If Wigan win this weekend, it will be the side’s first World Club Title win in 23 years.
The Warriors claimed Super League glory last season by beating Warrington 12-6 at Old Trafford and it secured a game against Cronulla for the World Club Title.
Despite their march to glory last year, Wigan won’t have it easy against the Sharks. Cronulla have been in fine form and had a terrific campaign last year that ended with a championship win.
They’ll be looking to win more silverware this weekend at the DW Stadium and it looks set to be a good weekend of Rugby League action ahead. Here is our preview for the game.
Record in the World Club Challenge
Wigan have one of the best records in the competition, having won it three times previously. They are joint-top of the ‘Most Wins’ leaderboard along with Leeds, Sydney and Bradford, which shows that they certainly know what it takes to bring the trophy home.
However, as mentioned earlier, the last time they won the competition was 23 years agon, back in 1994. It’s been a long wait for another win and they’ll be hoping it comes this Sunday.
As for Cronulla, they’ve yet to even take part in the World Club Challenge final. This weekend will mark their first appearance in the World Club Challenge and they’ll be hoping it amounts to a first win for the club as well.
With the form they were in last year, they could certainly do it.
Wigan Warriors – Thomas Leuluai. If he features for the Warriors (which he is more than likely to) then he could have a big part to play and could be the deciding factor as to whether his side win or not. Having re-joined the club in the off-season, he’s back and ready to make his mark again.
He got off to a good start against Salford, impressing alongside George Williams. Their partnership for Wigan won’t just be key in this game but throughout the season and if Leuluai can put in another impressive performance this weekend, then it could help shift the tide in Wigan’s favour.
He’d be more than happy to start his second stint at the club off with victory in the World Club Challenge.
Cronulla Sharks – Andrew Fifita. It hasn’t been an easy off-season for the prop – far from it – but he remains one of the best forwards in the game. In fact, the difficulties he has faced could spur him on and lead to him driving his side to glory this weekend, to prove that it hasn’t affected him.
Last season was certainly one to remember for Fifita on a personal level. He won Cronulla’s first Championship with the club – scoring the match-winning try no less – and was then voted their joint Player of the Year for the 2016 campaign.
He is extremely tough and can gain metres for his side like no other player with his destructive runs forward. He’s certainly capable of forcing his way through the opposition’s defence and Wigan will certainly need to be wary of the prop if he features.
If they don’t keep him out of the game, he could certainly make the Warriors pay.
It should be (and hopefully will be) a close-fought and exciting game between the two teams. Both sides will be desperate to win it and they should go all out to do just that. Although it is never easy for a Super League side when up against a team from the NRL, Wigan could certainly claim a victory here and a fancy them to do just that.
It’s been a while since a Super League side brought home the World Club Title and I fancy Wigan to just sneak it this year to end that barren spell without winning the trophy this weekend.