World Club Challenge


World Club Challenge
World Club Challenge
Current season or competition:
2011 World Club Challenge
World Club Challenge logo
Sport Rugby league football
Instituted 1989
Inaugural season 1976
Number of teams 2
Region International (RFL[1])
World Champions St George Illawarra Dragons (2011)
Broadcast partner Sky Sports
Related competitions Super League
National Rugby League

The World Club Challenge (also known as the Probiz World Club Challenge due to sponsorship and previously called the World Club Championship) is an annual rugby league football match held between the champions of the Australasian National Rugby League and the European Super League competitions to determine the world's best rugby league club. The first match of its kind was played in 1976 but it did not become a regular part of the World rugby league calendar until the late 1980s. The World Club Challenge's history was also punctuated by the 1990s' Super League war but has been held every year since 2000. To date only English and Australian sides have competed in the World Club Challenge. The St George Illawarra Dragons are the current champions, defeating the Wigan Warriors 21 – 15 in the 2011 World Club Challenge.

Contents

History

The competition began unofficially in 1976 as a match between the Sydney and English champions. In 1987 another unofficial match took place when Wigan chairman Maurice Lindsay invited Manly-Warringah to Central Park.[2] The first official World Club Challenge was contested between Widnes and Canberra in 1989. Three further matches, each involving Wigan, were staged in the early 1990s.

If only we could see a genuine contest between Wigan and Brisbane – a World Club final. Alas, it will never happen. Oh sure, a game might be arranged, but logistics dictate that one side would be out of season, rusty or tired, and away from home.

1997 tournament trophy

With the outbreak of the Australian Super League War in 1995, the World Club Challenge was not staged again until 1997. In that year the competition was restructured to include 22 clubs from the Australian and European Super League competitions. As it was contested over 6 rounds in 2 hemispheres, with $1,000,000 prize money, the competition was prohibitively expensive to stage, and it reportedly lost over $5,000,000. This, coupled with the poor ratings and attendances that were achieved both in Australia and Europe, led to the competition being postponed for two seasons.

Returning to a one-off match between both League champions for a 1998 World Club Challenge as a show-piece fixture at Ellis Park in Johannesburg was mooted.[4] However this didn't eventuate.

When it was resurrected in 2000, the World Club Challenge was once more played between the winners of the premierships in Australasia and Europe. It has since been contested annually in various venues in the United Kingdom in February or late January, before the commencement of the Super League and National Rugby League seasons.

Australian commentators sometimes deride the competition, citing the British refusal to ever play the game outside of the UK, the effects of jet lag on the Australian teams (who often arrive in England only a couple of days before the game) and the wintry conditions as reasons for Australian teams' poor performances. Also the fact that it is played at the start of the new season instead of at the end of the previous season also affects teams performances as usually the rosters have considerably changed so the teams that take the field are not the ones that won the respective premierships.

For these reasons and until it is played either in a neutral venue or in Australia every other year, it has been viewed as nothing more than a pre-season warm up game by most Australasian teams and fans.[5][6]

Results

Year Date Winner Score Runner-up Venue Crowd
1976 29 June Australia Eastern Suburbs 25–2 United Kingdom St Helens Australia Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney 26,865
1987 7 October United Kingdom Wigan 8–2 Australia Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles United Kingdom Central Park, Wigan 36,895
1989 4 October United Kingdom Widnes 30–18 Australia Canberra Raiders United Kingdom Old Trafford, Manchester 30,786
1991 2 October United Kingdom Wigan 21–4 Australia Penrith Panthers United Kingdom Anfield, Liverpool 20,152
1992 31 October Australia Brisbane Broncos 22–8 United Kingdom Wigan United Kingdom Central Park, Wigan 17,460
1994 1 June United Kingdom Wigan 20–14 Australia Brisbane Broncos Australia ANZ Stadium, Brisbane 54,220
1997a[›] 17 October Australia Brisbane Broncos 36–12 Australia Hunter Mariners New Zealand Ericsson Stadium, Auckland 12,000
2000 22 January Australia Melbourne Storm 44–6 United Kingdom St Helens United Kingdom JJB Stadium, Wigan 13,394
2001 26 January United Kingdom St Helens 20–18 Australia Brisbane Broncos United Kingdom Reebok Stadium, Bolton 16,041
2002 25 January United Kingdom Bradford Bulls 41–26 Australia Newcastle Knights United Kingdom Alfred McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield 21,113
2003 14 February Australia Sydney Roosters 38–0 United Kingdom St Helens United Kingdom Reebok Stadium, Bolton 19,807
2004 13 February United Kingdom Bradford Bulls 22–4 Australia Penrith Panthers United Kingdom Alfred McAlpine Stadium, Huddersfield 18,962
2005 4 February United Kingdom Leeds Rhinos 39–32 Australia Bulldogs United Kingdom Elland Road, Leeds 37,028
2006 3 February United Kingdom Bradford Bulls 30–10 Australia Wests Tigers United Kingdom Galpharm Stadium, Huddersfield 19,207
2007 23 February United Kingdom St Helens 18–14 Australia Brisbane Broncos United Kingdom Reebok Stadium, Bolton 23,247
2008 29 February United Kingdom Leeds Rhinos 11–4 Australia Melbourne Storm United Kingdom Elland Road, Leeds 33,204
2009 1 March Australia Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 28–20 United Kingdom Leeds Rhinos United Kingdom Elland Road, Leeds 32,569
2010b[›] 28 February Australia Melbourne Storm 18–10 United Kingdom Leeds Rhinos United Kingdom Elland Road, Leeds 27,697
2011 27 February Australia St George Illawarra Dragons 21–15 United Kingdom Wigan Warriors United Kingdom DW Stadium, Wigan 24,268
2012 February Australia Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles TBC United Kingdom Leeds Rhinos United Kingdom TBC, Leeds
Notes

