FLASHBACK: November 1972

John Holmes 1972Australia were magnificent in their 31-9 victory over host nation, France in a 1972 World Cup match played at Toulouse.
France, captained by Francis de Nadai from Limoux, impressed in the first 35 minutes, restricting Australia to one try by giant outside back, Mark Harris.
Australian ran riot after the halftime break, scoring five tries.
There were amazing scenes just before halftime when Australian centre, Ray Branighan had a good try disallowed after a three minute ‘discussion’ between the referee, touch judges and five French officials who came onto the field.
France, who had beaten Australia at Bradford in the 1970 World Cup, opened the ’72 tournament with a 20-9 win over New Zealand at Marseilles in front of a crowd of 20,748.
Hopes were high, even after they were beaten 13-4 by Britain at Grenoble a week later.
But Australia silenced the crowd of 10,332 in Toulouse and France had to wait until 1978 to get its next victory over the Kangaroos.
On the same weekend in 1972, Great Britain belted New Zealand 53-19 at Pau with five eighth, John Holmes (pictured) scoring two tries and kicking 10 goals from 11 shots. Holmes’ Leeds teammate, John Atkinson also scored two tries.
Australia and Great Britain played a 10-all draw in the final at Lyon a week later, but Britain were declared tournament winners because they had beaten Australia 27-21 in a qualifying game at Perpignan.
Australian winger, John Grant from Brisbane Souths, (the current chairman of the ARLC) moved to England after the Lyon match, to take up a contract with Cheshire club, Warrington.

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