1967–68 Northern Rugby Football League season

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1967–68 Rugby Football League season
League Northern Rugby Football League
Champions Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity
League Leaders Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds
Top point-scorer(s) Rhinoscolours.svg Bev Risman 332
Top try-scorer(s) HKRcolours.svg Roger Millward 38
Seasons

The 1967–68 Rugby Football League season was the 73rd season of rugby league football.

Season summary[edit]

Leeds had ended the regular season as league leaders for the second successive season. Wakefield Trinity won their second Championship, the second in successive seasons, when they beat Hull Kingston Rovers 17-10 in the Championship Final. Gary Cooper was awarded the Harry Sunderland Trophy as man-of-the-match.

The Challenge Cup winners were Leeds who beat Wakefield Trinity 11-10 in the final.

The BBC2 Floodlit Trophy winners were Castleford who beat Leigh 8-5 in the final.[1]

Clive Sullivan of Hull F.C. set a club record of 7-tries scored in a match against Doncaster on 15 April 1968.[2]

Warrington won the Lancashire League, and Leeds won the Yorkshire League. St. Helens beat Warrington 2–2 (replay 13–10) to win the Lancashire County Cup, and Hull Kingston Rovers beat Hull F.C. 8–7 to win the Yorkshire County Cup.

Championship[edit]

Team Pld W D L Pts
1 Leeds 34 28 0 6 56
2 Wakefield Trinity 34 24 1 9 49
3 Hull Kingston Rovers 34 24 1 9 49
4 St. Helens 34 24 1 9 49
5 Warrington 34 24 0 10 48
6 Bradford Northern 34 24 0 10 48
7 Leigh 34 22 1 11 45
8 Castleford 34 22 1 11 45
9 Salford 34 22 0 12 44
10 Workington Town 34 21 1 12 43
11 Wigan 34 21 0 13 42
12 Hull 34 21 0 13 42
13 Halifax 34 19 2 13 40
14 Swinton 34 18 1 15 37
15 Huddersfield 34 17 2 15 36
16 Widnes 34 17 1 16 35
17 Dewsbury 34 17 0 17 34
18 Featherstone Rovers 34 16 0 18 32
19 Barrow 34 14 0 20 28
20 Bramley 34 14 0 20 28
21 Hunslet 34 13 0 21 26
22 Oldham 34 13 0 21 26
23 Rochdale Hornets 34 13 0 21 26
24 Liverpool City 34 11 2 21 24
25 Whitehaven 34 10 1 23 21
26 York 34 9 1 24 19
27 Keighley 34 8 0 26 16
28 Blackpool Borough 34 6 1 27 13
29 Doncaster 34 4 2 28 10
30 Batley 34 4 1 29 9

Play-offs[edit]

Round of 16 Quarter-finals Semi-finals Final
                           
           
 Leeds  31
 Widnes  17  
 Leeds  7
   Wigan  11  
 Bradford Northern  8
 Wigan  28  
 Wigan  9
   Wakefield Trinity  17  
 Castleford  47
 Salford  15  
 Catleford  14
   Wakefield Trinity  17  
 Wakefield Trinity  20
 Huddersfield  11  
 Wakefield Trinity  17
   Hull K R  10
 Warrington  12
 Hull  9  
 Warrington  0
   St Helens  20  
 St Helens  
 Halifax    
 St Helens  10
   Hull K R  23   Third Place
 Hull K R  17
 Swinton  2  
 Hull K R  22    
   Leigh  3      
 Leigh  43
 Workington Town  4


 

Challenge Cup[edit]

Leeds beat Wakefield 11-10 in the final played at Wembley in front of a crowd of 87,100. This was Leeds’ ninth Cup Final win in eleven Final appearances.[3] The Leeds winning team coached by Roy Francis was; Bev Risman, Alan Smith, Syd Hynes, Bernard Watson, John Atkinson, Mick Shoebottom, Barry Seabourne, Mick Clark (c), Tony Crosby, Ken Eyre, Bill Ramsey, Albert Eyre, Ray Batten subs: John Langley, Mick Joyce.

Dubbed the "Watersplash Final", this match was remembered for the atrocious pitch conditions caused by a torrential downpour that left many large puddles on the playing surface.[4] The conditions contributed to a nail biting finale. Leeds had taken an 11-7 lead with a minute to go, but Wakefield scored a try next to the posts from the kick-off. Don Fox had only to convert to win the Final, but pushed it wide of the posts.[5]


Operational rules[edit]

The playing of matches on Sundays was sanctioned for the first time in December 1967.[citation needed] This change was made to avoid competition from association football clubs.

