South Sydney Rabbitohs were crowned World Club Champions after a record 39-0 win over St. Helens at Langtree Park on Sunday night.
Glenn Stewart crossed for the NRL side inside two minutes, with Dylan Walker, Greg Inglis and Joel Reddy also scoring before the interval.
Luke Keary and Chris McQueen added the the Super League side’s misery with second half tries as Reddy notched his second of the day.
A late drop goal from Adam Reynolds ensured a record victory and a clean sweep of the World Club Series by Australian sides.
The previous biggest winning margin in the World Club Challenge was 38 points when Saints were beaten 44-6 by Melbourne Storm in 2000 and 38-0 by Sydney Roosters in 2003 – Saints ramin the only side to be held scoreless in the showpiece event.
The first two games of the series were close affairs as St George Illawarra edged out Warrington 18-12 on Friday, while Brisbane Broncos needed a golden point penalty from Corey Parker in extra time to overcome Wigan 14-12 on Saturday.
But Souths, watched at Langtree Park by co-owner Russell Crowe and former RL star Sam Burgess, set the tone early on when Reynolds’ incisive kick was pounced on by Stewart.
After Saints centre Mark Percival was held up over the line after some outstanding Souths defence, the visitors’ were in again with half back Reynolds who produced some superb footwork to round the defence and set up Walker for a simple finish.
Rabbitohs captain Inglis then got on the end of a flowing move which began 40 meters out and winger Reddy took advantage of a slice of luck to pounce following a bouncing kick into Saints’ in goal area. The Rabbitohs led 24-0 at the break.
Soon after half time, another Reynolds kick caused confusion allowing stand-off Keary to touch down, before McQueen finished off a slick passing move out wide.
The Souths defence remained committed throughout the evening as the hosts failed to produce any attacking threat in the second period, and Reddy grabbed his second try in the corner after more good handling from the NRL Premiers.
And Reynolds secured the record with a drop-goal, his 11th point of the match, as the second ticked down. Not only a disappointing night for Saints, but a knock to the confidence of the British game.
St. Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham admitted his side were ‘schooled’ by the best team in the world. “I’m really disappointed,” he said. “It’s going to be a good education for my players, especially the young ones. It is difficult. I’m confident in my team’s ability and that wasn’t my team tonight. I know they’re a lot better than that.”
Meanwhile Souths head coach Michael Maguire was delighted with the win but praised the efforts of the English sides during the Series. “I’m really proud of the way we played. We set out to come out over here and be really professional. It was a great performance.
“I spent two years over here and I worked with some great players in Wigan. The last two results were very close, so the top teams over here can definitely mix it with the NRL.”