambs, Billy Smith of Australia and Sid Hynes of Britain, were sent off the field in the last minute for what had been going unpunished throughout the game.

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

Template:Rlwc Template:1970 RLWC Venues Template:Australia squad - 1970 World Cup champions