Sam Taylor reviews the 2020 World Club Challenge as Super League St Helens took on their Australian counterparts Sydney Roosters. Here’s how the game went.
|6th||Try Luke Thompson (St Helens)||St Helens 4-0|
|7th||Goal Tommy Makinson (St Helens)||St Helens 6-0|
|12th||Try Daniel Tupou (Sydney Roosters)||St Helens 6-4|
|22nd||Try Joey Manu (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney 8-6|
|61st||Try Joey Manu (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney 12-6|
|69th||Try Luke Keary (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney 16-6|
|70th||Goal Sio Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney 18-6|
|73rd||Goal Sio Taukeiaho (Sydney Roosters)||Sydney 20-6|
|78th||Try Alex Walmsley (St Helens)||Sydney 20-10|
|79th||Goal Tommy Makinson (St Helens)||Sydney 20-12|
A lot of the rugby league world class the World Club Challenge as a glorified friendly but the opening exchanges were anything but friendly.
There were some ferocious carries from the likes of Alex Walmsley, Luke Thompson and Sio Taukeiaho. Walmsley then almost came to blows with Victor Radley which resulted in Dom Peyroux using the small melee to his advantage and breaking down the field.
Saints got two penalities in a matter of minutes and used it to their advantage as Theo Fages beat a number of players before squeezing out an offload for NRL bound Thompson to score the opening try.
Sydney replied almost instantly though with Daniel Tupou somehow managing to pick up the ball at his feet to score in the corner. Kyle Flanagan hit the post with his conversion.
Warea-Hargreaves linked up with James Tedesco with a lovely inside pass to create a break. Saints scrambled well but were unable to stop Joey Manu from scoring on the following play to make the score 8-6 at the break.
Saints started the the second half much like they did the first half with some impressive runs from their props.
Tommy Makinson claimed a try early in the half as he dived low but was adjudged to have been short.
Saints then had two golden opportunities by creating an overlap two times in quick succession but firstly Jack Welsby couldn’t find Matty Costello and then neither could James Bentley minutes later.
Saints couldn’t make their pressure count and against the run of play Joey Manu powered his way over from 10 metres out. Flanagan once again missed the conversion making it 12-6.
St Helens then had another chance out wide but this time it was Tommy Makinson who dropped the ball with the try line begging.
The difference between the two teams was that Sydney were able to take their opportunities. Taukeiaho broke through line and then fed the supporting Luke Keary which all but sealed the victory.
Taukeiaho then converted a penalty to make it 20-6.
Walmsley scored a consolation try at the end but it was definitely what the big man deserved after an outstanding performance to make the final score 20-12.
The highlight of the game was the first 10 minutes of the game. The likes of Thompson, Walmsley and Knowles went toe to toe with Warea-Hargreaves, Taukeiaho and Radley ahowing that they weren’t going to be pushed over. The battle between Walmsley and Warea-Hargreaves was great entertainment as the pair went hammer and tongs with each other.
St Helens 12
Tries: Thompson, Walmsley
Goals: Makinson (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
Sydney Roosters 20
Tries: Tupou, Manu (2), Keary
Goals: Taukeiaho (2)
Drop Goals: n/a
St Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Naiqama, Bentley, Costello, Lomax, Fages, Walmsley, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, Knowles.
Interchanges: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Lees, Paulo, Smith.
Sydney Roosters: Tedesco, Morris, Manu, Crichton, Tupou, Keary, Flanagan, Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Taukeiaho, Tupouniua, Aubusson, Radley.
Interchanges: Verrills, Liu, Butcher, Collins.