Wigan 12-42 Brisbane

Corey Oates

Corey Oates scored two tries but was denied a hat-trick by the video referee

Brisbane Broncos continued the National Rugby League’s hold on the World Club Series with a convincing win over Super League’s Wigan Warriors.

Wayne Bennett’s Broncos’ success gave the southern hemisphere a 2-0 series lead following Sydney Roosters’ victory against St Helens on Friday.

Four first-half tries set the platform, with Wigan affected by a severe ankle injury to hooker Michael McIlorum.

Three further tries wrapped up the game despite a late second score from Wigan.

  • Relive Wigan’s home defeat by Brisbane

The atmosphere at the DW Stadium was cautiously upbeat in the build-up but Brisbane soon dented the positivity when Corey Oates went in at the corner following a video referee review.

McIlorum went off on a stretcher after a delay and Broncos responded best when Kodi Nikorima took advantage of a fortuitous bounce off a post-pad from Anthony Milford’s kick.

Wigan got on the board from Sarginson who drove onto Farrell’s pass down the short side left but the joy was short-lived, as Nikorima’s glorious at-the-line pass put Matt Gillett over and a score for Jarrod Wallace silenced the home support, building up a three-score lead at the break.

Wigan showed character after half-time with field position and possession, but a breakaway by Greg Eden led to Oates’ second that put the game to bed.

Nikorima touched down a Darius Boyd kick to puncture any remaining intensity of the contest and Eden’s debut try took the score beyond 40 points.

George Williams’ late try was a rare flicker of delight for the majority of the 19,103-strong crowd.


Former Great Britain coach Brian Noble told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra:

“There’s not a lot of difference between the two sides, but in the NRL teams play at such intensity week in week out, and you have to be more clinical and incisive because you get fewer opportunities.

“Everything Brisbane did was clinically cool and when it comes to goal-line defence Wigan have been given a lesson.

“Decision making at the wrong or right times wasn’t there. I thought Wigan would get closer, but the Broncos were the NRL Grand Finalists. They’re an outstanding team and had a lot more experience than Wigan.”

Match reaction

Wigan Warriors head coach Shaun Wane told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra:

“Absolutely [it was disappointing], we were beaten by the better team, we hold our hands up and they were clinical, their skill was excellent.

“We were in that defensive system most of the game but they’ve burned us on every error we’ve made.

“There’s no excuse, our injury [to Michael McIlorum] was nothing to do with us losing. Micky might be out for about six months, he’s gone to hospital with the broken ankle. But he’s playing rugby league and these things happen.

“I’d love to carry on this concept, I want another go at them, as a coach it’s down to me to make us better to cope with playing them, the way we’ll bounce will be the best thing to happen to this club.”

Brisbane Broncos winger Greg Eden told BBC Radio 5 live sports extra:

“It’s an awesome feeling, the first time pulling that shirt on is a brilliant feeling and it’s everything I dreamed of since I was a kid and I’m fulfilling that down under.

“All three English teams are going through tough times with injuries and we played really well so it’s tough for Wigan.”

[On England and Broncos coach Bennett]: “Wayne is great at talking to us and bringing the best out of us along with Stephen Kearney, both have coached at the highest level and it’s awesome being around them.”

Wigan: Tierney; Gildart, Gelling, Sarginson, Manfredi; Williams, Smith; O’Loughlin, McIlorum, Flower, Farrell, Isa, Bateman.

Replacements: Clubb, Powell, Tautai, Sutton.

Brisbane: Boyd; Oates, Roberts, Kahu, Eden; Milford, Nikorima; Blair, McCullough, McGuire, Gillett, Glenn, Parker.

Replacements: Thaiday, Wallace, Ofahengaue, Waddell.

Referee: Matt Cecchin (Australia)

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