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10th March 1934: Wigan 30 France 27
Posted by Bilko on January 04 2014 - 18:33
Click: Last Match - Click: Next Match
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Wigan 30 France 27 - Saturday 10th March 1934
Venue: Central Park, Wigan
Competition: Tour Match
Kick Off: 3:30pm

WiganlBacks:l 1. Jim Sullivan, 2. Jack Morley, 3. Billy Howarth, 4. Gwynne Davies, 5. Dicky Twose, 6. George Bennett, 7. Hector Gee
WiganlForwards:l 8. Bill Targett, 9. Joe Golby, 10. Harold Edwards, 11. Len Mason, 12. Reg Hathway, 13. Albert Davis

WiganlTries:l

Jack Morley 2, Dicky Twose 2, Gwynne Davies, Billy Howarth
WiganlGoals:l Jim Sullivan 6

FrancelTries:l

Antonin Barbazanges 2, Georges Blanc 2, Jean Galia 2, Jean Duhau
FrancellGoals:l Jean Duhau 2, Jean Cassagneau 1

Summary:l

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 Council to 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.

The new 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, before 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.

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