Kangaroo Tour[edit]

From September until December also saw the appearance of the Australian team in England on their 1967–68 Kangaroo Tour. Other than the three test Ashes series against Great Britain (won 2–1 by Australia), The Kangaroos played matches against club and county representative sides

The 1967–68 Kangaroos were captain-coached by champion St George Dragons centre Reg Gasnier who was making his third tour following from 1959–60 and 1967–68. While his team achieved success, the tour was a tragedy for Gasnier. He broke his leg during the first test at Headingley that saw him sit out the remainder of the English leg. He returned to the field in France but in a minor game against Les Espoirs in Avignon, he suffered a further break. This would ultimately cause him to announce his retirement from playing at the age of just 28. He later told in an interview that he never regretted his decision to retire, explaining that he had been playing rugby league virtually non-stop including juniors, junior representative games, the Sydney premiership, interstate games and international tours since the early 1950s, and felt it was about time that he started devoting more time to his family.[6]

game Date Result Venue Attendance
1 30 September Australian colours.svg Australia def. Wolvescolours.svg Warrington 17–6 Wilderspool Stadium, Warrington 11,642
2 4 October Yorkshire Yorkshire def. Australian colours.svg Australia 15–14 Belle Vue, Wakefield 19,370
3 7 October HKRcolours.svg Hull Kingston Rovers def. Australian colours.svg Australia 27–15 Craven Park, Hull 11,252
4 11 October Australian colours.svg Australia def. Lancashire Lancashire 14–2 The Willows, Salford 9,369
5 13 October Wigancolours.svg Wigan def. Australian colours.svg Australia 12–6 Central Park, Wigan 22,770
6 16 October Australian colours.svg Australia def. Rochdale colours.svg Rochdale Hornets 25–2 Athletic Grounds, Rochdale 2,676
7 21 October  Great Britain def.  Australia 16–11 Headingley, Leeds 22,293
8 24 October Saintscolours.svg St Helens def. Australian colours.svg Australia 8–4 Knowsley Road, St Helens 17,275
9 28 October Australian colours.svg Australia def. Wcatscolours.svg Wakefield Trinity 33–7 Belle Vue, Wakefield 10,056
10 3 November  Australia def.  Great Britain 17–11 White City Stadium, London 17,445
11 9 November Castleford colours.svg Castleford def. Australian colours.svg Australia 22–3 Wheldon Road, Castleford 17,275
12 11 November Australian colours.svg Australia def. Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham 18–8 The Watersheddings, Oldham 3,174
13 13 November Australian colours.svg Australia def. Widnes colours.svg Widnes 33–11 Naughton Park, Widnes 9,828
14 16 November Barrowcolours.svg Barrow drew with Australian colours.svg Australia 10–10 Craven Park, Barrow-in-Furness 8,418
15 18 November Cumbria Cumberland def. Australian colours.svg Australia 17–15 Derwent Park, Workington 7,545
16 22 November Australian colours.svg Australia def. Swintoncolours.svg Swinton 12–9 Station Road, Swinton 5,640
17 25 November Australian colours.svg Australia def. Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds 7–4 Headingley, Leeds 5,522
18 29 November Australian colours.svg Australia def. Faxcolours.svg Halifax 22–2 Thrum Hall, Halifax 5,285
19 2 December Australian colours.svg Australia def. Bullscolours.svg Bradford Northern 7–3 Odsal Stadium, Bradford 14,173
20 9 December  Australia def.  Great Britain 11–3 Station Road, Swinton 13,615

References[edit]

  1. ^ "1967-68 Season summary". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-08. 
  2. ^ "Hull F.C. History". Retrieved 2009-10-23. [permanent dead link]
  3. ^ "RFL Challenge Cup Roll of Honour". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  4. ^ Demsteader, Christine (2000-10-01). "Rugby League's home from home". BBC Sport. UK: BBC. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  5. ^ "Watersplash Final". Archived from the original on 2009-09-16. Retrieved 2009-08-07. 
  6. ^ Legends of Australian sport: The Inside Story. Australia: University of Queensland Press. 2003. p. 79. ISBN 9780702234101. 

Sources[edit]