^ a: This is the result from the grand final of a 22-team 1997 World Club Championship.
^ b: The NRL stripped Melbourne Storm as a result of their breach of the salary cap.
NRL.com (2011-05-11). "Final Report: Storm Salary Cap investigation". NRL. http://www.nrl.com/final-report-storm-salary-cap-investigation/tabid/10874/newsid/62723/default.aspx. Retrieved 2011-10-21. </ref>

Statistics and records

Except where noted, these statistics do not include pool matches from the 1997 World Club Championship.

Titles won

Wins Country
11 United Kingdom UK
7 Australia Australia

Overall record (club)

Team Titles Runners-up Win %
United Kingdom Wigan Warriors 3 (1987, 1991, 1994) 2 (1992, 2011) 60%
United Kingdom Leeds Rhinos 3 (2005, 2008, 2010) 1 (2009) 75%
United Kingdom Bradford Bulls 3 (2002, 2004, 2006) 100%
Australia Brisbane Broncos 2 (1992, 1997) 3 (1994, 2001, 2007) 40%
United Kingdom St Helens 2 (2001, 2007) 3 (1976, 2000, 2003) 40%
Australia Sydney Roosters 2 (1976, 2003) 100%
Australia Melbourne Storm 1 (2000) 2 (2008, 2010) 67%
Australia Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 1 (2009) 1 (1987) 50%
United Kingdom Widnes Vikings 1 (1989) 100%
Australia St George Illawarra Dragons 1 (2011) - 100%
Australia Penrith Panthers 2 (1991, 2004) 0%
Australia Bulldogs RLFC 1 (2005) 0%
Australia Canberra Raiders 1 (1989) 0%
Australia Hunter Mariners 1 (1997) 0%
Australia Newcastle Knights 1 (2002) 0%
Australia Wests Tigers 1 (2006) 0%

Biggest wins

Points Score Champions Runners-up Year
38 38–0 Sydney Roosters St. Helens 2003
38 44–6 Melbourne Storm St. Helens 2000
24 36–12 Brisbane Broncos Hunter Mariners 1997

Biggest wins

Points Score Champions Runners-up Year
38 38–0 Sydney Roosters St. Helens 2003
38 44–6 Melbourne Storm St. Helens 2000
24 36–12 Brisbane Broncos Hunter Mariners 1997

Most points in a game by a winning side

Points Score Champions Runners-Up Year
44 44–6 Melbourne Storm St. Helens 2000
41 41–26 Bradford Bulls Newcastle Knights 2002
39 39–32 Leeds Rhinos Canterbury Bulldogs 2005

Most points in a game by a losing side

Points Score Champions Runners-Up Year
32 39–32 Leeds Rhinos Canterbury Bulldogs 2005
26 41–26 Bradford Bulls Newcastle Knights 2002
20 28–20 Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Leeds Rhinos 2009
18 20–18 St. Helens Brisbane Broncos 2001
18 30–18 Widnes Vikings Canberra Raiders 1989

Highest scoring matches

Points Score Champions Runners-Up Year
71 39–32 Leeds Rhinos Canterbury Bulldogs 2005
67 41–26 Bradford Bulls Newcastle Knights 2002
50 44–6 Melbourne Storm St. Helens 2000

Lowest scoring matches

Points Score Champions Runners-Up Year
10 8–2 Wigan Warriors Manly Sea Eagles 1987
15 11–4 Leeds Rhinos Melbourne Storm 2008
25 21–4 Wigan Warriors Penrith Panthers 1991

Most points scored (individual)

