A game of rugby union in 1907

A picture of the Stade Francais rugby union team. 1903.

Thanks to Darrell Cobner, I have another discovery to share.

A photograph of Maurice Martin.Darrell suggested I look at Frederic Humbert’s blog, Rugby Pioneers. (Simon Eaves and Paul Worsfold also link to Frederic’s post in their 2014 review of notational analysis for rugby football.)

In 2010, Frederic shared the story of Maurice Martin and Fernand Bidault’s visit to Bordeaux on 24 March 1907 to record the French Rugby Union Championship final.

Their hand notation records “la marche du ballon a travers les deux camps”. This record of their notation includes a photograph of their observation point on the top of the grandstand at the Stade Sainte-Germaine at Le Bouscat.

A photograph of the hand notation of the 1907 rugby union final.

There were 12,000 spectators at the game so the vantage point would have been particularly helpful in their comprehensive “schema chronometre”.  The notation is recorded with the time of day: kick off 3pm, end of first half 3.43 pm; second half starts 4pm and ends at 4.47pm.

The home team, SBUC, won the game by 14 points to 3 (4 tries to 1). It was 6 points to 3 at half time (2 tries to 1). The SBUC tries were scored by Maurice Leuvielle, Jacques Dufourcq, Marc Giacardy, and Pascal Laporte. Henri Martin converted one of these tries. The Stade Francais try was scored by Charles Vareilles.

I was fascinated to discover this notation. Eighty-four years later, I was perched in the top of the old Cardiff Arms Park using hand notation to record the flow of an international game. I did have the advantage of a stopwatch and a roof on a rainy day.

Photo Credit

Maurice Martin (Wikipedia)

Stade Fracais 1903 (Frederic Humbert)

One thought on “A game of rugby union in 1907”

Leave a Reply