World Club Challenge: St Helens 0-39 South Sydney Rabbitohs

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World Club Challenge: St Helens 0-39 South Sydney Rabbitohs

22 February 2015 : South Sydney Rabbitohs ran in seven tries as they inflicted a record World Club Challenge defeat on Super League champions St Helens.

Glenn Stewart crossed for the National Rugby League side inside two minutes, with Dylan Walker, Greg Inglis and Joel Reddy also scoring before the break.

Luke Keary and Chris McQueen touched down, too, with Reddy adding a second.

A late Adam Reynolds drop-goal ensured the record and a clean sweep of the World Club Series by Australian sides.

The previous biggest winning margin in one of rugby league’s showpiece fixtures was 38 points when Saints were beaten 44-6 by Melbourne Storm in 2000 and 38-0 by Sydney Roosters in 2003.

The first two games of the series were closely contested as St George Illawarra edged out Warrington on Friday, while Brisbane Broncos needed a golden-point extra-time penalty from Corey Parker to overcome Wigan on Saturday.

But Souths, watched at Langtree Park by part-owner and Hollywood actor Russell Crowe, set the tone early on a cold and blustery night, when Reynolds’ clever kick was pounced on by forward Stewart.

After Saints centre Mark Percival had an effort ruled out for being held up over the line, Souths half-back Reynolds then showed some magical feet to round the defence and set up Walker for an easy score.

Rabbitohs captain Inglis then rounded off a flowing move and winger Reddy took advantage of a fortunate bounce from a kick into the Saints’ in-goal area as the Australian team led 24-0 at the break.

Another Reynolds kick caused confusion allowing stand-off Keary to touch down, before McQueen finished off a slick passing move out wide.

Saints struggled to break down a committed Souths defence throughout the evening and Reddy grabbed his second try in the corner after more good handling.

And, with a minute left, Reynolds secured a personal haul of 11 points with a drop-goal, which also set the new unwanted record for Saints.

St Helens head coach Keiron Cunningham: “I really am disappointed. We just got schooled by the best side in the world.

“It’s going to be a good education for my players, especially the young ones. It is difficult. I’m confident in my team’s ability and that wasn’t my team tonight. I know they’re a lot better than that.”

South Sydney Rabittohs head coach Michael Maguire: “I’m really proud of the way we played. We set out to come out over here and be really professional. It was a great performance.

“It’s a team of guys who just want to improve and there’s a lot more in front of us now.

“I spent two years over here and I worked with some great players in Wigan. The last two results were very close, so the top teams over here can definitely mix it with the NRL.”

Asked about the last-minute drop-goal to secure the record margin: “It was the players’ idea. Adam saw an opportunity and took it as I didn’t know about it (the record) at the time.

Source : BBC Sport

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