3rd November 1937: Wigan 23 Australia 25
Posted by Bilko on July 02 2014 - 22:17

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Wigan 23 Australia 25 - Wednesday 3rd November 1937
Venue: Central Park, Wigan
Competition: Tour Match
Kick Off: 3:00pm


1. Jim Sullivan, 2. Eddie Holder, 3. George Bennett, 4. Gwynne Davies, 5. Jack Morley, 6. Jack Garvey, 7. Hector Gee

WiganlForwards:l 8. George Banks, 9. Joe Golby, 10. Harold Edwards, 11. Trevor Thomas, 12. Albert Davis, 13. Ike Jones


Gwynne Davies 3, Jack Morley 2
WiganlGoals:l Jim Sullivan 4


1. Laurie Ward, 2. Les Dawson, 3. John Beaton, 4. Bert Williams, 5. Ross McKinnon, 6. Ernest Norman, 7. Percy Williams

AustralialForwards:l 8. Ray Stehr, 9. Henry Pierce, 10. Les Heidke, 11. Andrew Norval, 12. Eric Lewis, 13. Wally Prigg


Wally Prigg 2, Andrew Norval 2, Henry Pierce, Ernest Norman, Les Heidke
AustralialGoals:l Percy Williams 1, John Beaton 1


"One of the finest matches ever seen" at Central Park was how one newspaper described this one. Wigan had defended a ton of Aussie pressure in the opening quarter but eventually they scored with Ross McKinnon sending Henry Pierce in for a try. Wigan responded with George Bennett and Eddie Holder combining to send Gwynne Davies over. Then Davies sent Jack Morley in for a try that had made it 10-3. Australia hit back before half time though with a try from Ernie Norman that was converted by Percy Williams.

So that was 10-8 to Wigan at the break but Australia re-captured the lead with a try from Andrew Norval who punished a Wigan error. Wigan hit back when Jack Garvey sent Davies over for his second but Australia retaliated to that with a try from Wally Prigg, who had some time off the field injured. The score was now 15-14 to Wigan with missed conversions not helping Australia.

An error from Laurie Ward at full back gifted Davies his hat-trick for Wigan and Sullivan's conversion for a 20-14 Wigan lead looked like it had settled the match with only 8 minutes remaining. But their was plenty of drama still to come. Les Heidke scored from a deep break to make it 20-17 after the conversion was missed again. But when Jack Morley claimed a try to re-establish a 6 point lead with three minutes to go, surely that was that? Well it wasn't. With a minute to go Australia scored with another unconverted try from Wally Prigg for 23-20 and then amazingly snatched the game with a try from the resulting kick off that Andrew Norval finished off. That made it 23-23 and after converting just one of six tries previously the Aussies managed to this time find a touchline conversion to win the game from John Beaton. Late Aussie rallies are not a recent phenomenon it seems.

Attendance: 9,800
Referee: Albert Dobson (Featherstone)