Wigan 22 Cronulla 6
Match report as Wigan Warriors crowned World Club Champions after they beat Cronulla Sharks 22-6 in the Dacia World Club Series at the DW Stadium
Joe Burgess returns to the DW Stadium with a hat-trick
- Oliver Gildart scores Wigan’s other try as Warriors beat NRL Champions
A Joe Burgess hat-trick saw Wigan Warriors named the best team in the world for a record fourth time as they beat NRL champions Cronulla Sharks 22-6 in the Dacia World Club Challenge at the DW Stadium.
Wigan started the game in good fashion as Joe Burgess scored just minutes into the game before the England winger put Wigan into a 10-0 lead at the break owing to his second.
Oliver Gildart put the Warriors further ahead after half-time with a fine try on the left edge but Cronulla made it a nervy finish by pulling a try back through Jesse Ramien. Wigan’s defence stood firm though and Burgess completed his hat-trick put the cherry on top of the cake right on the full-time hooter which saw Wigan beat Cronulla 22-6 in the Dacia World Club Series.
Shaun Wane made just one change to the side that beat Salford Red Devils in the opening round of Super League last weekend as John Bateman returned from injury to start in the second-row with Willie Isa the man to drop out.
Australia internationals Andrew Fifita, James Maloney, Wade Graham, Luke Lewis and captain Paul Gallen featured for the Sharks.
The Cherry and Whites started well and crossed in just the third minute when Oliver Gildart allowed Joe Burgess for the returning winger to finish acrobatically in the corner.
Cronulla back-rower Luke Lewis crossed the whitewash following a kick just minutes after the Wigan try but it was chalked off by the video referee owing to an offside.
The home side were applying pressure on the Sharks defence midway through the first-half as they forced consecutive drop-outs as well as an error from Lewis but Cronulla held on.
England international Burgess then got his and Wigan’s second as a quick set saw them motor their way up the field. The left side duo combined once again as it went through the hands of Williams and Gildart before Burgess added the finishing touch. Escaré added the extras and Wigan were 10-0 to the good after 25 minutes.
The Australian outfit went over with nine minutes of the first half remaining as Kurt Capewell dived in at the corner but the video referee ruled it out due to the ball being grounded on the in-goal line.
Cronulla had a number of sets on the Warriors line late on but Shaun Wane’s side showed great spirit to keep the Sharks out and went into the break 10-0 ahead.
HALF TIME: Wigan Warriors 10–0 Cronulla Sharks
Wigan came out in the second-half flying and scored a few minutes after the restart. France international Escaré skipped across the Cronulla defence before giving it to Gildart who threw a dummy and touched down. Escareé converted from the touchline to put his side 16-0 in front.
The Super League team continued to pressure the NRL side and forced errors on the Cronulla line and had good field territory for a large part of the second-half.
Cronulla fought back and pulled one back through Jesse Ramien. The winger latched onto a grubber kick to score in the corner. James Maloney’s conversion attempt was successful, Wigan 16-6 Cronulla.
Shane Flanagan’s side had chances late on but determined Wigan defence helped maintain a two-try lead.
Wigan looked home and hosed before Burgess completed his hat-trick on the full-time hooter as he pounced on a Williams grubber. Sam Powell rounded off a solid display with the conversion and Wigan were crowned Dacia World Club champions with a 22-6 win.
FULL TIME: Wigan Warriors 22–6 Cronulla Sharks
Wigan Warriors - 22
Tries: Burgess 3, Gildart
Goals: Escare 2/3, Powell 1/1
Cronulla Sharks - 6
Goals: Maloney 1/1
Wigan Warriors: 22. Morgan Escare; 21. Lewis Tierney, 3. Anthony Gelling, 4. Oliver Gildart, 5. Joe Burgess; 6. George Williams, 7. Thomas Leuluai; 8. Frank-Paul Nuuausala, 16. Sam Powell, 10. Ben Flower; 14. John Bateman, 12. Liam Farrell; 13. Sean O’Loughlin ©.
Interchange: 11. Joel Tomkins, 15. Tony Clubb, 17. Taulima Tautai, 19. Ryan Sutton.
Cronulla Sharks: 1. Gerard Beale; 2. Jesse Ramien, 3. Jack Bird, 4. Ricky Leutele, 5. Kurt Capewell; 6. James Maloney, 7. Chad Townsend; 8. Andrew Fifita, 14. Jayden Brailey, 10. Matt Prior; 11. Luke Lewis, 12. Wade Graham; 13. Paul Gallen ©.
Interchange: 9. Fa’amanu Brown, 15. Chris Heighington, 16. Jason Bukuya, 17. Sam Tagataese.
Referee – Robert Hicks