After this year’s World Club Challenge ended with Melbourne Storm defeating Leeds Rhinos 38-4, it’s only right to look back at some of the best World Club Challenge tries scored over the years.
1. Raider tries in defeat
The first on our top 10 list came in just the third World Club Challenge, and the only one that has featured Widnes Vikings. In 1989 Widnes beat Canberra Raiders 30-18 at Old Trafford. However, the try chosen from this game wasn’t scored by the English club but by Raiders stand-off Chris O’Sullivan.
The Raiders shifted the ball to their right side with some quick passing, centre Mal Meninga showed great strength and with a one-handed offload gave the ball to winger Matthew Wood. The number two used his pace to go round the outside of the Widnes defence and draw the full-back, then a simple pass inside put O’Sullivan in the clear to go under the sticks.
2. Morley finishes off for the Roosters
There were a lot of contenders between the 1989 match and 2003 but the next try, finished off by former England international Adrian Morley during his time at Sydney Roosters, saw some exceptional support play from the NRL side.
The Roosters ran riot at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium with a whitewash 38-0 victory over St Helens. Towards the end of the second half, Sydney made a break from inside their own half down the right wing with Todd Burn. The winger found full-back Anthony Minichiello with a flick pass over the head of an oncoming defender, Minichiello offloaded to Brett Finch who quickly gave it to Morley supporting on the inside. A 20-metre sprint from the forward meant Sydney were in for another try to make it 16-0.
3. Pryce throws a dummy or two
Just one year on and after two superb team tries, this four pointer in the 2004 World Club Challenge was all down to one man. As Bradford Bulls faced Penrith Panthers at Huddersfield’s Alfred McAlpine Stadium, now the John Smith’s Stadium, Leon Pryce was the stand out performer.
In the 25th minute, Pryce threw a dummy and sidestepped his way through the gap in the Penrith defence, beating one, beating two and throwing a final dummy pass before diving over for a wonderful solo try. Bradford went on to win the match 22-4.
4. Gardner wins it for Saints
After the disappointment of 2003, St Helens were back in the World Club Challenge in 2007 and back at the Reebok to right their wrongs. This time they were up against Brisbane Broncos and with just over 10 minutes left on the clock, this Ade Gardner try won the match for the Super League club.
On the final tackle of the set, the ball was given to the Saints scrum half Sean Long who put up a high and perfectly placed kick which dropped just in front of the Brisbane line. Gardner rose above the defenders and seemed to hang in the air for a moment before he collected the ball and crashed over the line. This gave St Helens a 16-14 lead before Paul Sculthorpe added the extra two points for an 18-14 victory.
5. Late show not enough
The first of three great Leeds Rhinos tries on our top 10 list comes from 2009 when Manly Sea Eagles visited Elland Road. Unfortunately, the Rhinos left it too late in this match and despite an impressive try finished off by Danny McGuire, they were beaten 28-20 by Manly.
With 35 seconds remaining, Carl Ablett played a long pass to McGuire who gave it to Keith Senior inside the Leeds half. The centre pushed off Manly’s winger David Williams and stand-off Chris Bailey to pass back inside to McGuire who raced to the corner for the try.
6. McGuire stars again
Similarly to this year, eight years ago Leeds Rhinos faced Melbourne Storm but the 2008 match was played in Yorkshire in comparison to Australia. Nevertheless, this full length try took some doing, and again it was that man Danny McGuire who was there to do the job.
Early in the second half, Melbourne’s Cameron Smith put in a grubber kick which ricocheted off the leg of Leeds centre, Brett Delaney. McGuire was the first to react with a neat one handed pick up and he showed impressive speed to run the length of the pitch. After the successful conversion from Rob Burrow, the Super League team were 10-4 ahead but failed to hold on and Melbourne came back to win 18-10.
7. Carmont class in vain
The side with the most World Club Challenge titles to their name, Wigan Warriors, couldn’t add to their tally back in 2011 when St. George Illawara Dragons beat the Warriors 21-15 at the DW Stadium. But the try chosen was one of just two scored by the English club.
In the 23rd minute of the match after a 20-metre drop out from the Dragons, Harrison Hansen’s poor pass hit the ground but bounced kindly for centre George Carmont to collect. The Wigan number four spotted a gap and hit the accelerators as he broke through the Dragons defence, threw a dummy to send Jamie Soward the wrong way and went over under the sticks.
8. Hall interception helps Leeds to victory
From Lancashire back to Yorkshire and a repeat of the 2009 clash as Leeds Rhinos played Manly Sea Eagles in the 2012 World Club Challenge. This time around the Rhinos were on the right end of the result, beating the Australian side 26-12.
Leeds took an early lead and the try chosen was from the prolific try scoring winger Ryan Hall, who put his side 10-0 in front. Manly were on the attack just before the half hour mark, until Hall intercepted a pass from Manly’s full-back Brett Stewart and raced away for the try.
9. Melbourne – the best ever?
In 2013 Leeds Rhinos were on the receiving end of one of the best tries ever scored in a World Club Challenge, in another close match between themselves and Melbourne Storm that finished 18-14 to the NRL team.
Just minutes after the half time break, Melbourne created space on the left as a long pass from Billy Slater sent Gareth Widdop through but he was tackled on the half way line. An eight pass move after Widdop’s break switched the ball to the right and an unbelievable offload from Mahe Fonua meant Tohu Harris could stroll over the line.
10. One from the World Club Series
The final try on our top 10 list was part of the very first World Club Series. As St Helens faced South Sydney Rabbitohs in the World Club Challenge, Wigan Warriors took on Brisbane Broncos and Warrington Wolves played St George Illawara Dragons.
Although this try wasn’t scored in the actual World Club Challenge, it was too good to ignore. As Wigan welcomed Brisbane to the DW Stadium, this Joe Burgess try took the match into golden point.
With two minutes to spare and behind 12-6, Wigan gave the ball to Burgess who was inside his own 20 metres. He showed blistering pace to go round the outside of the defence and the Wigan winger gave the ball inside to George Williams, who returned the pass for Burgess to score. Matty Smith converted to make it 12-12. However, Brisbane won the match after Corey Parker kicked a penalty goal during golden point extra time.