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Memorable Matches From The Biff Era

(m23) Battle of the Boulevard - Hull 1951--Other Nationalities -v- French

Posted by... quigs eraofthebiff - on ... Friday, May 04, 2012

(m23) Battle of the Boulevard - Hull 1951.
Other Nationalities -v- French

MEMORABLE MATCHES #23

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Get some more beers, or make another coffee, take your time and have some fun.

from Quigs "As mentioned previously, I am not a rugby league historian, a rugby league expert. I am just a lover of this era of Rugby League." ... This is a recollection of some of the battles, and the trench warfare that I, and others watched over time. Some are matches that I was told about, or read about.


MATCH SUMMARY A brutal match which saw Ponsinet drop Clues as the kickoff was being taken



THE BATTLE OF THE BOULEVARD

FRANCE -V- THE OTHER NATIONALITIES
PLAYED AT HULL 1951

Click to visit Hull site


Bill Dalton, a good Hull Man.

Team Era would like to thank Bill Dalton, The Hull F.C. Club Historian, for his efforts in sourcing this story and articles about the Battle of the Boulevard. Along with other stories Bill also sent us a copy of the original game program. ...... Thanks again Bill.

Quote from Bill....
"From reading the account of the Third Test in Australia (21 July 1951 it does appear the Elie Brousse had had a battering and was intent on revenge at the Boulevard - obviously any Aussie would do! I have spoken to Ben Greaves (ex Hull KR Director) who was at the match and he assures me that far from Clues "leaving the field", he was carried off spark out on a stretcher with his arms hanging each side."

ROUGH HOUSE RUGBY NOT GOOD FOR LEAGUE

COMMENT IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL, MONDAY 5th November 1951

Few matches at Hull Boulevard have been publicised more than was Saturdays international between France and the Other Nationalities. But it must go on record that many games on that ground have eclipsed it in quality. There was spectacle, but too much of the wrong sort, and most of the credit in an unsavoury game must go to Other Nationalities, whose 17 - 14 win was their first ever against the Frenchmen.

Battered, bruised and short handed for almost the entire game, Other Nationalities made light of their casualties to gain a resounding victory against less particular opponents, who were disposed to mix it.

This rough house business is not a good advertisement for the codae, and from world rugby champions one was entitled to expect something more in keeping with that exalted rank.

ORDERS TO QUIT.

It would be an injustice to indict the French team as a whole, for the play most of them was above reproach, but it was obvious that in due course drastic action would have to be taken if cautions were of no avail. Fouls could not continue indefinitely, and so an inglorius climax came 11 minutes from the end when second row forward Poncinet, of Carassonne, got orders to quit.

INJURIES

The game had scarcely started when Clues, Leeds second row man, had to be carried off with a badly cut eye. Next, off half Henderson, of Huddersfield, spent 20 minutes in the dressingroom nursing a head injury, and finally second row forward Burke, of Leigh, sustained a broken nose. It was natural that all these incidents should tend to throw Other Nationalities out of gear, yet they stuck manfully to their guns, and out-generalling the Frenchmen in most departments. Other Nationalities had a pronounced forward superiority, gaining psossession 26 -14 in the scrums and revealing a greater virility in open play. Loose forward Valentine, of Huddersfield was untiring, but even greatere distinction came to his clubmates, Cooper and Devery.

SPEED AND CRAFT

Cooper's pace and craft brought the winners three tries - the last a touch-line beauty - while Devery accounted for four goals.
There was grand work, too, by Mudge and Paskins of Workington. Bevan (Warrington) had little opportunity, but the side as a whole showed a good team spirit.
France were well seerved by their halves and full back, Puig Aubert, although their backs rarely escaped a stranglehold in advanced positions.

THE ROUGH STUFF

yet, overshadowing what might have been a classic had the performers been so disposed to make it so, hung a cloud of regrettable incidents. Apart from major casualties referred to other players on both sides were in the wars to lesser degrees. Scars which come from hard knocks are sometimes inescapable, but it is unwarranted roughness to which exception must be taken, and the sooner it is eliminated the sooner the game will profit.

INTERNATIONAL MATCH AT THE BOULEVARD

FROM AN ARTICLE BY ALLAN CAVE (Sun Sports Writer)
TAKEN FROM THE HULL FC CENTENARY BROCHURE 1963


Whenever Aussies are mentioned on Humberside the memory almost invariably goes back to one early November day in 1951, when at the Boulevard a great Other Nationalities XIII, crippled by injuries, won a glorious 17 -14 victory over France in their prime in what was a veritable blood bath. It was the last international to be played in Hull.

At the time when the Empire side were two men down France pulled up from 4 - 9 to nine all, then the courage of such men as Lionel Cooper, Huddersfield's heavywieght Aussie left winger, who was team-captain, Scotsman Dave Valentine, presend Huddersfield coach, Pat Devery, classy Huddersfield Aussie Centre, Huddersfield and New Zealand winger Peter Henderson playing stand-off half, Workingtons Australian centre Tony Paskins and Leigh forward Geoff Burke surmounted all obstacles.

Cooper shattered the French Barricade for three wonderful tries - on of the greatest performances against the odds I have ever witnessed. The head bandaged Henderson strove gallantly to get through the middle. Burke broke his nose, went off, but came back to the 'battlefield'.

Jack Murray, Hull's trainer in those days was in charge of the Empire side's wlfare and I remember him telling me at the time "Not seen anything like it since Jutland" Valentines verdict was "We won by four knock-outs to three". Dave played the game of his life that day.

It was such a match, he-man stuff from start to finish with the mixed side displaying guts that win wars. It was an unforgettable game for it started with a crack that put that great Leeds Aussie forward Arthur Clues flat out in the second minute, which is all Arthur remembers of that game to this day. He was carried off and stayed off. The man who considered responsible for the K.O. French Forward Edouard Ponsinet was ordered off near the end. He is on of the new members of the French Selection Committee.

It was a French side in their pomp, full of fire and whenever I think of that heroic show by the Empire men I long for a revival of the Other Nationalities team, then dominated by the Australians. I never hope to see a better back three forwards then Clues, Harry Bath and valentine. They were an immense trio.
Clues nowadays is on the Leeds Committee, Valentine, as I have stated , coaches the club for whom he played so well and long, and Bath has been back in Sydney where he is a leading coach for seven years.

That 1951 Epic was Hull's first international since the twenties, when the Boulevard had two tests - 1921 versus Australia and 1926 against New Zealand.

 

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