The tournament was first held in France in 1954, initiated by French Rugby League President Paul Barrière, and it was the first World Cup held for any form of rugby football. The inaugural tournament was won by Great Britain, who defeated France in the final held in Paris. 

The initial World Cup was so successful that another was born three years later in Australia, marking 50 years of Rugby League. The Australian team proved victorious on their home ground, setting the tone for many successful campaigns in the future.

The Rugby League World Cup, one of the premier events in international rugby, has provided us with some of the most memorable matches in the sport's history. 

Here are five of the most iconic games in the tournament's history, demonstrating the spirit, skill, and intensity of the Rugby League at the highest level. If you're a fan of the sport, these matches are not to be missed, and for those with a good feeling about how the games will play out, you can even bet on Bovada to add an extra thrill to the experience.

5 Of The Most Iconic Matches In The Tournament's History

We know that everyone doesn't have the same opinion regarding what matches are the most historic ones. Therefore, remember that this is the author's opinion, and you're free to share your opinion or matches that we might have missed in our comment section.

1972 Final: Great Britain vs Australia

Despite a dismal crowd of only 4,321, the match held at Lyon's Stade Municipal de Garland was an enthralling contest, ending in a 10-all draw after extra time. The match was a rollercoaster with an opening try from John O'Negby, a disallowed try by Graeme Langlands, a memorable 90-meter trial by British captain Clive Sullivan, and a final converted try by Mike Stephenson. Great Britain was awarded the World Cup for its superior record in the first preliminary matches​.

1995 Pool Match: New Zealand vs Tonga

On the brink of World Cup oblivion, New Zealand rallied from a 24-12 deficit with seven minutes remaining. Captain Matthew Ridge inspired his side, converting late tries and slotting a left-footed field goal to clinch a 25-24 victory, staving off one of the tremendous international upsets​.

2013 Pool Match: Scotland vs Italy

The performances of developing nations defined the 2013 World Cup, and this 30-all draw at Derwent Park was a standout. Despite Scotland's 14-0 lead, Italy produced a stunning comeback, with Scotland's captain Danny Brough's chip-and-regather setting up the tying score. The match was a thrilling draw after 80 pulsating minutes.

1970 Final: Australia vs Great Britain

Known as 'The Battle of Leeds,' Australia prevailed 12-7 in a savage encounter marred by brawling and vicious off-the-ball incidents. Despite the violent nature of the match, it remains an integral part of Rugby League folklore​.

1995 Pool Match: England vs Australia

In a dramatic tournament opener at Wembley, England triumphed 20-16 over an under-strength Australian side, rocked by the Super League upheaval. The match was marked by stunning tries and a diabolical error that resulted in England's victory. Australia would later gain revenge, winning the final three weeks later​.

Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash
Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

Rugby League Championship 2022 Highlights 

The 2022 Rugby League season was filled with excitement and intense action. Look at the highlights from international Rugby League matches throughout the year.

One of the most notable matches in the World Cup was the final between Australia and Samoa. Australia dominated Samoa to secure their third World Cup victory, beating them 30-10 at Old Trafford. The Kangaroos have won the Rugby League World Cup 12 times, returning with the trophy in 9 of the last ten tournaments dating back to 1975​.

There were several key moments during this match. Latrell Mitchell opened the scoring for Australia, while Josh Addo-Carr and Liam Martin also contributed tries in the first half. Despite losing Angus Crichton to the sin bin early in the second half, Australia extended their lead when Nathan Cleary found Cameron Murray for a try​.

However, Samoa was not without its moments of brilliance. Playmaker Jarome Luai produced a moment of magic to find Kelma Tuilagi in space, who passed to Brian To'o for Samoa's first try. Despite a last attempt by Stephen Crichton and strong efforts from the Samoan team, Australia maintained their lead, with James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell scoring another shot​.

Among the men's international friendlies, we saw exciting matches between countries like Malta and North Macedonia, Chile, the Philippines, Brazil, and South Africa. Each game had unique moments and contributed to an exciting year of rugby.

International tournaments also played a significant role in the 2022 Rugby League season. Nigeria emerged as the winner of the MEA Championship that started on September 27, 2022, and Brazil won the South American Championship on November 25, 2022.