ROOSTERS CLAIM CONSECUTIVE TITLES
Sydney Roosters equaled Wigan Warriors’ record of four World Club Challenge titles with a 20-12 victory over St Helens at the Totally Wicked Stadium which also saw the Australian side become the first to win back-to-back titles.
A Joseph Manu double either side of half-time put the Roosters in the ascendancy after Daniel Tupou scored their first of the evening. A 68thminute minute Luke Keary effort sealed a third World Club Challenge under the stewardship of Trent Robinson.
England forward duo Luke Thompson and Alex Walmsley were the St Helens try-scorers with Thompson having put Kristian Woolfe’s side ahead after six minutes.
It was St Helens who began the stronger as Thompson – who is bound for the NRL – gave them the lead in the early stages. The front-rower did well to take a low offload from Theo Fages and reach out for the try-line to open the scoring.
However, the visitors soon hit back. A long ball to the flank was scooped up excellently by Daniel Tupou who finished well in the corner. New recruit Kyle Flanagan couldn’t convert meaning Saints had a narrow 6-4 lead.
The Roosters took the lead midway through the first half as 2019 Dally M Medallist James Tedesco sliced through the Saints’ line on an inside ball before a quick play-the-ball and looping pass allowed Manu to score his first of the evening.
2018 Golden Boot winner Tommy Makinson went close for St Helens, but the video referee adjudged the winger to have grounded the ball short of the try-line. The hosts couldn’t make their pressure tell and the Roosters would score again through Manu on 61 minutes, with the center too strong for the St Helens defense on the right-hand side.
Robinson’s men sealed the victory with ten minutes remaining as Siosiua Taukeiaho broke down the center of the field and found an onrushing Luke Keary who was too quick over the final 40 meters.
Walmsley did power over for a late consolation try but it was too little too late for St Helens.
St Helens: Jack Welsby, Tommy Makinson, Kevin Naiqama, James Bentley, Matthew Costello; Jonny Lomax, Theo Fages; Alex Walmsley, James Roby, Luke Thompson, Zeb Taia, Dominique Peyroux, Morgan Knowles.
Interchanges: Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Matty Lees, Joseph Paulo, Aaron Smith.
Sydney Roosters: James Tedesco, Daniel Tupou, Angus Crichton, Joseph Manu, Brett Morris; Luke Keary, Kyle Flanagan; Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Jake Friend, Siosiua Taukeiaho, Sitili Tupouniua, Mitchell Aubusson, Victor Radley.
Interchanges: Sam Verrills, Isaac Liu, Nat Butcher, Lindsay Collins.
St Helens Tries: Thompson (6’), Walmsley (78’) St Helens Goals: Makinson ½
Sydney Tries: Tupou (11’), Manu (20’, 61’), Keary (68’)Sydney Goals: Taukeiaho 1/1