Australia beat France by a single point margin - 13 to 12 at Wigan, UK, Sept 24, in the World Cup Rugby series.
Australia beat France by a single point margin - 13 to 12 at Wigan, UK, Sept 24, in the World Cup Rugby series. The same day in the series Britain beat New Zealand 23 to 8 at Bradford U.K.
France made a tremendous second half rally and almost snatched victory after Australian domination in the first half.
Four times France tired hard for the two points needed for victory, but Lacaze shot wide with a penalty goal, and three attempted drop goals went just outside the posts.
Australian (in V necks) were without their captain, full-back Keith Barnes because of a high injury. Barnes emigrated from Wales 12 years ago. Brian Carlston switched form right wing to the full-back place. Lionel Morgan filled the wing position and scrum-half Barry Muir led the side.
France fielded their selected team with Ray in the centre. AUSTRALIA: Carlson; Morgan, Gasnier, Wells, Irvine; Brown, Muir; Mossop, Kelly, Beattie, Rasmussen, Hambly, Raper. FRANCE: Poletti; Dubon, Rey, Mantoulan, Gruppie; Merquey, Fages; Boldini, Casas, Quaglioc, Esramouspe, Barthe, Lacaze.
Scorers:Australia-Rapier, Kelly, Gasnier (tries), Carlson (two goals). France-Gruppie (two tries) and Lacaze (three goals).
France in white shorts had a narrow escape in the first opening minutes when Dubon passed to Poletti and the full back lost the ball. Gasnier came sweeping in, but he knocked on the pick up. A long kick by Boldini put the Australians back to the 25 line. In the scrum the ball came out to the Aussie side. The first points came after seven minutes when the French were penalised in a scrum and Carlson scraped the ball over the bar from 37 yards out.
There were hoots, cries from the crowd when Carlson took his time fixing the ball for his goal kick. Brightest play came from centre Harry Wells who charged through two tackles with the last second pass. He sent Gasnier away from 50 yards.
Brown Raper and Kelly all came in with smart handling. With the French adrift Kelly touched down for a try. Carlson hit a post with a kick at goal.
France hit back and Gruppie was sent through for a try after quick passing and Lacaze kicked a great goal from the touch-line.
Gasnier scored a spectacular try for Australia and Carlson added the goal.
Lacaze kicked a penalty goal from 45 yards for France and Gruppie scored a try.
The match apart from its importance in the world series, was also in the nature of a return replay since France and Australia had just drawn an international series in Australia.