1994 World Club Challenge

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1994 (1994) World Club Challenge  ()
1 2 Total
BRI Brisbane colours.svg 4 10 14
WIG File:Wigancolours.svg 12 8 20
Date 1 June 1994
Stadium ANZ Stadium
Location Brisbane, Australia
Man of the Match Shaun Edwards, Wigan
Referee Greg McCallum
Attendance 54,220
 < 1992

The 1994 MMI World Club Challenge[1] was a replay of the 1992 World Club Challenge, with 1993–94 Rugby Football League season champions Wigan facing the 1993 NSWRL season premiers, the Brisbane Broncos, this time in Australia. Wigan were clearly the dominant club in the English game, having won the previous four consecutive Rugby Football League Championships and Challenge Cup tournaments. The Broncos, having won consecutive premierships in 1992 and 1993 were the dominant team in the Australian game at the time. In the World Club Challenge, this time played unusually late in the year, Wigan were looking to get revenge for their loss against Brisbane in the previous encounter and got out to a strong first half lead. The English club then survived a second half come back from Brisbane to take the match, cementing their position as the world's dominant rugby league club of the period.

Match details

Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos positions Wigan File:Wigancolours.svg
Willie Carne 1. FB Gary Connolly
Wendell Sailor 2. WG Jason Robinson
Steve Renouf 3. CE Sam Panapa
Chris Johns 4. CE Barrie-Jon Mather
Michael Hancock 5. WG Martin Offiah
Kevin Walters 6. FE Frano Botica
Allan Langer (c) 7. HB Shaun Edwards (c)
Glenn Lazarus 8. PR Neil Cowie
Kerrod Walters 9. HK Martin Dermott
Andrew Gee 10. PR Billy McGinty
Mark Hohn 11. SR Denis Betts
Alan Cann 12. SR Andy Farrell
Julian O'Neill 13. LF Phil Clarke
John Plath 14. Bench Va'aiga Tuigamala
Peter Ryan 15. Bench Martin Hall
Brett Galea 16. Bench Mick Cassidy
Chris McKenna 17. Bench Paul Atcheson
Wayne Bennett Coach Graeme West

The match was played at Brisbane's ANZ Stadium on 1 June in the middle of the 1994 NSWRL season. A crowd of 54,220[2] (which as of 2014 remains the record attendance for a World Club Challenge) turned out for the game which was refereed by Greg McCallum. Wigan's chances didn't look good up against a star-studded Broncos side since both of their first choice test props, Kelvin Skerrett (broken jaw) and Andy Platt had been ruled out injured. In addition their coach, John Dorahy, had been sacked just weeks before so they went into the match under caretaker coach Graeme West.

The match was played under international rules which meant when a player was subbed off they could not return. Brisbane suffered early from this with the loss of Five-eighth Kevin Walters in the fifth minute with an ankle injury. Wigan then opened the scoring in the seventh minute, when Denis Betts pounced on a high ball from Shaun Edwards.[3] The British champions added to this with another try in the sixteenth minute from Barrie-Jon Mather, bringing the unlikely score of 12 nil in favour of the visitors. In the twenty-seventh minute, Wendell Sailor opened the scoring for Brisbane when he beat Martin Offiah on the wing to put the ball down in the corner. The failed conversion meant a half-time lead for Wigan of 12 - 4.[4]

Just three minutes into the second half a defining moment in the game took place when Michael Hancock knocked on and Jason Robinson picked up the ball and sped away, beating Sailor to score Wigan's third try. Frano Botica made it three from three with the boot when he kicked the extras, bringing the score to 18 - 4. Brisbane staged a comeback though, with Hancock making amends for his knock on with a try at the forty-six-minute mark and Julian O'Neill getting a try on fifty-nine minutes. Wigan's lead was brought back to four points, but their defence held the Broncos out for the remainder of the game. A sixty-sixth-minute penalty by Botica meant a perfect night with the boot for him and a final score of 14 - 20.[5]

14 Brisbane 20 Wigan
Wendell Sailor
Michael Hancock
Julian O'Neill
Denis Betts
Barrie-Jon Mather
Jason Robinson
Julian O'Neill 1/3
Frano Botica 4/4

Wigan's captain Shaun Edwards was named man-of-the-match and his team had reclaimed the WCC trophy, going home with the $400,000 of prize money. With the Super League war looming, this was to be the last WCC match until the 1997 World Club Championship which included all Super League aligned clubs from the European competition and the Australasian Telstra Cup teams playing in a home and away type championship. It was also the last time the British and Australian champions faced off until the year 2000, and as of the 2013 World Club Challenge, this is also the last time the single game format has been played in Australia. The game returned Down Under in 2014, with Sydney Roosters hosting Wigan at Allianz Stadium.

During the game, Broncos second rower Alan Cann appeared to spear tackle Wigan's Martin Offiah. Cann escaped what should have been a lengthy suspension when the international judiciary declared he had no case to answer. It was later revealed that the judiciary members had inadvertently viewed the wrong video footage.[citation needed]

See also


  1. 1994 World Club Challenge at wigan.rlfans.com
  2. 1994 World Club Challenge at superleague.co.uk
  3. de la Rivière, Richard (2005). "1994 Brisbane Broncos V Wigan, WCC". Thirteen. Retrieved 8 January 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Wigan win World Club final". New Straits Times. Malaysia. 2 June 1994. p. 45. Retrieved 4 October 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 1994 World Club Challenge at rugbyleagueproject.com