Points Name (club/s)
24 Botica (Wigan / Widnes)
22 Fitzgibbon (Roosters)
18 Deacon (Bradford)
16 El Masri (Canterbury)
14 Johns (Newcastle)
14 Sinfield (Leeds)

Try scorers

Tries Name (club/s)
3 Bai (Melbourne / Bradford), Hancock (Brisbane), Smith (Brisbane)
2 El Masri (Bulldogs), Fielden (Bradford), Gene (Bradford), Johns (Newcastle), Offiah (Widnes), R Paul (Bradford), Ross (Melbourne), Sailor (Brisbane), Sculthorpe (St Helens), Vainikolo (Bradford), Withers (Bradford), Zisti (Hunter), Gardner (St Helens), B Stewart (Manly-Warringah), Watmough (Manly), McGuire (Leeds), Jones-Buchanan (Leeds), Carmont (Wigan), B Morris (St George Illawarra)
1 Ayliffe (St Helens), Betts (Wigan), Buderus (Newcastle), Byrne (Roosters), Calderwood (Leeds), Carlaw (Hunter), Davies (Widnes), Edwards (Wigan), Evans (Melbourne), Fairfax (Roosters), Fittler (Roosters), Fitzgibbon (Roosters), Fitzhenry (Wests Tigers), Gartner (Bradford), Hill (Melbourne), Hodgson (Wests Tigers), Hoppe (St Helens), Joynt (St Helens), Kerrod Walters (Brisbane), Kevin Walters (Brisbane), Lolesi (Bulldogs), Long (St Helens), Mather (Wigan), Mathers (Leeds), Meninga (Canberra), Morgan (Melbourne), Morley (Roosters), Moule (Melbourne), Myers (Widnes), O'Neill (Brisbane), O'Sullivan (Canberra), P. Hulme (Widnes), Panapa (Widnes), Parker (Bradford), Patten (Bulldogs), Payten (Roosters), Plath (Brisbane), Poching (Leeds), Priddis (Penrith), Pryce (Bradford), R Eyers (Widnes), Renouf (Brisbane), Robinson (Wigan), S. Walters (Canberra), Smith (Newcastle), Stevens (Roosters), Swann (Bradford), Townsend (Roosters), C. Walker (Brisbane), Walker (Leeds), Willis (Penrith), Wright (Widnes), Parker (Brisbane), Boyd (Brisbane), Shaun Berrigan (Brisbane), Lee (Brisbane), Meyers (Brisbane), Hoffman (Melbourne), Donald (Leeds), Matai (Manly), Senior (Leeds), Hall (Leeds)Anthony Quinn (Melbourne)Luke MacDougall (Melbourne), Cooper (St George Illawarra), King (St George Illawarra)

Goals (conversions and penalties)

Goals Name (club/s)
12 Frano Botica (Widnes / Wigan)Darren Lockyer (broncos)
11 Paul Deacon (Bradford / Wigan)
9 Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters)
7 Kevin Sinfield (Leeds)
5 Harris (Bradford), Sinfield (Leeds), Watts (Melbourne)' Smith (Melbourne)
4 Hazem El Masri (Canterbury), Long (St Helens), Stephenson (Wigan), Orford (Manly)
3 Johns (Newcastle), Sculthorpe (St Helens), Withers (Bradford), Davies (Wigan), Corey Parker (Brisbane), Michael De Vere (Brisbane), Terry Matterson (Brisbane)
2 Wood (Canberra), Soward (St George Illawarra)
1 Brett Hodgson (Wests Tigers), Julian O'Neill (Brisbane), O'Sullivan (Canberra), Brass (Roosters), Tasesa Lavea (Melbourne), O'Connor (Manly), Geoff Pimblett (Wigan)

Drop goals

Goals Name (club/s)
2 Sinfield (Leeds)
1 Lydon (Wigan), Long (St Helens), Sculthorpe (St Helens), Deacon (Bradford), Tomkins (Wigan), Soward (St George Illawarra)

Grounds

Venue City Number of Games Highest Crowd Lowest Crowd
Anfield Liverpool 1 20,152 20,152
ANZ Stadium Brisbane 1 54,220 54,220
Central Park Wigan 2 36,895 17,460
Elland Road Leeds 4 37,208 27,697
Alfred McAlpine Stadium / Galpharm Stadium Huddersfield 3 21,113 18,962
JJB Stadium / DW Stadium Wigan 2 24,268 13,394
Ericsson Stadium Auckland 1 12,000 12,000
Old Trafford Manchester 1 30,786 30,786
Reebok Stadium Bolton 3 23,207 16,041
Sydney Cricket Ground Sydney 1 26,865 26,865

Sources

External links

See also

References


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