Brett Morris scored a hattrick as Sydney Roosters beat Wigan Warriors 8-20 at the DW Stadium last night.
The National Rugby League side beat Wigan Warriors to win a record-equalling fourth World Club Challenge title rather comfortably – highlighting the difference between the standard of the sport in their respective countries.
The atmosphere was electric and fit for such and occasion, but Morris crossed twice early to silence the majority of the raucous DW crowd.
Wigan, however, struck back through a smart Tom Davies finish midway through the first half.
Prior to the game, the Cherry and Whites had enjoyed four wins against Australian opposition in 1987, 1991, 1994 and most recently in 2017, when they beat Cronulla Sharks in a thrilling contest.
New life was bred into the Super League side and they looked the more likely to score again as the first half advanced.
However, Morris completed a hat-trick of tries with just over half an hour played to pile the pressure on the hosts.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho’s 60th-minute penalty gave the Roosters breathing space only for
Liam Marshall’s try set up a thrilling finale, but Sio Siua Taukeiaho’s penalty kick gave the visitors enough breathing space to remain in control of the scoreboard before Daniel Tupou sealed victory late on.
The Roosters are clinical
Wigan played well throughout the game, but the Roosters also seemed to have something in reserve and, in all honestly, never looked like losing once Morris got his clinical third.
Wigan did English rugby proud
It is common knowledge that the NRL is considered to be the best league in the world, so for Wigan to compete against the very best is something to be proud of.
Any mistakes are punished at this level
When Liam Marshall crossed to drag Wigan back into the game, the hosts were within touching distance of their opponents, but their previous mistake in conceding needless penalties meant that they were never truly in control of the match.
NRL sides are making winning the WCC second nature
Super League’s champions may have won 13 finals, compared to the NRL’s 12, but there is no doubt that Australian rugby league is the place to be right now – NRL sides have now won eight of the past 10 matches.
Wigan Warriors 8
Tries: Davies, Marshall
Drop Goals: n/a
Tries: Morris (3), Tupou
Drop Goals: n/a
Wigan Warriors: Hardaker, Davies, Gildart, Sarginson, Marshall; Williams, Leuluai; Clubb, Powell, Flower, Greenwood, Farrell, O’Loughlin.
Replacements: Navarrete, Isa, Hamlin, Bullock.
Sydney Roosters: Tedesco; Tupou, Manu, Morris, Ikuvalu; Keary, Cronk; Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Taukeiaho, Cordner, Aubusson, Radley.
Replacements: I Liu, Tetevano, Collins, Butcher.
Referee: Robert Hicks (RFL)