Top Five World Club Challenge Clashes

Bad news! The extended competition of the World Club Series has been abandoned, meaning less games.

Good news! The World Club Challenge remains in existence as Sydney Roosters have agreed to travel over and meet Wigan Warriors at the DW stadium next February.

Therefore the concept continues and such a fixture has dealt its fair share of heavy scores but also some entertaining affairs between the champions from both hemispheres and here, we look back at five notable clashes to have graced our screens.

 

5 – St Helens 20-18 Brisbane Broncos

First up was a rather common clash at the then named Reebok stadium when St Helens first entertained and edged Brisbane Broncos in 2001.

The Saints would later repeat a similar feat in 2007 but their first encounter was truly special as the Super League champions defied the odds and battled from behind to upset the highly fancied Broncos outfit.

Brisbane led 18-6 during the second half thanks to tries from Shaun Berrigan, Phillip Lee and Brad Myers had initially cancelled out Paul Sculthorpe’s effort.

But a second half resurgence, led by Sean Long, saw the scrum-half notch up a try before combining with Paul Newlove to send Chris Joynt over, all before both he and Sculthorpe added a drop-goal each to seal a famous victory!

Credit: St Helens Star

4 – Bradford Bulls 41-26 Newcastle Knights

Fast-forward a year saw the Bradford Bulls re-write the record books with a resounding win over the Newcastle Knights.

Witnessed by 21,113 at the formerly named Alfred McAlpine stadium, the Bulls racked up 41 points, the highest ever amount by a Super League club in such a fixture.

Legend Paul Deacon led the way, amassing 17 points, the highest amount from an individual in a World Club Challenge game at the time.

Further points came from two tries apiece through Robbie Paul and Michael Withers that added to tries from Lesley Vainikolo and Daniel Gartner.

The Bulls thus swept aside a Knights side, featuring the likes of Andrew Johns, Danny Buderus and Matt Gidley, who funnily enough all scored tries on the night that ultimately proved to be mere consolation.

 

3 – Leeds Rhinos 39-32 Canterbury Bulldogs

Next up established further history for the Super League as Leeds Rhinos battled past Canterbury Bulldogs in a thriller at Elland Road to claim their first ever world title!

This match was truly a classic, with 13 tries between both teams, this really was worthy of a World Club Challenge!

The Rhinos initially cruised into a 26-6 half-time lead and looked to have had things sewn up but the Bulldogs battled back to set up a tense finish.

But credit to Leeds, they held out and became kings of the world in front of a packed out Elland Road and fully deserved the plaudits.

Credit: Getty Images

2 – Widnes Vikings 30-18 Canberra Raiders

Runner-up focuses on a special occasion as Widnes Vikings defeated Canberra Raiders at Old Trafford in 1989.

Widnes may have been relegated last season but have decided to celebrate their 30th anniversary of the win with their new look away kit and rightfully so as this win is arguably their greatest ever.

Martin Offiah bagged two tries, adding to further efforts from Jonathan Davies, Richard Eyres, Paul Hulme and Darren Wright.

All of this against a Raiders team who were captained by Mal Meninga as well as possessing other greats such as Laurie Daley, Ricky Stuart, Glenn Lazarus and Craig Bellamy to name a few and all the more momentous for British rugby to savour a truly famous evening!

 

1 – Brisbane Broncos 14-20 Wigan Warriors

Last up may prove controversial but it is Wigan’s sensational victory down under against the Brisbane Broncos in 1994 that leads the way!

The Warriors are the only British club to defeat Aussie opposition in such a game or tournament in that part of the world, but this is surely the top pick of those.

It came in between Brisbane’s 1992 and 1997 titles, both of which saw Brisbane defeat Wigan on three occasions.

But the Warriors just oozed class on the night; captained by Shaun Edwards, they scored tries through Denis Betts, Barrie-Jon Mather and Jason Robinson, with Frano Botica adding four goals.

All of this against a Brisbane team led by Allan Langer, who partnered Kevin Walters at half-back, with further names including Wendell Sailor, Andrew Gee, Chris McKenna and future Wigan duo Julian O’Neill and Steve Renouf, all of whom coached by Wayne Bennett!

A remarkable night indeed and one of Wigan’s more remarkable victories that has helped cement their dominance in British rugby league over the years!

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