Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Broncos Golden Point Stuns Warriors

Almost a year to the day since they suffered defeat to the Sydney Roosters in the World Club Challenge, Wigan hosted NRL side Brisbane Broncos in the second game of the inaugural World Club Series.The meeting of the sides rekindles memories of  the famous clash in 1994 which saw underdogs Wigan stun favourites Brisbane to become World Champions.

Wigan came so close to an early score when Joe Burgess collected a high kick close to the Brisbane line but a strong Broncos defence kept him out before the Broncos attack caused some trouble at the other end as despite Joe Burgess claiming a high kick, he spilled the ball and allowed Andrew McCullough to touchdown for a try. The decision went to a review before being awarded with Corey Parker converting for a 6-0 lead.

Both sides seemed to be strong in both defence and attack as the game went on but Wigan looked to have found a chink in the Broncos armour in the 25th minute when Matty Smith's high kick found the arms of Liam Farrell who dived over the line for a try which was soon given via a review with Matty Smith converting for a 6-6 scoreline.

The sides remained level into the half-time interval and the momentum seemed to be split between that two but in the 50th minute that changed as a quick passing move from Brisbane saw Lochlan Maranta cross for a try in the corner but the tight angle prevented Corey Parker from converting at 10-6.

However, the Broncos kicker did make it 12-6 with 13 minutes remaining after Wigan had gifted Brisbane a penalty which Parker converted with ease, Wigan seemed to be favouring a newly devised move on the wing between Joel Tomkins and Josh Charnley as the game entered the final ten minutes but the Brisbane defence quelled such danger.

As the game entered the final few minutes, Brisbane were caught out by what is becoming a traditional Wigan late-show as akin to his last-gasp trick against Warrington in last season's play-offs, Joe Burgess raced down the wing before combining with George Williams who returned the favour just metres from the Brisbane line to allow Burgess to complete a superb try. All of the pressure was on Matty Smith to ensure a potential move into Golden Point and he dealt superbly with such pressure to convert and make it 12-12.

The final seconds saw Wigan collect the kick-off but to no effect as the hooter sounded to signal a potential first Golden Point period for the Warriors. Both sides exchanged sets which resulted in failed drop goal attempts and with the first period of ten minutes almost over, Wigan conceded a penalty which would surely end the game.

Corey Parker stepped up but saw his effort bizarrely charged down by Anthony Gelling who was sin-binned in a strange but comical incident before Parker retook the kick and converted to seal a 14-12 victory which put the NRL 2-0 up overall and sealed the series for the Aussies.