Click: Last Match -
Wigan 30 France 27 - Saturday 10th March 1934
Venue: Central Park, Wigan
Competition: Tour Match
Kick Off: 3:30pm
1. Jim Sullivan, 2. Jack Morley, 3. Billy Howarth, 4. Gwynne Davies, 5.
Dicky Twose, 6. George Bennett, 7. Hector Gee
8. Bill Targett, 9. Joe Golby, 10. Harold Edwards, 11. Len Mason, 12. Reg
Hathway, 13. Albert Davis
Jack Morley 2, Dicky Twose 2, Gwynne Davies, Billy Howarth
Jim Sullivan 6
Antonin Barbazanges 2, Georges Blanc 2, Jean Galia 2, Jean Duhau
Jean Duhau 2, Jean Cassagneau 1
Wigan were due to play York at Central Park in
the league on this day, but with the pair drawn against each other in the
previous cup round the fixture was always guaranteed to be postponed on this
Saturday when the Quarter Finals were scheduled. With York having won that
tie, Wigan were left with no fixture and that allowed the Rugby League
set them up to play a new French side. A group of French Rugby Union
converts, led by Jean Galia, had organised a tour after a successful
exhibition match between England and Australia in Paris during December.
They were embarking on a mini tour which would also see them play Leeds,
London Highfield and a "Northern Rugby League Team" at Warrington.
Fixtures against Salford and Hull were later added also.
French side impressed in defeat at Wigan. Heavy Rain all day kept the crowd
down to just 9,000 but those that attended got to witness a thrilling game. Wigan raced
away to an early 8-0 lead, after tries from Dicky Twose and Billy Howarth,
Georges Blanc had the honour of scoring the first ever French Rugby League try
to bring the score back to 8-3. Wigan though kicked on and after Jim Sullivan
had kicked a drop goal (worth
two points until 1974) for 10-3, Gwynne Davies scored a try for 13-3. It was
now looking like Wigan would run away with the game but the French tourists
had other ideas. They claimed two tries from first Jean Duhau before Blanc
scored his second for 13-9. Wigan then scored again through Jack Morley with
Sullivan's conversion improving, but France hit back with a try from Antonin Barbazanges. All that for a 18-12 half time score.
France came out
strong second half and Barbazanges scored again before a Jim Sullivan
penalty goal made it 20-15. Then Jean Galia scored a try and they finally
managed to convert one of them, through Duhau, for a level 20-20 score. A defeat would have been a bit embarrassing
for Wigan so they stepped up a gear in the final quarter to re-take the lead
with a converted try by Dicky Twose. But the French wouldn't lie down and a
penalty goal from Jean Cassagneau brought the score down to 25-22 before
they miraculously took the lead with Galia scoring and Duhau converting for
27-25. The French were so close to a famous victory but they couldn't hang
on and Jack Morley's try snatched victory for Wigan with Jim Sullivan's
conversion completing the scoring. The French could at least take the
satisfaction that they outscored Wigan in tries but couldn't compete with
Sullivan for goal kicking.