1976 World Club Challenge

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1976 (1976) Unofficial World Club Challenge  ()
1 2 Total
EAS Eastern Suburbs colours.svg 25
ST H Saintscolours.svg 2
Date 29 June 1976
Stadium Sydney Cricket Ground
Location Moore Park, New South Wales, Australia
Attendance 26,856
1987

The 1976 World Club Challenge was an unofficial trial of what would later become the World Club Challenge concept, with the 1975 NSWRFL season's premiers, Eastern Suburbs hosting the 1975–76 Northern Rugby Football League season's Premiership and Challenge Cup winners St. Helens. The one-off challenge match was played on the 29th of June, right in the middle of the 1976 NSWRFL season, at the Sydney Cricket Ground before a crowd of 26,856.[1]

The next game of its kind would not be played until 1987.

Background[edit]

The game was the first of its type, and was the last to be played in Australia until 1994.

Eastern Suburbs Roosters[edit]

The Roosters, coached by Jack Gibson and captained by Australian international forward Arthur Beetson, were the reigning Sydney premiers having won the NSWRFL Grand Finals in both 1974 and 1975.

St Helens[edit]

Like the Roosters, Saints were the two time reigning English champions, having won the titles in 1974-75 and 1975-76. Saints were coached by former Great Britain captain Eric Ashton and captained by Welsh dual rugby international Kel Coslett.

Teams[edit]

1976 World Club Challenge Teams
Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Eastern Suburbs Positions Saintscolours.svg St Helens
Russell Fairfax Fullback Geoff Pimblett
Ian Schubert Wing Les Jones
Mark Harris Centre Eddie Cunningham
John Brass Centre Derek Noonan
Bill Mullins Wing Roy Mathias
Trevor Barnes Five-eighth Billy Benyon
Kevin Stevens Halfback Kenneth Gwilliam
Kel Jones Prop John Mantle
Elwyn Walters Hooker Tony Karalius
Royce Ayliffe Prop Kel Coslett (c)
Ian Mackay Second-row Eric Chisnall
Arthur Beetson (c) Second-row George Nicholls
Barry Reilly Lock David Hull
Robert Laurie Interchange Peter Glynn
John Mayes Interchange Frank Wilson
Grant Hedger Interchange Jeff Heaton
Greg Townsend Interchange Mel James
Jack Gibson Coach Eric Ashton

Match details[edit]

29 June 1976
Eastern Suburbs Eastern Suburbs colours.svg 25 – 2 Wigancolours.svg St Helens
Tries: Fairfax
Stevens
Ayliffe
Schubert
Townsend
Goals: Brass 5
Tries:
Goals: Pimblett 1
Sydney Cricket Ground
Attendance: 26,856
Referee/s: Gary Cook

Aftermath[edit]

Ironically, after winning the 1974 and 1975 Sydney premierships, Eastern Suburbs would not win another until 2002, while St Helens would go on to win a third English premiership in succession in 1976–77.

The next time Easts, now known as the Sydney Roosters, would play in a World Club Challenge was in 2003 where they would again face St Helens, the 2002 Super League champions at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton, England. The result would be no different though as the Roosters defeated the Saints 38-0 in front of 19,807 fans.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]