Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors silence NRL critics

Josh Allerton Roar Guru

By , Josh Allerton is a Roar Guru & Live Blogger


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    Sam Tomkins is plying his trade back in the Old Dart. (Image: Wikicommons)

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    Over the weekend, the two best teams from the 2016 Super League season, Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors, took down NRL heavyweights the Brisbane Broncos and premiership winners the Cronulla Sharks.

    Prior to Wigan’s victory, just one Super League team has won the World Club Challenge since 2009 – 2012’s Leeds Rhinos.

    Crushing victories over the last several years by the Sydney Roosters, South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Queensland Cowboys over the Super League rivals has caused sceptics to criticise the value of the competition.

    Warrington’s astonishing victory over the Broncos created shock among NRL fans. Brisbane is one of the premiership favourites heading into the 2017 season, and their loss on the weekend has critics questioning their premiership credentials. The victory is the first by an English club over any Australian opponents since 2012.

    Leading into the game, Brisbane were seen as clear favourites, with some even questioning the point of the game, as it could dent the Warrington Wolves confidence leading into the new season. The runners up of the competition had no such problem however, as they proved far too strong.

    The showing by Warrington could only be topped by the Wigan Warriors’ performance, smashing the 2016 NRL premiers, in what was a dominating victory. The World Club Challenge trophy now stays in England for the first time in almost five years.

    Each year in recent memory, critics have questioned the quality of Super League and how the World Club Challenge competition is not what the world of rugby league needs.

    No longer though. This year’s matches were among arguably the competition heavyweights, as Warrington, Wigan, Brisbane and Cronulla are all set to possibly go the distance once again in 2017. This highlights the outstanding performances by the Super League franchise in what promises to be confidence-boosting wins.

    The competition gained overflowing social media attention after Warrington’s victory, leading to speculation about both NRL sides’ premiership credentials.

    NRL fans have now witnessed the potential for how damaging these Super League teams can be. This will hopefully create a better spectacle in future years.

    Both Super League teams were missing key players from last year’s run to the final – Sam Tomkins for Wigan and Chris Sandow for Warrington. This makes their performances last weekend more impressive.

    While the Europe-based competition still isn’t as high quality as the NRL, no longer are the matches ‘easybeats’ for teams. Players who came under plenty of scrutiny in Australia, such as Joe Burgess, Kurt Gidley, Frank-Paul Nu’uausala and Ashton Sims showed how much it meant for them, and the rest of their team to win each game.

    These victories have saved the competition, and a lot of face for the Super League franchise.

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