Warrington Wolves and Wigan Warriors silence NRL critics

Josh Allerton Roar Guru

By Josh Allerton, 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.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (29)

    • Roar Guru

      February 23rd 2017 @ 7:58am
      The Barry said | February 23rd 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Other than Sharks and Broncos supporters I don’t too many Aussie fans begrudge the English teams the win.

      It certainly adds some credibility to the contest and will make next years games all the more interesting.

    • February 23rd 2017 @ 9:50am
      Dean - Surry Hills said | February 23rd 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

      Get ready for the World Cup in nine months – she’s gonna be a cracker.

      • February 23rd 2017 @ 10:52am
        Fred said | February 23rd 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        Sure is… Scotland are at 500 to 1 despite holding New Zealand to a draw in the Four Nations.

        PNG, Samoa, Fiji, France and Scotland will surprise many.

        • February 23rd 2017 @ 12:24pm
          Jaime O'Donnell said | February 23rd 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

          Damn I’m filthy. I only got 200/1 from Ladbrokes

      • February 23rd 2017 @ 10:11pm
        Vichy said | February 23rd 2017 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

        Dean, Australia or NZ to win this time?

    • Roar Guru

      February 23rd 2017 @ 9:51am
      Sleiman Azizi said | February 23rd 2017 @ 9:51am | ! Report

      It was good to see.

    • February 23rd 2017 @ 10:13am
      Fred said | February 23rd 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      The northern hemisphere is where it’s at!

      The English are finding their fire, Toronto coming to the party, the French too are on the revival with Toulouse killing the Championship and probably set to join Catalans in the Super League next year

      • February 23rd 2017 @ 11:45am
        Jeff dustby said | February 23rd 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

        Wake up

        • February 23rd 2017 @ 12:24pm
          Fred said | February 23rd 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

          I am awake to the fact that there’s a world outside Australia

          • February 26th 2017 @ 12:04am
            Richard Maybury said | February 26th 2017 @ 12:04am | ! Report

            WHAT !

            you will be telling me the world isn’t flat next.

      • February 23rd 2017 @ 2:35pm
        Edward Webeck said | February 23rd 2017 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

        can’t see toulouse going up this year, although they could possibly compete in the super 8’s

    • February 23rd 2017 @ 10:30am
      Clinen said | February 23rd 2017 @ 10:30am | ! Report

      As a Sharkies fan I was disappointed to lose, but absolutely stoked just to be there in the first place. I’d never seen my team play another team outside of the NRL so was an awesome spectacle. I think it’s a great idea to have the two premiers play, but I think it should be closer to the GF to be honest. The sharks team that lost to the warriors was a very different team to the one that beat the storm.

      And I think it’s good that Wigan got the win, the last two WCC were embarrassing whitewashes with NQLD and souths smashing their opponents.

      • Roar Guru

        February 23rd 2017 @ 12:20pm
        Josh Allerton said | February 23rd 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

        I agree, I was going to mention this throughout the article – both premiership winning teams should play each other a few weeks after the final so we can see their full strength teams. It would certainly be a better spectacle as both would be in form also.

        The last three were whitewashes, don’t forget the Roosters smashing St Helens at the SFS in 2014.

        • February 23rd 2017 @ 2:40pm
          Edward Webeck said | February 23rd 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

          you call yourself a roosters supporter and you can’t remember what team you beat in the World Club Challenge. It was Wigan by the way.

          • Roar Guru

            February 23rd 2017 @ 3:05pm
            Josh Allerton said | February 23rd 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

            You’re right, excuse me. And yes i do call myself a Roosters supporter. Everyone makes mistakes, mate.

            • February 23rd 2017 @ 4:45pm
              Edward Webeck said | February 23rd 2017 @ 4:45pm | ! Report

              I know I was only jesting, I think the Roosters will be big improvers this year.

      • February 26th 2017 @ 6:03am
        Damo said | February 26th 2017 @ 6:03am | ! Report

        The WIgan team was also very different to the team last season and had at least 3 players injured as well, including first choice full back and hooker.

    • February 23rd 2017 @ 10:33am
      Arnold Krewanty said | February 23rd 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

      Poms in season – NRL in pre-season. Still no excuse though.

      Super League had the right idea years ago. NRL has no foresight in strengthening RL at an international level.

      • February 23rd 2017 @ 10:42am
        Fred said | February 23rd 2017 @ 10:42am | ! Report

        The poms had only played one game of their season…

      • February 23rd 2017 @ 11:46am
        Jeff dustby said | February 23rd 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

        And what do you think they should do ?