1977 Rugby League World Cup

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1977 (1977) World Cup  ()
Number of teams 4
Host countries  Australia
 New Zealand
Winner  Australia (5th title)

Matches played 7
Attendance 109,688 (15,670 per match)
Points scored 235 (33.57 per match)
Top scorer United Kingdom George Fairbairn (34)
Top try scorers Australia Allan McMahon (4)
Australia Graham Eadie (4)
 < 1975

The 1977 Rugby League World Cup was the eighth Rugby League World Cup tournament and was held in Australasia, with games played during May and June in both Australia and New Zealand. It featured four teams: Great Britain and France in addition to the two host nations. All teams played each other once, resulting in a top two of Great Britain and Australia who played in the tournament final at the Sydney Cricket Ground with the home team winning by one point.

The tournament as held during the 1977 NSWRFL season and 1977 New Zealand rugby league season. That the final would be between Great Britain and Australia soon became obvious, with France and New Zealand both performing poorly.


Team Nickname Coach Captain
 Australia (8th appearance) The Kangaroos Terry Fearnley Arthur Beetson
 New Zealand (8th appearance) The Kiwis Ron Ackland Tony Coll
 Great Britain (8th appearance) The Lions Reg Parker Roger Millward
 France (8th appearance) Les Chanticleers José Calle Yves Bergou


Group stage[edit]

Key to colours in group tables
Advances to the Final
Team Played Won Drew Lost  For  Against Difference Points
 Australia 3 3 0 0 67 26 +41 6
 Great Britain 3 2 0 1 58 35 +23 4
 New Zealand 3 1 0 2 52 77 −25 2
 France 3 0 0 3 33 72 −39 0
29 May
New Zealand  12–27  Australia
Carlaw Park, Auckland
Attendance: 18,000
5 June
France  4–23  Great Britain
Carlaw Park, Auckland
Attendance: 10,000
11 June
Australia  21–9  France
Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Attendance: 13,231
12 June
New Zealand  12–30  Great Britain
Addington Showground, Christchurch
Attendance: 9,000
18 June
Australia  19–5  Great Britain
Lang Park, Brisbane
Attendance: 27,000
19 June
New Zealand  28–20  France
Carlaw Park, Auckland
Attendance: 8,000


25 June 1977
Australia  13–12  Great Britain
Allan McMahon
Russel Gartner
John Kolc
Mick Cronin (2)
Steve Pitchford
Ken Gill

George Fairbairn (3)
Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney
Attendance: 24,457[1]
Referee/s: Billy Thompson United Kingdom
Australia Posit. Great Britain
Graham Eadie 1. FB George Fairbairn
Allan McMahon 2. WG Stuart Wright
Mick Cronin 3. CE John Holmes
Russel Gartner 4. CE Les Dyl
Mark Harris 5. WG Bill Francis
John Peard 6. FE Roger Millward (c)
John Kolc 7. HB Steve Nash
Greg Veivers 8. PR Jimmy Thompson
Nick Geiger 9. HK Keith Elwell
Terry Randall 10. PR Steve Pitchford
Arthur Beetson (c) 11. SR Len Casey
Ray Higgs 12. SR Eddie Bowman
Greg Pierce 13. LF Phil Hogan
Denis Fitzgerald Res.
Terry Fearnley Coach David Watkins

After their 19–5 win over Great Britain a week earlier at Lang Park in Brisbane, the Australian went into the Final as warm favourites. However, led by experienced captain Roger Millward, the Lions managed to dominate possession throughout the game, and it took a last minute try from Australian halfback John Kolc to secure the Cup in front of 24,457 spectators at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The gritty and determined Lions were considered unlucky not to win when they were denied a near certain try late in the game by English referee Billy Thompson, who called play back for a penalty rather than play advantage.


External links[edit]