1975 Rugby League World Championship
10 June 1975 • KO 00:00
7 v 12
Lang Park, Brisbane
Referee : Don Lancashire
On June 10 1975, Wales beat England 12-7 in a win that would eventually go a long way to preventing England from winning the World Cup.
The 1975 World Championship, as it was known as that year, made history with Great Britain being split into England and Wales for the first time, joining Australia, New Zealand and France playing each other home and away on both sides of the world for a total of eight fixtures each.
The tournament kicked off on March 2 and finished on November 6, the title being decided on league placings. Australia topped the table, one point ahead of England with Wales taking third place.
The Sydney Morning Herald report of the match
The infamous England v Wales match took place at Lang Park in Brisbane. David Treasure and the late Clive Sullivan scored tries for Wales that day with David Watkins kicking three goals. Tommy Martyn replied for England with their only try with Scottish born George Fairbairn, who now works for the RFL as a match commissioner, kicking two goals.
Five years before State of Origin started, this “Battle of Brisbane” was a British precursor to the type of matches that Lang Park, now known as Suncorp Stadium, would see over the years and in his biography, “Big Jim”, Jim Mills remembers the game well.
Mills said: “It was one of those games, playing against team-mates and friends for your country. Alex Murphy had been on television the night before and when asked about the Welsh team, he said that none of them are good enough to get into the England team. That set the match up when he said that, everyone was a bit bitter.
“It was a violent game and Mick Morgan, the England hooker, was knocked unconscious and was carried off on three occasions. There were a lot of bust ups, it was a hard fought game and the Aussie enjoyed it. They were playing us the following weekend but we didn’t get a chance to recover and were still tired. If we hadn’t beaten England, they would have won the World Championship.
“They were red hot favourites in Brisbane and it was one of the toughest games I played purely from the fact I was playing against some Widnes team-mates in the England side. There were friends of mine who didn’t speak to me for a long time after that match.”
England and Wales have still never won the Rugby League World Cup as individual nations, only when joining forces as Great Britain in the early years of the tournament.
Team Lists and Scoring Information
|4||David Watkins (c)||3||6|
|13||3 - 0||David Treasure||Wales||Try|
|20||3 - 2||George Fairbairn||England||Penalty|
|28||5 - 2||David Watkins||Wales||Penalty|
|55||8 - 2||Clive Sullivan||Wales||Try|
|56||10 - 2||David Watkins||Wales||Conversion|
|65||12 - 2||David Watkins||Wales||Penalty|
|70||12 - 5||Tommy Martyn||England||Try|
|71||12 - 7||George Fairbairn||England||Conversion|
|78||12 - 7||Les Dyl||England||Red Card|