Flashback: Ireland topple France in Colombes

Date published: December 28 2016

In the latest edition of our series, we look back at this week in history and pick out a key moment from rugby’s archives.

With New Years coming up let’s look at a clash that happened on the turn of the year.

January 1st, 1948

Traditionally, before the International Test windows were put in place, France would often play Tests on New Years day, with this Test being the last one.

Ireland claimed a 13-6 victory at Stade Colombes that would their first win on a Grandslam winning tour.

The game was particularly famous for a rambunctious crowd, that echoed the name of the scrum-half “Bergougnan, Bergougnan” who was suspended prior to the game. The number nine was suspended for allegations of professionalism.

The anger from the French supports wasn’t unwarranted as Yves Bergougnan’s replacement was 24-year-old full-back Lucien Rouffia, this game being only his third in French colours. He struggled at scrum-half and even gave away the last try scored by Irish winger Barney Mullan at the end of the game when Rouffia’s kick went awry.

The Irish outscored the French by seven points after the visitors scored three tries through Jim McCarthy, Barney Mullan and Paddy Reid opposed to the French’s two tries through Robert Soro and French captain Guy Basquet.

The scorers:

For France:
Tries:
Basquet, Soro

For Ireland:
Tries: McCarthy, Mullan, Reid
Cons: Mullan 2

France: 15 Lucien Rouffia, 14 Michel Pomathios, 13 Maurice Terreau, 12 Michel Sorondo, 11 Pierre Jeanjean, 10 Andre Alvarez, 9 Gerard Dufau, 8 Guy Basquet (c), 7 Jean Matheu-Cambas, 6 Jean Prat, 5 Robert Soro, 4 Alban Moga, 3 Eugene Buzy, 2 Lucien Martin, 1 Lucien Caron

Ireland: 15 Dudley Higgins, 14 Bertie O’Hanlon, 13 William McKee, 12 Paddy Reid, 11 Barney Mullan, 10 Jackie Kyle, 9 Ernest Strathdee (c), 8 Robert Agar, 7 Jim McCarthy, 6 Bill McKay, 5 Ernie Keeffe, 4 Colm Callan, 3 Albert McConnell, 2 Karl Mullen, 1 Jimmy Corcoran

Referee: Tom Pearce

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