Crowd chaos causes casualties in 1930 Paris match – Welsh Rugby Union


Within the remaining fixture of that yr’s 5 Nations, Wales travelled to the Stade Olympique Yves du Manoir in Paris on Easter Monday.

Six years earlier, the stadium had witnessed Olympic gold medal-winning performances by Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell that may kind the premise of the movie ‘Chariots of Hearth’. (As a cinematic apart, the stadium was the setting for 1981’s ‘Escape to Victory’, though the story of a POWs-versus-Nazis soccer match wasn’t really filmed there.) In that yr’s Summer time Video games, the USA received gold within the competitors’s first ever rugby occasion, beating the hosts in a raucous and violent remaining that led to a pitch invasion and the Individuals needing police safety.

In some methods, the climax to the 1930 5 Nations proved equally eventful. There have been no clear favourites going into the match, with France struggling their solely defeat of the event within the earlier spherical, shedding 11-5 to England.

Wales had misplaced twice, by eight and three factors to England and Scotland respectively, though simply previous to the sport in Paris that they had overwhelmed Eire 12-7 at dwelling in St Helen’s. They had been captained by Swansea centre Man Stewart-Morgan, who hailed from the mining village of Garnant in Carmarthenshire, and a yr beforehand had received his fourth Cambridge Blue.

However the recreation itself can be remembered for off-field issues, a lot of it owing to the general public’s clamour to get into the bottom.

L’Illustration newspaper reported a match of “excessive brutality” each on the sphere and within the public enclosures. Twenty thousand followers had been unable to enter, and most of the 50,000 within the stadium grew to become so pressed collectively that “volunteer staff grew to become nurses”.

Concerning the on-field “brutality”, which is known to have been initiated by the hosts, this notably bodily period of French rugby was named “rugby de muerte” following quite a few unsavoury incidents (the worst of which had typically resulted in demise). The truth is, it was Alain du Manoir, brother of the person after whom the stadium is known as, who decried the “anti-sporting, anti-educational, anti-moral angle” of the sport in his nation.

From all this, Wales emerged the winners by 11 factors to nil, because of a attempt from Cardiff prop Archie ‘The Butcher’ Skym, the pleasure of Tumble, and drop objectives from Stewart-Morgan and mercurial London Welsh scrum-half Wick Powell.

As for the event’s end result: Wales’ victory noticed the title awarded to England. France, who in that yr’s Championship had overwhelmed Eire 5-0 in Belfast, must wait 17 years till their subsequent Championship win on British soil.

In 1931, it was revealed that some French gamers had been being paid by their golf equipment – in breach of the beginner ethos of the sport, and described as “administrative deficiencies” – which resulted within the nationwide staff’s exclusion from the 5 Nations for eight years. By the point they had been readmitted, World Struggle Two had damaged out, and so they wouldn’t characteristic once more till 1947.

Wales, in distinction, went undefeated in 1931 as they claimed their ninth 5 Nations title.

France v Wales, 1930 5 Nations:

France – Maixent Piquemal; Fernand Taillantou; Georges Gerald, Rene Graciet; Robert Samatan; Christian Magnanou, Lucien Serin; Rene Bousquet, Albert Ambert, Joseph Choy; Andre Camel, Richard Majerus; Alex Bioussa, Eugene Ribere (c), Jean Galia.

Wales – Tommy Scourfield; Howie Jones; Man Stewart-Morgan (c), Claud Davey; Ronnie Boon; Frank Williams, Wick Powell; Archie Skym, Bert Day, Edgar Jones; Tom Arthur, Ned Jenkins; Harry Peacock, Norman Fender, Arthur Lemon.

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